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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In Deadhouse Gates -- the sequel to Gardens of the Moon and the second volume of Steven Erikson's shelf-cracking, ten-volume Malazan Book of the Fallen -- the great empire of Malazan is on the verge of one of the bloodiest revolutions the realm has ever known.
It's been ten long years since Laseen took over the empire's throne with treacherous cunning, but as the Year of Dryjhna approaches, wild portents of anarchy and rebellion abound. One such prophecy involves a stolen holy book and the seeress Sha'ik, the rebellion's foretold leader, who will raise the Whirlwind and lead the soldiers of the Apocalypse in a fanatical war that will topple empires and kill thousands. But as forces converge against Laseen, the empress gathers an army of assassins, sorcerers, and spies to combat the rebellion -- and enlarge her evil empire.
With a cast of literally hundreds (human and nonhuman) and dozens of subplots, Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen easily lives up to its advance hype as "the first great fantasy epic of the 21st century." A word of warning, however: These novels are in no way light reading. Fantasy fans who prefer "fast food" reads -- formulaic plotlines featuring two-dimensional characters -- should look elsewhere for their literary sustenance. Like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, reading Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen is like sitting down to a five-course gourmet meal. Thematically breathtaking, powerfully moving, and epic in every sense of the word, these meaty novels are meant to be savored. Paul Goat Allen