Reviews of Midnight Tides (2004)
Review by clong (2005-08-08)
Another amazing book from Erikson. I am in awe of this author, who if anything is getting better as the series advances. In many ways this is the easiest book to read of the series so far, with a simpler narrative structure (only two main storylines, set at the same time, on opposite sides of a war).
The characters and geopolitical setting are essentially 100% new (it's not until page 700 that we get a clear reference to the geopolitical arena of the previous volumes).
This is epic storytelling, with memorable, complex characters, lots of bad guys and few good guys. Erikson has an amazing ability to conceive and describe vast myth-making occasions, frequently echoing great nordic and native american mythology. By now, I think we have learned not to expect an unambiguously happy ending.
I never thought I would ever utter the words "better than Tolkien," but at this point I am ready to say that if Erikson can finish the series with five more books as good as the first five, I will call this the best fantasy series ever written.
If you are looking for simple fairly tales where the characters live happily ever after, DO NOT read this author. If you are looking for gritty epic fantasy a la Song of Ice and Fire, you are in for a real treat.
Review by lord kallor (2004-12-18)
Reading this book there were wery few links to any of the other 4 making it again another out of the blue story line almost as if it is explaining the background of one relatively minor (i thought) charecter. But thats not to say it does not live up to the other 4 books, just as good which is amazing as this is the 5th book and in most fantasy series' this is where the books start going downhill, bringing to mind Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind. (a notable exception is George R.R. Martin).
The plot is complex and engrosing bringing a whole unexpolored part of Steven Erikson's world to vivid life. I say bring on the next one of the Best series I have ever read (btw this book is impossible to track down in store and takes 5 weeks + on Amazon)