Deadhouse Gates | Steven Erikson

“Keep reading, try book two,” they said. “It gets easier!” Pffft.

I read The Gardens of the Moon carefully, knowing its reputation for being thorny. The end result was rewarding. I must have let my mental concentration lapse sometime during the second book because it was full of moments when I had to try to remember exactly who that guy was and why his tattoos were changing colour!

The fault, however, is all mine. Though bleak at times, Deadhouse Gates is an engaging work of fantasy. Nothing fits into nice neat boxes. Just when you think you understand some idea, conventional wisdom is pushed aside for something deeper.

The bleak tone of the book did weigh on me at times. There is so much war and suffering that it can be difficult to read. It has certainly spurred my convictions on the pointlessness of war with all the human suffering it brings.

So if you’ve read book one, read book two—carefully. When I move on to Memories of Ice, I’m going to set aside a few weeks and read a chapter per night—Erikson rewards a close reading.

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