How do you define a good book?
Is it the beautiful literature ? Is it based on how much a book can push your imagination? Is it the characters ? or is it the plot …
…that’s a question that has truly a diverse range of answers and every reader has his own criteria and what about me? Well for me a good book is the book that induces emotions from me , emotions such as joy , an adrenaline pumped excitement , sorrow , or maybe even intentional Hatred for a character or two . But Memories of Ice is a book that not only makes me recognize it as a good book but also makes me guarantee no matter what spectrum of choices you pick to judge a book ,it can easily be found and fulfilled in this book .
“We humans do not understand compassion. In each moment of our lives, we betray it. Aye, we know of its worth, yet in knowing we then attach to it a value, we guard the giving of it, believing it must be earned, T’lan Imass. Compassion is priceless in the truest sense of the wold. It must be given freely. In abundance.”
The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a fanatical tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all who fail to heed the Word of its elusive prophet, the Pannion Seer. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Dujek Onearm’s Host and the Bridgeburners each now outlawed by the Empress alongside their enemies of old including the grim forces of Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, and his Tiste Andii, and the Rhivi people of the Plains.
But more ancient clans and ancient gods too are gathering. As if in answer to some primal summons, the massed ranks of the undead T’lan Imass have risen. For it would seem something altogether darker and more malign threatens the very substance of this world. The Warrens are poisoned and rumours abound of the Crippled God, now unchained and intent on a terrible revenge…
Kallor shrugged. ‘[…] I have walked this land when the T’lan Imass were but children. I have commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I have spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?’
‘Yes,’ [said Caladan Brood.] ‘You never learn
It’s hard to even start writing about the magnificence of the book , but to start with the book retains all the pros from it’s predecessor book filled with exquisite world building that becomes so dense that you can’t stop yourself from calling it Epic as it truly pushes the limits of your imagination, This book probably defines the word Epic as layers of the world unfurls and myths previously created explained in detail to make the reading much more entertaining than ever before .
First in , Last out.
Motto of the bridgeburners
The writing of the book felt much easier to grasp onto this time around and maybe it was because of familiarity or maybe it was simply a change in approach from Steven Erickson making parts of his writing more direct and simpler and although I never did mind his previous writing style this was a much relaxing read.
The heart of wisdom is tolerance
The plot as usual remains filled with multiple layers of mystery and twist and it deepens the readers interest with absolutely thrilling revelations following readers with each chapter . The Depiction of the multiple battles throughout the book were masterfully done as tactics of the malazan empire were explained in details and inspiring awe about the tactical acumen of Steven Erikson. In facts some of the burning questions that had me confused from the previous books (like the fall of Fener for example ) were explained in this book.
The harder the world, the fiercer the honour
But the book is more than just senseless battles as the book does an exponentially better job with the romantic angle involving Whiskeyjack and Korlat then it ever did with Tattersail and Paran . Infact for a change the book actually went forth and depicted the nature of nearly each and every member of the book and explained their motivation and gave each and every character his/her specific characteristic trait and developed these characters to make you feel for each of them , something like this was missing in the previous books which mainly focused on character development of a few key and selected characters
War has its necessities…and I have always understood that. Always known the cost. But, this day, by my own hand, I have realized something else. War is not a natural state. It is an imposition, and a damned unhealthy one. With its rules, we willingly yield our humanity. Speak not of just causes, worthy goals. We are takers of life
But as I talked about earlier , I judge a book by the emotions that I garner and for this one I was filled with a torrent of emotions , I was really amused by the witty banter that followed everytime Lady Envy (a Character so entertaining I can’t wait to read more about her and especially if more of her adventures with Anomander Rake could be portrayed ) was involved in a conversation with anyone . There was also very brilliant character interactions amongst the members of the Bridgeburners especially Picker and Blunt and Stonny and Gruntle . But joy was not the only emotion I gathered from this fantasy masterpiece as tears rolled endlessly from my eyes as the death count of the previously well developed characters rose and every death punctuated by the words “He/She Died.” felt like a hammer blow to your gut .And it was not simply the Deaths that drew such emotions the despair of Itkovian, the man with no god, the man burdened with sorrows of millions & the emptiness of the T’lan Imass creating mini heartache of sorts .
*it was because of Hidden ninjas cutting onions . Honest , I wasn’t crying ! Damn those Ninjas cutting onions!
The Book also manages to make many a changes in perception of many previously depicted characters as those hated before suddenly are revealed to be actually some of the most morally ambiguous characters in recent memory , and the previously thought darker intentions are twisted around to appear as brilliant schemes and while I for one took the empress and the Malazan empire as pure reincarnation of evil it turned out to be a paradoxical view instead . The ambitions and aim of Malazan Empire are revealed to be genuinely noble and in the meantime the Empires army skills, moto and it’s bravery makes you really root for the previously thought maligned members
Where resides the comforting knowledge of history’s vast, cyclical sweep, the ebb and flow of wars and peace? Peace is the time of waiting for war. A time of preparation, or a time of willful ignorance, blind, blinkered and prattling behind secure walls
The battle of wits amongst the various gods and Quick Ben and Kruppe made the reading more enjoyable and the character of Paran ,who previously was the fulcrum for the various events making the history of Genabackis , Became even more important to the events taking place in the malazan empire . The Battles involving Quick Ben and Paran with more powerful and venomous foes were made more interesting as the duo Defeated the enemies more by their plans than by sheer talent or power .
So there you go pick what you will ,be it plot , Characters , imagination , emotions or anyting else, you can & will find it in this book . To me George R R Martin had always been the Best in the epic fantasy Genre but sadly I never had the opportunity to read the work of Steven Erikson before but now that I have had the opportunity to do so it’s without a doubt that I call Steven Erikson the best in the Genre and I am looking forward to reading more of this amazing creation of his and frankly I can’t stress readers of this review enough to pick the series up coz I guarantee your spectrum of choices about a good book will be available aplenty in this book