Malazan Empire: The Be-All and End-All Read Order Thread - Malazan Empire

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The Be-All and End-All Read Order Thread SPOILERS!!!

#21 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 04:14 PM

View PostGorefest, on 25 September 2014 - 03:08 PM, said:

View PostD, on 25 September 2014 - 02:44 PM, said:

View Postblackzoid, on 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

SW ( I still think this one can be up for debate. Can we put it after TTH and before DoD? Just to ease off on the ICE-slog a bit.)


Yeah, I kinda like that, too. The only downside is it makes a big gap between SW and BnB which sorta happen at the same time and have that one scene that is viewed from a different side ine ach book.


I'm still leaning towards DoD -SW-B&B-TCG, even though it does put a bit of a gap between DoD and TCG. I originally read all SE first and then ICE, and I seem to recall thinking when reading SW and B&B "damn, wish I'd known that before ending MBotF". Seems to be a bit of (albeit non-vital) info in those books that do somewhat clarify certain events in TCG.


I do, too, but Abyss had a good point that the ending of B&B kinda spoils for you (if you'll read TCG later) that they will find a way in TCG to turn the Jade Giants away, even if you don't know how/why it will happen.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#22 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 06:46 PM

There SHOULD be a gap between DoD and TCG. I know all rhetoric points to the contrary, but they aren't actually two halves of the same book, even in spite of the cliffhanger. TCG is structurally different (clearly mirroring GotM), has some weird touches absent from DoD (calling all TTT "Teblor" for one; the interview interludes with Kam another), and the impatient shouldn't be coddled. The cliffhanger is part of the experience. Stick SW right in there, by all means necessary.
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#23 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 08:02 PM

View Postworry, on 25 September 2014 - 06:46 PM, said:

There SHOULD be a gap between DoD and TCG. I know all rhetoric points to the contrary, but they aren't actually two halves of the same book, even in spite of the cliffhanger. TCG is structurally different (clearly mirroring GotM), has some weird touches absent from DoD (calling all TTT "Teblor" for one; the interview interludes with Kam another), and the impatient shouldn't be coddled. The cliffhanger is part of the experience. Stick SW right in there, by all means necessary.


Personally I am a fan of putting something in-between too. It's kinda lame to have a big "OMG are the bonehunters all dead?!" cliffhanger, only to find out a few minutes later in TCG chapter 2 the answer. But I understand that my opinion is highly in the minority here.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#24 User is offline   KuwabaraTheMan 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 12:01 AM

View Postworry, on 25 September 2014 - 06:46 PM, said:

There SHOULD be a gap between DoD and TCG. I know all rhetoric points to the contrary, but they aren't actually two halves of the same book, even in spite of the cliffhanger. TCG is structurally different (clearly mirroring GotM), has some weird touches absent from DoD (calling all TTT "Teblor" for one; the interview interludes with Kam another), and the impatient shouldn't be coddled. The cliffhanger is part of the experience. Stick SW right in there, by all means necessary.



I agree with this. They're clearly two different books from a style point of view, and it's also good to have a palette cleanser in between Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God.

I did this just recently on my first read, and I think that DoD-SW-TCG is the correct way to go. Aside from Stonewielder being a good palette cleanser in the middle, it has a brief mention of Ruthan Gudd by Greymane that will mean nothing to you if you haven't read DoD first (and it's minor enough that I don't think most people will remember it when they get around to DoD if they read this first), and TCG has a mention of the whorl by Cotillion.
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#25 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 10:55 AM

So then the first read suggestion would be

DoD-SW-TCG-BnB

And the reread

DoD-SW-BnB-TCG



Or maybe we should break these books down into their chapters and weave them through one another....











(that was not a serious suggestion, honest!)

This post has been edited by Gorefest: 26 September 2014 - 10:57 AM

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#26 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 12:45 PM

Yap, I always thought the idea about DoD/TCG being one single book was waay overstated.
TCG doesn't have the same structure at all as DoD. Plus it has characters not in the first book.
A cliffhanger does not make TCG automatically a part 2 that must be read next.
The conservative use of that for first time readers would be to put SW in between DoD/TCG. Publishing order for the win.

My preferred option though would be to continue the ICE/SE intermingling so it goes TTH------SW----DoD----OST----TCG
But that may be too radicial. There should be no spoilers though, if its done that way. Otherwise stick with DOD------SW---------TCG

Putting B&B before OST is silly though. The "Visitor" (ICE's name for the jade statues incoming in TCG) is receding in B&B. Whereas it is only appearing in the sky in OST. Leave it before B&B. Yes, I know that means the two POV's of the same Iron Bars/Skinner scene are seperated by books, but that isn't a big deal. Mixing up the order of the ICE books on that basis is a bad idea IMO.

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 26 September 2014 - 12:50 PM

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#27 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 01:01 PM

As a woefully uninformed person regarding ICE books can I just throw out the idea that I think it is a very bad idea to split DoD and TCG.

Taking a break between the 9th and 10th books is like running a marathon after months of training, then just before you reach the finish line run past a cinema that is about to play X movie you really love, and going in to watch it before you do the last 70 meters. You would lose some of the exaltation or jubilation you feel when you cross the line because you just spent the last several hours (weeks in this case) doing something else. It just isn't something you would do.
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#28 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 01:24 PM

View PostInane Babble, on 26 September 2014 - 01:01 PM, said:

As a woefully uninformed person regarding ICE books can I just throw out the idea that I think it is a very bad idea to split DoD and TCG.

Taking a break between the 9th and 10th books is like running a marathon after months of training, then just before you reach the finish line run past a cinema that is about to play X movie you really love, and going in to watch it before you do the last 70 meters. You would lose some of the exaltation or jubilation you feel when you cross the line because you just spent the last several hours (weeks in this case) doing something else. It just isn't something you would do.


But whats the difference between doeing that and sticking in NoK in the order or RoTCG between RG and TTH?
The analogy in my view would be 10K runs. To end 1 10K run, go to the cinema and watch X movie and then start the last 10K run. And then watch another movie afterwards. The TCG would hardly be just 70 metres of a marathon. If the debate is to never intermingle ICE with SE books, fine. But if you do stick in NoK and RoTCG in the SE order, I dont think its the end of the world at all to break up DoD/TCG. Thats the way I first read it. And many others.
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#29 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 01:45 PM

View Postblackzoid, on 26 September 2014 - 01:24 PM, said:

View PostInane Babble, on 26 September 2014 - 01:01 PM, said:

As a woefully uninformed person regarding ICE books can I just throw out the idea that I think it is a very bad idea to split DoD and TCG.

Taking a break between the 9th and 10th books is like running a marathon after months of training, then just before you reach the finish line run past a cinema that is about to play X movie you really love, and going in to watch it before you do the last 70 meters. You would lose some of the exaltation or jubilation you feel when you cross the line because you just spent the last several hours (weeks in this case) doing something else. It just isn't something you would do.


But whats the difference between doeing that and sticking in NoK in the order or RoTCG between RG and TTH?
The analogy in my view would be 10K runs. To end 1 10K run, go to the cinema and watch X movie and then start the last 10K run. And then watch another movie afterwards. The TCG would hardly be just 70 metres of a marathon. If the debate is to never intermingle ICE with SE books, fine. But if you do stick in NoK and RoTCG in the SE order, I dont think its the end of the world at all to break up DoD/TCG. Thats the way I first read it. And many others.


Going by word count TCG would be the last 30% of the race :)

Talking more about the feeling of reaching the end "I'm here! This is it! I made it!" kind of feeling of starting onto the final book.
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#30 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 02:13 PM

I think all of Tayschrenn's smacktalk to Kiska in OST about the big convergence going on on the other side of the world that he's not going to take part in is a great bit of getting the reader pumped for the coming TCG convergence.

I also think all the bits in TCG that reference bad stuff going down in Darujhistan are a bit more fun when you've already read OST and can pick up on these little bits.

And as mentioned up-thread, all those who read the books as they were published had a year-long wait and an ICE novel between DoD and TCG, and our brains didn't melt (nor did I feel like it was stopping before the marathon finish line).

I like TtH >> SW >> DoD >> OST >> TCG

on the other hand, is there any reason OST couldn't/shouldn't come before DoD? Could we present it as a choice to do either

TtH >> SW >> DoD >> OST >> TCG

OR

TtH >> SW >> OST >> DoD >> TCG

??

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#31 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:37 PM

View PostD, on 26 September 2014 - 02:13 PM, said:


on the other hand, is there any reason OST couldn't/shouldn't come before DoD? Could we present it as a choice to do either

TtH >> SW >> DoD >> OST >> TCG

OR

TtH >> SW >> OST >> DoD >> TCG

??


Only possible thing with doing both SW and OST before DoD is that people may not want to do 2 ICE books in a row and that the "Visitor" is mentioned in OST as a given, whereas the second wave of jade statues are properly introduced in DoD first. But seeing as its the prologue of DoD where they are introduced, its not too bad an alternative if people cannot conceive of breaking up DoD/TCG

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 26 September 2014 - 03:39 PM

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#32 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 05:37 PM

In my first read of the series I only read SE books as I didn't know enough about ICE yet. In my re-read I put in the ICE books, and following a suggestion here I did try to do SW and OST before TCG. While doing SW is a fine idea, and it did work for me, I think OST should be read after TCG. One reason is that I found OST to be really difficult to get into. in fact I abandoned it after the first two chapters, the first time ever for a Malazan book, and I read TCG. After an appropriate gap to settle the nerves I took up OST again. I don't think reading OST later significantly harms the TCG experience as the big convergence there hardly touches OST. In fact, considering the nature of Draconus' presence in OST i.e.as a shade in the Spawn and haunting Envy it is better that OST be read after TCG. Consider, in DoD Draconus breaks out into the world, crushing thousands. He is clearly there with a set mission, which he goes on to fulfill in TCG. NOw form the point of reading experience, it make smuch more sense to follow up that epic entrance in DoD with Elder God hunting in TCG. If OST was included here you would get, after a chilling entry via Envy, some rather indifferent hanging out at the Spawn. Far better to let TCG climax first.
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#33 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:29 AM

What do you think of this:

Attached File  Malaz Recommended Read Order Chart.jpg (778.73K)
Number of downloads: 15

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#34 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM

View PostD, on 29 September 2014 - 04:29 AM, said:

What do you think of this:
...


I think i need some aspirin and a whiskey now because my head hurts.


...No line between DG and MoI?
Or RCG and TtH which flow directly, story and spoiler-wise?
... umm....

Maybe we could simply post a recommended reading order list with some 'variations' and let the readers make up their own minds.
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#35 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 02:42 PM

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

View PostD, on 29 September 2014 - 04:29 AM, said:

What do you think of this:
...


I think i need some aspirin and a whiskey now because my head hurts.

Maybe we could simply post a recommended reading order list with some 'variations' and let the readers make up their own minds.




Bloody hell I had to download that to my computer to make sense of that, and I am not sure I still understand anything. For instance NoK and DG both spoil each other? How? What are you supposed to do about it? My head hurts. Why is there a line between Wurms of Blearmouth and MoI? My head really hurts.
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#36 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 03:52 PM

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

...No line between DG and MoI?


Should there be?

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

Or RCG and TtH which flow directly, story and spoiler-wise?


Missed that, thank you!


View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

Maybe we could simply post a recommended reading order list with some 'variations' and let the readers make up their own minds.


Any discussion/listing of variations is gonna be spoiler-prone though if we have to explain what the point of any variations is or whatnot. I'm just aiming to point out to readers what books they *need* to read before others to avoid spoilers or jumping back and forth in story order.

Maybe the chart needs a short explanation paragraph on how to use it, though.



View PostAndorion, on 29 September 2014 - 02:42 PM, said:

For instance NoK and DG both spoil each other? How? What are you supposed to do about it?


ST/Cot = Kellanved/Dancer is revealed in both NoK and DG. Whichever book is read first - that is where the reader will go "ooooooh" but whichever book is read second won't have that same impact. Neither one is really any better or worse, I think.

I propose we don't do anything about it and just let readers randomly decide to read one or the other first.



View PostAndorion, on 29 September 2014 - 02:42 PM, said:

Why is there a line between Wurms of Blearmouth and MoI? My head really hurts.


Bauchelain & Korbal Broach, after wreaking havoc on the west coast of Genebackis in Wurms of Blearmouth, then head to Darujhistan where they feature in MoI.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#37 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:51 PM

View PostD, on 29 September 2014 - 03:52 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

...No line between DG and MoI?


Should there be?

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

Or RCG and TtH which flow directly, story and spoiler-wise?


Missed that, thank you!


View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

Maybe we could simply post a recommended reading order list with some 'variations' and let the readers make up their own minds.


Any discussion/listing of variations is gonna be spoiler-prone though if we have to explain what the point of any variations is or whatnot. I'm just aiming to point out to readers what books they *need* to read before others to avoid spoilers or jumping back and forth in story order.

Maybe the chart needs a short explanation paragraph on how to use it, though.



View PostAndorion, on 29 September 2014 - 02:42 PM, said:

For instance NoK and DG both spoil each other? How? What are you supposed to do about it?


ST/Cot = Kellanved/Dancer is revealed in both NoK and DG. Whichever book is read first - that is where the reader will go "ooooooh" but whichever book is read second won't have that same impact. Neither one is really any better or worse, I think.

I propose we don't do anything about it and just let readers randomly decide to read one or the other first.



View PostAndorion, on 29 September 2014 - 02:42 PM, said:

Why is there a line between Wurms of Blearmouth and MoI? My head really hurts.


Bauchelain & Korbal Broach, after wreaking havoc on the west coast of Genebackis in Wurms of Blearmouth, then head to Darujhistan where they feature in MoI.


Oh, I hadn't considered the Kell/Dancer thing, but thats coz I guessed it in GotM.

Bauchelain adn Korbal Broach....totally missed the Wurms/Daru connection. Probably because I read Wurms this year.
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#38 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 05:34 PM

View PostD, on 29 September 2014 - 03:52 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

...No line between DG and MoI?


Should there be?



Whichever flavor of read order you subscribe to, one follows the other, no?
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#39 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 05:49 PM

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 05:34 PM, said:

View PostD, on 29 September 2014 - 03:52 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 29 September 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

...No line between DG and MoI?


Should there be?



Whichever flavor of read order you subscribe to, one follows the other, no?


You're right, I did not make the actual read order clear enough in the chart (it is basically left-to-right, so DG before MoI). I will play around with some text, or numbering, or another arrowline, for showing the actual recommended reading order.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#40 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 03:39 PM

I like how we can actually device suggested reading schematics that are more complex than the MBotF story arc itself. I was mollified into general agreement with the book order and in slight awe of the pretty blue arrows, when the red lines hit. My wife says I have been screaming out the little comment sections in my sleep for the past nights now, specifically commenting on the febrile vibe of otherworldly terror creeping in between breathless yelps, and I seem to have developed a permanent twitch in my left eye. I give it four stars.
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