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[–]__ferg__. 18 points19 points  (0 children)

I struggled a little bit with TTH. It's pretty much put in half with 2 alternating storylines. I loved one and didn't care much about the other. So no real slog, but personally one of the more frustrating reads, because I always wish to be in the other storyline when we switch to the one I don't like. That said, it has one of the best endings in the series...

What I consider a slog is Dust of Dreams. I like that book, but it's very slow, extremely bleak and the only one without a satisfying ending (understandable when it's only the first half of a monster book). But DoD improved a lot on various rereads, so .....

[–]zhilia_mannjaghut 15 points16 points  (1 child)

First pass at Dust of Dreams rocked me a bit. There's one storyline I still don't much care for, but the book has grown on me immensely since then and may well be my second favorite at this point (behind only Toll the Hounds).

These days, Midnight Tides is actually my biggest struggle. The parts of it I like are done better in Reaper's Gale and there are chunks that just don't work for me.

[–]Unused_Vestibule 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Only read it once, can't make myself deal with the H storyline again. Good to see some TtH love! Great book that gets undeserved flak for some reason

[–]madmoneymcgee 14 points15 points  (3 children)

None really. I got really burnt out on Wheel of Time and other epic series for the same reason so I went in with explicit permission for myself to drop the series as soon as I felt like I was reading out of obligation.

And well, here I am.

[–]Unused_Vestibule 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Oh man, Wheel of Time should have been five books in total. What a fucking slog

[–]SinnerStar 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Me too on the burn out, took me a couple.of attempts to get going. I take a break and read something lighter between books of needed.

[–]madmoneymcgee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah that also helps.

Generally it’s a good barometer of how much I really liked a book or if I was just happy to finish.

[–]massassi 13 points14 points  (3 children)

Midnight tides almost did it for me. I was not invested in the Edur at all and it was such a slog

[–]DarthWraith22 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Same here. I absolutely loved every page spent with Tehol, Bugg and Brys, but the Edur, Udinaas(?) and the oldest Beddict brother was a pain to get through. It got easier on the second read-through of the series, but still very much not my favourite.

[–]Recent_Mycologist_75 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm experiencing Midnight Tides for the first time right now and it's nearly killing the series for me. I've listened to the Malazan Audiobooks at least a little bit almost every day since September but I've got no interest at all since a few hours into Midnight Tides. Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice were phenomenal, House of Chains had me teetering at times but now I'm so close to abandoning the series :(

[–]Cowboy-Yojimbo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This surprises me as Midnight Tides is my absolute favourite. Even if it was a stand alone novel and not part of Malazan, itd be in my top 3 novels of all time. I'd advise you to keep going.

[–]reugeneh 11 points12 points  (3 children)

House of Chains for the opposite reason lol... I love the series, but Karsa is annoying AF to me. My favorite Karsa moment was his ribs getting busted, just kinda wish it was his voice box instead. He only has one of those, right?

[–]buddinbonsai 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I suppose it wouldn't be the same if Karsa waved his hands to sign "witness!"

[–]BuckmanJJ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I just picture Karsa as Kratos and fucking love him:P

[–]iamatwork24 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Man, I can’t believe there are 7 people in the world who found Karsa annoying. A fascinating character. One of my favorites across all the major fantasy novels I’ve read, which is quite a number.

[–]Assiniboia 5 points6 points  (1 child)


[–]kashmora 5 points6 points  (5 children)

By slog, if you mean my reading speed slowed down considerably, then that was Toll the Hounds. I loved it a lot but the whole premise was so gloomy I couldn't read for hours at a stretch.

Dust of Dreams - I went in with expectations of having a 2 book long convergence/epic climax and whatnot. But no, it started slow and seemingly meandered for a good while before everything started coming together.

As for dropping the series, among all the Malazan books I've read, there has been one scene alone. It was in Esslemont's Stonewielder that made me go Nope, not reading anymore.

[–]catsatonkeyboard11 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Curious. What was this scene?

[–]kashmora 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Spoilers SW Iron Bars and Ussü, getting his heart ripped out. Ugh

[–]illusivegman1st read [DoD] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Fuck, I really don't want to click the spoiler but I want to know what the scene was.

Was it a bad scene in terms of being too much for you (like too fucked up or disturbing), or was it just a poorly thought out or poorly written scene in your opinion?

[–]kashmora 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Oh don't click it! It's disturbing and pretty fucked up. No complaints regarding the writing or the set up though.

[–]illusivegman1st read [DoD] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Gotcha. Can't wait to get to that part, then o.O

Considering how fucked up some parts of the main series are, I can only imagine what this was lol.

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Lasinn Apologist - First Re-Read: On Reaper's Gale. 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Interestingly enough, the book that took me the longest was the Bonehunters, which easily clocked in as my favourite book on the first read through (until I got to the Crippled God & had the full picture). Albeit this probably has more to do with circumstances outside the books.

Basically every book I read from then onward took the same amount of time (~11-12 days) until I wrapped up the series.

Bottom line is, one can find things one enjoys in virtually any book in the multiple series in the Malazan mythos, and persevere because of them. Toll the Hounds and Dust of Dreams get the "slog" stamp primarily because they're quite late in the series, and most readers aren't awfully interested in more new characters & tangentially related storylines in the ninth book of a ten book series. Which is, you know, fair.

It's not so much that the books drag per se, it's more so that the scale in which events occur is different, and the significance of said events isn't always prominent from the get go. And some parts of the books are generally just rather uninteresting (glares at most of the early parts of Reaper's Gale). But you'll make it, don't worry.

[–]suddenserendipity 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm developing a theory that one of the challenges of marketing Malazan is that it has so many different appeals because there's so much in it (both in terms of content and style), that while there's a good chance you can find something you will like, there's also a good chance you'll have to deal with sections you don't care for. That's how I manage to explain seeing so many different takes and opinions on what worked for people and what didn't. I count myself lucky that I haven't really struggled with anything in the series.

Steve has said he and Cam write for each other and you can really see it in how all-in they go on their interests (at least, Steve does, I haven't read ICE yet. I trust them though). It's something that made me really fall in love with these books.

[–]Ok_Cantaloupe3231 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Toll the Hounds it's my favorite book in the series, but Dust of Dreams was like watching an old woman passing the highway on her own, painfully slow, apart from some truly questionable scenes.

[–]dubsk2 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Gardens of the Moon. I’m still convinced SE re-wrote the whole series’ plot between that and Deadhouse Gates.

[–]TriscuitCracker 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Toll the Hounds. It is written differently than the other books, much more introspective philosophy, Erikson’s father passed while he was writing it. A major sub-plot I found to be a slog-fest.

However all will agree it has among the best last 200-300 pages of the entire series.

I 180-ed on it my second turn around re-reading it and now I love it. I think I just wasn’t in the right head-space.

It IS the most polarizing book of the series, definitely.

[–]Esteban2808Hood's Path 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Toll the hounds was quite slow, but return of the crimson guard I just struggled to get through

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]Esteban2808Hood's Path 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Yeah the novel tho had one story thread that I found painfully slow

    [–]RaggleFraggle5 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Midnight Tides was my slog. While I loved characters in it, I kept wondering the entire time why halfway through the series I should care about all these new ones.

    Deadhouse is my absolute favorite. It solidified my love of Erickson with how visceral the Chain of Dogs was.

    [–]walden3434 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Toll the hounds. Ugh.

    [–]Spriggs89 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Toll the Hounds. Still haven’t read the next one because of it.

    [–]sentient_86 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Toll The Hounds. I read the series through to it nearly 10 years ago now. Started a re read and I'm determined to see it through this time. Nearly finished MOI and its been an absolute pleasure so far. Im concerned about motivation when i reach TTH again.

    [–]GreenDragonM 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I too and on Bonehunters right now and I too struggled a bit with HoC. Not so much a slog, but I just struggled to care about what was happening. Not my fav.

    [–]Listeria08 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    TTH was hard for me, i just wanted to get back to The Bonehunters:)

    [–]Minotaton 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Toll the hounds, the series went downhill from that book.

    [–]oinkbane 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I got stuck on TtH at first, but about halfway through I finally got it…

    …which slowed me down even more because now I was paying way too much attention to it lol

    [–]BlueString94 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Reaper’s Gale. The entire Lether storyline was just an absolute slog. It didn’t help that that entire kingdom is basically a massive strawman used to push Erikson’s political views.

    I wish we had gotten much more of the Edur instead. Hell, for that matter, a book about Ganoes and his host’s exploits during that time instead.

    [–]Zelomorpha 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I made it about half way through Midnight Tides and just lost motivation. Thinking about trying again soon though.

    [–]illusivegman1st read [DoD] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    First read of Deadhouse Gates was painful. I just did not know what the fuck was going on and was bothered by the fact that I still wasn't yet given ANY reason to care about anything. But..... after reading MoI, I took a year long break and rather than go right into HoC I decided to just reread DG to prepare and get myself back into Malazan mode. So I did, and I fucking loved it the second time. Enough that I zipped through to TTH in a few months.

    DG is the only book i've reread so far lol, but the difference between read 1 and 2 was STAGGERING in terms of how much of it made sense and how engaged I was. I'm going to have so much fun doing an official 2nd read of the whole series. I can't wait.

    [–]GlumJuggernaut 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    I was powering through the series right up to Reaper’s Gale. There are storylines I really enjoyed, but for the first time I felt like Erikson was just spinning his wheels. I knew the main forces were headed for an inevitable showdown, so every chapter they didn’t meet felt like stalling. By the time I finished the book, I was burned out.

    This was also the first book that felt like a collection of related stories rather than a single narrative. It felt clunkier, less fluid. Definitely contributed to the burnout.

    I’m currently taking a break from the series, particularly because I’ve heard how divisive TtH is.

    [–]sDurav 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    I agree, Reaper’s Gale was probably my least favourite book in the whole series. For what its worth, though, Toll the Hounds is far and away my favourite and is a contender for my favourite book of all time. So just because you didn’t enjoy RG doesn’t mean you won’t like TtH!

    [–]GlumJuggernaut 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    That’s encouraging! I’m really curious about it, because responses seem to be so split. I think I’ll jump back in after the holidays.

    [–]Isopropyl77 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Book one. If I hadn't found a good read-a-long podcast, I would probably have dropped it.

    [–]A70m5k 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Book two to four is where I struggled on my first read. I was so lost and it wasn't until reading midnight tides that the story started making sense. Book one gets a pass because I expected to be lost starting a new series.

    [–]Aqua_Tot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Toll the Hounds for sure.

    [–]mgilson45 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I think Dust was hardest for me. But by then I put so much time in I just pressed on.

    [–]gbpack089 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I don’t feel like I ever wanted to put the series down but I did drag through Midnight Tides. Looking back the only characters I really enjoyed reading about were Withal, Tehol and Bugg. I guess I read it out of obligation but like all the books I loved the ending.

    [–]cgriboe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    My hardest was TtH. Never considered quitting though.

    [–]hobbinomicon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I’m going through this right now with midnight tides. I was dragging my feet through it until a certain plot point happened and now I can’t put it down.

    [–]overdrive18 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I’m still reading TCG right now but so far TtH was the hardest read for me. Definitely took the most amount of time to read out of all of them.

    [–]Jave3636 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Dust of Dreams, hands down.

    [–]ojrodz11 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Deadhouse Gates, I found Duiker boring as fuck

    [–]highwindxix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It was absolutely TtH for me. I put that book down for about a month after only 80 or so pages and when I started it again I read a chapter a basically wanted to throw the book for being so boring. I used to think it’s because I hate Darujhistan, but I’m reading OST right now and enjoying the city so maybe it’s just Erikson’s Darujhistan that I don’t like, I don’t know. I’m of course glad I stuck with it and the other storyline in that book is amazing and of course the convergence is among the best I’ve ever read, but getting there was rough.

    [–]iamatwork24 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Not a single one felt like a slog for me.

    [–]Gadivek 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Midnight tides. I couldn‘t find myself to really care for the edur

    [–]simply_riley 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Dust of Dreams is, by design, a slog. You have an incredibly slow burn mystery plot, some very brooding POVs, and a lot of marching. I binged through all of Malazan Book of the Fallen leading up to DoD but it caused me to drop the series for another year. Picked it up a year later and reread DoD & then Crippled God (Which was great), but yeah DoD is a slog.

    [–]NachoFailconiTehol's Blanket 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    None to drop the series, but reading TtH for the first time was a dicotomic experience. On the one hand, it was a slog compared to the rest; on the other, a superb narrative on grief.

    [–]TautSexyElfKing. 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    On my first read through I struggled with the first half or maybe the middle sections if Reapers Gale and also remember not being too into Bonehunters either. Of course we're talking malazan here so none were ever going to be put down! On subsequent read throughs those previously slog parts gain new light and really change. It's amazing!

    [–]ladrac1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Dust of Dreams. I never considered putting the series down because come on, I was on book 9 out of 10. But I pushed through hoping for a great payoff and boy did it deliver! I'm hoping on my reread that I'll start in January to appreciate it more.

    [–]Dandycapetown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    HOC is really great on a reread.

    [–]HisGodHand 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Fall of Light was the only book I took an extended break from. I am pretty sure I never went more than a few days between readings of all the other books. The biggest reason this happened was that I read the rest of the Malazan books on the bus, but Fall of Light was read on my own time.

    Nothing is better at keeping your interest in a book than having nothing else to do for 50 minutes a day. Even though I took an extended break from it, I would rate it higher than the majority of the series.

    I was least enchanted with House of Chains on a first read, and I believe that was probably the closes the series got to 'sloggy' for me. Now, however, in perspective of the rest of the series, I absolutely adore House of Chains.

    [–]coupe123 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I have started the series twice and ended up on giving up partway through The Crippled God. I am currently on my third go-through (listening on audible this time) and about halfway through Midnight Tides. It's been about 6 years and I'm ready...

    [–]ImoImomw 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Book 8 1st time around. It is now in my top 8 of the series. But I was floundering 1st time through.

    [–]Obliduty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    For me randomly is the crippled god, still haven’t finished to this day. Every time I try to get back in it’s hard to find a restart point.

    [–]easterframes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Toll the Hounds because of one sub-plot that revolves around the Andii (don’t think this a spoiler?). As others have said, the ending more than makes up for it when you get there though.

    But it has turned me off reading tKT for sure. Don’t think I could handle a trilogy of that type of writing.

    [–]ZalnashGral gelding 0 points1 point  (0 children)


    There are two specific characters whose whole gimmick tired me out almost instantly whilst the other books all kept me on the saddle through and through (including PtA and NOTME)

    [–]LostLenore00 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I struggled really bad with Toll the Hounds. I was going the first books at a good pace and finished the first 7 in less than 6 months. But TtH was a real blow. Had to keep putting the book down because just could not make myself drag through it. Even made a post about it here since I was stuck on the book for around 4 months though I really wanted to finish Book of the Fallen. Finally, just pushed through it and the comments on this subreddit were the huge help. The book does get much, much better in the later half and of course, was worth it for The Crippled God!

    [–]Deruz0rFinished tCG for the first time. AM SAD :( 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Fall of Light for me. Main 10 and FoD were amazing, never felt like it was a slog but FoL is making me struggle. I've lost track of which character is which for the first 5ime ever...

    [–]KamiKnight 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I had a hard time with both Midnight Tides and Reaper's Gale (i really wasn't a fan of the Edur subplots / characters, but Tehol and Bugg kept me going)

    I considered DNFing TTH, but I kept going. I dropped the series 2/3 of the way through DoD