Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen #5) ★★★☆☆

midnight tides (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Midnight Tides
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #5
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 684
Format: Digital edition



We follow the Tisti Edur [grayskinned Tisti] as they come into the world of Malaz. Fast forward several thousand years later and they have dwindled. They attempt to gain back their pre-eminence by declaring Empire and going against the only other Empire in the region. The main Edur stories center around the Sengar family. One of whom becomes the Emperor and the pawn of the Broken god.

We follow the human Letheri Empire as they attempt to subjugate the last remaining pocket of resistance to their Empire and way of life, the Tisti Edur. The main Letheri storylines follow the Beddict brothers. One is the King’s Champion, one is a dissolute genius who can manipulate money with barely thinking about it and the final Beddict was a former envoy whose knowledge was used for conquest and not peace.

Lots of little stories interweave between them all and a little more is revealed about the Broken god.

The conflict between Edur and Lether is the framework of the whole story.


My Thoughts:

This was a 4star story that was dragged down with the chains of Erikson’s pointless soapbox philosophizing hijacking his characters and turning them all into despair filled, spineless, wusses.

Why can’t the man just shut the phrack up and tell the story?!?!?

Gardens of the Moon was a fantastic story and there was very little pontificating. Maybe a small dab in the corner. This book, Erikson took a 5foot roller and bloody whitewashed the story with the crap. Every time you turned around another character was whining about their forsaken feelings and how they weren’t even worthy of having such degrading feelings because they were such infinitely unworthy motes in an infinite universe. It was pathetic and ruined the book for me.

The story, the clash between Edur and Letheri was great. A couple of magic battles, some mundane battles and then a showdown in the palace itself. All the while the Broken god is laughing to himself and furthering his own plans.





18 thoughts on “Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen #5) ★★★☆☆

  1. “Every time you turned around another character was whining about their forsaken feelings and how they weren’t even worthy of having such degrading feelings because they were such infinitely unworthy motes in an infinite universe”- hahaha oh my goodness- this just made me laugh so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Midnight Tides was indeed the worst in the whole Erikson’s run for me. I was never a fan of Tiste Edur, and the thinly veiled critique of American imperialism in the form of Letheri Empire just didn’t work for me. Still, I’d probably rate it 7,5/10 ;). Erikson is a powerful writer, even when he describes whining and Weltschmerz 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I am not a connoisseur of despair. For me, there is “Despair” and then there is “Hope”. Just like mustard and ketchup. One is pretty good in extremely small doses. The other can go with almost anything 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Greetings from The Netherlands. I am reading MT at the moment. Whilst enjoying it, I did get more and more annoyed at implicitly being lectured to by the characters, seeing them turned into puppets with SE pulling the strings. Tolkien was a devout Catholic, but he completely transformed his world view into story, character and a world. SE cannot leave his tale alone. Which is sad, because the man can write. If he wants to expound his ideas about the world, let him write essays. Fiction is another medium.

    Ergo: I understand your criticism.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Johan,
      Thanks for stopping by and chatting. I like that 🙂
      And thanks for what you said as well. It’s always nice to know one isn’t alone in their thoughts on a book.

      have you read Malazan before? or is this your first time?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s my first read. I like the ambition behind this decalogy. I liked GoTM and DG very much. MoI was a mixed bag for me and HoC rather a slog. MT is very good, also stylistically. But the unreality of characters who are able, at the drop of a hat, to create well-crafted speeches bugs me… And why has no editor ever seen that if someone ‘hisses’ something, you need an s sound in what you’re saying… Still, I intend to read the whole thing. But if compassion is the theme and Oblivion the destination, on what can that compassion be based? SE is a bit incoherent. But – we’ll see!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, don’t let me discourage you from your journey. I hope you can enjoy it to the hilt. On my last re-read of the series, it became evident to me that it would be my final time. While I plan on re-reading Gardens of the Moon many more times in my life time, that will be it. Erikson goes off the deep end (preaching wise) in the last couple of books and I couldn’t take it.

          I’m pretty sure Erikson is an Old School Existentialist. Or at least, he’s portraying himself that way through this series 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Hello, Bookstooge. Thanks for the compliment. Perhaps I should explain who I am. I am Dutch, and an author, though not of fantasy. Reading Tolkien, age 12 (in 1973…) did turn me into a writer, though I write columns about technology for a Dutch engineering magazine and have published stories, essays and the first part of a large novel, part two to be published in 2022. I write in Dutch, though English has become my second language. As for a website, I don’t blog (no time). But as you can see, I like to react sometimes to what I read. I found your blog by typing in ‘Erikson Midnight Tides preachiness’ into the Google search engine, because I got seriously annoyed and wanted to know if there was anyone else on this planet who had experienced the same thing… All the best! Johan

                Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s