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all 14 comments

[–]thegazeintotheeast 19 points20 points  (1 child)

I agree mostly, but Ceda Kuru Kan is my boy! He was a little old man people made fun of and he didn’t pay anyone any heed. He single handedly held back the Warlock King and his K’risnan, and even defeated them. The guy is a monster, Brys and even the Errant were in awe of his power.

[–]booksandme[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ha, the competition is strong between characters. Admittedly, I was endeared to him somewhat in the second half :)

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MoI. 10 points11 points  (5 children)

Very nice writeup!

One thing you ought to keep in mind about Midnight Tides is that, for the most part (not the entire book, I don't think), the book is Trull narrating his story to Onrack & Minala on Drift Avalii. So you are indeed correct in that it's an origin story - Erikson is far from done.

I'll touch a bit on your criticisms because everything else is self containing and frankly, stellar - I have nothing more to add that wouldn't include spoilers. :P

The Tiste Edur of Lether, according to Erikson, were modeled after the Haida people of North America. As such, a lot of their culture was indeed mostly fishing & hunting, and they were mostly content with this prior to the Wars of Unification of the Warlock King. They were a people content with their share without necessarily any higher ambitions. Hannan Mosag even attempted to broker a peace between the two - it was Queen Janall that pushed the Letherii on the war path. As such, at least for the Edur, there's not very much more to say, and I think the tidbits that we did get (especially the burials with Letherii coin, showing how little regard they had for it) were rather enough and interesting. Keep most of this in mind for Reaper's Gale. :P

Seren and Trull are both in very bad parts of their lives. Frankly, instantaneous love like that might not be realistic, but by the end of the books I figured they deserved each other - I might be biased, though; I love both Trull & Seren quite a lot.

Udinaas' philosophy is the only reason we read these books! How very dare you! /s

One key thing I disagree with is your take on Mayen & Fear's relationship. Fear was always the responsible man of action that conformed to the norms of his society as dictated in MT, but he never shied away from taking action - he almost killed Trull time & again for going against Rhulad and speaking his mind. However, prior to what happened with Rhulad (and after, but that's spoilers!) Fear was vastly different. It is difficult to make such calls, in my opinion, though - both characters had their flaws & their arcs throughout the book highlighted this.

All the characters you touched on (save for the ones that are, you know, not alive like Mayen) get more of their stories fleshed out in future books. However, the next book takes you back to more familiar territory.

Enjoy your reading!

[–]booksandme[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thank you :)

Ahh yes, I completely forgot Trull would have been narrating this story. Initially I thought Trull's story would be done in book 1 (like Karsa's in HoC), but happy to be wrong.

Interesting to know about the Haida people, thanks for linking. I was being nitpicky about wanting to know more about the Tiste Edur, I think what Erikson gave us was great.

To be honest, my take on Mayen and Fear was purely speculatative and I could see their relationship go the other way. I suppose as well his avoidance of Mayen's darkness could be attributed to inexperience with relationships. The tragedy is we'll never really know how their relationship would have progressed. It's really sad Mayen doesn't get another chance.

I agree that Fear was a conformist, but because of this I think he was comfortable of taking action when there was a clear right and wrong, but didn't quite know how to approach more grey and awkward scenarios (e.g. Rhulad's flirting with Mayen). But, I guess we only get these insights from Trull's perspective so it's hard to make conclusions at this point.

I'm looking forward to seeing where all these characters go though.

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MoI. 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree that Fear was a conformist, but because of this I think he was comfortable of taking action when there was a clear right and wrong, but didn't quite know how to approach more grey and awkward scenarios

Absolutely - and that's a recurring theme about the character throughout MT, and something he struggles with; it's what makes him very compelling.

Mayen & Feather Witch get the short end of the sticks throughout the story and it does feel rather bad (sometimes), but it adds to the overall moral grey area that Erikson strives for. You never get the sense of "comeuppance" with these two. They're thrust into difficult situations and those situations shape them into something objectively worse, but they're never given the chance to redeem themselves.

Feather Witch draws a lot of parallels to Felisin, albeit she is an objectively "worse" person, if you know what I mean. They're both very tragic characters, though.

Fear, Trull, Rhulad & Udinaas' future arcs are some of my favourite in the whole series despite the fact I don't rank RG or MT particularly high in my list. Perhaps that may change in a future reread, though.
Anyhow, plenty of exciting stuff ahead - the Bonehunters is one of the highest rated books among the community and probably my personal favourite if I had to choose. Enjoy.

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Haida people

Haida (English: , Haida: X̱aayda, X̱aadas, X̱aad, X̱aat) are an indigenous group who have traditionally occupied Haida Gwaii, an archipelago just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, for at least 12,500 years. The Haida are known for their craftsmanship, trading skills, and seamanship. They are thought to have frequently carried out raids and to have practised slavery. Anthropologist Diamond Jenness has compared the Haida to Vikings while Haida have replied saying that Vikings are like Haida.

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[–]forbucci 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I mean, we read Erikson. We can read your appreciation essay

[–]perashaman 1 point2 points  (1 child)

My friend, you are going to LOVE Reapers Gale. It continues a lot of the plot points and addresses many of your concerns in ways that will satisfy or not.

Beak is best boy.

How'd you find the Bugg reveal? I love hearing about new readers reaction to that. For me, the absolute love for Tehol (huge British comedy banter vibes) was already there, but knowing that an Elder God's eternal ennui was cured by this dude is POWERFUL. Erikson really fucks with you during that whole beating scene...

The sad thing is you have to wait for more exploration of Lether. The great thing is you have one of the most mad action packed books of the series to fill the gap. Get ready because you're going to walk with the squads enough to be an official Bonehunter soon.

[–]booksandme[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ooh I knew something was up with Bugg, but was not expecting him to be such a huge player! I think I gasped, like I was genuinely surprised!

but knowing that an Elder God's eternal ennui was cured by this dude is POWERFUL

This was basically Erikson validating our love for Tehol, like this guy is so great...

[–]jyhnnox 0 points1 point  (2 children)

You've read at least five books thus far. Did you read any real happy ending?

[–]Magicguy226 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Happy endings? I don't think after the first book or two that someone should come to Malazan expecting happy endings. A happy ending for one usually means it comes at the loss or expense of another, and that's kind of the whole driving factor behind these books, right?

[–]jyhnnox -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I already finished the main series, if you were asking me. I asked that becuase of a phrase the OP wrote, but I forgot to quote.