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Deadhouse Gates - Astrobolism!

About Deadhouse Gates

Previous Entry Deadhouse Gates Mar. 11th, 2011 @ 08:21 pm Next Entry
This is the second book in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It's more straightforward than the first volume, moves with a surer pace, and has a more even tone--which in a way is too bad, since it lacks the almost wild unpredictability of the first volume. I think by most measures though it's a better book. It's certainly a darker book. There are a few flashes of humor here and there (including one character who speaks his devious asides out loud in full hearing of the people he's trying to trick; their exasperation is quite funny) but mainly this is a book of grim darkness. What's clever is the way the reader's sympathy keeps being twisted around. There's an empire--boo, I hate imperialism! There's a disreputable genius Imperial general--but the corrupt establishment hates him, so many he's not so bad! He's protecting refugees--better and better! But he's protecting them from freedom fighters who just want their lands back--huh. Though some of the freedom fighters are actually traitors falling in with what they assume will be the winning side--hmm. And among the refugees are odious nobles who keep almost messing up the general's plans to save them all--hrm. Actually, my sympathies weren't conflicted at all about the nobles. They were a rotten bunch.
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