Top critical review
Fantastic with complications, epic indeed.
Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2020
The sixth book of this ten book series was epic and powerful. It is by far, one of his best books in the series. Midnight Tides was great and enabled me to continue the series even though House of Chains really disappointed me.
I see a lot of reviewers liked this book, so did I. Without a doubt the book continues really well on the heels of Midnight Tides.
It centers around Malaz Empire, Malaz city of course. The story begins in Ehrlitan, we see an assassin going after a target, etc. Familiar characters are back: Heboric, Quick Ben, Leoman, Kalam, Corabb, Cottilion, Apsalar, etc. Then you move on into amazing pace of battles, and magic, just stunning, the first third of the book was amazing! There is so much going on. The pace was exciting, it was certainly a page turner. The magic was breath-taking and intriguing and mind-boggling! I did not understand the need for chapter 15 and 16, they were just awful!
There was far too much dialogue. I could not figure out what the purpose of most of the dialogue was. When you are reading a single chapter and you come across over 40 people engaging in conversations, it can be a bit overwhelming. Consequently, you have to wonder: whose conversation is more important, where is all this talk leading to, what is the purpose? In most cases, the conversation muddled the story instead of advancing it.
Every chapter begins with a historical document of sorts, I stopped reading those because they do not do any good. They do not hint as to what is about to come in the chapter at all! I do not understand their purpose which is why I just skipped them every time.
I cannot even pick characters I like because they are mostly vague. Moreover, we don’t know much about them, therefore, it is difficult to like or hate a character. I am baffled by the fact that the editors did not urge the author to cut down on the number of characters. We must remember that a lot of people quit reading the series. There are a lot of characters and some subplots that can be difficult to follow. Additionally, this book is the longest in the series thus far.
There were new characters introduced every chapter. A bunch of new characters were added even near the end of the book, which is highly baffling! They didn’t add anything to the story at all! If they were there to bring about a new and dramatic revelation, I would be okay with that, but that didn’t transpire.
There was a moment where I could feel the drum rolling for an upcoming battle, but the battle didn’t turn out the way I expected, why did it go that way? It ruined all the amazing build up.
Too many characters is not the solitary problem with this series of books, the story telling is problematic, it doesn’t knit or weave together very well. You have no hint of what is going to happen next. There are a jumble of stories that seem to confuse the flow of the story telling.
A lot of characters converge in this book, a lot is happening, we see a great collection of Malazan characters here, it is overwhelming!
The last half of the book starts slowly but it gets very intriguing as you read on.
I give this book a rating of 3.