Friday, 1 July 2011

Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson (Not Quite A Review)

Well, over at the Tor Re-read for Malazan we have now finished Memories of Ice, so here, as per usual, is my book wrap-up. It's not quite a review, more a few overall thoughts. If you are planning to embark on the Malazan series, then you could do worse than follow the re-read and join the discussion.

Well, now... It’s hard to marshal my thoughts on this one—but what I can immediately verbalise is the fact that it would be impossible to pick a favourite part of the novel, unlike with Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates. For me, I pretty much loved every part of Memories of Ice.

I also want to mention just how tight Erikson’s writing is. I was thinking about what a tome Memories of Ice is—well over one thousand pages in my edition—and yet there is not one redundant scene, in my opinion. Not one part that could easily be excised. For someone who is used to reading bloated fantasy epics, it comes as a real breath of fresh air to realise that, despite its length, Memories of Ice is an incredibly honed book.

My over-riding feeling when coming out of the read last night was one of loss and sorrow. Despite some of the lighter moments within Memories of Ice, this is a novel where real life hits. Not everyone is safe. Characters you love will succumb to this tragic war. None of the deaths felt gratuitous either—done for shock value. All of them felt incredibly fitting given the events of the novel.

And what about the classic moments—where Moon’s Spawn comes crashing down into the Keep; the release of Toc from his torment; Itkovian’s desire to free an entire race from their burden; and Whiskeyjack... This novel is chock-full of moments to cherish and read back.

I loved the banter of the Bridgeburners. I loved the change in Gruntle, and his mocking of the Gods. I loved (and hated) the siege of Capustan. I loved the way Quick Ben tweaked the Crippled God’s nose.

From huge epic sweeping moments, to the mundane talk between soldiers waiting for the next battle, this is a supreme novel and the very finest example of what can be accomplished within fantasy fiction.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, without a doubt one of the best of the series. And yeah you're right it's a tight book for so long a book, nothing really is extraneous.

    So much here to love. And now you you must on to HOUSE OF which Erikson changes the game up....and after that MIDNIGHT TIDES in which he changes it up even further. You're in for quite a ride yet me dear!