The remaining Bonehunters continue their march through The Glass Desert (more on this desert thing later). The long-lost army of Ganoes Paran finally shows up, and I still have no clue what it was doing between the events in [b:The Bonehunters|478951|The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)|Steven Erikson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320434864s/478951.jpg|3898723] and this book; as to why it does what it did: I stopped wondering a long time ago - nobody gives an answer to this particular question in Malazan universe. A lot of forces gather in one place for the last showdown. Great battles are ensured.
As I mentioned above, I gave up on trying figuring out the motivations of the main characters, as well as secondary ones. The 180 degrees plot twist in the middle of the book was lame, in my opinion; I cannot give any details without huge spoilers, but people who read this will know what I am talking about - as this twist came up suddenly and without any king of foreshadowing, or hint whatsoever. The battles are great and epic with good guys being rescued in the very last moment by deus ex machina type of intervention - all the time without failing. This is a really average book of the series, luckily the last one. One more thing to mention: the amount of unresolved plotlines boggles the mind. The people who were foreshadowed to play major role in the conflict resolution have around one page each where they do nothing really important.
The whole series review:
Speaking about the whole series, I am relieved that I am finally finished it as well as disappointed. I expected a lot more from the hype surrounded the series. The first book blew me away, unfortunately the rest of the series failed to deliver the promise. I am glad I finished it, but I will never reread it: there are better books out there. Now that I finished, I need to change the rating of some of the books. My main complains:
Nobody - and I do mean nobody - stays dead. Every person/being that died came back in one form or another, this means there is no emotional impact then a good guy dies: he/she will surely be back. I can only think of two exceptions of this rule: yes, in the whole series only two persons were gracious enough to remain dead.
The author never explains motivations of any character, the reader has to guess all of it; this really began getting old around book 8. It is impossible to tell whether somebody did some heroic action on purpose, or because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Despite the point above, we have a lot of inner monologues for any character, even ones who will disappear from the series forever without making any impact on the plot; everybody is a philosopher and miserable one at that. I would really like to see a happy person in Malazan universe, alas they do not exist; the kings and slaves are equally miserable.
To continue the point above, there are a lot of characters who are not related to the plot in any sense, still we have to suffer their long inner monologues - and all the monologues are somewhat similar. Why do we have POVs of these people at all, except as a filler material?
The last two points make books too long; what happened to editing? Every single book can be cut by two thirds without losing anything at all. Dear editors, when you charge money for your work, make sure you ACTUALLY FREAKIN' DO IT!!! If somebody could bother reducing the length of the series by half, the books would be really great; if somebody could manage to squeeze it all in a trilogy, the series would be a classic in genre, up there with The Lord of the Rings. As it is now, it is a torture to read most of the time.
For the major parts of the books people do nothing (except for philosophy part) even though they know what is coming; nobody bothers to do anything in advance. When the shit finally hits the fan, people finally react doing great sacrifices - something that can be avoided if anybody bothered doing something before the crisis.
Very frequent switching of POV, literally on every page, most notable in [b:Gardens of the Moon|55399|Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)|Steven Erikson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1355144064s/55399.jpg|2646042] and [b:Toll the Hounds|938544|Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)|Steven Erikson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316126179s/938544.jpg|3898730]. This one is my major complaint, this technique works only during intense battles, and for the rest of a book it is really bad. I always have to scan the page first to see whose POV I read about at the moment - as it is not always obvious, and then come back to the beginning of the page to read carefully.
If there is a desert somewhere, people love wander in it aimlessly and endlessly. The moment I read about The Glass Desert in [b:Dust of Dreams|4703427|Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)|Steven Erikson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316125315s/4703427.jpg|4767755], I said: "Here it comes" and I was right. I imagine the Holy Desert Raraku looks like a downtown of a major city by the amount of people walking around in it.
A lot of soldiers (Bridgeburners and Bonehunters) are completely indistinguishable from one another; they lack individuality: after all, they all think the same miserable philosophical thoughts.
All in all, it is a major disappointment. What I am really scared of, is that from the immense popularity of the series some other fantasy writers will emulate this style. Oh well, there are a lot of older fantasy titles to read out there. I need to do some easy reading now, like [b:The Critique of Pure Reason|651146|The Critique of Pure Reason|Immanuel Kant|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349054333s/651146.jpg|1072226] by [a:Immanuel Kant|11038|Immanuel Kant|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1287258849p2/11038.jpg].