Malazan Empire: OST is a stupid and boring book. - Malazan Empire

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OST is a stupid and boring book. There, I said it.

#21 User is offline   WhiskeyJackDaniels 

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:40 PM

View PostAptorius, on 19 February 2012 - 07:12 PM, said:

View PostWhiskeyJackDaniels, on 19 February 2012 - 06:05 PM, said:

View PostAptorius, on 19 February 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

Is this confirmed by Erikson? Because I suspect that both trilogies will have stories from present day and the past intermingled. That is why he has set up Sandalath and Rakes son in Kurald Galain at the end of TCG.


Yea. He did a chat on Tor awhile back and confirmed it. I asked him about the name and here was his answer.

32. StevenErikson
VIEW ALL BY · FRIDAY OCTOBER 29, 2010 03:58PM EDT
WJD, yeah, up till now only my TW editor knew the title. This trilogy takes us back to before the Tiste diaspora, and involves the eponymous peoples, along with a few others you know well, or think you know well, not as well as you think, as I think you'll see



That answer says nothing about not including current time characters. It just says he will be telling the story of the first times in KG. I don't think he spent the last 3 books of the MBOTF building up the andii and shake along with the Liosan for the ending of TCG. He did all that work as foreplay for what is to come in the Kharkanas Trilogy. Surely. Otherwise there was absolutely no point to in their storylines. Also I am pretty sure Orchid is going to be a central character, in the Kharkanas trilogy, ICE handed her over to SE at the end of OST. There's going to be some story there about Rake mixing the blood of Andii and dragons there.

Similar story with the Karsa trilogy. Erikson is probably going to show how the TTTs fell and how they ended up in the Loaderon Mountains and what Calm and Iccy were doing there. Then in present day he will show Karsa returning to his home lands and showing what happens from there.


Unless he just set up Nimander and Sandalath as a wrap up to the current time Andii issues and the true fall out of Rake's sacrifice and plan to free the TA of their millennia long ennui.

I think the whole thing will be set in the past. I think it will encompass a lot more than just KG, including the TL, TE, Eleint and Elder Gods. And then it'll end in typical Malazan fashion with the tragic diaspora of the Andii to Wu.


and @the broken...I'm pretty sure Lostara just did a shadow dance. Cotillion wasn't involved
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#22 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:16 PM

View PostWhiskeyJackDaniels, on 19 February 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

and @the broken...I'm pretty sure Lostara just did a shadow dance. Cotillion wasn't involved

The Shadow Dance at the end of Dust of Dreams was Cotillon-guided. Lostara called him there by dancing well enough and in a position key enough to merit his personal attention.
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#23 User is offline   Harvester 

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

*grunts his agreement*
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#24 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

View PostAptorius, on 19 February 2012 - 07:12 PM, said:

View PostWhiskeyJackDaniels, on 19 February 2012 - 06:05 PM, said:

View PostAptorius, on 19 February 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

Is this confirmed by Erikson? Because I suspect that both trilogies will have stories from present day and the past intermingled. That is why he has set up Sandalath and Rakes son in Kurald Galain at the end of TCG.


Yea. He did a chat on Tor awhile back and confirmed it. I asked him about the name and here was his answer.

32. StevenErikson
VIEW ALL BY · FRIDAY OCTOBER 29, 2010 03:58PM EDT
WJD, yeah, up till now only my TW editor knew the title. This trilogy takes us back to before the Tiste diaspora, and involves the eponymous peoples, along with a few others you know well, or think you know well, not as well as you think, as I think you'll see



That answer says nothing about not including current time characters. It just says he will be telling the story of the first times in KG. I don't think he spent the last 3 books of the MBOTF building up the andii and shake along with the Liosan for the ending of TCG. He did all that work as foreplay for what is to come in the Kharkanas Trilogy. Surely. Otherwise there was absolutely no point to in their storylines. Also I am pretty sure Orchid is going to be a central character, in the Kharkanas trilogy, ICE handed her over to SE at the end of OST. There's going to be some story there about Rake mixing the blood of Andii and dragons there.

Similar story with the Karsa trilogy. Erikson is probably going to show how the TTTs fell and how they ended up in the Loaderon Mountains and what Calm and Iccy were doing there. Then in present day he will show Karsa returning to his home lands and showing what happens from there.


While he may have set up the shake and Nimander and the others for their use in the Kharkanas trilogy, I really don't think it was only because of that. The Tiste Andii return to Kurald Galain may have been foreshadowed from way back in MOI (when we get the conversations between Whiskeyjack and Korlat). I would have been disappointed if their had been no mention of the Tiste Andii in the last two books. And Nimander was set up as a credible leader to replace Anomander after the return home. Ya, Nimander and co could be in the Kharkanas trilogy, but I don't think its as necessary as his use was in the last few MbotF books. Now if you argued that Apsalar (the original) was set up only for the Kharkanas trilogy, I would agree as she does not really do much in TCG.

As for Orchid and her possible use in the Kharkanas trilogy, I would be very hesitant from now on as regards assumptions about one author introducing or setting up characters for the other to use in upcoming books. Exhibat A: Kallor. WHERE THE FUCK WAS HE IN OST?!!

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 19 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

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#25 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

I think that Esslemont was afraid that if he introduced Kallor into the story, then the story might have gotten too good and he didn't want that. This of course also implies that Esslemont is a cruel man. A cruel, cold hearted man. yes.
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#26 User is offline   Nyarlathotep 

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:51 PM

Hahahaha!!! I think I quite like the idea that ICE is a cruel, cold hearted man. An evil genius who continually thwarts our understanding of all things Malazan and messes with our heads on a bookly (?!) basis.
That's what we get for bashing him all the time.
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#27 User is offline   Asharak 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:35 PM

How could anyone think this book was boring? It had a lot of action, and the plot seemed to move at a pretty healthy pace throughout. It certainly was no ADWD, tons of pages of wheel spinning.


This post has been edited by Asharak: 01 March 2012 - 04:36 PM

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#28 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

Like I said in my rant on the other page, the reason why the story bored me was because it was predictable and, even worse, it had no tension. At no point during the book was I scared for the well being of "the god guys". I had absolutely no belief that the Tyrant was any kind of threat. I knew that the Moranth could fuck up the Seguleh any time they wanted to. I knew that Envy or Brood or Fisher or K'rul or Tayschren or Kruppe or Karsa or Dassem any other known power player could crush these amateur bullies with ease. Esslemont failed, as a writer, to create a scenario where I, as a reader, was convinced of the power of this Tyrant.

Hood's balls, the 3 mages and a platoon of seguleh couldn't even manage to take out the BBs. If 4 out of shape, miserable veterans are enough to confound them how the hell were they ever going to succeed? The 6th Imass just walked right up the Tyrant like it was nothing. You think that mage killing sword of his wouldn't have destroyed the Tyrant?

And there was so many sections you could have trimmed out of the book to make it more stream lined. All the Malazan military sequences were pointless. They were only in the book as a reason for the Seguleh to be out in the open where the Moranth airstrike capabilities could be demonstrated. Torvald Nom's scenes were boring. Barathol's scenes were boring. The BB scenes were boring. The Humble Measure scenes were boring. The Butcher scenes were just fucking awful.

I honestly don't know how, as an author, you could look at this book and be satisfied with your work. Either Esslemont didn't plan out all 5 books from the start or he must have some problems with the 1 book a year schedule which I honestly think also hurt the last 5 books of the main series.
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#29 User is offline   MWKarsa 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:06 AM

Finished this book earlier today and I can't see I disagree at all. First off I'll start with the positive- ICE is getting as an author with each since Night of Knives for a 300+ page book was absolutely brutal to read and it was about an event I was pumped to get to read about. With OST- I was able to read through the majority of the book pretty quickly and stayed interested until the end when most books ramp up to a huge climatic ending ICE's just wander, fade and then ultimately fizzle out completely.

ICE simply cannot write female characters- Kiska has terrible dialogue and many of her scenes are brutal to read. Yusek joined that sad crowd in this book- just awful writing for female characters which alternates from jr. high level love issues to brutal relationship story arcs and character development.

The scene in this book that had me completely scratching my head in utter disbelief was the Malazan fighters' response to the Seguleh getting bombarded and blown away by the Moranth. They had just lost almost 50% of their strength and had their own comrades killed by the Seguleh and after watching them get destroyed they start weeping and crying. Utterly ridiculous to go from what had just happened to them to weeping over a foe that had just killed a huge amount of their friends and comrades. ICE tried to pen a powerful emotional moment and instead it came off as utterly cheap and laughable.

This book just utterly fails as a decent read with an actually meaningful story.
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#30 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:39 AM

My biggest disappointment with this book actually revolves around the whole moranth storyline. It's obvious that they knew where the tyrant was buried by their rather hasty retreat at the beginning of the book. Why on earth did they leave it unguarded? Why didn't they just toss a cusser into the archeologist's camp and stop anyone from trying to uncover the bastard? They obviously knew what was coming so why on earth did they not even TRY to prevent it? After that, we get some good bits from Torvald (who was a shining star, as always) as he is making his way into moranth civilization. Then BAM! Prison! Next thing we know he spends the rest of the goddamn book dropping cussers from the back of a quorl. Why didn't we get even the briefest insight into the actual civilization while he was there? Why didn't we get the story of his run in with the blues? There was plenty of history between the Tyrant and the moranth, not to mention between the Seguleh and the moranth, that could and should have been explored in greater detail. I think I'm just upset because I feel that he fumbled an excellent opportunity to finally shed some light on the society that has been hidden from us for the longest in the series. Hell, at times I feel that we had known more about the Seguleh then we did the moranth. On a brighter note, i was very very happy with all the insight into Seguleh culture.
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#31 User is offline   Ulrik 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:09 PM

I would (probably) love or like the book, there is no Darujhistan. It brought ton of characters that had nothing to do, just wander, eat pages and went into bleak end.

Give us only Seguleh (plus mission for Dassem, just meaningful), Moranth, maybe Rhivi (with sad Caladan)...and thats all. IMO, Darujhistan and Tyrant were useless. Tyrant takes Sceptre of Lame Badass (firstly, I didnt realize that he is done!).


But digging old enemy for Moranth was possible even without Tyrant...just give them reason to migrate. We needed more Seguleh POV, more Moranth society (not third time playing Sea Riders role)... and we needed Mok. Jan was good character, theme of Lo and son solid (except almost no resolving)... but taking Third, who was so important in local politics and say "he is broken" is just lame. So, he gave up his title and went gardening?

Too many players to have decent and rich game...

This post has been edited by Ulrik: 05 March 2012 - 07:09 PM

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#32 User is offline   Hoods Breath 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:56 PM

The problem with this book is the pay off. It was really disappointing to have Scorch and Leff take out the tyrant. As I was reading I thought "please don't let this be the ending...". When Splinty-legs T'lan Imass walked in I figured at least we were getting a reasonable confrontation. But he just says "Oh, you are a human." and walks off.... WTF?? Why waste a single page on Splintylegs if this is all he does?

So the minor joke characters take out the main antagonish baddie by accident... It's like having C3P0 take out Darth Vader with a banana peel. And not because he slips but because he's deathly allergic to banana's.
Oh wait... it was all forseen by Yoda "banana peel here, you must place."

i enjoyed reading the book up until the Scorch/Leff vs Tyrant convergence.

With the ICE and SE books in general there are so many threads and so much foreshadowing that I can't help wanting to find out where the stories are going. The frustration is when the threads and hints aren't going anywhere in particular. Sometimes it feels like it's just a bunch of random shit that happens.
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#33 User is offline   Hoods Breath 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostHoods Breath, on 06 March 2012 - 06:56 PM, said:

The problem with this book is the pay off. It was really disappointing to have Scorch and Leff take out the tyrant. As I was reading I thought "please don't let this be the ending...". When Splinty-legs T'lan Imass walked in I figured at least we were getting a reasonable confrontation. But he just says "Oh, you are a human." and walks off.... WTF?? Why waste a single page on Splintylegs if this is all he does?

So the minor joke characters take out the main antagonish baddie by accident... It's like having C3P0 take out Darth Vader with a banana peel. And not because he slips but because he's deathly allergic to banana's.
Oh wait... it was all forseen by Yoda "banana peel here, you must place."

i enjoyed reading the book up until the Scorch/Leff vs Tyrant convergence.

With the ICE and SE books in general there are so many threads and so much foreshadowing that I can't help wanting to find out where the stories are going. The frustration is when the threads and hints aren't going anywhere in particular. Sometimes it feels like it's just a bunch of random shit that happens.


oh yeah... i almost forgot...One sequence really bothered me by how poorly it seemed to fit with the series: The Malazan's are getting sliced and diced by the Seguleh and get their collective arses saved by the Moranth. And what do these hardened soldier's do when their lives are saved? They cry and bemoan the loss of those brave Seg's who didn't stand a chance against superior weaponry. ....Really??? I thought blowing enemies to bits was a standard Malazan tactic. Didn't the Malazan's have an alliance with the Moranth so they could take advantage of the munitions?
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#34 User is offline   UmbraPhoenix 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:32 PM

I think that many, if not most, of you are missing the point of Orb Scepter Throne. This book is not an ending to anything, it is a transitional book that picks up a few threads from the main series, and is setting things up for what is to come. This series reaches its peak when you can read it through the second time with greater understanding. Their (Erikson's and Ellsemonts) Storytelling abilities are just fine. If you read carefully ALL of the books in the series, there is ample foundation for a book like OST, and the style of Mystery employed by both writers is effective.
I personally enjoyed the look into the Segulah, and further forray's into the fascinating city of Darujhistan. As with the rest of the series, do not make final judgements on this book and how it fits into the mythos until you read the ones that come after. The writing style of these men emphasizes a complex web of magic, politics, and culture. I agree that the complex nature of that system makes the series less accessible to readers, but I personally prefer it that way.
Another point that i feel needs addressing is the way people view this series. This series was created by Archaeologists, and they have a unique insight into the world. The fact that nations rise and fall, and that ancient empires leave bits of themselves for the present, but the entirety of these stories can not be known. That is the nature of this series. If you finished the main series and felt at the same time fulfilled, unsatisfied, tired, despondent, or any other combination of emotions, that is what they were meant to do. Before you harp about unfinished threads, lets see what they come out with in the next few years. This world is only in the second decade of its existences, and both of these authors have impressive turnouts on their writing. Lets wait until the final bell has tolled before such harsh judgements are issued. With a single book such responses could be warranted, but with a series of this nature, it must be judged in its entirety.
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#35 User is offline   Janacek 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:38 AM

Having enjoyed this book quite a bit, I feel like I should make some effort to defend it. Which turns out to be not as easy as I thought, since I find myself agreeing with many of the criticisms levelled against it here, especially the bit about the established setup and structure of the malazan novels having become something of a cage it might be time to break out of after 14 books. That said, I think OST can still be enjoyed, it is far from 'stupid and boring' on the whole.

Anyway, the particular issue I'd like to address is the figure of the Tyrant, which has been called ineffective in creating a believable menace to the main characters and, by extension, Darijhistan itself.

From a storytelling point of view - plot-wise, I mean - I tend to agree even with that. The thing I liked so much, though, is the symbolism going on there:

We have a nameless tyrant, represented by a mask that can be taken by (or slapped on to) anyone. A guy who has no voice but speaks through those who so readily bow to him. Who is seemingly immortal and - though defeated - is not destroyed with any kind of finality.

So, to me the story gets a lot more interesting if you look at the Tyrant not as a character but as the very embodiment of, well, basically every despot, dictator and autocrat ever; and, more importantly, societies' eerie tendency to pave the way for them if the circumstances are right.

The scene I remember most clearly is the councilors' disbelief at their own actions after they reinstated the office of legate. That quickly it happens: A few bought votes in the council, and next thing you know that mask finds a new wearer, the republic is a thing of the past and instead you have potentate on a throne, with zealots and sycophants surrounding him in his court and an army of faceless killers patrolling the streets. All it takes for the Tyrant to get his second coming is fear of vulnerability on the one side and lust for power on the other, two things that are rarely in short supply.

He even goes down laughing, as if to say, 'You think you've won? You can take me down here and now, but as long as even a single tyrant remains in the world you'll never be completely rid of me, because sooner or later, I will be wanted again.'

Looking at it that way, I find the Tyrant to be not only scary, but downright frightening. (Though maybe not quite as disturbing as that visual of Kruppe and the old witch that I can't seem to get out of my head.)

This post has been edited by Janacek: 09 March 2012 - 08:12 PM

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#36 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

Does anyone honestly think that the unanswered story threads from Stonewielder (the Stormriders) and the unanswered story threads from this book (Tyrant. Though I did not find it as bad as the lack of explanation on the Stormriders) and presumably the forthcoming unanswered story threads from his next book (Blood and Bone) will actually be adressed in ICE's final book? I mean Assail is going to have its own storylines and I really really doubt that ICE will have time to address previous threads in any meaningful manner. (The Kiska/Tays storyline been the exception as that does seem to be something that carries through the books).
Its been 4 books by ICE now. I enjoyed the last 2 books by him but those last 2 had big unanswered questions. While SE had mysteries left open in his interium books it was never on the scale of what ICE did with SW and OST. Its passing the stage where we can give ICE the benefit of the doubt. SE's interium books stood by themselves as regards plot explanations in much better ways than the last 2 ICE books have.

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 09 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

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#37 User is offline   Harvester 

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:18 AM

No, I don't believe that any of those plot threads will be addressed again, which is a shame. I am sick of reading disjointed and pointless jumbles of plot lines and I am also sick of reading through boring books just for the sake of some hypothetical jaw-droppingly-awesome-future-payoff that, let's face it, will not come. I didn't even like The Crippled God all that much, because it lacked so many things that a final volume should provide, but I could still enjoy the read to some extent. These books--however--simply make me sad.

This post has been edited by Harvester: 10 March 2012 - 01:20 AM

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#38 User is offline   Ulrik 

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

View PostJanacek, on 09 March 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:


He even goes down laughing, as if to say, 'You think you've won? You can take me down here and now, but as long as even a single tyrant remains in the world you'll never be completely rid of me, because sooner or later, I will be wanted again.'

Looking at it that way, I find the Tyrant to be not only scary, but downright frightening. (Though maybe not quite as disturbing as that visual of Kruppe and the old witch that I can't seem to get out of my head.)


To be honest... for me is this metaphore simply lame. I wont be surprised by fact that humans have tendency to make simple solutions leading to have one man in lead. For me, is OST Tyrant still the same, unreasonable lame ruler. Heck, if all intelligence lies in mask, I must ask, how was he (it) able to rule for more than few month each time. Until someone capable shows and kick his mask backside again... Its worse, if I think about his comparison to Raest.

Yeah, message of OST should be, that you dont have to use jaghut magic and blowing hell of dragons, that you just need politics... but its lamely executed. Because, in final is Tyrant again one man that rules not because of politics, but because he has unhuman assassins and army of best mortal warriors on Wu (Assail, calm down!). There is no subtlety, no refinement...just raw brute force masked for totally not needed "we voted for legate"...yeah, if they didnt vote, he could just walk to Chancellors and say "Im ruler now, obey or be anihilated", because thats what he is doing in rest of books.
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#39 User is offline   Kobayashi 

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:39 AM

Though I love this series, I am very disappointed with OST. Thank goodness its only 600 pages!

This post has been edited by Kobayashi: 11 March 2012 - 04:40 AM

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#40 User is offline   Mentalist 

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:19 AM

I liked OST.

I think the one thing we all forget (including the writers), is that, as someone pointed out, it is the 14th book in shared world.

as such, as series that started out to defy standard fantasy tropes in 2000 has, by 2012.... created a new set of tropes. And now we're getting tired of them. Oh, the irony.

The main complaint I can level at OST, is the fact that it's formulaic. It borrows heavily from previous books.

Seguleh + the Tyrant are a caricature of Rhulad sengar and the Tiste Edur, down to the "mystical artifact of doom".

I'll disagree with Apt about the tone and pacing, specifically because he evoked the comparison with TtH--because I believe it's absolutely, 100% valid. in TtH, Se tried something different, which a lot of people disliked, with the whole "voice of the City" style. It took me a re-read to appreciate it, but once I read OST, I was convinced that ICE adopted the same style for the setting mastefully, and thus, I don't begrudge him this bit of pacing. This does not, of course, take away from the fact that it was terribly formulaic to any Malaz fan.

I'm not here to persuade people that there's something they've missed that makes the book amazing--to each his own. But I wanted to write this to point out that not all of these things you complain about should be perceived as universal weaknesses.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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