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Deadhouse Gates (Book 2 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)

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As Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar travel separately through Raraku, Apsalar's memories gradually confirm that the Rope, the patron god of assassins, who possessed her as Sorry, was the previous Emperor Kellenvad's assassin Dancer, and that Kellenvad and Dancer must have escaped Laseen's assassination efforts by ascending to godhood over the new Warren and House of Shadow. Fans of the series constantly told me that there was one powerful scene in Deadhouse Gates that will break my heart and soul; this didn’t happen to me because I’ve been spoiled on the event itself in detail, MULTIPLE times. Kulp manages to open a rent from Kurald Emurlahn to his own Meanas warren, drawing the attention of an undead Soletaken dragon, which grants Kulp the power to heal the rent. The scenes between Pust and Mogora lend an air of slapstick comedy which is, quite frankly, delightful – though our heroes don’t see it that way.

After leaving the city, they meet a mage who identifies himself as Nawahl Ebur but turns out to be the Soletaken Gryllen. Just in case blokes like Cotillion and Iskaral Pust lulled you into thinking Shadow cultists aren’t *all* bad, along comes this guy. Kamist Reloe finally captures Coltaine before the city and crucifies him, but the archer Squint kills him from the city wall at Duiker’s urging and thousands of crows arrive to carry off his spirit.Felisin accepts the goddess's power but does not give herself up entirely, and adopts a young girl and names her Felisin. They leave to seek her out and instead find Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar, who've made their way through storms, rebel pursuers, and the ongoing shapeshifter battle. I normally don't mind work in a fantasy book, indeed I kind of expect it as you get the world built out before you, so that it all culminates is some epic payoff. Unlike your typical sequel, this felt more like a standalone sequel featuring almost a completely new set of characters in a totally different continent with a brand new self-contained main story. Memories of Ice was originally meant to be the second book in sequence, following Gardens of the Moon.

One of Coltaine’s officers recognizes Gesler as a former captain, and when Gesler threatens to punch him if he’s promoted again Coltaine punches Gesler and breaks his own hand; Nil concludes that Gesler, Stormy, and Truth are nearly ascended. Mebra is yet another minion of the Apocalypse, and is about as trustworthy as you’d expect someone with a name that sounds like ‘cobra’ to be.Mappo reveals to Fiddler that he and Icarium have found carvings in Pust’s temple that resemble the Deck of Dragons, but with ancient Holds rather than modern Houses, and suspect that the shapeshifters’ Path of Hands may end at the temple itself and that Pust hopes that he and Icarium will defend it. However, Seven Cities is being consumed by a rebellion known as the Whirlwind, led by the prophetess Sha'ik from the Holy Desert of Raraku. People told me that when you’re starting Malazan Book of the Fallen, it’s mandatory to read at least two or three books in the series before finally deciding on giving up on the series.

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