Malazan Empire: Abyss JUST FINISHED IT and needs a cold one now... - Malazan Empire

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Abyss JUST FINISHED IT and needs a cold one now... ...all the SPOILERS, twice the alcohol... Rate Topic: -----

#121 User is offline   Soulcrusher 

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

Solid book, I was hooked straight away and thoroughly enjoyed the read, I've loved all ICE's books so far and the first 50 pages of OST so far have been doosys ;)
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#122 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:19 PM

In the name of Hood, I'm ressurrecting this thread after more than a year of inactivity, to say that I liked the book. After bashing ICE's previous works, I was surprised how easy to read this one was. Only two major issues come to mind:

1. I didn't really care about most of the characters. Manask and Devaleth were great, Blues and Iron Bars I've known already and liked too. But the rest? Meh. That's subjective, though.

2. Too little Greymane. I was expecting a showcase of his warfare genius, but I feel like most of his tactics came down to 'soldiers, full frontal attack till we win'. What about his sword? And barely mentioning Ruthan? Not fair.
Thus continues the trend of ICE overhyping (or working with already hyped up) characters but underdelivering in the end.

But overall, a good read.
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#123 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 03:29 PM

View PostSecond Sword, on 11 July 2014 - 02:19 PM, said:

...Greymane. I was expecting a showcase of his warfare genius, but I feel like most of his tactics came down to 'soldiers, full frontal attack till we win'. ...


To be fair, showing glorious worshiped military genius leaders to be mere mortals is a Malazan thing across both series.


Looking at it a little closer, Greymane was mainly known for inspiring loyalty in his men by leading from the front and being an awesome swordsdude, more than being a strategist on the level of say, Dujek or Coltaine.


On top of that, the entire campaign was basically a cover for him to make a suicide run on the Stormwall, so the call for subtlety was minimal.
CHASE: Paw Patrol is ready for action Mr Pust sir!
PUST: *pauses ranting* What does that mean?
ZUMA: It means let's dive in, dude!
PUST: What? What is a dude? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?????
-The Malazan Book of the Paw Patrol
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#124 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:20 PM

View PostAbyss, on 11 July 2014 - 03:29 PM, said:

View PostSecond Sword, on 11 July 2014 - 02:19 PM, said:

...Greymane. I was expecting a showcase of his warfare genius, but I feel like most of his tactics came down to 'soldiers, full frontal attack till we win'. ...


To be fair, showing glorious worshiped military genius leaders to be mere mortals is a Malazan thing across both series.


Looking at it a little closer, Greymane was mainly known for inspiring loyalty in his men by leading from the front and being an awesome swordsdude, more than being a strategist on the level of say, Dujek or Coltaine.

On top of that, the entire campaign was basically a cover for him to make a suicide run on the Stormwall, so the call for subtlety was minimal.


Quote

To be fair, showing glorious worshiped military genius leaders to be mere mortals is a Malazan thing across both series.


Unless its Coltaine, right?Posted Image
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#125 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:30 PM

View PostSecond Sword, on 11 July 2014 - 02:19 PM, said:

In the name of Hood, I'm ressurrecting this thread after more than a year of inactivity, to say that I liked the book. After bashing ICE's previous works, I was surprised how easy to read this one was. Only two major issues come to mind:

1. I didn't really care about most of the characters. Manask and Devaleth were great, Blues and Iron Bars I've known already and liked too. But the rest? Meh. That's subjective, though.

2. Too little Greymane. I was expecting a showcase of his warfare genius, but I feel like most of his tactics came down to 'soldiers, full frontal attack till we win'. What about his sword? And barely mentioning Ruthan? Not fair.
Thus continues the trend of ICE overhyping (or working with already hyped up) characters but underdelivering in the end.

But overall, a good read.


I find SW to be quite easily the best ICE book. I rather liked the magistrate chap, whats his name again?

I think the low exposure Greymane got may have been a strategy. There was so much else going on...Stormwatch, Crimson Guard, rebellion etc, Greymane could be pushed a bit to the edge, but it is ultimately his action, that is pivotal, that changes everything, not just in the book but in the context of the entire Malazan world. Just think. The Stormwall is a 1000+ year institution, there is an entire political, economic and tributary structure supporting it. Worhip of the Lady dictated the way of life for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Suddenly all of that is gone. There is no Lady. There is no Stormwall, no need for one. Everything changes. We probably can't imagine it, because in our relaity there is no institution boasting that kind of power, age and continuity.

I think the convergence of Stonewielder is a bit underrated because people don't think of it in this context. Has anybody asked, now that the Riders no longer have to spend eternity banging there head against a literal wall, how this changes the balance of power in the oceans? Will they try for a maritime Empire? What's their relationship to Mael? SW made some mighty big rippples in the Malazan lake if you think a bit.
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#126 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:08 AM

I agree that the conclusion has some interesting implications for the Malazan world, but that is why it is so surprising that in the book titled 'Stonewielder', there is so little Stonewielder himself. After all, he is the one overseeing the invasion and he personally destroyed the wall. Those are probably the two most important events in the story. One could say it is ICE's trademark style (NoK has very little Shadowthrone and Dancer, there is a little less Crimson Guard in RotCG than I would have expected), but here it feels slightly out of place.

Consider this: the ending conveys a sense of finality. Now, ICE may continue Greymane's tale in his next books or he may not. But since we have that closure, it feels like a complete tale. After all, he dealt with his past, fulfilled the prophecy or something and ceased to be a renegade. His sword served his purpose etc. However, that leaves us with a bunch of important questions that didn't get answered, such as: what is the sword? Why was he given it so easily? Why the weapon's powers and location seem so connected to The Wall? And I think that the right time to get those answers, or at least most of them, was when the story was unfolding. Because otherwise, its being mysterious for the sake of being mysterious.


You can point out that the Malazan book has a few magical items like that. But in this case, this is no minor thing. In a way, the sword single-handidly won the war. And we know almost nothing about it. So there is rather little Greymane as a High Fist, and there is very little about his (or his sword's) powers that had changed the geopolitical situation of the planet. And what do we have instead? Some Crimson Guards try to break out their friend from slavery and there is a rebellion led by a guy who doesn't want to rebel and they manage to take over a city. As interesting as they are (I didn't care about Ivanr and his people at all :) ) that's not even on the same level.

And Greymane being a good but rather straightforward leader is slightly disappointing, but I guess I can agree with that reasoning.
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#127 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:06 PM

View PostSecond Sword, on 14 July 2014 - 07:08 AM, said:

I agree that the conclusion has some interesting implications for the Malazan world, but that is why it is so surprising that in the book titled 'Stonewielder', there is so little Stonewielder himself. After all, he is the one overseeing the invasion and he personally destroyed the wall. Those are probably the two most important events in the story. One could say it is ICE's trademark style (NoK has very little Shadowthrone and Dancer, there is a little less Crimson Guard in RotCG than I would have expected), but here it feels slightly out of place.

Consider this: the ending conveys a sense of finality. Now, ICE may continue Greymane's tale in his next books or he may not. But since we have that closure, it feels like a complete tale. After all, he dealt with his past, fulfilled the prophecy or something and ceased to be a renegade. His sword served his purpose etc. However, that leaves us with a bunch of important questions that didn't get answered, such as: what is the sword? Why was he given it so easily? Why the weapon's powers and location seem so connected to The Wall? And I think that the right time to get those answers, or at least most of them, was when the story was unfolding. Because otherwise, its being mysterious for the sake of being mysterious.


You can point out that the Malazan book has a few magical items like that. But in this case, this is no minor thing. In a way, the sword single-handidly won the war. And we know almost nothing about it. So there is rather little Greymane as a High Fist, and there is very little about his (or his sword's) powers that had changed the geopolitical situation of the planet. And what do we have instead? Some Crimson Guards try to break out their friend from slavery and there is a rebellion led by a guy who doesn't want to rebel and they manage to take over a city. As interesting as they are (I didn't care about Ivanr and his people at all :) ) that's not even on the same level.

And Greymane being a good but rather straightforward leader is slightly disappointing, but I guess I can agree with that reasoning.


I agree totally that Greymane appeared to be underutilised in the book and a number of questions went unanswered. I was pretty eager myself to know more about him as soon as he was introduced in RotCG because he had been built up as one of THE great Malazan commanders in the same league as Dujek, Whiskeyjack etc. But this failing to give info about a character is quite endemic in the Malazan series. Consider we still know nothing about the Stormriders. as for the rest I am going to spoiler it incase anyone come hee who hasn't read DoD, TCG and FoD

Spoiler



So my point is this kind of thing does happen a lot in MBotF. It is partciularly frustrating when you know nothing about a major mover and shaker, who does epochal things. I have thirsting for some Osserc info for practically the entire series, and mostly it has beenallusions, prologues and cryptic references. But, in spite of all of this I find DW to be the best ICE book so far. It feels complete and consistent. Whereas RotCG in my opinion let down the Crimson Guard a bit, OST was astonishingly uneven, and parts of B&B were a bit slow, SW did not dissapoint.
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#128 User is offline   Egwene 

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

I believe that SE and ICE decided they needed to do a bit more ground preparation before putting out the rest of the Malazan books and the Kharkanas trilogy. The mutterings of Quick Ben, Ruthan Gudd and many other mysteries expand the story arc options for those books. Whilst the authors might have hashed out some or most of the grand schemes right from the start, I am sure that there are many scenes where it's a case 'oh, S***, we have no one to do this or say that or no way to explain something else'. Solution - let's get QB muttering a bit more...
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