Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson (A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 3)

10/10 An imaginative tour-de-force from a master of his genre.

Memories of Ice is the third book of the series entitled A Tale of the Malazan Book of The Fallen. It follows directly after the events of the first book, Gardens of the Moon, and runs concurrently to the events in the second book, Deadhouse Gates.

The continent of Grenabackis, setting for Gardens of the Moon is returned to for Memories of Ice. The continent is being ravaged by a new empire, the Pannion Domin led by a prophet, the Pannion Seer. In order to battle this new terror an alliance is made between once-enemies, the Malazans, Warlord Caladan Brood and the Tiste Andii led by Anomander Rake.

The T'lan Imass are gathering to a summons, the magical warrens are poisoned and the world is in danger by a dark and malign threat.

Memories of Ice is a book full of wonderful characters from a wide variety of well conceived races. We have the Rhivi, a nomadic people that live on the plains of Grenabackis, the Barghast, a warrior tribe, the T'lan Imass, an immortal army intent on finding and destroying the Jaghut, an elder race. We also have the Tiste Andii, a magical elder race able to veer into the shape of dragons and the Moranth, a regimented culture that makes devastating ammunitions. The Malazans are humans, an imperial conqueror bearing comparison to the Romans. These are few of the many races that populate the Malazan Books of the Fallen.

“That is for me to decide, for I exist to command them. To command them all. My birth proclaimed the Gathering – a demand that every T’lan Imass on this world has heard. And now, those who are able, are coming. They are coming.”
Memories of Ice: Book One - The Spark and the Ashes

The third installment was, in my opinion, an easier read than the preceding two. I accept that this may be because, having already read Erikson's earlier work I am now used to his style and understand that these books cannot be skimmed over and require your full attention.

New characters are brought in to accompany the characters that we know well from Gardens of the Moon and these new additions are well introduced and worthy of their place alongside Whiskeyjack, Kruppe and Quick Ben. The visual imagery is once again of the highest order and the descriptions are beautiful and paint the perfect pictures to bring Erikson's fantasy world to life.

Memories of Ice begins with a fascinating insight to the pre-history of the world and in particular the centuries long battle between the T'lan Imass and the Jaghut. The feud has been going on for thousands of years and this a welcome explanation to how and why this has occurred.

I have to admit that the deck of cards and warrens that play a large part in the books are still leaving me slightly confused. I can't say for sure whether this is because this has not been particularly well explained or if I have simply missed something very obvious and maybe it is not as complicated as I believe.

She watched the falling, watched the descent - rain, no hail -
It struck. Drumming roar on the ground, the sound filling her ears - sweeping closer -
To pummel her.
She screamed, throwing up her hands.
Each impact was explosive, something more than simply frozen rain.
Lives. Ancient, long forgotten lives.
And memories -
All raining down.
Memories of Ice: Chapter Twenty Four - Memories of Ice

This is another remarkable book by Steven Erikson, the scope of the series is unbelievably large and complicated. Bringing all the characters and locations together as well and as accurately as he does is worthy of mention alone. You can add to this humour, religion, bravery, cowardice and love and you have an epic fantasy worthy of the name.

Praise for Steven Erikson

“Homeric in scope and vision … Read and expect to be overpowered, not only by a story that never fails to thrill and entertain, but by a saga that lives up to its name, both intellectually and in its dramatic, visually rich and lavish storytelling” SF Site

"Steve Erikson afflicts me with awe ... his work does something that only the rarest of books can manage: it alters the reader's perception of reality" Stephen R. Donaldson

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7 positive reader review(s) for Memories of Ice

155 positive reader review(s) in total for the A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series

Our interview with Steven Erikson

Steven Erikson's ongoing fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen has brought new life and originality into the fantasy genre. Steven Erikson kindly spoke to Fantasy Book Review in September 2009, shortly after the [...]

Read interview


Steven Erikson's A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series

Gardens Of The Moon

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 1

Deadhouse Gates

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 2

Memories of Ice

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 3

House Of Chains

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 4

Midnight Tides

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 5

The Bonehunters

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 6

Reaper's Gale

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 7

Toll the Hounds

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 8

Dust of Dreams

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 9

The Crippled God

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 10

Memories of Ice reader reviews

from UK

A thrilling ride full of action, humour and pathos. Memories of Ice is quite possibly the pinnacle of Erikson's Malazan world.

from UK

A thrilling ride full of action, humour and pathos. Memories of Ice is quite possibly the pinnacle of Erikson's Malazan world.

from India

One of the best fantasy books I've read, period. I thought GoTM was interesting and Deadhouse Gates was very good, but it was Memories of Ice that blew me away.

from Canada

If you have arrived at this point in Erikson's story, and are still here, then you are a patient and diligent reader. Willing to go back and refresh a recently read, but hazily remembered, detail that has suddenly emerged as important. The convoluted story-line, complex characters, many poems-odes - and quotes and multitude of story-lines running simultaneously challenges the reader-as I believe the author intended. An enjoyable and worthwhile challenge!

from UK

Not an easy read by any means but if you have made it this far, to book three, there's a good chance your under Erikson's spell. Memories of Ice is one of my favourite Malazan novels, the history of the lands and the races I found fascinating and the epic scope of events is awe-inspiring. Full of Gods, magic, battle, political machinations it has a dry, gallows humour to the narrative that alleviates the oppressive nature of the tale. In my opinion all ten Malazan novels are 10 out of 10s.

from France

MoI left me with mixed feelings, like Gardens of the Moon... This is a powerful book, with plenty of action and vivid scenes, and truly amazing ideas... but also a huge mess, too many storylines coexisting at the same time, not in a really harmonious way. Erikson lives his stories, undoubtedly, but he should have avoided some unnecessary complications and shorten his book a little. Great ride nevertheless!

from England

WHY ISNT THERE AN OPTION FOR 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 STARS???????!!!!!!! THIS IS AWSOME, READ READ READ!!! Maybe the best book so far, this caps all of the other books that I have read (sorry A Song of Ice and Fire), it is so powerful, emotional and complex it makes me want to cry. The last 200 hundreed pages in particular are simply spectaular.

from Shropshire

Another gritty and realistic book from Erikson. The attention to detail in stories that he weaves is exceptional and the characters are second to none. Only George RR Martin comes near to Erikson's scope and imaginaton. The best fantasy books being written at the moment.

9.5/10 from 9 reviews

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