Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen #9) ★☆☆☆½

dustofdreams (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: Dust of Dreams
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #9
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 950
Format: Digital Edition



The White Faced Bargast, now returned to their ancestral lands, are hemmed in by the lands current sets of clans and misused.The Bargast are now led by Onos Toolan, a resurrected T’lan Imass. He is trying to change their ways but in the face of a hostile land, the Bargast reject Toolan’s leadership, kill him, hobble his wife and drive off his children. Toolan comes back as a T’lan (hence the Dust of Dreams). The Bargast face their enemies but everyone is destroyed when “something” simply freezes them all into little pieces. Toolan hunts down the survivors and kills them all to fulfill his vengeance against the Bargast. In doing so, he ignores a summons by Adjunct Tavore and the Bonehunters.

The Bonehunters are leaving Lether to head through the Wastes into a kingdom where a piece of the Fallen god is. The Adjunct’s plan is to destroy said piece. They are supposed to meet up with the Bargast (that obviously doesn’t happen) and the Grey Helms, a mercenary branch. The Bonehunters are accompanied by Brys Beddict and his elite guards from Letheri.

A Skykeep of K’chain Che’Malle origin, with the help of a lone surviving human, must find a Shield Anvil and a Mortal Sword if this set of K’Chain want to survive. They get Stormy and Gessler. They meet up with the Bonehunters.

Icarium is now a ghost and haunting a group of people who have found an abandoned Sky Keep. They begin to awaken the Keep, which was created just to destroy the short-tailed K’Chain, the Narruk.

The Narruk, who have a dozen skykeeps from another realm, invade the world of Malaz and end up in the Wastes. It is up to the Bonehunters and everyone else in the area to destroy them. But without the help of the T’lan Imass, the outcome is in doubt.

There is a huge devastating battle at the end and whole armies are destroyed. We don’t know who survives.


My Thoughts:

Before I started writing this review, I went and read my original one from 2010, just to see if my perspective on this book had changed. A lot of the time the years give me a new viewpoint and something I used to like I no longer do or something I hated I now enjoy. Unfortunately, the review from 2010 is pretty much exactly the same as what I’ll be writing here.

With this book Erikson has cemented in my mind that he is a real bag of crap. Out of 950 pages, the plot is only forwarded by maybe 200 of those pages. The rest is devoted Erikson spewing out depressing cant and nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. When somebody does do something good and heroic, Erikson makes sure to piss on it by having other characters destroy the moment with their own regrets and melancholy and depression. Any possible good thing Erikson squats over and craps on with a diarrhea quality.

This is a junk book and once again, while the series starts out so awesomely with Gardens of the Moon, it has descended into a morass of soapbox preaching and what’s worse, extremely BORING soapbox preaching. I no longer recommend this series because of the last 3 books.

This is the level of bloviated writing that destroyed the sales of his Karkanas trilogy (which is stuck at book 2 and looks like it will never get finished). Thankfully, Ian Esslemont seems to be doing a good job of actually writing a real trilogy with a real plot and keeping the world of Malaz alive. I do plan on reading the last book in this series but after that, I’ll just stick to Gardens of the Moon if I ever feel the need to dip my toes into the world of Malaz. It just isn’t fun sticking my head under this faucet of filth.



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26 thoughts on “Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen #9) ★☆☆☆½

    1. My recommendation is space them out every 2-3 months and deliberately pick books you’ll like to bookend before and after reading a Malazan book. I won’t be getting to the final book until the end of the year or even early next year.

      And besides the content, they are just BIG. At this point I’m looking at this whole re-read as some sort of experiment more than an enjoyable romp down memory lane :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am never certain on how I feel about these books. I know so many people rate them so highly but I’ve read the first two and I found them to be almost impenetrable and so hard to get through. I keep thinking I should give them another go but I can’t find the will to pick book three up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the first book didn’t hook you, I really wouldn’t torture yourself with continuing. I thought the first book was the best ever and I’m struggling with finishing this series 🙂

      My whole outlook on the series has changed and once I’m finished book 10, I’ll probably write up a series overview. Bleh :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, these Mazalan books have made for some interesting review fodder for a long time. I wish he’d tighten up since he has a good thing going underneath it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂
      I was hoping you’d find it amusing. And I look forward to a review from you. While I’ll never read another book by that guy, reading reviews where the reader is enthusiastic is very nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dust of Dreams was for me by far the weakest book of the cycle, mostly because of Toolan’s family storyline – which Erikson ruined for the second time in the last book, effectively erasing everything from Dust… Still, in my opinion Malazan is a very good series (maybe not as great as I thought before reading Cook, but still very good). And compared to Erikson’s writing, Esslemont simply can’t match him for all his goodwill and a better feeling of action 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Esslemont though, actually writes a tight story. Erikson can’t, or more than likely, won’t. This re-read has convinced me that Erikson is more in love with his own words and ideas than in telling a good rousing story. He has a great story, but it’s so hidden away that it might as well not exist.

      If all I had of Erikson’s works was the Karkanas books after this, I’d simply rest my case and let that speak for itself. We’ll see if his next trilogy has taught him anything. Personally, I doubt it. But maybe the death of interest in his blathering style evidenced by the death of the Karkanas duology will make him realize what fans actually want.

      I will say this. I won’t be reading or buying the Karsa Orlong trilogy until it is complete and I get some reviews from non-malazan fans. The only other more rabid fandom than a Malazan fan are some of those weird anime ones… (and I don’t mean anime is weird, but certain anime that ARE weird)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Huh, have you read The Willful Child? Apparently it’s quite good, and quite un-Eriksonian 😉 As much as I like Erikson’s side of Malazan, I agree with you that there’s definitely too much of soapbox pseudo-philosophical ruminations, not entirely plausible in a bunch of ragged soldiers or undead Neanderthals, or even a troll :/ Still, Erikson can write beautifully and hauntingly, creating at once poignant and ferociously brutal images that stay with the reader for a long time. And I suspect that’s at least a part of the reason you’re actually continuing your re-read despite all the indignation and fury 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have not read his Willful Child books. I’m still so pissed at the debacle this re-read has turned into. It’s going to take me years to even think about giving him another chance.

          And you are correct. 100%…

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Mind if I link you when i do a metal monday with the band i discovered? This will probably be after i read the first book. Just would be interested to know if you would know if they took the lyrics from the series aswell

        Liked by 1 person

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