Ammanas

Malazan

Favorite Malazan Book   9 members have voted

  1. 1. Favorite Malazan Book

    • GotM
      0
    • DG
      0
    • MoI
      2
    • HoC
      0
    • MT
      3
    • Bonehunters
      1
    • RG
      1
    • TtH
      2
    • DoD
      0
    • CG
      0
    • FoD
      0
    • FoL
      0
    • KoK
      0
    • RotCG
      0
    • Stonewielser
      0
    • OST
      0
    • BoB
      0
    • Assail
      0
    • Dancers Lament
      0
    • Deadhouse Landing
      0
    • Kellanved's Reach
      0

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724 posts in this topic

@Ammanas, I finished Orb Scepter Throne a couple of days ago, at points I loved it but overall I think it's just a great book (not epically amazing, like I thought it was going to be). It's my 3rd favorite Novel of the Malazan Empire so far, I think Stonewielder and Return of the Crimson Guard are better books (the rest of my comments are in a spoiler tag below):

Spoiler

I can't help but feel like it could have been a much better book. It was on it's way to being one of my favorite Malazan books (possibly even my third favorite of all), I love Daruhjistan as a setting, I like the retired Bridgeburners at K'rull's bar and was incredibly interested in the perpetual tyrant storyline. The scene where the Tyrant awoke and took out soldier after soldier with the gold mask was chilling, amazing and is probably one of my favorite scenes from all of Malazan! Also the reveal that the T'orrud Cabal were the demonic servants of the tyrant was great. The flashes of pale opalescent dome over majesty hill, the building of the encircling Alabaster stones with magically enhanced linchpins was awesome, the beginning of the descent into the Spawns by Antsy and Company was amazing (ICE's description of the interior of the spawns was awesome, and the Kurald Galain gifted dark sight was great), and the finding out about the Seguleh was immensely satisfying. The bits with the Eldrii on Cant were amazing, and their journey to Dahrujistan was also awesome. The scene where they were running in two perfect columns and flowing like water over the low stone wall was brilliantly described. The buildup of this book was beyond epic, but almost every single story arc whimpered it's way out. The tyrant proved to be all bark and no bite, the Seguleh found out that swords can't fight against devastating air superiority, and Antsy and Co went through the Spawns for what? To meet with the shade of Draconus and for the Bridgeburners to haze Antsy one final time? Was the trip through spawns all so the 13th could get the alabaster mask of the 1st Seguleh back to Darujhistan? The shores of creation were really cool, the journey of enlightment for Tayschren was interesting, as was his assumption of K'Rull old place, but why have Leoman of the flails there? And his combing his mustache like a cat, man that got old.

I realize it's hard to write in the same universe as one of the most talented writers that has ever lived, but having Esselmont attempt to write Kruppe just underscores how amazing Erickson's voice for Kruppe is. Same with Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. Erickson is a very decisive writier, whose greatest fault is a certain pat certitude about all of the positions he takes. Esselmont is the opposite, in simple descriptions he leaves things unnecessarily vague, and it's really just a lack of willingness to commit to one specific view. He's a great writer, but I think this aspect of his writing might be why his endings get so muddled.

The one arc that ended satisfactorily (in my opinion) was Dassem Ultor taking up the mask of the First, and how the stalemate with the Maranth and the Seguleh was resolved because the Maranth still had prior commitments to Dassem in his capacity as First Sword of the Empire. And I really did like finding out what Kruppe's nickname "The Circle-Breaker" actually meant, pretty awesome!

I really liked this book, this might be one that I like more on a re-read, but I was disappointed by how ineffectual the Tyrant was after he was in the fullness of his power. The seguleh were squandered, his magical dome was taken out pretty handily, and he never objected to the scholar Ebbin keeping Leff and Scorch, which seems like a major oversight. I think in a lot of ways Esselmont's writing in this one is better than RoTCG, but the plotting really fell apart at the end.

There were a couple of questions I have about this one though, @Ammanas, what was the bit about Dragnipur you mentioned? I was reading it with that in the back of my mind, but didn't notice anything... Also, what exaclty did Kruppe get from the witch from Maitan to forge the magical tyrant killing quarrel tips? The fact that all of the forge equipment had to be dumped into the bay and that Barathol had to scrub himself repeatedly hints at something kind of nasty byproduct of Kruppe's visitation to the witch, but I wasn't sure exactly what it was.

Also, who were the Cull brothers? They had some interesting descriptions about resisting the effects of magic that were reminiscent of Ambly and Jula Bole from the Trygalle Trade Guild. I don't remember them from any of the Book of the Fallen books, or from the previous Novels of the Malazan empire books, did I just forget them or do they show up in a later book?

Glad to hear to that Blood and Bone is one of your favorite Esselmont books, I'm looking forward to it, but I'm going to be reading the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas before I start it. Just a little bit into Wurms of Blearmouth, but man, I love Erickson's names. I have a suspicion that he wrote the B&K books just so he could really let himself loose with names like Blearmouth, Fangatooth Claw, Spendrugle, Hordilo Stinq, etc, etc.

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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine Your first two questions have the same answer.

Spoiler

The arrows were made from the shards of Dragnipur (which was shattered in Toll the Hounds). Everytime you hear the sound of chains and creaking of wheels (which was mentioned a few times) that is a reference to Dragnipur. They were Dragnipur arrows!

The Culls were from the Iceblood clan in Assail. You should find out more about the powers of people from Assail later

Yeah the Esslemont books sometimes end a little...anticlimacticly. I think with Erikson only House of Chains ever even flirts with that description.

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RAD! Thanks @Ammanas.

I'll have to reread the bit where Kruppe gets them from the witch, and re-read the tyrant's death scene. Very interesting....

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I think there is also a mention of the key words when the forge (if I remember correctly) is thrown into the bay.

@hoiditthroughthegrapevine

Found what I was looking for! At the very top of the page

Screenshot_2019-02-02-17-38-28.png

Edited by Ammanas
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Nice! I'm excited to re-read those bits of OST. Also, I think you're the one that mentioned using Google books to search for quotes if you don't have a searchable ebook. I just have the physical copies of Stormlight Archives, and I have used the Google book search a ton to find specific scenes from SLA books, that was a great tip!

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Just noticed the U.S publication date for Kellanved's Reach has gotten pushed back to April. It is still supposed to come out in February in the United Kingdom. A tough pill to swallow for the U.S. fans, but its not too much of a difference.

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Hmm interesting news. I still don’t understand why my only bookstore BAM(ugh) doesn’t carry ICE.

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9 hours ago, Briar King said:

Hmm interesting news. I still don’t understand why my only bookstore BAM(ugh) doesn’t carry ICE.

That's interesting because my B&N always puts out ICE books before the official release date.  I don't know why it always seems to happen with ICE and not other authors I follow.

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4 hours ago, Who Sharded? said:

That's interesting because my B&N always puts out ICE books before the official release date.  I don't know why it always seems to happen with ICE and not other authors I follow.

ICE is not as popular, so breaking the law to release his stuff early doesn't matter as much ;)

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Question for the malazan audiobook fans: What's your opinion on the Kharkanus narrators? I've heard mixed things for the Forge of Darkness one and bad things about the Fall of Light. It's hard for me to find for myself based on the small sample you can listen to.

I ask because, as some of you may know, I have my problems with the Kharkanus books. Sometimes switching to the audiobooks can really help...but sometimes not. It might be worth it if some of you can vouch for the narrators.

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5 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

Question for the malazan audiobook fans: What's your opinion on the Kharkanus narrators? I've heard mixed things for the Forge of Darkness one and bad things about the Fall of Light. It's hard for me to find for myself based on the small sample you can listen to.

I ask because, as some of you may know, I have my problems with the Kharkanus books. Sometimes switching to the audiobooks can really help...but sometimes not. It might be worth it if some of you can vouch for the narrators.

It's been a year since I've listened, so I can't remember everything. I'll say that FoL felt a little drudgier than FoD, possibly because of the change in narrator. However, what I don't have is a memory of hating it. To my memory the books were enjoyable without blowing my mind.

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Malazan news is kind of slow at the moment, but I had another question that we could discuss: What is the most underrated malazan storyline? Or I suppose another way to look at is what is one storyline that many seem to hate, but you thought was pretty good?

For me its a the Redmask section in Reapers Gale. I understand that people don't like it because it was kind of pointless. It is a side story that got more time spent on it than it warrented. But it incorporated some ideas that would explained more in depth in the following two books. Lots of great battle scenes, various other moments, and a surprising twist at the end.  I'm not saying its my favorite section of the series, but I enjoyed it. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

Malazan news is kind of slow at the moment, but I had another question that we could discuss: What is the most underrated malazan storyline? Or I suppose another way to look at is what is one storyline that many seem to hate, but you thought was pretty good?

For me its a the Redmask section in Reapers Gale. I understand that people don't like it because it was kind of pointless. It is a side story that got more time spent on it than it warrented. But it incorporated some ideas that would explained more in depth in the following two books. Lots of great battle scenes, various other moments, and a surprising twist at the end.  I'm not saying its my favorite section of the series, but I enjoyed it. 

 

After reading Kharkanas, I actually really enjoyed Nimander's story. It made more sense the second time around, and I had more insight into a child growing up with Andarist and Nimander's particular brand of self loathing. He almost reminded me of Rand al'Thor in a way. He was a dark horse, always underestimated, and kind of a secret badass. I want to know more about where his story went after the events in TCG, especially with Silchas Ruin and Korlat.

For an honorable mention, I have to throw in Ganoes Paran. For the master of the deck, we don't see too much of him for a lot of the story, and I get the feeling he's passed over a lot for more powerhouse characters like Karsa, Quickben, and Rake.

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I'd say that my favorite sort of side story is either The Snake or Nimander/Twilight/Shore 

Edit: Basically the entire Tiste Andii subplot from the meeting of Clip with Nimander and Co, to the battle at the shore. 

Edited by AngelEy3
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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine Are you still working on Blood and Bone? Interested in what you think because I loved the first 4/5th but thought he really dropped the ball with the ending. I loved the jungle setting and the Heart of Darkness vibe. I wish there were more fantasy books with a jungle setting.

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Ok, I'm looking into reading Malazan. I'm pretty fine with learning curves, but I can't find a decent description of the content level. Is it more PG/PG-13 or more R?

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39 minutes ago, Wyndlerunner said:

Ok, I'm looking into reading Malazan. I'm pretty fine with learning curves, but I can't find a decent description of the content level. Is it more PG/PG-13 or more R?

I'd give it the R for graphic depictions of violence, rape, and the occasional nod to sexy times. Also, especially as the series progresses, there are plenty of f-bombs.

Welcome to the fold!

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1 minute ago, officiumdefunctorum said:

I'd give it the R for graphic depictions of violence, rape, and the occasional nod to sexy times. Also, especially as the series progresses, there are plenty of f-bombs.

Welcome to the fold!

Well, given the content level, afraid I'm gonna have to pass. Hope y'all continue to enjoy it though.

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I found both authors (Erikson/Esslemont) use of violence, profanity, and graphic content to be handles with more finesse and taste than someone like Joe Abercrombie  (who is also one of my favorite authors) but I cannot dispute what @officiumdefunctorum said. Best of luck finding a new series to read that meets your checklist. You might Raymond E. Feist especially his original trilogy and his Serpentwar series (both set in the same world). 

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2 hours ago, Ammanas said:

I found both authors (Erikson/Esslemont) use of violence, profanity, and graphic content to be handles with more finesse and taste than someone like Joe Abercrombie  (who is also one of my favorite authors) but I cannot dispute what @officiumdefunctorum said. Best of luck finding a new series to read that meets your checklist. You might Raymond E. Feist especially his original trilogy and his Serpentwar series (both set in the same world). 

Agreed on that! I do love the First Law, but it is very much the essence of grit in modern fantasy. I never found Erikson's descriptions of mature content to be wanton, only immersive.

John Gwynne's Faithful and the Fallen may be up your alley as well, @Wyndlerunner

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On 3/3/2019 at 11:25 PM, officiumdefunctorum said:

Agreed on that! I do love the First Law, but it is very much the essence of grit in modern fantasy. I never found Erikson's descriptions of mature content to be wanton, only immersive.

John Gwynne's Faithful and the Fallen may be up your alley as well, @Wyndlerunner

Thanks, I'm looking into it. Sounds good so far. (now just to wait on my library to pick up a copy of the first book)

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So, any news on the Karsa book by Erikson? I only know from his Facebook that he's hard at work hating on Star Trek: Discovery. 

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24 minutes ago, TheOrlionThatComesBefore said:

So, any news on the Karsa book by Erikson? I only know from his Facebook that he's hard at work hating on Star Trek: Discovery. 

Not since the release date came out, which is still listed as November on MacMillan's page.

Kellanved's Reach got pushed back to April, though, which is annoying.

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Posted (edited)

Erikson posted on Facebook recently that the November release date on amazon was completely made up and will not be happening. When Erikson was writing the ten book series he was putting in approximately 8 hours a day writing so that the books came out roughly one year from one another; those days are long gone. He seems to be taking more relaxed approach to writing (I have no problems whatsoever with it either) and all we know is that the author thinks it is coming along well. 

Edited by Ammanas
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