Reviews of Memories of Ice (2001)
While I loved Deadhouse Gates and the Chain of Dogs storyline, it was tough going to continue to read Memories of Ice, as the beginning of the book is somewhat heavy plodding.
If you stick at it through the first third of the book, though, things start moving forward and the story really kicks into high gear. While there are numerous sub-plots and characters to keep track of, they all get fleshed out very well - all while the intricate maze of a story really pulls you in.
I will say that the deaths of several of the characters in the book really struck a hard blow for me, that's how much you come to care for them as you read the story. I found myself fervently wishing that they will reappear in some manner (like others have done), and I couldn't stop thinking about them for a while.
The betrayal at the end, Itkovian's release of the T'lan, and the ending of Whiskeyjack and Korlat's love story were all heart wrenching.
(This review refers to the 2001 version titled “Memories of Ice”)
Review by blueworld (2007-02-04)
I didn't enjoy Memories of Ice quite as much as Deadhouse Gates, but it still has plenty of things going for it. I love learning more about the history of the Malazan world before the humans were around. Erikson really imparts this feeling of age, of the weight of years and guilt and resentment. He's the only author I've found comparable to Tolkien in bringing out these themes, and he does so while being much less derivative than most of the fantasy out there.
In some ways this was even better than Erikson's superb, compelling, and astonishing Deadhouse Gates. BUT, I did have some issues with unexplained character actions, and the conclusion of the book left me somewhat unsatisfied. I still believe that Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series is the best of the huge multi-volume fantasy epics in progress.
Many of the strengths of the first two volumes remain: a multi-layered and complex world and magic system that are internally consistent, gritty military campaigns, surprises, momentous events, and an interesting mixture of characters and races (human and non-human). Several of the new characters are strong, and we learn much about the fascinating past and present of Erikson's world.
As I indicated, most of this book was superb. My disappointment with Memories of Ice comes down to my perception that the plot is driven by curious actions by key characters that are never really convincingly explained. Things like Silverfox's treatment of the Mhybe, Dujak's efforts to secretly rush his forces to Coral before his allies, or Paran and Quick Ben's lenience with the Seer. And the two necromancers take up quite a bit of plot time, without any explanation of who they really are and why they are here.
On the other hand, I suspect that these books might be better the second time around; perhaps these actions made sense and I just missed it, or perhaps they will be explained in later volumes.
A very good book, but ultimately not up to par with Deadhouse Gates.
Review by lord kallor (2004-12-17)
Definatly the best of the malazan books released to this date. This has it all a whole pantheon of gods, epic characters. The Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and Kallor group is especially good as well as the other minor charecters. I have said this before in my other Erikson reviews but I will say it again for good measure his plot depth and charecter development is flawless, his inovation and imagination know no bounds and his worlds are as real and believable as the one we (most of us) live in now. Added to that this book is definatly an improvement to the first 2 (the novels set on Genabackis are marginally better in my opinion). The battles portrayed are spectacular and the powers arrayed against each other come into the light so to speek. If you dont mind a few plot holes (will most likly be explained later as with much Erikson rights). This book also fleshes out some of the ambiguous plots/events/charecters from the first 2.
If you want a book more complex that George R.R. Martin(damn amazing) and more violent and gritty than Tolkien then this book especially is what you want (would recomend reading Gardens of the Moon 1st although not necessary. 10/10
Review by E-Tigger (2003-03-10)
Just finished in paperback.
A good read.
Enjoyable to be in the world that has been created.
Immersed in a powerful world, full of the mighty and the mortal.
Time to go back and reread the first two and get a better understanding of what was going on.
The more you go forward the more the past makes sense.