I'd been wanting to read some of Steven Erikson's stuff for years, eversince I saw a review of Deadhouse Gates in Waterstones (once upon a time in Manchester they had someone who loved fantasy working in their store who made the place seem friendly.) quarterly SF/fantasy magazine. I was lucky enough to mistakenly buy the first volume, Gardens of the Moon instead of Deadhouse Gates first and was hooked. The second book was as good as the first but throws you by taking place in a completely different setting.
I did however have a a little bugbear about the first two books. They were complete stories unto themselves, even to keeping some of the same characters. But they left nagging holes, unanswered questions, that looked too big to even start to be filled in future volumes.
Then I started Meories of Ice and discovered the holes were in fact the gaps in a web that was being drawn skillfully together into a book that once more drew me in and had me actually caring about the characters and their sacrifices, deaths and victories. Theres no heroic fantasy here, rather like James Barclay, the magic is a tool and a plot device in the narrative which focuses upon the characters. This volume concludes, for now I suspect, the story of The Bridgeburners, a worn down military unit in a war seemingly without purpose, whilst leaving other stories taking place in this world part told.
I loved reading it - its one of the few books of late that has drawn me in and not allowed me to put it down. But now I face a quandry. I have the fifth and sixth volumes in front of me, but don't want to read them in case I miss anything in the fourth...
Anyone have a copy of House of Chains they could lend me? :)