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Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011






OneSizeFitsAll posted:

I'm re-reading them in the form of reading them to my wife at the moment. We're a little through Deadhouse Gates at the moment (having previously reached Midnight Tides together but tailed off due to kids selfishly deciding to be born). Erikson is often banging on in interviews about how he wrote the books with re-reads in mind, but it does show.

Maybe he should've made his books shorter then. It took me half a year to read the six last novels.

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Canuckistan
Jan 14, 2004

I'm the greatest thing since World War III.







Soiled Meat

siggy2021 posted:

I'm through the first few chapters of House of Chains and dear God the realization that When Karsa and Torvald are on the boat in that Warren with the Tiste Edur it's the same boat from the second book, some 1500 pages of text ago, and in seeing what actually happened was incredible. Or at least I'm assuming that is the case, my memory might be fuzzy.

Also a quick question about timelines, spoiling just in case

Does this whole book actually take place after book 2, or does it start around the same time, but the time jumps eventually make it go past? It seems like the latter so far unless I'm wildly misinterpreting things.

No spoiler needed since the answer is in the OP



1. Gardens of the Moon
2. Deadhouse Gates
3. Memories of Ice
4. House of Chains
5. Midnight Tides
6. The Bonehunters
7. Reaper's Gale
8. Toll the Hounds
9. Dust of Dreams
10. The Crippled God

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

Canuckistan posted:

No spoiler needed since the answer is in the OP



1. Gardens of the Moon
2. Deadhouse Gates
3. Memories of Ice
4. House of Chains
5. Midnight Tides
6. The Bonehunters
7. Reaper's Gale
8. Toll the Hounds
9. Dust of Dreams
10. The Crippled God
The extended Karsa prologue of HoC happens well before the rest of the book, though, and before Book 2 for sure - and that's what siggy was asking.

e: Also it bothers me that ICE Book 1 (Night of Knives) is put alongside GotM in this chart when it's significantly before it.

Also Malazan in general has a very "lol what even is a timeline" approach to its narrative.

dwarf74 fucked around with this message at 14:06 on Dec 1, 2020

siggy2021
Mar 8, 2010


dwarf74 posted:

The extended Karsa prologue of HoC happens well before the rest of the book, though, and before Book 2 for sure - and that's what siggy was asking.

e: Also it bothers me that ICE Book 1 (Night of Knives) is put alongside GotM in this chart when it's significantly before it.

Also Malazan in general has a very "lol what even is a timeline" approach to its narrative.

Yup, that was exactly it. I kind of figured it out for sure when they kept mentioning the rumors of an upcoming rebellion in the
Otataral Mines.


Honestly that chart looks very memey so I was taking it with a grain of salt.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



dwarf74 posted:

Also Malazan in general has a very "lol what even is a timeline" approach to its narrative.

Some of Deadsmells reminiscences about his dad and wars absolutely do not match up with any of the timelines. Unless we go with the Path to Ascendancy implicaiton that the empire is only 25 years old

I'm surprised there aren't any bits in the narrative where Erikson tells us off for expecting the timelines to line up perfectly (like he does several times with characters who loudly announce "stop trying to draw a map of warrens you dicks!"). There's kind of that bit with the Nerek godess who might be her own mother or grandmother and Broody Beddict just shrugs and says that myths don't have to be accurate.

OneSizeFitsAll
Sep 13, 2010

Du bist mein Sofa


Alhazred posted:

Maybe he should've made his books shorter then. It took me half a year to read the six last novels.

Can't argue with this. Took me loving years, but then again I do like a cheeky spliff of an evening and these are the last books you want to be reading while stoned.

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011






Canuckistan posted:

No spoiler needed since the answer is in the OP


1. Gardens of the Moon
2. Deadhouse Gates
3. Memories of Ice
4. House of Chains
5. Midnight Tides
6. The Bonehunters
7. Reaper's Gale
8. Toll the Hounds
9. Dust of Dreams
10. The Crippled God

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

Strom Cuzewon posted:

Some of Deadsmells reminiscences about his dad and wars absolutely do not match up with any of the timelines. Unless we go with the Path to Ascendancy implicaiton that the empire is only 25 years old

I'm surprised there aren't any bits in the narrative where Erikson tells us off for expecting the timelines to line up perfectly (like he does several times with characters who loudly announce "stop trying to draw a map of warrens you dicks!"). There's kind of that bit with the Nerek godess who might be her own mother or grandmother and Broody Beddict just shrugs and says that myths don't have to be accurate.
Yeah I don't think any of that would account for Young Harllo being five years old in TtH.

I think Erikson just kinda sucks at keeping track of timelines between novels and also timelines within novels. You're good if you're looking at before vs. after most of the time, but the moment you attach a number to it...

Or, that is to say, 'something something warrens something.'

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
Probation
Can't post for 5 hours!


Strom Cuzewon posted:

Some of Deadsmells reminiscences about his dad and wars absolutely do not match up with any of the timelines. Unless we go with the Path to Ascendancy implicaiton that the empire is only 25 years old

I'm surprised there aren't any bits in the narrative where Erikson tells us off for expecting the timelines to line up perfectly (like he does several times with characters who loudly announce "stop trying to draw a map of warrens you dicks!"). There's kind of that bit with the Nerek godess who might be her own mother or grandmother and Broody Beddict just shrugs and says that myths don't have to be accurate.

Yes Erikson seems to intentionally gently caress with people who nerd out of the details instead of the message or narrative.

If you take everyone in-book as reliable then nothing makes sense. Of course, nobody is reliable.

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


He also doesn't read his books once they're finished.
So it's not really surprising he gets some details wrong.

Ethiser
Dec 31, 2011



I like to assume the whole series is the Crippled Godís fan fiction so it makes since that time doesnít flow consistently between events.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



Jaxyon posted:

If you take everyone in-book as reliable then nothing makes sense. Of course, nobody is reliable.

It does kinda wind me up that nobody is reliable, but everybody speaks with the utmost certainty and authority. I'd love it if the untrustworthy nature of narrative was dragged to the surface even more, a la Toll the Hounds.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
Probation
Can't post for 5 hours!


kingturnip posted:

He also doesn't read his books once they're finished.
So it's not really surprising he gets some details wrong.

Strom Cuzewon posted:

It does kinda wind me up that nobody is reliable, but everybody speaks with the utmost certainty and authority. I'd love it if the untrustworthy nature of narrative was dragged to the surface even more, a la Toll the Hounds.

I think that his writing conceit of "this is mythology handed down, everybody is larger than life, an absolute and impressive authority, and maybe completely wrong and lying" is both cool, and lazy. He doesn't want to do the Tolkien obsessive history and language or the Sanderson "every magic thing is scientifically consistent" thing, probabaly because that's a lot of work.

But it also aligns with his anthropology/archaeology background as far as things being vague, inconsistent and people saying things with absolute authority that are probably lies.

Ethiser posted:

I like to assume the whole series is the Crippled God’s fan fiction so it makes since that time doesn’t flow consistently between events.

Yeah that also coinsides with "actually Kruppe, Tehol, Quick Ben, Shadowthrone and Rake are all intricately subtle super-geniuses that managed to control thousands of events to go exactly the way they wanted them to". I mean sure, guy, sure they were.

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


quote:

Cutter stood frozen in place. The Hounds.
They're here.

Arguably my favourite two sentences in the whole series. Mostly for what comes afterwards.

That said, every scene in this book with Shadowthrone is great.

"Who will be the weak link?"
"Well, you of course."
"Well yes, but other than me?"

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



kingturnip posted:

Arguably my favourite two sentences in the whole series. Mostly for what comes afterwards.

That said, every scene in this book with Shadowthrone is great.

"Who will be the weak link?"
"Well, you of course."
"Well yes, but other than me?"

Best line is in the climax of Bonehunters:

"Not destriant.

Shield Anvil
"

It's this big emotional climactic realisation, and its 75% made up fantasy nonsense. I love it.

OneSizeFitsAll
Sep 13, 2010

Du bist mein Sofa


Did it strike anyone else as a bit weird how (spoilers just in case)

Laseen dies in one of the non-main books (RotCG), and her death is almost glossed over in the main series thereafter. Sure, Rel is obviously Emperor, but there's no reference to what happened to Laseen, so people who are only reading Erikson's books must feel a little confused compared to those who, like me, read both his and ICE's books in publication order. I know ICE is obviously a co-creator of the world and his books are non-trivial in the overall context, but it still seems odd that someone could read just the mainline series and have the death of such a pivotal character in the world not referenced, even in passing. Just wondering how this came across to people in that category.

OneSizeFitsAll fucked around with this message at 13:19 on Dec 24, 2020

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


OneSizeFitsAll posted:

Did it strike anyone else as a bit weird how (spoilers just in case)

Laseen dies in one of the non-main books (RotCG), and her death is almost glossed over in the main series thereafter. Sure, Rel is obviously Emperor, but there's no reference to what happened to Laseen, so people who are only reading Erikson's books must feel a little confused compared to those who, like me, read both his and ICE's books in publication order. I know ICE is obviously a co-creator of the world and his books are non-trivial in the overall context, but it still seems odd that someone could read just the mainline series and have the death of such a pivotal character in the world not referenced, even in passing. Just wondering how this came across to people in that category.

On first read, yes. But then, I realised
Laseen is a massive fuckup and there's not much that happens that's directly linked to what she does. (Most of her major decisions - as they appear in the first book - are retconned away by the time of The Bonehunters.)
She's a hereditary monarch who thinks that there's some sort of divine provenance to her bloodline, despite her predecessor being some desert hobo who can barely remember what day it is and she's too invested in the legend of her own life to notice that everything she does is a loving mess. She creates this all-powerful cabal of assassin mages, but they're so invested in protecting her that they can't spot any external threats. She follows Kellanved's tactic of exterminating noble families in a city she takes over, without realising why he did it (hint: Hellian got it).

Laseen got utterly outplayed by Mallick Rel, so the fact her death happens off-screen is very apt. The main disappointment I have is that I didn't get a scene of Mael/Torvald Nom/Kalam shoving something uncomfortable so far down Rel's throat that his entire abdomen explodes in slow-motion.

Mallick Rel is also a fuckwit, but he at least had the sense to work out how to bind an Elder God to his will before he started being a massive oval office.

Canuckistan
Jan 14, 2004

I'm the greatest thing since World War III.







Soiled Meat

My wife got me a personalized signed Gardens of the Moon for Xmas. Erikson wished me a merry Christmas!

neurotech
Apr 22, 2004

Deep in my dreams and I still hear her callin'
If you're alone, I'll come home.



I started House of Chains tonight. I am loving it so far. Eriksonís prose is just so nice to read. I canít wait to read more - Iím only up to chapter 2!

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

I just started Dust of Dreams again, which was the one I stalled out on however many years ago about 100 pages in. Having now re-read every book leading up to it during quarantine I think what bugged me about Reaper's Gale this time through is how transitory it is. It's a mess of trying to resolve character conflicts from previous novels (its strange how few scenes Rhulad, his parents and the Warlock King are actually in considering their prominence in Midnight Tides) setting up characters who don't do anything until later novels (the Tiste Andii refugees, the K'Chain Che'malle), having a lot of POV characters who mostly just watch things happen (like, half of the new Letherii characters), and making some baffling choices like completely stopping Redmask's POV after Toc shows up, Tool out of nowhere, etc. It's not exactly a bad book, none of them are, but Hellian, Tehol, Bugg and Beak do a lot of heavy lifting in the second half.

Conversely, I think I appreciated Toll the Hounds much more this time as both a nearly direct sequel to the first and third novels as well as a fairly self-contained story in its own right that wraps up most of its loose ends. I forgot how great Kallor's POV chapters are, how well it fleshes out a few characters that don't get much to do in the first novel (Murillio, Challice, etc) and how likable Nimander/etc are after his dire sections in RG, how funny all the Noms are, Cutter cutting down Gorlas in seconds, etc etc etc. It's just all so good.

I assume DOD will be just as transitory as RG was considering the book opens with Erikson straight-up saying "yo this doesn't have an ending read the next one for that ok bye" but at the very least I'm already invested because I read the other books so recently I can actually remember the deal with Kisswhere, Skulldeath, Sinn, etc. this time around. Wish me luck!

dishwasherlove
Nov 26, 2007

The ultimate fusion of man and machine.



The last two books are basically one long novel. DoD is weak because of that, but the payoff is there eventually.

neurotech
Apr 22, 2004

Deep in my dreams and I still hear her callin'
If you're alone, I'll come home.



House of Chains question:

Obviously Torvald Nom is related to Rallick Nom, but I donít remember what Rallick did in the previous books. Itís been a while since I read them.

Can someone give me a tldr of Rallick Nomís story up to the point where Iím at? (Currently up to the start of book 2 of HoC)

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
Probation
Can't post for 5 hours!


neurotech posted:

House of Chains question:

Obviously Torvald Nom is related to Rallick Nom, but I donít remember what Rallick did in the previous books. Itís been a while since I read them.

Can someone give me a tldr of Rallick Nomís story up to the point where Iím at? (Currently up to the start of book 2 of HoC)


Assassin who eschews magic ironically hooks up with extremely magical assassin queen and sleeps off a hell of a party in the local azath house

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

I'm in the home stretch on Dust of Dreams and I knew something horrible would happen to Hetan based on half-rememebered spoilers from forever ago and I think I can see what he's going for but its probably one of the only part of the series so far that is legitimately hard to get through because of how miserable and senseless it is. I feel like the scenes with the Khundryl Burned Tears are supposed to kind of show the flipside; the Barghast having monstrous practices subverting the noble savage trope but then the moments where he shows the raw humanity of Warleader Gall of the Khundryl as he mourns the death of a young man his son knew and reconnects with his estranged wife is genuinely moving...except it happens before the Barghast scenes, so instead of reinforcing the idea that good people could still live and thrive in a tribal warrior society it basically shits on the idea that they're anything but beasts. Its a really weird way to go with it, though admittedly I have about 200ish pages left so maybe it comes back around in a less miserable way but it's hard to see how a permanently traumatized Hetan freezing to death and her brother and the only two other people who give a poo poo dying by mischance could turn around. Also I know that this book is explicitly going to be bereft of a lot of conclusions but in a way I hope they don't come back to the Barghast just because of how ugly and drawn out it has been so far.

It also highlights one niggling thing I've noticed on this re-read, which is a tendency to do some abrupt retcons. Like at the end of Memories of Ice when Toc is reborn in Anaster's body to lead the Tenescowri, this just leads into Reaper's Gale where everyone except Toc dies offscreen just before the book starts, Toc spends most of it saying how dumb it was that he was reborn in Anaster's body and refusing to fight and then he dies again. That same book then sets up a weird justification for Tool to be anywhere near Lether and shows him as a proud and powerful war chief with his even more powerful sister at his side, only to come back in DoD to go just kidding, he's a totally ineffectual leader and his sister left and he makes every bad choice and he and his entire family die horribly. Whoops! I think this time it felt a little more egregious because while it feels like a similar 'just kidding everyone died this character is reset' move instead of happening between books we spend a huge chunk of this one just ...waiting for it to happen.

OneSizeFitsAll
Sep 13, 2010

Du bist mein Sofa


On Dust of Dreams events:

I knew when reading it something was coming up, because I was also reading bits of the Re-read of the Fallen, and there were constant references to "the event" in the comments - it was plain that something divisive that affected lots of readers was on its way and yes, when I got there it was a horrible passage with some absolutely senselessly brutal behaviour, but worst thing in the books so far? I'm reading Chain of Dogs to my wife at the moment and to my mind events in that are worse: Duiker and to a lesser extent Kalam constantly encountering scenes where women and children have been raped, tortured in horrible ways and killed... there's one scene where women had been raped then strangled with their own entrails and babies put on spits; another where children have been crucified. Yet more scenes showing the aftermath of the rape, torture and death of children pop up throughout the book.

I mean the obvious crucial difference is that these tend to be snapshots after the fact, maybe a paragraph of description at most, whereas the stuff with Hetan in DoD is rather more drawn out and happens in real time, but to me the images described above, perhaps along with the Bidithal circumcision poo poo from HoC, are still more upsetting than the hobbling.

It's just as well Erikson is adept at including humour to balance this kind of stuff, because there's a lot of seriously grim stuff throughout the series.

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


Wolfsheim posted:

Barghast stuff

The Barghast loving off back to Lether is set up way back in Memories of Ice, when Hetan and her brother dig out their canoes from under Capustan. Lether isn't explicitly named at the time, but they discuss that they migrated to Genabackis from somewhere else centuries ago, although my mind is drawing a blank on why. Their shaman all seem to think that rowing back across the ocean is a good idea, so I guess that's what they decide to do.

As for Tool , there's a little bit at the end of Reaper's Gale - just before they annihilate the Letheri army, after Toc dies - where Kilava/Hetan says to Tool "You need to go and massacre some people to show these Barghast that you deserve to rule them". There's nothing in the time we spend with Tool before or after that to suggest he's someone who'd enjoy doing that. He took on the role as warleader because someone needed to after Old Whatshisface died, but the Barghast hate outsiders and he was never going to last long in a culture where being the nastiest piece of poo poo is how you get to the top. {I cheered when Draconus killed them all with his completely pointless show of power/dick-waving.) I don't think Tool was proud to lead them, I think he tolerated it for Hetan; he'd have been happy just finding somewhere to settle down with Hetan and the kids (you could say that his dreams of being happy were reduced to dust).

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004


I think it's just "their gods told them to"

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

OneSizeFitsAll posted:

On Dust of Dreams events:

I think you're right that the key is having to live both the horror of the victims and the glee of the torturers as it's happening that make it just that much harder to get through. I think the only comparable instance that stuck out to me was in The Bonehunters when the Tiste Edur describing how they tortured and murdered an entire island of people just to incite the Malazans to go after them.

Eh, I'm close to the end of the book anyway, but that whole sequence just felt...unnecessary to everything else going on. Like, much in the same way that we never see what came of the city of Pale or returned to Aren, I would've been totally okay just never bringing the Barghast back into the story again, you know?

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
Probation
Can't post for 5 hours!


The thing with Malazan is that while the author handles seriously grim things with the philosophical and emotional weight they deserve, many times.....others, it just feels like he's added stuff in to be relentlessly grimdark. Like he handles rape fairly well for a male author, and then includes just so much of it. It's tiring and unnecessary.

denimgorilla
Jan 24, 2008

Like an arrow, I was only passing through.

Jaxyon posted:

The thing with Malazan is that while the author handles seriously grim things with the philosophical and emotional weight they deserve, many times.....others, it just feels like he's added stuff in to be relentlessly grimdark. Like he handles rape fairly well for a male author, and then includes just so much of it. It's tiring and unnecessary.

Itís definitely one of the less appealing aspects of the series but I also donít think he wallows too long in it (except for THE SCENE) and just tries to present it as a harsh reality. I like to skim past those parts but I donít view them as glorification either.

dishwasherlove
Nov 26, 2007

The ultimate fusion of man and machine.



I think so much of his world is rooted (no pun) in archaeology and ancient history that rape unfortunately just goes with the territory.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
Probation
Can't post for 5 hours!


dishwasherlove posted:

I think so much of his world is rooted (no pun) in archaeology and ancient history that rape unfortunately just goes with the territory.

I know some archaeologists who don't constantly talk about rape so I have no idea what your experience is with them but it sounds traumatic.

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004


I have an archaeologist roommate and mostly he just talks about everyone hates it when he shows up at construction sites

Spermy Smurf
Jul 2, 2004


pile of brown posted:

I have an archaeologist roommate and mostly he just talks about everyone hates it when he shows up at construction sites

Is it because of the raping he does?

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004


From what he says, no.

It's more about how if he shows up there are likely sensitive sites that cannot be disturbed before years of educated excavation.

Daric
Dec 23, 2007

Shawn:
Do you really want to know my process?

Lassiter:
Absolutely.

Shawn:
Well it starts with a holla! and ends with a Creamsicle.


I read the original series as they were releasing but I never ready any of ICE's books. I just started Night of Knives and, while I'm glad to be back in the Malazan world, there's just so much extraneous description of everything that it's hard to read at points. Does he get any better over the next few books?

dishwasherlove
Nov 26, 2007

The ultimate fusion of man and machine.



OK, indeed most archaeologists aren't crazed rapists I conceed the point.

Gravity Cant Apple
Jun 25, 2011

guys its just like if you had an apple with a straw n you poked the apple though wit it n a pebbl hadnt dropped through itd stop straw insid the apple because gravity cant apple


Daric posted:

I read the original series as they were releasing but I never ready any of ICE's books. I just started Night of Knives and, while I'm glad to be back in the Malazan world, there's just so much extraneous description of everything that it's hard to read at points. Does he get any better over the next few books?

Not in the Malazan Empire series. Path to Ascendancy is better because it's more focused, but you're in for a slog if you're already annoyed by Night of Knives, the least sprawling of them.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



Gravity Cant Apple posted:

Not in the Malazan Empire series. Path to Ascendancy is better because it's more focused, but you're in for a slog if you're already annoyed by Night of Knives, the least sprawling of them.

Night of Knives is at least a good predictor of his writing style - the plot literally occurs in the room next door to the protagonist

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Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
Probation
Can't post for 5 hours!


Daric posted:

I read the original series as they were releasing but I never ready any of ICE's books. I just started Night of Knives and, while I'm glad to be back in the Malazan world, there's just so much extraneous description of everything that it's hard to read at points. Does he get any better over the next few books?

Not really.

He's simply not as good a writer. The most recent trilogy was readable, but the main appeal is getting to read about characters that aren't really covered in the main MBotF series.

Iron Bars is better in his cameo in MT than he is with an entire book.

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