Dust of Dreams lived up to its name, the book sent me to dreamland almost every chapter.
Erikson mentioned at the beginning of the novel that his idea of a finale was so huge that the story had to be done in two books: Dust of Dreams for the first half and The Crippled God for the second half of the story. I haven’t read The Crippled God yet and because of that, I simply have no idea how all the plotlines will converge and concludes in the last entry of the series. However, I’m going to say this, Dust of Dreams to me is easily the weakest book within the entire series, even weaker than House of Chains. If it weren’t due to the fact that marks the ninth and penultimate installment of the series, I would’ve DNFed the book/series; it was that painful and boring to read.
Dust of Dreams started really strong. The buildup and the execution towards the reading on the Deck of Dragons scene were exhilarating and brilliant. Unfortunately, everything after this Deck of Dragons scene was a major struggle for me to get through. It shouldn’t come as a surprise by now that Erikson has an obsession with introducing new characters to follow no matter how far we are into the series. Honestly speaking, if you’ve been following my reviews you should know by now that I’m not a fan of this kind of storytelling method. When I’m this far into a series—nine out of ten tomes and approximately 3.1 million words in this case—I want to follow the characters that I’ve spent my time with. Erikson instead introduced us to another excessive amount of new characters, factions, and storylines that I simply don’t care about. The Malazans and the Letherii do receive some focus and when they do, it was absolutely compelling and great to read. However, the majority of the pages of the tome were taken by the new inclusions. The Barghast, The Snake, the Shake, and they were all a complete boredom to the point that they genuinely felt pointless to read.
To add salt to the wound, Erikson by this point of the series seems to have run out of distinctive voices to give to the characters. Almost all the new characters sounded the same, if Erikson decided to switch around their names, I wouldn’t be able to tell which characters were actually switched. Even though there were brutal events occurring, none of them fazed or moved my emotion one bit because I was too disconnected from the characters and stories.
I don’t have much else to say. The only good things about the book for me were when the POV shifted on the Malazans and the Letherii; the rest was a complete boredom festival in which almost every chapter ended up becoming a cure for insomnia. I’m not kidding, to have a book put me to sleep once is insane already but Dust of Dreams was capable of dropping me to sleep at least nine times. I haven’t read the final book yet so I can’t see how this book will be beneficial to the overarching arc but for now, it felt completely unnecessary to divide the last installment into two books because this book could’ve been cut by half and it would’ve been so much better to read. I hope the last book of the series, The Crippled God, will be able to clear the bad taste this installment left on me. With a heart full of ache and hope, I now march onward to finish my journey in Malazan Book of the Fallen.
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