It’s not Deadhouse Gates, it’s me. It took me nearly 2 years to finish this book. Amazon kept throwing Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates at me as something I might like for a long time. I finally ordered them, as there were nothing but rave reviews for them. I enjoyed Gardens of the Moon alright, though it’s not my favorite ever, but Deadhouse Gates? Wow. Another different story. It doesn’t continue the story of the first book, and instead turns to the continent of Seven Cities. Said Seven Cities want to break the shackles of the Empire and throw their conquerors out, and so they rise up against the Empire.
In the middle of this, we have Mappo and Icarium from the first book, a band of Bridgeburners and friends chasing Apsalar and her father and at the same time plotting to assassinate the Empress. Furthermore, we have the story of Felisin, fallen sister of the Empress’ second-in-command, and the Chain of Dogs, the Empire’s army trying to lead 30,000 refugees to the safety of the only city that hasn’t fallen to rebellion.
Especially those last two arcs are gritty, and in parts really turned my stomach. Let me just say, I find flies and moths utterly disgusting now. I am not sure the kind of gritty that Erikson does is for me. I literally felt sickened reading some of this, from the detailed crucifixion to chains sawing off people’s heads. Yuck.
Even though it was really me forcing myself to finish this book, I am still giving it 3 stars, because the world-building is quite exquisite. The history of the world that Erikson is building is dripping off every page. Too bad I just don’t like the writing style and the characters all that much.
Not sure if I’ll read the rest of the series, there’s another eight books in it, but for now I’ll pass.