Malazan Empire: Abyss Just Finished Assail - Malazan Empire

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Abyss Just Finished Assail spoiler-free comments, then SPOILERS after the jump...

#21 User is offline   Gnaw 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:04 PM

View PostVengeance, on 29 July 2014 - 04:21 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 29 July 2014 - 12:58 AM, said:

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 28 July 2014 - 09:23 PM, said:

Abyss getting a book early...something's not right here


AND I got a break on bail because it was my first offence.
...that anyone knows about anyhow...


Just a bunch of bodies in the woods without heads. Can't be connected back to you in any way.


I used to do a lot of driving on the interstate in Virginia. There are many stretches through there where the median between north and south bound lanes are a couple of hundred feet wide. Lots of trees. No hunters. No hikers. No campgrounds. Just trees. And dirt. Lots and lot of dirt.

Just saying.
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#22 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:20 PM

View PostSpoilsport Stonny, on 29 July 2014 - 02:25 AM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 29 July 2014 - 01:04 AM, said:

View PostSpoilsport Stonny, on 28 July 2014 - 09:23 PM, said:

...

Abyss said:

SO IS HE OR ISN"T HE - Maybe Jethiss was Anomander Rake returned, maybe he wasn't. There were other Andii in Dragnipur when the finale of TtH went down, after all. But i don't actually think it matters, he was interesting to read without stealing his storyline, and ended the book in a very different and interesting place... a one armed Tiste Andii born of Darkness and carrying a sword made of his own arm bones... that's pure fantasy lit goodness right there... ICE, if you're reading this... i would cheerfully pay dollars for an entire book of Jethiss, Kyle and Fisher's adventures.


Don't read this unless you want to REALLY know...

Spoiler



...


Don't think so....
First off Spin was still alive at the end of TTH and not in Dragnipur.Second, while Rake never met Seerdomin, Spin was using Rake's tactics at the games. See the scene early in TTH where Rake asks Spin how the game went and Spin replies "you won again my lord.".Finally, Spin wasn't a Mage.


I definitely see your point, and I think its left open to be deliberately intriguing. But there's couple TtH things that make me think its Spinnock.

One, he broke his Hust blade fending off Kallor and tell's Korlat to leave it when she saves his life.

Quote

A short time later, when she went to find his sword where it was lying in the grasses, Spinnock Durav said, 'No, Korlat. Leave it.'
She looked at him in surprise.
But he was not of a mind to explain.


So he needs a new sword.

Then there is this:

Quote

'But you are not the Son of Darkness.'
'No, that is true.'
'One day you are going to die in his stead.'
'I am.'


And this:

Quote

Mother Dark, hear me please. For Spinnock Durav, who stood in your son's place, again and again. Give him peace. Give him happiness.


And Seerdomin's barrow wasn't complete at the end of TtH.

My thinking is that Rake has been dispersed into Kurald Galain and his death is final. Spinnock has taken over the mantle of Son of Darkness. And why wouldn't he? Jethiss wasn't really sure what he was doing with his magery. Perhaps it was a newfound gift of Mother Dark. I know we never saw Spinnock headed to Assail, but it wouldn't be the first time these authors played games with us. I like that it's open ended. There isn't enough evidence to go either way, but there is enough to draw conclusions that make sense in either case. I'll try to find more about it. Glad you loved the book like I did. It really was a rewarding finish.






View PostSpoilsport Stonny, on 29 July 2014 - 02:24 PM, said:

SPOILERING THIS SO DON'T READ IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF!!!

Spoiler




Got to say, you make a seriously compelling point in favor of your argument Stonny.

Jethiss' speach and general conduct seem closer to Rake than Spin, but given a possible rebirth, it's wholly workable and clever as fuck if it is.

Still, the hair bothers me... why would Mommy D give Jethiss that? Rake only had it because of the QoD in FORGE.

And yeah, the Bonesword is cool as hell and one of ICE's nicely original fantasy touches in this book.
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#23 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:24 PM

View PostTarthenal Theloman Toblakai, on 29 July 2014 - 07:57 AM, said:

hey thanks for this! I didn't read the spoilers, but I really enjoyed your thoughts about the book and the improvements. I too have enjoyed every Malazan book thus far, so I am really excited for this. Super jealous you have read it, but glad it promises to be awsome! Can't wait!


I can't predict anyone else's reaction, but i suspect and hope most of you will enjoy it.


View PostGarak, on 29 July 2014 - 07:58 AM, said:

How did you people get this book early?

I got only one question regarding this book - when does it take place in relation DoD and tCG?


After both. We saw the Guard in at the end of B&B, which is contemporaneous with TCG, and this takes place after that.

View PostGorgon, on 29 July 2014 - 08:35 AM, said:

In regards to the mysterious andii what hair colour does he have iirc rake=white durav=reddish, also why would durav not know who he is


Black with white streaks, and there's a suggestion of resurrection or rebirth.

View PostHoosierDaddy, on 29 July 2014 - 12:45 PM, said:

How in the fuck do you have this already? Murder-Kill-Death.


See first post. Extrapolate. Kickstarter for my lawyer's fees should be up soon.

View PostGnaw, on 29 July 2014 - 07:04 PM, said:

View PostVengeance, on 29 July 2014 - 04:21 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 29 July 2014 - 12:58 AM, said:

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 28 July 2014 - 09:23 PM, said:

Abyss getting a book early...something's not right here


AND I got a break on bail because it was my first offence.
...that anyone knows about anyhow...


Just a bunch of bodies in the woods without heads. Can't be connected back to you in any way.


I used to do a lot of driving on the interstate in Virginia. There are many stretches through there where the median between north and south bound lanes are a couple of hundred feet wide. Lots of trees. No hunters. No hikers. No campgrounds. Just trees. And dirt. Lots and lot of dirt.

Just saying.


Amateurs bury bodies. Pros serve them with a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Just saying.
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#24 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:35 PM

View PostSpoilsport Stonny, on 28 July 2014 - 09:23 PM, said:

Finally! Someone I can share my joy with...


Back atcha, glad at least one other person read and enjoyed this at this early point...

Quote

Abyss said:

BEST UPGRADE - Kyle rocked this book. After being with us this long and never quite shining, this was his book. His fight scenes were great fun to read, but aside from that i enjoyed his return home, his slow acceptance of being The Whiteblade, his kind of ignorant bravery in the face of serious opposition... when he took on 12 warriors to distrct them from Lyan and Dorrin, it made perfect sense, and so did the way the fight went. I liked his reflections on the Thel-Akai, and Greymane, and his time with the Crimson Guard.


Yes. His run through the Silent People was chilling, and I'm pretty sure he would have held his own against two or three FA.


These FA were pretty threatening, and Kyle, despite his various experiences and lessons, was still only human fast. He mighht have gotten lucky once, assuming they didn't just target him because of the sword.

Which was strongly implied at the finale when they all looked at him.

Quote

Abyss said:

BEST NEW CHARACTER - Ormen was a welcome surprise. I was initially skeptical because of how he resembled Kyle in some ways, but ICE gave him his own storyline ... perhaps not all that original... farmboy steals father's weapon, goes out into harsh world, becomes hero is hardly novel ground.... , but it was well told and moved nicely. The Reddin Bros and Old Bear were great supporting characters.


I liked Ormen a bunch. And Jute was a great POV character. But Tyvar Gendarian was by far the best new character. Holy hell I loved that guy. Imagine the despair a Mortal Sword would feel once his God fled to who-knows-where. And he remained...benevolent.



Agreed. I would have even enjoyed more Tyvar, but all things considered we've had so much Grey Sword/Helm in the past, this was nicely worked into the supporting cast/background without stealing the show.

Fascinating tho that Togg would send a warrior cult to save lives given how the Wolves turned in TCG, but i suspect Togg actually meant for the Blues to trigger an FA massacre, and the message was twisted for the better.

At least, i really like that explanation.

Quote

... there is also this (from Midnight Tides, Ch. 12 Mael and Shurq convo)

Quote

'So, what do you know?'
'Not much. The language on the door belongs to an extinct people known as Forkrul Assail, who are collectively personified in our Fulcra by
the personage we call the Errant. The tombs were built for another extinct people, called the Jaghut, whom we acknowledge in the Hold we call the Hold of Ice. The wards were intended to block the efforts of another people, the T'lan Imass, who were the avowed enemies of the Jaghut. The T'lan Imass pursued the Jaghut in a most relentless manner, including those Jaghut who elected to surrender their place in the world – said individuals choosing something closely resembling death. Their souls would travel to their Hold, leaving their flesh behind, the flesh being stored in tombs like this one. That wasn't good enough for the T'lan Imass. Anyway, the Forkrul Assail considered themselves impartial arbiters in the conflict, and that was, most of the time, the extent of their involvement. Apart from that,' Bugg said with a shrug, 'I really can't say.'


Cool, right?!?


So cool. We sort of knew this, but it was nicely made clear between that and the story about them killing both swordsmen that their justice can be severe.

Quote

Abyss said:

DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING - The instant the khall-addict showed up in Wrongway, i said 'Claw'. But i didn't even come close to guessing it was Possum. Nice touch.


And very realistic too. I know people who've turned to drugs to numb the pain of a tragedy they blamed themselves for. ICE had all the emotions going in this one.


His death was actually quite touching, trying to redeem himself by helping Malle.

Quote

Abyss said:

BEST PERVERSION OF EVERYTHING WE THOUGHT WE KNEW - The T'lam Imass on a full blown genocidal jihad to wipe out every human on Assail with even a little Jaghut blood. It was chilling and very different from how the Imass have been shown to date, but also very consistent.


Yeah I was wondering why this was and what happened to Lanas Tog to make her lie about that whole "Not Jaghut...human" scenerio. It was nice to have some closure with that open-ended statement.


One of the few things i was genuinely left mildly frustrated by. It seemed like there was more going on there with Lanas... other forces kind of thing.


Quote

Abyss said:

BEST BATTLE - This book had some good ones... i want to give it to Jute & co trying to repel the Imass from Mantle, but that ended prematurely. Instead i'll go with Ormen and company's running attack on the Bains, tho Kyle and the Guard holding the Lost Holding was pretty close.


There was one battle at sea that stood out to me from all the others. Can't recall the details right now, but I'll get back to you on it. It might have been when Ragstopper took out that lookout tower and all four ships together handled business pretty well.


The ragstopper and the Blue Helms breaking the ambush at sea was pure nautical awesome. ICE writes a mean sea battle... we saw this back in SW but he did it again here.

Quote

Abyss said:

BEST RESET - The Crimson Guard as a 'new Imass clan', waiting for their own Summoner. Nice touch.


Even a little good feelz for Skinner being there as well. Still, Cowl was not happy about that, but the whole them being dead and being able to come back whenever they want sure explains alot about him, being as he was well aware of the situation.

I especially loved that the whole Dolmens of Tien thing with K'azz's body was explained, with nary a problem and tied that whole discovery of his corpse thing up perfectly.


Yep. Credit where due, ICE answered a whole pile of questions here.

Quote

Abyss said:

I"MMM ASSAILINGGGGG AWAAAAAAAYYYYYYY - I liked these Assail. They built on everything we learned in past book,s but were strikingly different and more alien than the near mustache-twirling baddies of TCG. When they show up at the end, the reader knows, without any doubt, that they are a huge threat that can happily wipe out everyone standing before them.


They don't take shit from no one. But the inverting of our expectations was superb. I was all prepared for them to wake up and pretty much kill everyone. End of story. See you in the Early Empire books


Totally. Nicely echoing HoC, that.




Quote

Abyss said:

WORSE DEATH - DAMMIT COOTS!!!!!!


Yeah didn't like that at all. Loved how ICE handled Badland's reaction to it though. Very real.

Another death that surprised me with the affect it had on me was the giant Voltron made of bones that guarded the bridge. I wasn't happy about that. I kinda liked him. "I'll kill you...later. Here hang out in this dark cave in the meantime. You can eat fish or something."


relatedly, i LOVED how Badlands and Coots were kiding in the damn Bone Giant's cave. LOL'd at that.
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#25 User is offline   Spoilsport Stonny 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:22 PM

Quote

Quote

Abyss said:

BEST UPGRADE - Kyle rocked this book. After being with us this long and never quite shining, this was his book. His fight scenes were great fun to read, but aside from that i enjoyed his return home, his slow acceptance of being The Whiteblade, his kind of ignorant bravery in the face of serious opposition... when he took on 12 warriors to distrct them from Lyan and Dorrin, it made perfect sense, and so did the way the fight went. I liked his reflections on the Thel-Akai, and Greymane, and his time with the Crimson Guard.

Yes. His run through the Silent People was chilling, and I'm pretty sure he would have held his own against two or three FA.

These FA were pretty threatening, and Kyle, despite his various experiences and lessons, was still only human fast. He mighht have gotten lucky once, assuming they didn't just target him because of the sword.

Which was strongly implied at the finale when they all looked at him.


Yeah. At this point, I was expecting Ol' Mustache to kill whatever he wanted. His revelation to himself about letting go and just inflicting crippling blows was awesome, as was the ensuing mega-destruction and the female Crimson Guard's suggestion that he leave some for the rest of them.

Quote

Quote

Quote

BEST NEW CHARACTER - Ormen was a welcome surprise. I was initially skeptical because of how he resembled Kyle in some ways, but ICE gave him his own storyline ... perhaps not all that original... farmboy steals father's weapon, goes out into harsh world, becomes hero is hardly novel ground.... , but it was well told and moved nicely. The Reddin Bros and Old Bear were great supporting characters.


I liked Ormen a bunch. And Jute was a great POV character. But Tyvar Gendarian was by far the best new character. Holy hell I loved that guy. Imagine the despair a Mortal Sword would feel once his God fled to who-knows-where. And he remained...benevolent.


Agreed. I would have even enjoyed more Tyvar, but all things considered we've had so much Grey Sword/Helm in the past, this was nicely worked into the supporting cast/background without stealing the show.


Good point.

Quote

Fascinating tho that Togg would send a warrior cult to save lives given how the Wolves turned in TCG, but i suspect Togg actually meant for the Blues to trigger an FA massacre, and the message was twisted for the better.

At least, i really like that explanation.


Definitely what I was thinking.

Quote

Quote

Quote

BEST PERVERSION OF EVERYTHING WE THOUGHT WE KNEW - The T'lam Imass on a full blown genocidal jihad to wipe out every human on Assail with even a little Jaghut blood. It was chilling and very different from how the Imass have been shown to date, but also very consistent.


Yeah I was wondering why this was and what happened to Lanas Tog to make her lie about that whole "Not Jaghut...human" scenerio. It was nice to have some closure with that open-ended statement.


One of the few things i was genuinely left mildly frustrated by. It seemed like there was more going on there with Lanas... other forces kind of thing.


I thought maybe Lanas was the TI with the white bear cloak in the prologue, but that was U'tel. I guess Lanas had a real hatred for Jaghut, even humans with just a touch. I guess it was because of the Vow that drove the rest of them to join her, but that doesn't explain her motives.

This post has been edited by Spoilsport Stonny: 29 July 2014 - 10:24 PM

Theorizing that one could poop within his own lifetime, Doctor Poopet led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top secret project, known as QUANTUM POOP. Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Doctor Poopet, prematurely stepped into the Poop Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Fortunately, contact with his own bowels was made through brainwave transmissions, with Al the Poop Observer, who appeared in the form of a hologram that only Doctor Poopet could see and hear. Trapped in the past, Doctor Poopet finds himself pooping from life to life, pooping things right, that once went wrong and hoping each time, that his next poop will be the poop home.
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#26 User is offline   Spoilsport Stonny 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:23 PM

Re: Jethiss...

A point that stuck out was Tyvar's conversation with Jute about reincarnation (and even echoes of SE's controversial essay about after-death from the Toll the Hounds Tor re-read).

Quote

No one truly ever goes away. It is a very old idea, in point of fact. Ancient.


As far as deep shit goes, this was about as far down as it gets with ICE. I was proud of him for tackling the subject, but it also adds to the mystery of who Jethiss is. In perfect SE/ICE form, they give us a mystery and instead of answering it, they make us think about ourselves - on a spiritual and metaphysical scale. And it fits with the narrative, and is between two characters who probably WOULD be having a onversation like this, knowing that the possibility of death could be just a day away.

Did i forget to mention that i LOVED this book?!
Theorizing that one could poop within his own lifetime, Doctor Poopet led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top secret project, known as QUANTUM POOP. Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Doctor Poopet, prematurely stepped into the Poop Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Fortunately, contact with his own bowels was made through brainwave transmissions, with Al the Poop Observer, who appeared in the form of a hologram that only Doctor Poopet could see and hear. Trapped in the past, Doctor Poopet finds himself pooping from life to life, pooping things right, that once went wrong and hoping each time, that his next poop will be the poop home.
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#27 User is offline   Egwene 

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

View PostAbyss, on 29 July 2014 - 01:04 AM, said:

View PostSpoilsport Stonny, on 28 July 2014 - 09:23 PM, said:

...

Abyss said:

SO IS HE OR ISN"T HE - Maybe Jethiss was Anomander Rake returned, maybe he wasn't. There were other Andii in Dragnipur when the finale of TtH went down, after all. But i don't actually think it matters, he was interesting to read without stealing his storyline, and ended the book in a very different and interesting place... a one armed Tiste Andii born of Darkness and carrying a sword made of his own arm bones... that's pure fantasy lit goodness right there... ICE, if you're reading this... i would cheerfully pay dollars for an entire book of Jethiss, Kyle and Fisher's adventures.


Don't read this unless you want to REALLY know...

Spoiler



...


Don't think so....
First off Spin was still alive at the end of TTH and not in Dragnipur.Second, while Rake never met Seerdomin, Spin was using Rake's tactics at the games. See the scene early in TTH where Rake asks Spin how the game went and Spin replies "you won again my lord.".Finally, Spin wasn't a Mage.


Thanks for all the spoilers... sounds great. Looking forward to reading it for myself!

On the point of a mysterious Andii... could he possibly be Morn? Mother Dark was very happy to see him in OST and the whole passage hinted at more to come...
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#28 User is offline   Gorgon 

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:07 PM

Kinda thought morn was a shade of draconus?
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#29 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 10:12 PM

Stopped by Barnes and Noble while at the mall on a whim thinking they might have broken the street date. Sure enough, I now own a TPB of Assail. Can't wait to dive into it tonight!
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#30 User is offline   Jethiss 

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 03:31 PM

hi .

Just got to end of Assail, damn fine read !!
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#31 User is offline   S Ruin 

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:37 PM

View PostJethiss, on 03 August 2014 - 03:31 PM, said:

hi .

Just got to end of Assail, damn fine read !!

Halfway through the book and enjoying it so far. I can get Pats frustration because he is probably thinking - this is the last book so why are there all these sub plots that possibly don't matter to the malazan plot per say. I get his frustration but if you look past this, its still a very good read. Its not a crippled god where as the last book in that arc you feel every chapter is important and that everything is connected. Its not a complicated or in depth book but its a very easy read and really enjoyable.
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#32 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:57 AM

Well, if one overlooks everything that's crap or extraneous or unnecessary, then every single book out there would be good. . . :)

Patrick
For book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, related articles and news, and much more, check out www.fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com
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#33 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:41 AM

Pat's got his own views in his own thread. Discussion thereof can go there.
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#34 User is offline   S Ruin 

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:49 PM

View PostAbyss, on 07 August 2014 - 04:41 AM, said:

Pat's got his own views in his own thread. Discussion thereof can go there.

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#35 User is offline   buddhacat 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:53 AM

Just finished Assail.
MODGOD CUT

This was a very good book, almost great, I'd say the best by ICE so far.

This post has been edited by Abyss: 08 August 2014 - 06:39 PM
Reason for edit: MODGOD NOTICE OF I HATE TO REPEAT MYSELF BUT IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS PAT'S REVIEWS GO DO IT IN HIS THREAD


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#36 User is offline   buddhacat 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 07:19 AM

Just wanted to get this out there before finally getting some sleep .... There is a conversation when Fisher is trying to jog Jethiss's memory, and asks him if the name "Mane of Chaos" means anything. Then speculates that Mother Dark rejected chaos (and Eleint.) As a result when "Jethiss" returns, his hair is no longer white.

Also, Spinnock Durav never died or got lost, right?

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#37 User is online   amphibian 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 07:34 AM

Not on-screen.
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#38 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

Spin never died on screen or by clear reference.
Also, Jethiss' hair had white streaks.
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#39 User is offline   buddhacat 

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 02:29 AM

View PostAbyss, on 08 August 2014 - 06:40 PM, said:

Spin never died on screen or by clear reference.
Also, Jethiss' hair had white streaks.


Anyone recall Andarist's hair? Graying hair might be normal thing for the really old Andii.

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#40 User is offline   Stoneburner 

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:28 AM

The unveiling of Omtose Phellack at the end... I saw no indication it had been stopped, nor that it could be stopped. Lady Orsenn said it would last a hundred years or so. Does that mean the entire world is in for an ice age? Or was there an implicit agreement that the matriarch would somehow withdraw the ritual?

Also, any speculation if we've seen any of these elder characters before? The Jaghut are by far my favorite elder race and I can't recall seing Buri, the Matriarch, or any of the others mentioned in previous books.

Finally, do the names "Anger" and "Wrath' tell us anything about other similarly named siblings?
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