Whoof, that was a whole lot of Malazan Empire. Yep, you betcha. I liked Deadhouse Gates a lot, and I am pleased to report that it continued to progress along lines quite different than Gardens of the Moon. The differences in setting and characters are most obvious, but around halfway through the former I realized that whereas Gardens is a novel about places, Deadhouse Gates is all about journeys. The centerpiece of Deadhouse Gates is the deeply harrowing march known as the Chain of Dogs, while Gardens revolves around the struggle for Darujhistan.
I can’t say I agree with Erikson when he talks about how his novels confound expectations about who’s good and who’s evil; I guess compared to the banality of Robert Jordan they’re pretty revolutionary, but Erikson’s far from ground-breaking. Indeed, at a certain point, the desire to subvert the reader’s expectations regarding such matters becomes fairly pedestrian itself. The Malazan Empire books aren’t there, but I do hope Erikson continues to focus on interesting plots and characterizations and doesn’t get too deep into making sure everyone has a dark and a light side, yatta yatta.
I’m going to take a break before the next book. One could overdose.