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Midnight Tides

Malazan Book of the Fallen Series, Book 5
Written by: Steven Erikson
Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 31 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After decades of internecine warfare, the tribes of the Tiste Edur have at last united under the Warlock King of the Hiroth. There is peace - but it has been exacted at a terrible price: a pact made with a hidden power whose motives are at best suspect, at worst, deadly.

To the south, the expansionist kingdom of Lether, eager to fulfill its long-prophesized renaissance as an Empire reborn, has enslved all its less-civilized neighbors with rapacious hunger. All, that is, save one - the Tiste Edur. And it must be only a matter of time before they too fall - either beneath the suffocating weight of gold, or by slaughter at the edge of a sword. Or so destiny has decreed.

Yet as the two sides gather for a pivotal treaty neither truly wants, ancient forces are awakening. For the impending struggle between these two peoples is but a pale reflection of a far more profound, primal battle - a confrontation with the still-raw wound of an old betrayal and the craving for revenge at its seething heart.

"This novel and all others in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series follow my own pronunciations of 'Malazan' words and names. My thanks to Michael and Jane and everyone at Brilliance Audio." -Steven Erikson, Victoria, B.C. Canada, January, 2014

©2004 Steven Erikson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

hilarious characters!

the one book written by Erikson that has humorous characters... even with the serious wars going on Tehol and Bugg are standout characters. Well done!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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so worth it

I was a bit hesitant to start this, but it was so worth it. #audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jarring change of scenery; best of the series

Assuming you're reading the series in order, this one comes out of nowhere - the characters and timeline are entirely different.

That said, it's easily my favourite of the series. The plot is engaging, and less melodramatic than most. It's still too long (Erickson desperately needed a better editor), but has a higher ratio of good stuff. Tehol and Bugg dynamic is great.

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Amazing!

Another amazing story by SE what a journey! cant wait for the next one very excited

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Amazing.

Great writing, consistent payoff readers and listeners have come to expect from Stephen Erikson. Charecters you will love, and think about long after finished with this story.

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  • Rylan
  • 2016-02-11

IT GETS EASIER.

Not the story but getting used to Michael Page's narration. In the fourth book the transition from Lister to Page quite jarring. The Story itself as with the rest of the series is amazing so waste no more time checking reviews and get listening there is a long way to go yet.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • 2014-03-28

Erikson does it again...

Another amazing epic fantasy saga all contained in one book, with a climax as epic as that in Memories of Ice and House of Chains.

That he can weave yet another story of this magnitude, set on an entirely different continent with entirely different characters, is astounding. Erikson is the real deal when it comes to writing epic fantasy. And I believe that this may be his most approachable book yet in the series.

In fact, this wouldn't be a bad place to start the series from. It's an excellent standalone story, and although it helps to have 4 more books under your belt, I think most fantasy fans would be able to take this one by itself. It is also not quite as dark as the other books before it, which could help newcomers as well. There is more humor in this book, too, much of it dry, but for the first time I found myself laughing out loud while listening. The banter between characters, especially Tehol and Bugg, is great and deliciously builds upon itself with each new iteration.

In Midnight Tides, Erikson shows he can follow a tighter storyline and (relatively) fewer players, which enables the characters in this book to have more depth as we spend more time with them. And what amazing characters they are. Many of them stand out so uniquely and richly in my mind and I know I will not soon forget them. Trull Sengar, Rhulad, Udinaas, Kettle, Tehol and Bugg, Shurq Ellale, Iron Bars... There are SO MANY great characters and I enjoyed spending time with all of them. And we get introduced to so many fascinating characters as well.

There is almost no drag in this story, especially after the first quarter or so. This is a poignant story of two families and the brothers on both sides have rich personalities and you will find yourself caring for each of them. Yet this story contains so much more... A vast tale of war, but somehow Erikson is able to portray it both on the grand scale and the personal level. And the depth of plotting and foreshadowing is simply incredible... The climax of the story brings together so many threads, while dropping hints of things that are to come and give us glimpses of a MUCH broader landscape. The Malazan series is truly the most broadly epic fantasy series out there. I cannot wait for the next volume to be released on Audible.

A note on the narration: I agree with everyone else, that the change from Ralph Lister was definitely a step in the wrong direction. This despite the fact that Erikson went out of his way to write a note here essentially saying "I approve this choice". The thing is, in this case THE LISTENERS ARE ALWAYS RIGHT. If you don't want to listen to us, then you may not find us buying your books on audio anymore. You need to make good marketing decisions and make your customers happy, rather than sticking dogmatically to your own preferences. After all, we can always read these books in printed form.

There's nothing wrong with Michael Page's pronunciation or diction, for me; it's the fact that he can't differentiate the voices of the characters enough. Because of the dark setting and the plethora of large, hulking, inhuman characters, he tends to use his "growling" voice almost 50% of the time. This not only gets old and makes it hard to distinguish characters,, but cheapens the effect of using the growl in the first place.

Still, despite all this, I don't agree with people giving the book poor ratings because of the narrator. Keep the ratings separate between the two - that's what it's for. You can give the narration 1 star, but give the book the 5 overall stars it deserves.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • rriskowski
  • 2015-04-18

Still missing Ralph Lister

Any additional comments?

Sigh... This series has lost its flavor without Ralph Lister. I love the writing but just miss Ralph Lister. He did such a good job. Continuity is lost and the new narrator just doesn't stack up. Would be better had he actually listened to previous renditions by Lister. Unprofessional.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacob Pollock
  • 2016-09-20

not his best work, but pretty good

I grade Erikson very harshly because he's such an amazing writer. This book lacked the suspense, unforseen confluence of events, surprise, and "holy crap factor” moments of the other books. It was good, but not his best. not even close. In some places he had too much foreshadowing and in other places the foreshadowing was to close. Foreshadowing is usually his best attribute. This one lacked it and was much worse for it. Still an awesome book.

I definitely recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brentwood
  • 2016-09-02

story is getting hot

has the best character duo in the series yet. tehol and bug. will actually have you laughing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Blakstar
  • 2016-06-30

A bit much.

The sound quality is off. Echoey, boomy. Makes it hard to hear.

The performance is okay, but in the service of material that is too stretched out. Plus.it is a dreary story, in spite of the all too brief periods off humor.

Some of my reaction is a matter of taste, but even so these books should have been tightened up. I think this could have lost 200 pages and that would have improved the narrative pacing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Devon D
  • 2018-05-31

longtime fan

I've read and listened to this book series of total of 4 times over the last decade. Every book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is a work of art. Steven Erikson establishes a universe that is complex and detailed. He has an unnatural ability to create characters so interesting that I've searched outside books just on those characters. If you pick up this series you will not regret it.

Midnight Tides is an excellent addition but to get true worth out of the series you must start from the beginning with Gardens of the Moon.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • I love bacon
  • 2017-11-19

Midnight Tides

Tehol and Bugg are the jewel of this book. A rare added bit of lighthearted humor. Excellent book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2015-04-20

Every Series Needs a Stinker

The series called "The Malazan Book of the Fallen" takes a break from talking about the Malazans. Granted, there are large chapters of this series that feature people far removed from the Empire. But they always came back to main plot of the machinations of the Empress, the army, and the part they play in the war with the Crippled God. This book is basically a prequel to the previous novel (where Onrack, the T'lann Imass meets Trull Sengar, a banished Tiste Edur). It sets up later novels and is, generally speaking, hard to skip without missing some key elements for the remainder of the series, but it mostly feels like we're taking a break from the real plot for an irrelevant side story.

It's got some of the funniest moments in the series (featuring Bugg and Tehol), and it certainly has some flashy magic happening, but a few things bug me:

The Tiste Edur don't act like immortal beings. They act like morons. The Tiste Andii have the perfect immortal thing going on: totally bereft of excitement for anything. They've done it all. Any humanity, as we might see it, comes when they interact with humans. It usually brings sorrow (Beren and Luthien style), but it's beautiful in its tragedy as they remember what they once had, and how sweet it is to feel. But the Tiste Edur. What, do they live normal human life-spans? They get angry, petty, and most seem young. What does that mean, young? 50 years? One hundred?

The whole "capitalism is bad" storyline. There's little about this society that points to a liberal economy. If anything this is a feudal economy complete with landowners, sharecroppers, and a rigid caste system. The Bugg-Tehol plot seems like it's trying to be Wall Street drama without explaining what's going on. Only that the "greedy" are getting what they deserve and that society will be turned upside down.

Finally, this is the second book since "Memories of Ice". What is going on with everybody we left behind? What about the Bridgeburners? What about Felisin and the Whirldwind? Paran and the Deck? What's going on with all the characters we fell in love with? This book was a bit jarring. And while there were some enjoyable moments (Bugg and Tehol were, of course, hilarious), all in all it felt like a lot of this could have been told within the constraints of other novels featuring more of our favorite characters.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • fritz amtsberg
  • 2019-08-01

good background story<br />

Good story with interesting characters. Fills in some of the blank spots. Ready to get back to main story line.