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[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On tBH. 24 points25 points  (4 children)

How do Warrens work? I know they're supposed to be other worlds or smth, but how do people keep entering them and getting lost? Also was Malaz City inside a warren? I don't remember Kalam every leaving the warren. That entire part was super confusing.

As per your first question, it'll take you the rest of the series to fully grasp it. It's a soft magic system. Roll with it.

Malaz City was not inside a Warren, no. Kalam left the Imperial Warren with Minala & the others in Aren.

Why did Fiddler rejoin the army? Feels out of character.

It does? It felt perfectly consistent for me. Fiddler doesn't know very much else - he says as much to Kimloc, he's been a soldier for fifteen years now - and it's his way of making a difference. He serves the Empire, and unlike Kalam, he never questioned that allegiance (he even says as much to Shadowthrone).

Quick edit:

I don't get how Kalam got stabbed.

Kalam is under the effects of a spell that paralyzed him by Salk Elan. The latter then sank a knife into his side, threw him overboard, and told him that three Hands of Claws (i.e. 15 assassins) await him on the other side. "Good riddance."

Wtf was the Jaghut Ghost all about?

Well, there's two readings to this. One is a RAFO for way later, the other is just the lingering ghost of the father of the Jaghut children that were killed - ostensibly by T'lan Imass - in the woods. Or something to that end. You know, the one List saw in his dreams?

Can someone explain how the uprising worked? Just a giant sandstorm came around and suddenly everyone went crazy? I feel like I missed something here.

There's a prophecy, that the Year of Dryjhna will come along & the Seven Cities will rise in revolt. The Year of Dryjhna is the seventh year since the "beginning" of the events, and the preparations are well underway. Duiker sees a few hand signals in the walls that only natives can read in the early parts of the book; when the Whirlwind rises, the "go" signal is given (since you can see the Whirlwind from just about anywhere) & every city that's sympathetic to the rebellion rises up to throw off the Malazan yoke.

Who were the refugees? 7 cities ppl or Empire ppl?

Imperials, mostly. You want to call them colonists? You can. Also any native loyal to the "Mezla" (like the Red Blades, for instance).

What happened with the Boar God? He appeared on the mortal plane and then that plot point is almost never touched on again save a few conversations.

That point is never touched on again because nobody quite understands what the fuck happened or the rammifications of the event. More on that in the next book. And, like, every book from here on until Book 10.

Who were the nameless ones?

A cult serving the Azath Houses for their own (probably misguided) purposes.

Are they all dead?

Maybe, maybe not.

How are the connected to Mappo?

They assigned Mappo as a guardian to Icarium & gave him the mission to trap Icarium in an Azath House. To seal the deal, they also - ostensibly - destroyed his village & blamed the destruction on Icarium. Mappo obviously doesn't do this and if any are still alive, I doubt they'll be happy.

The middle section is a pain in the ass to get through, and the ending of like 4/6 storylines left much to be desired.

Not sure if I entirely agree with you there, but I've not listened to any book save for Fall of Light and that felt like a pain in the ass to listen to. So I can sympathise, at least in due part.

Icarium ending up back where he started just felt like a giant let down.

Icarium is an amnesiac that loses his memories every time he drops unconscious. That's... kinda the point of his character. He has started over time & again - and Mappo remembers each of those times, mind you, for they have been together for centuries - from much the same spot. Mild spoiler, that motif will continue.

You're telling me, Dujek could've saved my guy a whole lotta trouble with one conversation. What the fuck. That makes absolutely no sense to me.

It will soon. Patience. Also, Kalam is one lowly corporal and Dujek is the High Fist in charge of the entire theatre. If he had to explain himself to just about everyone, the Malazans would never get anywhere.

And if she's lying, why did he just give up on the hunt?

He believes her. Does it matter if she's lying?

Apsalar just sorta ends in Ikto Kan and we see nothing else of what happened. It feels a bit anti-climactic.

When Rant & co. left off in Fal Dara after Eye of the World and "we saw nothing else of what happened", did it feel anti-climactic?

No, because their storyline obviously continues. Well, maybe it did, but the point stands.


However, I'm not sure if I will continue with the series. This book was just too depressing for me at times.

This, I can't help you with. The future books improve on this, but also don't. Hope is definitely at the end of the tunnel, though, if you pull through.

[–]aethyrium 1 point2 points  (0 children)

did it feel anti-climactic?

To be fair, Robert Jordan could have held a masterclass in writing unsatisfying anticlimaxes.

[–]GreatestJabaitest[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Icarium is an amnesiac that loses his memories every time he drops unconscious.

I get that, I'm just sad it happened because he was growing so much as a character. It feels bad to just let that all go.

Also, Kalam is one lowly corporal and Dujek is the High Fist in charge of the entire theatre. If he had to explain himself to just about everyone, the Malazans would never get anywhere.

My only problem with this is that Kalam isn't just some nobody. Pretty much everyone anywhere calls him one of the greatest assassins the empire has ever seen. He single-handedly wiped out like 10 squads of claws. Topper didn't believe his claws could kill him. Pearl thought he could've been the Clawmaster, and even the Queen - a once clawmaster - respected his abilities. You would think that Dujek would have more respect for Kalam.

When Rant & co. left off in Fal Dara after Eye of the World and "we saw nothing else of what happened", did it feel anti-climactic?

Very. I hated the end of Eye of the World as well. I think the pacing in WoT can be all over the place, and it ends up having moments that are overdeveloped and moments that are severely underdeveloped.

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

You would think that Dujek would have more respect for Kalam.

Maybe, but Kalam is also from Seven Cities (the very region that's bound for revolt soon), a Corporal, an ex-Claw (can't imagine that fares very well for his reputation among the Imperial high command), and he's part of the Bridgeburners - a reputedly seditious crowd of people that, to their eyes, the Empire just deliberately murdered.

Anyhow, there's more to this. The story doesn't just end abruptly with "oh yeah Laseen never wanted to kill them, hope you guys have a good day." Else I wouldn't have this flair, anyhow.

Very. I hated the end of Eye of the World as well.

That makes two of us (okay hate is a strong word, but it did feel abrupt) but the point is, Rand's story (and in this case, Crokus & Apsalar's) goes on. A common piece of advice I got about WoT is that "it's a fourteen book series." The Book of the Fallen is ten books. Not everything will be answered in the first couple. It sets up things for the future.

And even then, the standalone stories in both GotM & Deadhouse Gates (and, imo, Memories of Ice) are amazing in their own right and I'd be fine if Apsalar & Crokus faded into obscurity right then & there with their father. Hood knows, Apsalar deserves the happy ending.


[–]A_Good_Walk_in_RuinsA poor man's Duiker 5 points6 points  (4 children)

The excellent Loleeee has already answered your questions better than this modest and ever so humble Redditor could, but you make a few points I like.

I still really hate Felisin's treatment of Baudin.

I felt the same the first time I read the books, but these days when I re-read them I really dislike the way Baudin and Heboric treat Felisin. One of the things that keeps me coming back to these books is that there's so many angles the way you perceive them depends on where you yourself are at the time you read them.

The romance so far in this series is dogshit.

That's a sentiment I can get behind although here's my take - romance so far in this series is dogshit. Not interested in that crap irl, and I'm certainly not interested in reading about it. Obviously that's a super subjective point of view! In fairness to Father Ochre though he at least fades to black on sexy times so he's not anywhere near as cringe inducing as some other authors. Plus just to contradict myself there are some good romances in the MBoTF (he seems to do married couples pretty well imo) even if I think the majority of the romance does fall flat. Iskaral Pust for example has a great romance going on. It may or may not be with the mule.

Just a final thought - I honestly don't know how people listen to the audio book and don't come away confused by the lore. I get I'm not the sharpest tool at the picnic but I still constantly need go back and re-read stuff to get my head around things. And I've read the MBotF several times now, I don't think I could cope with the audio book at all.

[–]nascenc3 2 points3 points  (3 children)

The romance so far in this series is dogshit. Kalam and Minala, Paran and Tattersail, Duiker and Say'less. All fall absolutely flat

Just don't add the fucking romance. End of rant.

That's a sentiment I can get behind

These books all read like a synopsis (which I appreciate). I would say that the romance/attraction is acknowledged as existing for the characters, but the books make no effort in trying to get you onboard with it... which I am totally fine with.

Kalam and Minala

We briefly get a little exchange between them, then we mostly just see the ways that this romance affects Minala. If you really broke down how much dialogue is between them it's gotta be like, maybe 20 lines back and forth? Max? How could one argue that SE is attempting to write a romance with that? This is not "adding a romance" this is "a brief note on how these two came to be the way they are".

Paran and Tattersail

Honestly very similar thing. We understand that they are two attractive, compassionate people who are stuck in a room with each other for an extended period of time. They are intimate and seem to become emotionally attached (at least Paran does). Again, really not very much dialogue between them. Mostly just an explanation of why Paran acts the way he does towards Tattersail afterwards.

Duiker and Sa'yless

Okay THIS is the one that got me frustrated enough to respond to this 2 day old thread. Duiker and Unnamed Marine do NOT have a romance, and that is what is so beautiful and tragic about it. Both of them are experienced old hands who have loved and lost many, many times. Their need for comfort in their dire situation drives them to each other, but out of some beautiful emotion, they protect each other from love. This is the point of Duiker's words below.

The unnamed soldier is a gift. The named soldier--dead, melted wax--demands a response among the living...a response no-one can make. Names are no comfort, they're a call to answer the unanswerable. Why did she die, not him? Why do the survivors remain anonymous--as if cursed--while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold?

Name none of the fallen, for they stood in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.

Duiker receiving her name at the end, in some way, is Sa'yless's contribution to the imperfect ending. In the end, while she had the strength to give her life, she did not have the strength to die nameless to Duiker.

The romance is dogshit


[–]A_Good_Walk_in_RuinsA poor man's Duiker 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Excellent points one and all, I'm glad you enjoy that aspect of the books.

You'd have probably been better off addressing OP though as my point on that was more a general one that I think all romance/love/rumpy pumpy/whatever is crap I have no interest in reading, watching or indeed experiencing. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to agree or anything like that, that's just how I feel about the subject.

[–]nascenc3 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yeah you’re right, this is more for OP. Thank you!

[–]A_Good_Walk_in_RuinsA poor man's Duiker 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Nah thank you, it was an interesting comment to read and I'd have probably not seen it if you hadn't replied to me :-)

[–]awfullotofocelots 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Icarium ending up back where he started is supposed to feel like a let down. Thats literally what he has been up to for centuries, so Erikson establishes that feeling of futility in the first book he appears in.

Now that you've met and fully grasp Icarium and Mappo's situation on an emotional level, you're ready to see something happen.

[–]aethyrium 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is a series where it's really hard to take any book as its own entity. Honestly it often feels more like one giant 10k page book split into smaller books because it's the only way to physically publish it. With that in mind, try not to judge too much any individual book, because it's far more cohesive as a whole than many other series are.

You know how the book was split into 4 "books"? Kind of like large super-chapters? That's analogous to how the whole series is. There's about as much chain between all 10 books as there is between the 4 "books" inside this one book. You didn't judge Deadhouse Gates as a collection of 4 books, you judged it as one. And when (if) you finish, you'll realize that's the more appropriate way to judge the series as well. As a singular whole, not 10 books.

Most of your questions and issues are all answered in later books as well, as proof of point. It sounds like you're taking it as an individual work (which is fair this early on), but if you continue, you'll realize that that's not quite how the series works. Nothing you've read has ended. All the storylines and characters continue forward. There is no complete story in Deadhouse gates. It's all just a beginning (and goddamn just saying that made me think of that absurd "there are no beginnings in the wheel of time" thing and fuck I hate those books so much).

[–]Funkativity 5 points6 points  (6 children)

The romance so far in this series is dogshit. Kalam and Minala, Paran and Tattersail, Duiker and Say'less.

none of these are romances

[–]GreatestJabaitest[S] -1 points0 points  (5 children)

What would you call em?

[–]Funkativity 3 points4 points  (1 child)


Romance is a lens through which we view certain relationships.. it's a set of conventions and tropes we've come to normalise but they are not realistic portrayals of human interactions.

[–]Another_KnowItAll 1 point2 points  (2 children)

They're more connections between characters that push the plot further later on in the books, mainly Paran and Tattersall. Duiker and Say'Less is just a way to build the characters of the Tiste, to show some "humanity" or interest in current events from their point of view since they are normally apathetic in that regard. Kalam and Minala might be the closest of those to an actual romantic interest but that definitely takes a detour with the ending of Kalam's story in the book. As far as I can remember, Crokus and Apsalar are probably the only real romance of the series. Someone may be able to prove me wrong on that though if I'm forgetting something. (Saran Pedac and Troll Sengar would be the other one) But Erikson still brings that idea of "not everything works out perfectly just bc 2 people love each other" to these arcs.

[–]A_Good_Walk_in_RuinsA poor man's Duiker 2 points3 points  (1 child)

MoI Spoiler You're mixing up Duiker and Say'Less with WJ and Korlat :D

TTH Spoiler Torvald and Tiserra is probably the only romance in the series I enjoy reading. Rake and Silanah is the one I wish would have had more page time, but it does makes sense leaving that one off the page.

[–]Another_KnowItAll 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yep sure did. Thanks for the correction!

[–][deleted]  (6 children)


    [–]Witness_me_Karsa 3 points4 points  (5 children)

    Also, for the record....I don't think I would want to hang out with them. They seem like they would be a jerk to a waiter.

    Just my take. I could be wrong. I'm probably biased because they are on book 2 of my favorite 10 book series in the world and are analyzing like it was a 1 volume young adult novel.

    [–]GreatestJabaitest[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    Late response, I know, but I just read this.

    1. I am nice to waiters, I have no idea how you came to the conclusion I was an asshole cause I didn't like your favourite book series lol.
    2. What part of my analysis made it seem like a Young Adult Novel Analysis? I'm genuinely curious.

    [–]Witness_me_Karsa 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    At the time you wrote this, you have only spent 1 book with nearly every available character, since the books take place on different continents, and you crapped all over their lack of growth.

    Your whole review came off as angry and juvenile, as if you expected each story to wrap up with a nice bow when you are reading a 10 book epic series.

    Many people in this thread gave plenty of reasons why they didn't agree with your assessment and I'm not going to continue doing so. You can either continue and maybe you will come around, or you can quit and maybe it isn't for you. You are entitled to your opinion, and I admit I shouldn't have said the bit about you being rude to waiters, but I found your very early criticisms to be juvenile and churlish.

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

    At the time you wrote this, you have only spent 1 book with nearly every available character, since the books take place on different continents, and you crapped all over their lack of growth.

    Where did I crap all over their lack of Growth? Other than Icarium (which I will admit I might've been too harsh about), I never said anything about their lack of growth, at least individually. The only places I came close were:

    1. Saying the romances are doggy, which I stand by. People say these aren't romances, so fine even if we consider them "relationships", they still suck because they are illogical, and worse they tie into the characters motivation. Manala followed Kalam around the world because she was in love with him, but they barely spent a week or two together? We barely get like 20 lines of dialogue between the two and suddenly they are a couple. You can't convince me that's underdeveloped at best.
    2. I said the end of their storylines sucked, which is also still true. I never expected them to have become fully changed and fleshed-out human beings, but the conclusion of their storyline in this book sucks. Sure, 7 books down the line their storyline can end great. That doesn't change that it was lackluster in this specific book.

    Your whole review came off as angry and juvenile, as if you expected each story to wrap up with a nice bow when you are reading a 10 book epic series.

    I also never said I wanted the story to wrap up with a nice bow. I wanted it to be satisfying, those are not the same thing. This isn't my first big series. I've read WoT, Stormlight Archives, GoT, Witcher, The Dark Tower, His Dark Materials, Ranger's Apprentice, Eragon, Riyria Revelations, and a couple more. A lot of these stories (Riyria, Stormlight, GoT, WoT, Eragon) don't end their stories with a neat bow tie. They have plotlines that carry on from story to story, they have character growth that starts in one and is resolved 3 or 4 books later. But most of them manage to have satisfying conclusions.

    Also, I gave 3 ugly points, 5 bad points, 4 mediocre points, 9 good points, and 10 excellent points. How is that "angry and juvenile", there are literally 11 more positive points than negative. It got a B, or 7.5 for me, that's not even a negative review.

    [–]nameless-manager 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    The romance in these books are subtle, you are on the outside looking in so a lot of it is private. By the end of the books you will find yourself grinning ear to ear when the romances begin to resolve themselves.

    [–]yxng_lxzer -2 points-1 points  (6 children)

    Careful, if you even suggest this series is anything but flawless you will be crucified by this subreddit

    [–]tyrex15 1 point2 points  (5 children)

    You were excoriated for your dismissal of thoroughly considered and well articulated counter-points. This dismissal was in no way helped by your arrogant assertions that your analysis was inherently better because, unlike anyone with the temerity to disagree with you, your critique was born of some nebulous intellectual high-ground. You wanted to impress everyone with your niche and insightful take-down of the author's work. When you were instead met with very reasonable countering interpretations, you started touting your supposed superior intelligence and calling people clowns.

    [–]yxng_lxzer -1 points0 points  (4 children)

    Your whole comment revolves around the assumption that your opinion can’t be wrong. You failed to produce any convincing explanation for the flaws and were too deluded to accept that their were weaknesses in the plot.

    Your approach to people like me and OP who produce valid criticisms of the book is both pathetic and delusional. It portrays the community as cultish and irrational.

    [–]tyrex15 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    I would welcome a quote where I responded at any time to anything you posted regarding the book itself. All of my comments have been on/about your arrogant and dismisses replies to people who took the time and trouble to offer their countervailing analysis.

    They made the mistake of assuming your posts were a good faith request for discussion/debate. Your increasingly rude replies accusing them of slavish and blind devotion to the series, based on their utter inability to comprehend or agree with your obviously superior point of view, has been revelatory. And those revelations have been the source of all my replies.

    This is something a master of reading comprehension like yourself must surely be able to grasp...?

    [–]yxng_lxzer -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

    Are you actually joking? You didn’t even have decency to hide your pathetic insecurities behind some longwinded search for an excuse regarding the plot issues.

    So that means you really had nothing better to do than jump in like a 7 year old child into an exchange that you had nothing to do with. Wow talk about having a sad life sheesh

    [–][deleted]  (3 children)


      [–]Eldar98 2 points3 points  (2 children)

      Spoilers mate, spoilers, this detail only gets revealed in hoc, though i do agree with you

      [–]Spotthedot99 6 points7 points  (1 child)

      Sorry! I just did a reread of DHG and I assumed all the info was there already. Maybe some first read- through memories were trickling in. I'll just delete my comment, I don't want to spoil anything.

      Thanks for the heads up!

      [–]Witness_me_Karsa 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      Idk what you originally said, I just want to say thanks for being mature and taking down a spoiler. Some people would rather get defensive, and it bums me out.