First off I should apologise for not updating last week. I was busy and in my rush in the rush to get other things done I forgot about the blog entirely. Thus I give my apologies and without further ado it is time to begin the review. Dust of Dreams is the ninth novel in The Malazan Book of the Fallen series and is also the second to last. Both it and the sequel The Crippled God form the last act of this rather draggy series. The book follows a number of factions but revolves around the exiled Malazan Army, lead by Adjunct Tavore as they make their preparations within Letheras to begin their march into the eastern wastelands to confront an unknown enemy. They stand ready to make a last heroic stand as dark forces threaten to swallow the world whole. The destinies of the various characters are set to become more complicated as they prepare to make one last heroic stand, but with nobody around to witness it.
Interestingly enough the novel begins in Letheras and that is where the finale seems to be set up, since that is where the exiled Malazan Army have taken residence. There we gain insight into the mechanics of the new regime, of which recurring character Tehol has been crowned King. Tehol was a disappointingly minor character in the novel, at least in my opinion, since he never engaged in much action himself and preferred to act through his brother Brys Beddict. The politics surrounding Letheras and the people left within it start to come to a head as things start to heat up.
Most interesting is how factions I haven’t previously paid much attention to, such as the K’Chain Che’Malle, seemed to factor more into this book than they had previously. To some extent this meant the book got a bit complex to me. It seemed to bring a lot of plotlines together but somehow I struggled to understand a lot of this book because it seemed to bring to a conclusion the side plots from the previous novels, which I have long since forgotten about. With a series as big as Malazan it is easy to forget things and this worked against my enjoyment of the book somewhat.
Somehow this book seemed to drag on longer than the others, in part because the book as a whole was meant to be a prelude to the next book as opposed to a novel on its own. This was something which I would have preferred not to happen since the novels are so large and complicated already, it was worse having to read two of these novels before I finally understand what’s going on. Of course by the time I’ve gotten to the end the myraid of plots and subplots mean that the book is a blur of complicated stuff which I don’t understand. This is something I’ve come to expect with the series as a whole but somehow it felt worse in Dust of Dreams.
Overall there isn’t too much to say about Dust of Dreams, it’s mostly a book of set-ups in preparation for the next novel. Not a whole lot remarkable happened in it, although my cynicism regarding this series may be starting to cloud my judgement at this stage. It was no worse or better than any of the other Malazan Book of the Fallen books. I’ll admit that a lot of it just sort of blurred together into this mess of stuff which I understood better at the beginning than I did at the end. Knowing how this goes I don’t know what the last book will have in store for me but I hope that it gives me some sense of closure from all this at least.
IN A WORD: DULL