Rating: 4 out of 5
The second book of a trilogy, and the weird adventures of Dancer and Wu—who is shortly going to gain a new name—continue. I was a greater fan of the activities taking place on Malaz than elsewhere, as the intrepid duo are quite difficult to follow through all of their twists and turns. Nevertheless, continuing on with the second book after the first allowed for many a plot line to work better for me.
The plot moves along nicely with the duo starting out in Malaz City, alone, and ending the book in different circumstances. The action in Malaz also focusses on a number of other characters—some of whom will be familiar to readers of other Malazan books. Further, the introductions made here are quite relevant for additional backstories to characters who pass through the main Malazan saga.
What I like less and less in these books is the fairly tangential nature the gods are described in. They are never really properly explained—at least not in the same way that they are in the main books—and thereby look very random in the story. I appreciate that this is due to the complex nature of the series and the universe, but I feel that more effort could have been make them understandable for the reader.
Overall, I’m happy I continued on with the series just after reading the first one. I’ll also take up the third one (again) to appreciate the story that much better.