I thought it was strange that the fifth book in a series should only contain one character that had been in any of the prior four books. Loving so many of the characters prevalent in the previous books I wanted to see what they were up to. However, upon completing Midnight Tides I am still in awe with Erikson, his style, substance and the stories that are being weaved. Every title he has written in this series I struggle to comprehend how they get better than the previous books.
The plot is about two local communities and we get a great omnipotent perspective provided mostly as a tale of two families. Sengar (Tiste Edur) & Beddict (The Letherii). The relationships between the brothers on both sides are intriguing. Two races that have not been interpreted to any great degree prior to this book yet I imagine what has happened here is pivotal to the overall consequences of the series.
Some of the scenes are amazing. The Sengar brothers fighting Soltaken wolves to find a requested prize on fields of ice, the meeting of the two factions are the Letherii throne & Kettle finally meeting Silchas Ruin. Additionally, I liked the complexity of Rhulad and his relationship with his servant. (I don’t consider these to be spoilers hence why I put them here 🙂 )
Once again, Gods are in the mix of the action like the Aenied and the Iliad. I believe what makes this series stand out is its originality. I like a lot of fantasy novels but a lot of them are re-jigging Tolkien or what has come before. The world, races, and epic-ness depicted here are astronomical and I truly believe I will not be able to enjoy fantasy books to this degree after this series as I know its quality cannot (or would be highly unlikely that it will) be replicated.
I loved Tehol & Bugg’s relationship. I imagined a sort of Blackadder/ Baldrick scenario with the ‘manservant’ however being cleverer than he made out. Bugg was always too busy to work. Hmmm.