Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 3-5

dhgz Man, only up to Chapter 5 and I’m already feeling like I’ve lost half the details.

Dragons and Zombies most recent Post does a great job of giving you all the info that has happened. Let me tell you, there is so much packed into these chapters, that I suspect it will take 4 or 5 reads to ever truly wrap my head around all that happened/is going to happen.

So I am just going to write about my reactions to what I’ve read without giving a lot of details about the book.


Character points of view. Instead of sticking to one character, or even one group of characters for each chapter, Erikson stuffs almost everyone into each chapter.  Some have only 2-3 paragraphs while others have most of the chapter. I am reading an old Transworld ebook edition [the original publisher when these were turned into ebooks] and the ocr errors for “C” are cropping up as well as there being no transition between pov’s except for an extra space between paragraphs. I should look at my hardcover to see if there is some visual clue between transition points. If not, that is going to be a major down point in my review.  There are so many storylines going on that my brain needs a clue to switch gears.  And when non-sentient creatures [Moby, a bhoka’rala] get space as well, it’s just a lot to deal with.



I have made the transition to reading this in the way it was written. IE, I don’t get frustrated at ALL the detail now.  I have to wonder, if even 10% was removed, would it make a difference? If it does make a difference, I sure would love to see Erikson’s pages showing how it all connects. I imagine a whole wall covered in names and events with arrows and curlicues going from one to the other and wicked complicated paths of relationship.

The goals of various characters are not monolithic in nature. Everyone is not aiming for the same thing or even trying to accomplish the same thing in the same way. In Star Wars, it was “Destroy the Deathstar by taking out this vent. The End.”  We never saw any discussion or anyone trying anything different. They were ALL focused on that one action. Here, Erikson just throws a handful of “plot sand” into the air and records where it drifts and falls to. I almost want to start a journal just to record things so I can figure out where each grain of sand is going.

Power seems to the end point, the justification, for almost any and everything.  But being powerful doesn’t make you better, it just brings to the forefront your flaws. Instead of being a discipline that pares down the rough edges, magic seems to be a goal that encourages the worst in its adherents to attain. The other thing that bothers me is that so far, the only people who are sure of anything are complete jerks, the kind of people you WANT to fail.



To wrap up, I am enjoying this but realizing just how big a project this is. Hope I don’t get overwhelmed.


Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts

19 thoughts on “Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 3-5

    1. Not mean, just honest. I had a lot of pre-conceived ideas about this series the first time around and now that they’ve all been blown out of the water, I can try to just ride along this time.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. The Malazan. Probably one of the only SF masterpieces worthy of that title. I’d have to think of something of the same magnitude, Forget “The Wheel of Time” and crap like that. I’d have to re-read Malazan to fully grasp it. Mind-boggling to say the least. I wonder whether it’ll withstand the test of time…I’m talking about myself here.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. It definitely is deep and complex enough to earn the title Masterpiece. I think its complexity is one of the biggest things in its favor. Multiple people can read the same thing and get something different from it, even upon re-reads. It definitely is a series that you have to expend effort on if you want a fuller experience. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.

              Liked by 2 people

    1. It was the best I could find for someone with power being a jerk you didn’t like. And there is a group of mercenaries called the Red Blades that pretty much act just like that cartoon…


  1. Oh snap, those POV transitions sounds super annoying… especially with a bunch of characters, all having a moment to shine within the same chapter. Also like the idea of “plot sand”. Maybe a journal would be nice! Just kidding. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read that Steven Erikson spent about 10 years just preparing for the books and I get it! I would really, REALLY like to see his notes!

    I also only have an extra space between 2 paragraphs that can indicate the change of a pov perspective.. I say ‘can’ because sometimes it doesn’t 😀

    Haha, love the comic! Your monkey is so cute though 🙂 I imagine bhoka’rala more like scary horror monkeys with super sharp teeth.

    I might get my next post up later today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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