Reading Update: Memories of Ice
May 29, 2013
The third book of Steven Erikson’s epic “The Malazan Book of the Fallen” picks up where the first book left off with Dujek One Arm’s Host on the Genebackis continent facing a new danger, Pannion, a Jaghut word carried on the winds of Omtose Phellack, the Warren of Ice.
Taking place on a timeline during the 2nd book in a different location “Memories” largely centers around the siege of Capustan, a city not yet reached by the Malazan armies. The Pannion is conquering city after city as it marches north along the eastern coast of Genebackis and the Host has only its enemies led by Caladan Brood to turn for possible aid.
Erikson continues his masterful weave of multiple storylines taking us from Gruntle the caravan guard to Itkovian of Fener’s Reve as the scope of this new danger grows into a force even Kruppe of Darujhistan might be unable to stand against. The Tiste Andii as a people and their ascendant leader Anomander Rake is expanded upon in this book while the gods themselves are being drawn into the fray as it is revealed that this conflict upon the mortal plane might possibly be the opening gambit for a conquest of the pantheon as well.
To me, the actual siege of Capustan is what dominates this book, remarkable after this re-read because the siege itself is such a small part of the book’s actual page count. Once it gets going though it sure does deliver. The Battle of Sulingen on a bend in the river Wolter from Turtledove’s Darkness series and the Alamo rolled into one is my best attempt at a comparative description.
I kept on reading and was two more books into the series before I went, “Hey, wasn’t I supposed to be writing a blog review about these?” That is a compliment pertaining to how engrossing this book and series is, not a thinly veiled attempt to explain why I haven’t posted a blog for a month.
The title, Memories of Ice has several interpretations throughout this story including; the awakening of self and feeling within Onos T’oolan, former First Sword of the Tarad Clan as he travels with the punitive army of the Seguleh. The appearance of K’Chain Che’Malle and the Ay, races thought extinct or lost to the ages. And of course the Jaghut, their warren of ice and war with the T’lan Imass that has stretched through time and beyond death itself.
Memories of Ice can also speak of events that for the characters of this tale will be frozen in time as we see why this series is called the Malazan Book of the Fallen. With no reserves or hope of reinforcement what’s left of the Bridgeburners prepare to be first in before the gates of Coral with none expecting to be last out.
Next up in this series re-read is book 4, House of Chains.