Fofo’s #CBR4 Review #32: Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
Profile: Epic Fantasy
Steven Erikson’s second entry in the Malazan Book of the Fallen is a much better novel than its predecessor, Gardens of the Moon. The characters are more interesting, the plots less confusing and the ending sequence is done with such panache that it’s hard to find fault with it, even if you don’t like the outcome. Part of the improvement comes from the slow process of learning all of Erikson’s terminology, but Erikson has also tightened his storytelling style. He also simplified things by killing off a staggering number of principle characters.
Deadhouse Gates picks up almost directly where Gardens left off. In the wake of the Ascendant Confluence on the continent of Genabackis, members of the Bridgeburners start making their way back to the Empire, but get sidetracked along the way by the threat of rebellion in the Seven Cities region. In spite of this setup, the core protagonist is probably Duiker, a military historian attached to the Malaz 7th, who experiences the rebellion first hand and crafts a poignant tale of an army desperately defending the Malazan refugees from the overwhelming forces of the Whirlwind Armies. While Duiker’s story is probably the least critical to the overall shape of the series, it is the strongest narrative line of the books so far, and the most emotionally invested.