Deadhouse Gates: The End


Complete and Utter Mega-Spoilation Ahead!



*explosions and missiles launching while a bear high fives a shark. In Space!*




I didn’t bother with taking notes for the last chapters. I was getting seriously worded out [or more specifically, I was running out of words in typing up notes] and it was starting to affect me. So the following are the highlights from my poor brain.


So, Coltaine delivers the refugees to Aren, but Pormqual won’t sent out troops to save the 7th and so the 7th dies. Coltaine dies. Then when Pormqual goes to treat with Korbolo Dom, Dom ends up killing all the Malazan troops [some 8000] and crucifying all their bodies.  Along with Duiker.

Kalaam fights a ton of Claws, makes it to Laseen’s chamber and then changes his mind when it is revealed that Dujek Onearm’s “exile” is a facade to foster trust so a combined force can face the Pannion Domin, whatever that is. Apparently, it is worse than Sha’ik Reborn and her rebellion.

Tremorlor, the Azath House, gets a new guardian and the company that went into it all go their separate ways. It is revealed that Icarium is Goltho’s son, who is also a guardian of an Azath house. Icarium’s “sin” was to try to free his father all those 1000’s of years ago and wounding a Warren, which caused his madness and forgetfulness. That little jewel was about 2 paragraphs slipped in between other stuff.

Felisin, now in control as Sha’ik Reborn, pulls her forces back to regroup, catch their breath and plan on how to deal with Adjunct Tavore and all the new troops. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, The End.

I’ll be going over how I felt overall about this book in my actual review, probably coming this weekend. I need some serious processing time.

Here’s a good sum up of how I feel right now, even though it is for a later book:

Joel’s Review of House of Chains


Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts



Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 16-19


Well, I wasn’t selected for jury duty today. But I have to go back on the 15th for another round, so I suspect I’ll get caught then.

Anyway, here’s another update for Deadhouse Gates. Talk about dense! I got wicked mixed up when taking notes, so I’m not actually sure which parts go with which chapters.




Chapter 16

Duiker does a scouting sortie and discovers Stormy and Gesler and their boat sitting by the side of an almost dried out brook. Stormy and Gesler have reached a stage before Ascension and it becomes apparent that Coltaine has as well.

Korbolo Dom, the rogue Fist, sends an emissary to talk terms and allow the civilians free passage over the river. Coltaine rejects the offer out of hand without even hearing the terms. It also appears that Dom has been in communication with some of the nobles in the refugees camp.

Felisin, with Heboric, the Toblakai and Leoman, begins the process of turning Felisin into Sha’ik Reborn.



Chapter 17

Apsalar, Crokus, Fid, Mappo, Icarium and Pust enter Temorlor, an Azath House. It is under seige by the various soletaken and diver’se. It needs Icarium’s help to survive even while Icarium is exactly what an Azath House was created to contain. 5 hounds of shadow come to help out in case Icarium kills Temorlor and frees hordes of terrors.

Korbolo’s offer of free passage reveals itself for the trap it is. The malazan army is decimated, another wickan child sorcerer destroyed and the nobles are still alive. The civilians are pushed beyond their limit and attack the rogue Fists forces, giving the surviving malazan soldiers chance enough to regroup.


Chapter 18

I have no recollection of this chapter. Without notes, it’s gone. This book is that bad to me.

I think it was a sea battle involving Kalaam and pirates? If there was more, I certainly can’t remember it.


Chapter 19

I JUST realized that the Azath Houses with their Tree aspect are directly taken from Glen Cooks Black Company and the God tree that was planted over powerful beings. Goodness, Erikson’s a dick.

Apsalar and Co begin their journey to the Azath house where they will be able to take a short cut all the way to Malaz Island. They have to survive thousands of Soletaken and Diver’se though and the Azath house itself, as it imprisons all of the above. Or tries to.

Felisin makes it to the center of the camp and proclaims her status as Sha’ik Reborn. She’s struck some sort of deal with the goddess to play the part and still keep her identity as Felisin. Wonder what the rest of the details are.

Icarium goes nuts when facing a Diver’se and the conch shell from the beginning of the story kills it.Mappo knocks Icarium unconscious to spare his life.



Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts

Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 12-15

dhgz This is going to be a bit of a messy post.  For these 4 chapters, I kept a Word Doc open and at the end of each character pov, ran over to the computer and immediately typed in what had happened. It was laborious but the process of note taking helped nail things down.

I have realized that my usual method of reading will not work with this series IF I want to really get a handle on things.  However, I doubt I will be this detail oriented for a couple more books. I am a Short & To The Point kind of reviewer and this series does not lend itself to that at all. So keep your chins up, I am roughly 70% done  🙂

Here is one person’s interpretation of what the Historian Duiker looks like. It definitely works for me!  Also, the Hounds of Shadow are mentioned a lot all throughout the series, so the second picture is just to give them some scale. Brutes!

Thanks to Lashaan for giving me a clue about how to get the pictures to go full sized when clicked.

Now begins the messy notes. Read at your own risk.


Chapter 12

Duiker participates in a raid on a warleader who is canny and bleeding Coltaines army. Turns out the Semk god isn’t totally gone and has possessed one of the semk. The warleader dies but the magician lives. The Malazan army is ragged and bleeding out. They need breathing room.

Kulp and Co, survive the dust storm by going into some caves. Heboric begins to rave but talks about the past. A “First Empire” that tried to ascend their whole city and ended up dying out and drawing the attention of the Tlan Imass because of the ritual. Also hints that the zombie dragon from earlier was a Tlan Imass bonecaster [magician?]. Finally, a number. The First Empire was 9000 years ago.

Kalaam and his little group seem to be lost in the imperial warren. They talk. The end.

Pearl and Lostara pasue their pursuit of Kalaam and help out Coltaine, unbeknownst to them. They attack the Semk to help cover Duiker’s raid. The Apt demon and her little boy show up and attack the Semk possessed magician and rip out the god fragment. Pearl and Lostara continue their pursuit of Kalaam.


Chapter 13

Duiker and Coltaine set out to battle the rogue Fist so that the refugees have a straight shot to Aren.

A bloody battle ensues in which Coltaine shows his tactical genius and slaughters Kamist Reloe’s armies. Reloe is a mage? I thought he was just a Fist. Turns out Reloe was the Fist’s High Mage who got a chance to play at General.

I don’t like Duiker. He doubts they can win, which is normal, but he voices those doubts to all who can hear and saps moral. Then, when his side does win, he does nothing but moan about how much blood was spilt and how many people died. He is the kind of person who gives the worst possible outlook on a situation, no matter the situation. It’s your birthday and you get a cake? Duiker would skewer you with words about starving children in Africa. If a man tried to rape a woman and she pulled out a gun and shot her attacker, Duiker would moan how that man’s life had been snuffed out and all the people affected by his death. And since Duiker is with Coltaine,his sections tend to be longer, so I get more worked up.

Kalaam and Company make it to Aren. Only for Kalaam to leave them and board a boat to meet some stranger who he has never met. Minala begins to follow him on her own. Lostara and Pearl also make it Aren and Yostara is arrested as a Redblade, as all RB’s are wanted for treason.

Here’s a quote from the book. I continue to be very impressed with Erikson’s writing:

Squall Inn claimed to have seen better days, but Kalam suspected it never had. The floor of the main room sagged like an enormous bowl, tilting every wall inward until angled wooden posts were needed to keep them upright.  Rotting food and dead rats had with inert patience migrated to the floor’s centre, creating a mouldering, redolent heap like an offering to some dissolute god.


Chapter 14

Felisin, Kulp and Heboric leave the buried city and come across a diver’se masquerading as a merchant. It eats Kulp, but is interrupted from devouring Felisin and Heboric by Baudin’s return. He never really left it appears. And dies. Boo hoo.

Fid, Crokus, Mappo and Icarium continue their pursuit of Apsalar and her father. Only it becomes apparent that they are following her, not chasing her. Crokus and Fid begin to wonder what it might mean if she is indeed meant to be the whirlwind goddess reborn.

Leoman and a Toblakai [if you were skimming, you’d think his NAME was Toblakai instead of being his race. Erikson is such a rascist! Give the poor guy his own name] are having a crisis of faith until Felisin and Heboric mysteriously appear through a magic gate and Felisin proclaims that she is the Whirlwind reborn. No info given about how she got from where they were after the diver’se attack to here or anything about the gate. Erikson’s a dick.


Chapter 15

There are no dates at the beginning of each chapter. I miss that from GotM. Even if I choose to ignore it, it is nice to look when I so choose. Now I can’t choose. Erikson’s a dick. Sensing a theme here?

Kalaam on a boat. The High Fist has arrested the admiral of the fleet to keep the fleet at Aren. No Claws to gainsay him and no word from Laseen. Pormqual can do as he pleases. And it pleases him to load up boats with his treasures and send them away. Turns out the mysterious stranger is a Sha’ik who knows that Kalaam delivered the book and so is delivering him to Malaz to hopefully skewer Laseen.

Duiker whines, complains and says that Coltaine can’t possibly save them. What a winner!

Felisin, Heboric, Leoman and Toblakia continue their journey and heboric warns Felisin that Leoman will use her as a mouthpiece. The Toblakai uses a wooden sword. I believe we run into him again in later books. We do. His name is Karsa Orlong.

Fid, Crokus, Mappo and Icarium come across a city from the First Empire. Icarium finds a monument that is 94 Thousand years old and it appears to be have been created by him. Time is meaningless at that point. They catch up with Apsalar and her father to find a gate to an Azath house. It will hold the various soletaken and diver’se and keep them from the world.



Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts

Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 9-11

dhgzIn my next post, I’m definitely going to be taking notes on each point of view instead of just on each chapter.  Dragons&Zombies has her post up for these chapters as well. She’s keeping me on my toes so I don’t dilly-dally.

Most books that I have read with multiple pov’s will have each POV as a separate chapter. It might make for a book with a LOT of chapters, but it visually enforces the changes and helps your mind keep the various lines separate.

Erikson has chosen to include multiple pov’s in each chapter and doesn’t make the changes obvious beyond a double space. I’ve mentioned this before, but it really hit home in Chapter 10 when we stick with Duiker for the whole chapter and get a prolonged bit of the story from him.


So here’s the rundown of what’s happened:

(my notes are in block quotes, just in case you couldn’t tell)

Chapter 9:

kalaam hooksup with some malazan survivors and begins the journey to Aren.

Felisin, Heboric, Baudin, Stormy, Gesler and the mage Kulp run into some tlan imass who take care of their mad sorceror problem and then promptly leave them still stuck in the warren.


Chapter 10

Duiker finally connects up with the wickans and the malazan refugees. Coltaine shows his genius, his power and his blood thirstiness in surviving one attack by the combined armies of the Rebellion.

A god is destroyed by the spirits of the land, who are controlled by children with the souls of ancient sorcerers in liege to Coltaine.

The decision is made for the group to head to Aren, the only town still under malazan control. Thus the threads, severed at the beginning of the story, begin to wind together again.


Chapter 11

Kulp opens the warren they are in with the power of a passing undead dragon. The dragon then opens a warren to some place with fire to get rid of the “things” hitching a ride on him. Stormy and Gessler appear to be lost with the boat while Felisin, Heboric, Baudin and Kulp appear in Raraku [the desert].

Baudin is revealed as a body guard for Felisin and she sends him away.

Kalaam is stalking the rebel army, led by a Fist gone rogue. Turns out Kalaam is not only set to kill Laseen, but he and Quick Ben already have a replacement in mind. Plans. Not just a quick revenge. Leaves the plains through the Imperial Warrens, for the city of Aren.

Yostara Yil joins up with a Claw named Pearl, and both are on Kalaam’s trail.

The demon Apt saves a malaz child and has Shadowthrone heal him with one eye, like the demon.


And I know there are pov’s that I’ve missed. Apsalar, Fid, Crokus, Mappo, Icarium and the mad priest Pust.

I’m finding that every word counts. Erikson might be verbose, but it all has a purpose, even if that purpose is several books later. It feels like he’s painting a picture with words but he’s doing different layers at different rates, so we keep getting glimpses of “something” without knowing what the whole is meant to be.

My appreciation for the complexity and pure skill shown has increased in spades. I liked the series before, but now? I’ll be singing it’s praises. At least until I reach the Super Whiny Angst-Fest that is the last 3 books 😀



Here’s a picture of what someone imagines the various races of Malaz to look like. Also gives you some scale.

Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to have you click it and it come up big. It is a big picture. If anyone knows how, please let me know in the comments.


Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts

Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 6-8

dhgzFor Chapter 6, I thought I’d share some quotes just so you can see the kind of writing that Erikson does.


Concerning Beneth, Felisin’s current “owner” at the slave mines.

Uncertainties now plagued his life; like bloodfly larvae they crawled beneath his skin, growing as they gnawed on his flesh


Duiker the exiled historian, returning to the city to see if any Malazans survived the uprising

Every now and then a distant scream sounded from the city’s heart. It was clear that the mutiny’s destructive ferocity had turned on itself. Freedom had been won, at the cost of everything.


Duiker viewed all he saw with a growing numbness. The terrible agony that had been unleashed here seemed to remain coiled in the air, poised, ready to snatch at his sanity. In self-defence, his soul withdrew, deeper, ever deeper. His power to observe remained, however, detached completely from his feelings – the release would come later, the historian well knew; the shaking limbs, the nightmares, the slow scarification of his faith.


Icarium and Mappo find a sailboat in a cave, in the middle of a desert. Said conversation ensues.

‘So, not Iskaral Pust’s craft.’

‘No. Leaving…’

‘Well, either the mule or Servant.’

Mappo nodded. He rubbed his bristled jaw. ‘I’ll grant you a mule in a boat dragging nets through the shoals might be interesting enough to garner a god’s curiosity, sufficient to collect the two for posterity.’


Fiddler, Crokus and Apsalar are in the desert and only Fiddler knows the real reason they are there.

Fiddler growled an oath, pushing away the futility clawing at his thoughts. They would have to find Tremorlor, before the Whirlwind swallowed them whole.


By the end of Chapter 8, I am roughly 1/3 of the way done with this book. Coltaine, the Fist [General] of the Malazan 7th Army, must guide almost 40,000 Malazan civilians across a continent that has suddenly revolted against Malazan rule and has the power of prophecy to bolster their revolt. And yet by this mark in the book, he’s just left his first city and is making a run for it. Things get bloody intense in the chapters to come.

This is what one person envisions Mappo and Icarium looking like:


Mappo on the left, Icarium on the Right

Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts

Deadhouse Gates: Chapters 3-5

dhgz Man, only up to Chapter 5 and I’m already feeling like I’ve lost half the details.

Dragons and Zombies most recent Post does a great job of giving you all the info that has happened. Let me tell you, there is so much packed into these chapters, that I suspect it will take 4 or 5 reads to ever truly wrap my head around all that happened/is going to happen.

So I am just going to write about my reactions to what I’ve read without giving a lot of details about the book.


Character points of view. Instead of sticking to one character, or even one group of characters for each chapter, Erikson stuffs almost everyone into each chapter.  Some have only 2-3 paragraphs while others have most of the chapter. I am reading an old Transworld ebook edition [the original publisher when these were turned into ebooks] and the ocr errors for “C” are cropping up as well as there being no transition between pov’s except for an extra space between paragraphs. I should look at my hardcover to see if there is some visual clue between transition points. If not, that is going to be a major down point in my review.  There are so many storylines going on that my brain needs a clue to switch gears.  And when non-sentient creatures [Moby, a bhoka’rala] get space as well, it’s just a lot to deal with.



I have made the transition to reading this in the way it was written. IE, I don’t get frustrated at ALL the detail now.  I have to wonder, if even 10% was removed, would it make a difference? If it does make a difference, I sure would love to see Erikson’s pages showing how it all connects. I imagine a whole wall covered in names and events with arrows and curlicues going from one to the other and wicked complicated paths of relationship.

The goals of various characters are not monolithic in nature. Everyone is not aiming for the same thing or even trying to accomplish the same thing in the same way. In Star Wars, it was “Destroy the Deathstar by taking out this vent. The End.”  We never saw any discussion or anyone trying anything different. They were ALL focused on that one action. Here, Erikson just throws a handful of “plot sand” into the air and records where it drifts and falls to. I almost want to start a journal just to record things so I can figure out where each grain of sand is going.

Power seems to the end point, the justification, for almost any and everything.  But being powerful doesn’t make you better, it just brings to the forefront your flaws. Instead of being a discipline that pares down the rough edges, magic seems to be a goal that encourages the worst in its adherents to attain. The other thing that bothers me is that so far, the only people who are sure of anything are complete jerks, the kind of people you WANT to fail.



To wrap up, I am enjoying this but realizing just how big a project this is. Hope I don’t get overwhelmed.


Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts

Deadhouse Gates Prologue-Chapter 2


Ok, getting my backside in gear, as Dragons & Zombies has started and blew right off in the first day. So I’m playing catchup here.

Not much to add to DZ’s post. She did a fantastic summing up of what happened in each.

My main thoughts were just how wordy Erikson seemed this time around. Instead of sitting back and letting the words slide over me like jello [now there’s an image for you, right?], I found myself getting impatient for some bit of info to actually be released.  I have a very bad feeling that I’m going to have to make a concerted effort to change my mindset when reading these now.

We come across new characters and some that we’ve met before. Icarium the half jaghut, half something else [do we ever learn what? I have no idea] and his handler, Mappo. I always thought that Icarium would play some larger cataclysmic part, but I can’t remember how things end for him. Almost like he just fades from the story. And while I’m on Icarium. Why is he so powerful? The sorcerers from Gardens of the Moon took out a Jaghut Tyrant, and the Azath House buried it. So why hasn’t Icarium been apprehended and buried?

I also seem to remember that the whole “plot” to take out Laseen is some huge misdirect? Of course, I don’t think we find out for several books, so I might be completely off base. This re-read is going to be seriously messed up, as I remember things from all over the place and never really sure how it all fits together. That actually kind of really peaks my interest.

So there you have it. Confusion and lots of it 😀




Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our various posts:

Bookstooge’s DHG Posts

Dragons & Zombies DHG Posts





Deadhouse Gates Readalong & Updates

dhgz Going to be be doing a Readalong of this book, Deadhouse Gates, book 2 in the series Malazan book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, with Dragons & ZombiesAnd that link will take you to her Intro Post.

I’ll be following her updates and then adding my own and linking everything together.  I’ll also be adding a Deadhouse Gates Readalong tag to each of my posts. She did updates when she was reading Dune that I really enjoyed so I am hoping this turns out fun for both of us as well.  This is a re-read for both of us, so the questions we ask might not be the ones you’d think. Or who knows, maybe they will be.

The edition of DG that I am reading is almost 900 pages long, so I’m going to do updates by chapters. There is a Prologue, 24 Chapters and then an Epilogue. So be prepared for a lot of whining from me and some good info from D&Z.  My posts will be totally spoilerific, so you’ve been warned.