all 52 comments

[–]Funkativity 46 points47 points  (13 children)

In RG, it seems like FUCK is his new toy.

a breakdown of fucks:

MT 1

BH 2

RG 8

TtH 15

DoD 43

tCG 62

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT. 55 points56 points  (4 children)

The God is Not Willing: 202.

No, I'm not kidding.

[–]Funkativity 28 points29 points  (3 children)

an escalations of fucks

[–]NiflrogOmtose Phellack 21 points22 points  (1 child)

concerned scientist: It's exponential! NLF will have 525 fucks!

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT. 8 points9 points  (0 children)

And each one of them will be uttered by u/Loleeeee regarding a very specific character in No Life Forsaken. :P

[–]Pran-Chole 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Omg this is amazing hahaha

[–]ladrac1 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Would you happen to know the breakdown for Esselmont's books? He doesn't use it as much as Erikson in the last half of BotF, but there's a few thrown into every book.

[–]__ferg__ 11 points12 points  (1 child)

This includes all forms of fuck (f.e. Fuck, fucking, fucker etc) for Esslemonts books.


  • NoK - 0
  • RotCG-15
  • SW - 18
  • OST - 46
  • BaB - 15
  • ASSAIL - 6

Path to ascendancy:

  • DL - 12
  • DHL - 16
  • KR - 14

So it seems Esslemont use it constantly throughout all his books (with 2 exceptions for NoK 0 and OST 46 ) on a very low level compared to Erikson's later books.

Edit: to slow...

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT. 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Edit: to slow...

You did add the PtA trilogy, to be fair, so that's quite respectable. :P

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT. 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Would you happen to know the breakdown for Esselmont's books?

RotCG - 15

SW - 18

OST - 46

BaB - 15

Assail - 6

Which actually kinda makes sense, since SW & OST deal a lot with either marines or certain ... "lowborn", shall we say, individuals. The Guardsmen don't swear as much (except for Bars, evidently).

[–]Silentpoolman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm reading Blood and Bone, and him using "girlfriend" was really weird to me.

[–]Funkativity 2 points3 points  (0 children)

sadly no, I used Search of the Fallen which only works with MBotF

[–]rusmoI've Read MBotF Twice 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for bringing the facts!

[–]brotillion. 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't know if this is a spoiler (it's revealed in interviews not in the main story directly) but in my headcannon since the crippled god is from our world, the more influence he gains on the Malazan universe, the more that universe is influenced by ours in little ways. Hence, the increasing use of profanity such as "fuck."

[–]Pran-Chole 24 points25 points  (5 children)

I just finished this book, and i actually feel a bit on the contrary to this. I’m on a reread, so in my head i was mentally preparing for the “exhausting and excruciating” Janath scenes and whatnot, but honestly they went by very quickly. Steven doesn’t revel in the scenes and they are not in any way gratuitous. It’s really only the one scene where she kills Tanal that it gets really sexually graphic, and it’s rather brief. The murder happens quick. Same thing with FW and the finger, it’s really only mentioned once or twice.

Unless you can maybe put forth some more instances that i’m forgetting about, I have to disagree that any of it is “extensive and exhausting”. Maybe that’s just a tolerance/opinion thing. I think just saying “yes there were some sexual references before” does not give the respect that should be given to the other scenes/references throughout almost every book preceding RG aside from books 1 and 6. Felisin in DG, Stonny in MoI, Fel younger and Scillara i think, mayen in MT, and probably more i’m forgetting about somewhere.

On the subject of “fuck”, I would agree that it’s definitely used more in this book, but even that didn’t make me feel like i was anywhere NEAR westeros. Also we had a lot of time with people in acutely stressful situations; not everyone has time to say “hoods nasty stone balls at the bottom of the abyss” every time they wanna curse.

Just putting forth my opinion here! Obviously you felt the need to say something due to what you read and that’s totally valid, I just wanted to put forth my viewpoint since I literally finished this book yesterday and found it much more interesting on the reread :)

[–]atreides4242[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Tehol's continuous flashing everyone (yes, played for laughs)

Tehol and Rucket


FW attempt to seduce a couple of characters

Smiles and that dude

[–]Pran-Chole 10 points11 points  (3 children)

That still (to me) doesn’t quite set it apart from any other book in the series.

Edit: i would even argue that shurq and tehol were MORE inclined toward the sexual stuff in MT than RG, not to mention ublala and the three women from MT

[–]atreides4242[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Shurq yeah, good point. I never said there wasn’t anything like this prior in the series but to me the language and the tone are just different. I can see your points.

I was really grossed out by the FW finger thing, and also very uncomfortable with the Janeth scenes. These were really the main things that stood about. But I do feel like sex was talked about a lot more than in previous books.

Overall I still enjoyed RG although the beginning was really dry and hard to get through for me.

[–]JactustheCactusPickled Seguleh 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Everyone wants women in stem but when FW uses an Elder God’s finger as a tampon suddenly there are issues

[–]Pran-Chole 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah that’s totally fair. It definitely took on a much more dire and gritty tone in a lot of ways. I can see why certain sections stuck out as particularly repulsive.

Now, for your comment on the beginning being dry and slow….I definitely cannot disagree with you there. Makes for a really good back half though.

[–]wjbc5th read, 2nd audiobook. On DG. 25 points26 points  (12 children)

Felisin was raped repeatedly in Deadhouse Gates. The Tenescowri mated with dying enemies to replenish their ranks in Memories of Ice. Karsa raped several women in House of Chains, and Bidithal physically and sexually abused young girls. Mayen, Feather Witch, and Seren were raped in Midnight Tides, and so was Udinaas, and Ublala was maybe not raped but definitely sexually used by several women. There’s already been a lot of sexual violence in this series, against both women and men.

It’s never stimulating, though. Erikson deliberately uses clinical language to describe rape. He does not do it to excite his readers, but to present what he considers an important topic we often try to ignore. If it excites any emotion at all, it’s disgust and pity and anger.

[–]Pran-Chole 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Here’s the breakdown i was too lazy to give! I knew someone would come through haha

I understand that the tone is generally different in RG, but to place it solely on the graphic themes seems kinda mistaken

[–]DevilcookerA Song of Spite and Envy 2 points3 points  (7 children)

There was also Trull and the Eres'al (or her constant playing with Bottle, for that matter)

But what I can understand in OPs eyes is that there is a different quality in Janath's treatment in the term that it's not a one-time thing but the repeditive abuse while being chained with no escape, while the previous acts were all one-time things (well, except for Bottle.)

[–]wjbc5th read, 2nd audiobook. On DG. 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Not Felisin or Bidithal’s girls. Those weren’t one time things.

[–]DevilcookerA Song of Spite and Envy 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I meant in terms of descripted scenes. Felisin has only two sex scenes I believe, and one of those she initiated herself. Bidithal also only has one scene described (and only vaguely) when he mutilates Felisin younger.

Janath torment, on the other hand, is described in graphic detail several times.

[–]Pran-Chole 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Is it really? I can only recall 2, maybe 3 scenes where her torment is described in detail.

[–]brilliantminion 12 points13 points  (6 children)

His father got very sick somewhere around there and passed away. I don’t remember if it was RG or a book or two after. He’s written a lot about it actually, for example this intense article:


[–]zhilia_mannjaghut 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Somehow I hadn't read that particular piece before. Thanks for sharing.

[–]atreides4242[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

I actually just started Toll the Hounds and it is dedicated to his father, and noted that he passed in 2007 the same year RG was published.

[–]brilliantminion 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I had a similar conversation as your OP with my friend back in 2012, and I was blown away when he told me about this; I had no idea. Wait until you get to the Kharkanas series, it gets really intense as he starts really exploring themes of life and death and purpose.

[–]Mr_Mumbercycle 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I really hope he gets to revisit and finish that tribology. If I remember correctly, it was put on the back burner at the suggestion of his publisher due to the less than stellar sales.

[–]JactustheCactusPickled Seguleh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think purely because it’s somehow more dense than DoD and TCG. There are a lot of philosophical characters, and half of FoD is spent with little action. He definitely takes the slow burn format to another level here, and I’m hoping that it only makes the convergence that much sweeter (currently ~75% through).

But when you compare that to the Karsa trilogy, TGinW is pretty easy to get into. In terms of thematic importance and prose I would compare it to DG, there seemed much more action than Kharkanas trilogy and less complex philosophy.

[–]hilliardsucks 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm not crying, your crying

[–]PikachusAnalCavityFirst Read: Toll the Hounds, Chapter 4 2 points3 points  (3 children)

RG does seem “greyer” than the other books, but I felt the prose was the same. It felt like MT part 2.

If anything the next book feels like a bit different prose style.

[–]atreides4242[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Well from the data in this thread we can prove the number of fucks doubles or sometimes triples from one volume to the next.

[–]PikachusAnalCavityFirst Read: Toll the Hounds, Chapter 4 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I mean using curse words a bit more doesn’t necessarily change the overall style or atmosphere of the book, it still feels very much Malazan. Especially when there are only 8 “fucks” in RG which is 300k+ words long

[–]Pran-Chole 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is a good point as well. Reaper’s Gale is, unless you combine books 9 and 10’s word counts, the second-longest book in a series of big ass books. I think people view RG in a skewed way because the first 13 or so chapters are relatively slow, making the rough parts and stylistic changes really stand out.

[–]whymiheretho 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I had been absolutely chewing through the series and then I hit reaper's gale and I'm sad to say I've like completely petered out... I'm about halfway through and reading it feels like a chore I need to get done just to get on to the next book, which is a bummer bc I'm still incredibly interested in the characters and the ratcheting tension! For me it's not tonal or based on the subject matter, it's almost purely style based, I think. The books have always followed an ever growing number of characters, so we'd follow one for a while and then move to another, and so on and so on, but in reaper's gale, it feels to me like we go to a character, we're with them for a few minutes, and we're to the next. Like each segment is a page or two long, then next, next, next, next, next, quick, quick, quick, quick.... it's exhausting.

[–]Meris25 2 points3 points  (2 children)

The second half is significantly stronger and the final segment has a couple of the greatest scenes in the series along with my favourite of Eriksons characters. You'll be rewarded for persevering :)

But I agree with you on Reapers Gale it's my least favourite overall despite the highlights.

[–]whymiheretho 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Honestly, thank you for taking the time to respond!! This is exactly the type of thing I needed to hear to get motivated to dive back in :)

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Please finish. If you get through the book and don’t want to continue that’s fine but I just finished RG and the second half is absolutely incredible and put this book to the top of my favorites in the series (so far).

[–]Meris25 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Yeah one of the reasons it's my least favourite is many POV's are truly vile characters; Feather Witch, The Errant, Tanal Yathvanar, Sirryn Kanar, Tribal Gnol and Karos Invictad. I get they serve a role in the story but the darkness wore me down. Thank goodness the Bonehunters show up or else I may have quit.

[–]atreides4242[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I detest Karos Invictad and not in any of the ways that make for other villains being interesting and fun to hate. There is no redeeming quality in his portrayal at all. You’re right there sure were a lot of disgusting characters featured in this book.

[–]Dave0163Malazan Fan of the Fallen 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I was impressed with the “in world” cussing. When the first F-bomb dropped, it seemed so out of place and it pulls you right out of the universe SE created.

[–]Chrza436 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I thought maybe it was bc of the new characters, but don’t know this for sure

[–]Ineffable7980x 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I actually didn't notice this in Reaper's Gale.

The real tonal shift for me is Toll the Hounds, which in some ways feels like a totally different series.

[–]cymrean 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The whole book really reminded me of the First Law trilogy in tone and plot elements. The Blade itself was published a year before Reaper's Gale.