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Memories of Ice, by Steven Erikson Book Review | SFReader.com
Memories of Ice, by Steven Erikson Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Tor Published: 2006 Review Posted: 4/14/2008 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
Memories of Ice, by Steven Erikson
Book Review by Howard von Darkmoor
Have you read this book?
Seven hundred seventy-five pages of unadulterated reading joy. There are many books I love and wouldn't mind rereading - I just don't have the time. Not since my teenage years when I reread "The Three Musketeers" and "LOTR" have I reread a book. There's simply too many out there to take the time to do so. I also have a fairly decent ability to retain story and plot lines so I've never needed to reread a part in any series no matter how long between books. I say all of that to lend import to my following statement: I want to read Memories of Ice again! Even though it took me a week of almost constant reading to get through it, I plan on doing it again (not right away, but soon).
That's how good a book this is. The reader reviews on Amazon.com say many flattering things, all true. Of course, there is the usual reviewer who tells too much of the tale, but the others describe it quite well. Like I've said before, I don't like telling you about the story - read the book for that. No matter how trivial it may seem, I don't like anything given away. I'm here to tell you if the book - the writing, the author, the style, the characters, the world, the plot - is worth reading. And this book definitely is. You can't fly through this book - this is most assuredly a week-long or better read. But it is not confusing in any manner (like parts of "Gardens of the Moon" were). The neat thing about Erikson's writing so far is that each book is completely standalone. You can thoroughly enjoy this book without reading the other two and not miss out on anything important.
Of course, it means so much more if you have the history of the characters and their previous dialogue. The questions you are left with after this book, while fewer, are the same from the previous two. For example, Erikson hasn't quite explained how ascendancy works yet nor defined the distinction between it and actual godhood. But we do learn more each book. Speaking of learning more, the history of this whole world is just astounding! Past races, lost gods, immortal beings, current players - the work behind the scenes blows me away! Close to a dozen great characters really live in this book - and die. And not a single one does things without a valid reason. Every action is explained at some point; could be hundreds of pages apart but no one does anything unexplainable.
There are no convenient happenings here - things work or don't work all because of this, this and that. It's not all rah-rah praise from me, though. There is a lot of character introspection in this book, and a lot of internal dialogue. While this makes the characters much more personable, thus making us feel their tragedies much more poignantly, by story's end I did feel it was starting to slow the story down a bit. Definitely not enough to discourage me recommending this book to anyone, but late in the book it seemed to be too much telling in this manner rather than showing. And, as that is truly my only complaint, I would advise you to not give it too much weight. Would I recommend Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson to my friends? I most enthusiastically say YES!
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