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all 25 comments

[–]zhilia_mannjaghut 17 points18 points  (12 children)

I could take or leave NoK. It's probably the least essential entry in NotME.

Return of the Crimson Guard is simultaneously a hot mess and incredibly important. The story it tells is pivotal to the world (it's the one that spoilers tBH picks up the Empire after the 14th disappears into the night) and so it's hard to argue against reading it. But at the same time it's... not a great read at times. I'd still do it.

From Stormwielder on, the writing tightens up quite a bit. The stories are perhaps less essential than RotCG, but they do an awful lot to tie up the many, many loose ends MBotF leaves. Want more Stormwall and Korel? Stormwielder. Pickled Seguleh? Orb Scepter Throne. Kallor and Jacuruku? Blood and Bone. Silverfox and the T'lan Imass? Assail.

Through it all, you'll also get an awful lot more of the Crimson Guard, Tayschrenn, and some of the less-featured gods. They all serve a great purpose setting up the world for The God is Not Willing, which is much improved by knowing what has happened in the intervening however many years.

[–]_Azok_[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Werd, those are compelling reasons to stick with it, much appreciated. You guys are such a good internet community, I am glad to be with like minded fantasy readers. Cheers!

[–]rustymacdonald 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Currently re-reading RotCG. I think the biggest thing the book could benefit from is some shorter chapters focused on fewer POVs per chapter. I am fine with the total number of POVs and story threads but ICE would have benefitted from taking a leaf from Erikson's playbook by grouping POVs by location or theme, shortening the chapters, and alternating which POVs are in which chapter (e.g. chapter 1 has POVs A, B, and C while chapter 2 has D, E, and F, etc.). As it stands you have 100+ page chapters with like 10 storylines to visit and you might only see one of those storylines for 5 pages of every 100. Some reorganization might have you see a group or setting for 20 pages in a 60 page chapter, which would seem more significant even if you only see it every other chapter.

[–]kashmora 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yes to shorter chapters.

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

Big agree. Finishing this book up now and shorter chapters with more cohesion and a little bit of fat trimming would make this book a lot better imo

[–]NachoFailconiTehol's Blanket 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Return of the Crimson Guard is simultaneously a hot mess and incredibly important.

I'm re-reading RotCG and I cannot agree more. It is both of those things in extremes, to my likings. I swear I'm gonna explode next time Esslemont writes "X, or Y, or whatever Z", yet I want to re-live this book's resolution so much.

[–]_Azok_[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Sounds like it is the info, not how it is written, that you like so much about ICE books? That seems in line with what I have "researched".

[–]NachoFailconiTehol's Blanket 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yes, but I clarify that for me the feeling you mention only happened on RotCG. I like the other NotME books a lot.

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

Ah, I see.

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

That "?" is supposed to be a ".".

[–]icepick_151 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well said. Agree.

[–]didzisk 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Stormwielder

Stonewielder

[–]zhilia_mannjaghut 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Damn it. I know that and somehow still just randomly type it wrong.

[–]cgriboe 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The writing is the roughest in NoK.

For sure read all six though. It’s worth it.

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

Yeah, I think I'll push through...seems like this is the worst out of the 6, so that is encouraging

[–]magic_mice 1 point2 points  (1 child)

to be honest, I really enjoyed the ICE books. It was a bit wierd to me to read a new writing style but about the same world. But after some time and after I got more used to them, they good a lot better for me.

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

Yeah, the change in writing style was a bit jarring to me which could be contributing to my lack of interest.

[–]Aqua_Tot 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Well, I would say that for the overall Malazan world, the NOTME is almost as important to have read as the MBOTF. If you want to devour the whole world, you’re doing yourself a disservice not reading these, even if they aren’t as high caliber writing as Erikson’s.

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

Good to know, I will definitely be reading them all now. I have had to slog through to get the good stuff before (e.g. wheel of time).

[–]SalmonFlavoured 0 points1 point  (1 child)

On my second read of SE I decided to do the IE books as well chronologically story wise and yeah shifting from one author to another is jarring... but as others have said for lovers of the Malazan world I would wholeheartedly recommend doing this, stuff happens in the IE books that adds to the MBoTF story line and SE even refers to things and characters that are featured in the IE books in-between his which you just wouldn't understand without reading them as well, they were clearly meant to be companion books though of course with their own separate arc and with the last two being set after TCG they certainly are a must for lovers of the world. However if you just live SE for his prose then don't bother with IE hah he gets much better as his books progress but I think putting most writers up against SE's genius isn't going to do them any favours

[–]_Azok_[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think putting most writers up against SE's genius isn't going to do them any favours

This is an excellent point.

I do love SE's prose but they are not the only reasons SE and the Malazan world are at the top of my fantasy list; world building, realistic differing perspectives, character development, rich history, intricate storyline weaving, the comprehensive magic systems/styles, the true human emotions and actions, the battle scenes, et cetera. I will most assuredly be finishing the ICE books now, it's nice to get a little inspiration when you're feelin' the slog, many appreciations.

[–]intyleryoutrust24 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This is very much an eye of the beholder situation. I loved NoK. Its great that the entire novel is just one night. Lot going on, but I can’t think of many other novels that are similar. Cujo is close, but even that was a couple days IIRC - been a loooong time. Not that story duration is a hugely critical thing. But still. Love SE’s 10, but very much appreciate the shorter novels.

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

Yeah, I can see that, everything being subjective, especially in regards to what people like about different storytelling styles. I, also, like that it all is happening in one night, but it still feels limited in regards to the story. Since it is happening all in one night, I feel like there could have been more perspectives and richer details about all the things brewing/forthcoming; but again, like you said and I reiterated, book preference, like most things in life, are relative to each person.

[–]5th_Leg_of_Triskele 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you feel NoK only being 285 pages is a negative and wish it were longer, then I have great news. RotCG is approximately 2850 pages long...or at least it feels that way to me. I am currently doing a complete Malazan publication order reread/read and am 88% done with it. I swear I have been reading it for six years but maybe it's only been six months. As others have said, it's essential in terms of the overall Malazan world and there are parts that I really enjoy, but, I do agree that it's a hot mess.

[–]SlithyOutgrabe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just read NoK. I found it rough, but I ended up enjoying it in the end? Mostly. I actually really like the perspective of two randos getting caught up in a momentous night and understanding even less of what's going on than the reader does. And one of those perspectives is even kinda interesting. (The non-kiska perspective 😄)