Midnight Tides is the fifth book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It was first published in the UK and Canada in March 2004 and in the US in April 2007.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

After decades of internecine warfare, the tribes of the Tiste Edur have at last united under the Warlock King of the Hiroth. There is peace - but it has been exacted at a terrible price: a pact made with a hidden power whose motives are at best suspect, at worst deadly.

To the south, the expansionist kingdom of Lether, eager to fulfil its long-prophesied renaissance as an Empire reborn, has enslaved all its less-civilised neighbours with rapacious hunger. All, that is, save one - the Tiste Edur. And it must be only a matter of time before they too fall - either beneath the suffocating weight of gold, or by slaughter at the edge of a sword. Or so Destiny has decreed.

Yet, as the two sides gather for a pivotal treaty neither truly wants, ancient forces are awakening. For the impending struggle between these two peoples is but a pale reflection of a far more profound, primal battle - a confrontation with the still-raw wound of an old betrayal and the craving for vengeance at its seething heart...

Front matter[edit | edit source]

Dedication[edit | edit source]

To Christopher Porozny

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

Deepest appreciation to the old crew, Rick, Chris and Mark, for the advanced comments on this novel. And to Courtney, Cam and David Keck for their friendship. Thanks as always to Clare and Bowen, to Simon Taylor and his compatriots at Transworld; to Steve Donaldson, Ross and Perry; Peter and Nicky Crowther, Patrick Walsh and Howard Morhaim. And to the staff of Tony's Bar Italia for this, the second novel fuelled by their coffee.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Plot Summary[edit | edit source]

Midnight Tides
Dramatis Personae Prologue
Frozen Blood
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Prows of the Day
Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 11
All That Lies Unseen
Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17
Chapter 18 Chapter 19
Midnight Tides
Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 Chapter 23
Chapter 24 Chapter 25
Epilogue Pagination

Spoiler unsafe

The following summaries contain spoilers
Please access individual chapter summaries via the Chapter infobox

Prologue[edit | edit source]

Book One: Frozen Blood[edit | edit source]


There is a spear of ice, newly thrust into the heart of the land. The soul within it yearns to kill. He who grasps that spear will know death. Again and again, he shall know death.

Hannan Mosag's Vision

Chapter 1[edit | edit source]

Chapter 2[edit | edit source]

Chapter 3[edit | edit source]

Chapter 4[edit | edit source]

Chapter 5[edit | edit source]

Book Two: Prows of the Day[edit | edit source]


We are seized in the age
of our youth
dragged over this road’s stones
spent and burdened
by your desires.
And unshod hoofs clatter beneath bones
to remind us of every
fateful charge
upon the hills you have sown
with frozen seeds
in this dead earth.
Swallowing ground
and grinding bit
we climb into the sky so alone
in our fretted ways
a heaving of limbs
and the iron stars burst from your heels
baffling urgency
warning us of your savage bite.

Destriers (Sons to Fathers)
Fisher kel Tath

Chapter 6[edit | edit source]

Chapter 7[edit | edit source]

Here, Udinaas travels into another metaphysical realm and Feather Witch makes some foreboding prophecies. One of which tells the listeners to 'beware the three brothers".

Chapter 8[edit | edit source]

Chapter 9[edit | edit source]

Chapter 10[edit | edit source]

Chapter 11[edit | edit source]

Book Three: All That Lies Unseen[edit | edit source]


The man who never smiles
Drags his nets through the deep
And we are gathered
To gape in the drowning air
Beneath the buffeting sound
Of his dreaded voice
Speaking of salvation
In the repast of justice done
And fed well on the laden table
Heaped with noble desires
He tells us all this to hone the edge
Of his eternal mercy
Slicing our bellies open
One by one.

In the Kingdom of Meaning Well
Fisher kel Tath

Chapter 12[edit | edit source]

Chapter 13[edit | edit source]

Chapter 14[edit | edit source]

Chapter 15[edit | edit source]

Chapter 16[edit | edit source]

Chapter 17[edit | edit source]

Chapter 18[edit | edit source]

Chapter 19[edit | edit source]

Book Four: Midnight Tides[edit | edit source]


Kin mourn my passing, all love is dust
The pit is cut from the raw, stones piled to the side
Slabs are set upon the banks, the seamed grey wall rises
Possessions laid out to flank my place of rest
All from the village are drawn, beating hides
Keening their grief with streaks in ash
Clawed down their cheeks, wounds on their flesh
The memory of my life is surrendered
In fans of earth from wooden shovels
And were I ghostly here at the edge of the living
Witness to brothers and sisters unveiled by loss
Haunters of despair upon this rich sward
Where ancestors stand sentinel, wrapped in skins
I might settle motionless, eyes closed to dark’s rush
And embrace the spiral pull into indifference
Contemplating at the last, what it is to be pleased
Yet my flesh is warm, the blood neither still in my veins
Nor cold, my breathing joining this wind
That carries these false cries, I am banished
Alone among the crowd and no more to be seen
The stirrings of my life face their turned backs
The shudders of their will, and all love is dust
Where I now walk, to the pleasure of none
Cut raw, the stones piled, the grey wall rising.

Kellun Adara

Chapter 20[edit | edit source]

Chapter 21[edit | edit source]

Chapter 22[edit | edit source]

Chapter 23[edit | edit source]

Chapter 24[edit | edit source]

Chapter 25[edit | edit source]

Epilogue[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • According to Erikson, he wrote part of Midnight Tides on a Psion 7 word processor.[1]
  • Erikson enjoys working on his novels in public places. Midnight Tides was written at Bar Italia in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He also wrote House of Chains and The Bonehunters, as well as the final portion of Memories of Ice, at the same location.[2]
  • Midnight Tides was the most effortless of the Malazan books for Erikson to write. The book "wrote itself, it just came out."[3]

Cover gallery[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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