Malazan Empire: Assail - Malazan Empire

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1

Assail ICE ruins stuff again.

#1 User is offline   bhokaralasenator 

  • Recruit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 12-October 12

Posted 07 October 2014 - 01:29 AM

SPOILERS FOR ASSAIL





Assail - the supposed finale of these off-color Malazan novels that ICE has crapped out over the years. At times I wondered what it must be like to ICE to write stories in the same shared universe that gave us Deadhouse Gates and The Crippled God. Does he feel overshadowed by some of SE's vast battle scenes and grand convergences? Does he feel the need to put his own spin on events previously hinted at in the Book of the Fallen, only to twist them into something that can he can proudly call distinctly his? I've come to the conclusion that ICE is painfully aware of the lackluster nature of his addendum to the Book of the Fallen, and has been since Return of the Crimson Guard, which I believe was his only truly good contribution.

This awareness is most prominent in the character of Jethiss. There has not been a more ham-fisted example of ICE trying to continue the story of a character whose story was so perfectly concluded. After some time I began to suspect that Jethiss was actually Spinnock Durav, and I'm happy to see that opinion shared on the forum. But Fisher's suspicions and theories about the rebirth of Anomander Rake are just... Insulting. I was actually offended the first time I realized what Fisher suspected. It cheapened Anomander's sacrifice and betrayed the finality of a beautiful sacrifice.
And then there's Silverfox. Her POVs reminded me of the Mhybe sections of MOI, and her lack of a spine was frustrating. Why didn't she just release the Kerluhn from the Ritiual? That is her purpose, right? She could have saved every family they slaughtered on Assail by just making them mortal that first time she saw them on the beach. The woman's been dragging her feet on this Summoner business for a loooooong time.
So what happened to the rest of the Kerluhn? Wasn't there supposed to be thousands of them trapped on the continent? And what trapped them in the first place? There's just vague references to Omtose Phellack hampering their ability to travel, but if the Imass were that easy to trap then why didn't every Jaghut they hunted just call up a damn glacier or two?

There was so much travelogue. I got bogged down about halfway through and lost track of who the hell was going where, as well as who was traveling with who. Writing travel is easy, the character is physically moving form place to place and the author can busy himself by describing landscape and simple tasks of survival. Writing a book about people who stay in one place and get stuff done is much harder. ICE tried this with Orb, Sceptre, Throne and we know how that turned out.
Sure, there's lots of other stuff going on in Assail. The Kerluhn Imass were a true terror, and the Cartheron scenes were the high points for me. Kyle remained fun to read and I did appreciate the Fisher pov. The battle of the Imass invading the Malazan-held fort is where things finally started to turn around for me, and seeing Cartheron take on a glacier was quite satisfying, if a bit confusing to read.
But why do thousands of people converge on the continent? Is it for the compassion of a chained god or to liberate a people from an oppressive government? Has the promise of new power unfolded or has an ancient evil awakened? Is their motivation anything slightly interesting at all? Nope. It's because of gold. Gold that no one really even gets their hands on. Just money. That no one gets.
The Icebloods were interesting, if not a bit clichéd. They were definitely not what I expected to find on the fabled continent of Assail, and their Jaghut heritage took a little while for me to put together. But there really wasn't much in the way of culture or sophistication to these people who shared a heritage with the ice-wielding anti-orcs who prefer philosophy and isolation over war-mongering and blood feuds. Sure, these people were tall and had some ice magics, but they had nothing else in common with the Jaghut.
Last but not least, the Forkrul Assail. They are adjudicators again, not power-mad conquerors like they were in The Crippled God. They were quite alien and scary, and I honestly didn't think everyone was going to walk off that mountain top like they did. It was a typical ICE anti-climax, with the big bad showing up, acting menacing, and then telling everyone to play nice and go home. Hardly jaw-dropping fare.
I'm glad this series is over. I only kept reading because of my love for the Book of the Fallen. I never expected ICE to wrap everything up but goddamn, I was hoping he would not pull his punches this time and really deliver. Grr.

This post has been edited by bhokaralasenator: 13 October 2014 - 07:09 AM

1

#2 User is offline   Dragnipurake 

  • Captain
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 196
  • Joined: 05-June 04

Posted 08 October 2014 - 05:18 AM

you seem to have wished for a book by SE.

I loved this book and am very impressed with how ICE has managed to develop his own voice and keep things interesting. I hated ROTCG because of the way Dassem, Iron Bars were written but the subsequent books have gotten better and better. I am not sure there is much to complain about (in terms of comparing it to SE's books), its ICE's story too.
0

#3 User is offline   theocean 

  • High Fist
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 436
  • Joined: 18-January 13

Posted 10 October 2014 - 04:55 PM

 Dragnipurake, on 08 October 2014 - 05:18 AM, said:

you seem to have wished for a book by SE.

I loved this book and am very impressed with how ICE has managed to develop his own voice and keep things interesting. I hated ROTCG because of the way Dassem, Iron Bars were written but the subsequent books have gotten better and better. I am not sure there is much to complain about (in terms of comparing it to SE's books), its ICE's story too.



I still hate how Bars was written. He basically was the baddest ass dude going when he was killing gods in his first appearance sort of just as an .. i guess i can hop in and help out in this fight for a few minutes and slay multiple god like entities. Then he has never relived that first beast mode like moment. Hes like a drug, that fist hit of iron bars and your constanatly waiting for that same high you got when he first appeared slaying things.. but you never get that same awesome high again.
1

#4 User is offline   bhokaralasenator 

  • Recruit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 12-October 12

Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:12 AM

Dragnipurake said:

1412745509[/url]' post='1153485']
you seem to have wished for a book by SE.

I loved this book and am very impressed with how ICE has managed to develop his own voice and keep things interesting. I hated ROTCG because of the way Dassem, Iron Bars were written but the subsequent books have gotten better and better. I am not sure there is much to complain about (in terms of comparing it to SE's books), its ICE's story too.


Just hoping for a *good* book! not necessarily one by SE. I don't really hear ICE's "voice" nor do I think he has done the shared universe justice. He's a lazy writer, period.
0

#5 User is offline   bhokaralasenator 

  • Recruit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 12-October 12

Posted 14 October 2014 - 12:57 AM

theocean said:

1412960113[/url]' post='1154075']

Dragnipurake said:

1412745509[/url]' post='1153485']
you seem to have wished for a book by SE.

I loved this book and am very impressed with how ICE has managed to develop his own voice and keep things interesting. I hated ROTCG because of the way Dassem, Iron Bars were written but the subsequent books have gotten better and better. I am not sure there is much to complain about (in terms of comparing it to SE's books), its ICE's story too.



I still hate how Bars was written. He basically was the baddest ass dude going when he was killing gods in his first appearance sort of just as an .. i guess i can hop in and help out in this fight for a few minutes and slay multiple god like entities. Then he has never relived that first beast mode like moment. Hes like a drug, that fist hit of iron bars and your constanatly waiting for that same high you got when he first appeared slaying things.. but you never get that same awesome high again.


I will say that I liked the Shimmer/Iron Bars romance. He def had one of the best introductions in the series.
0

#6 User is offline   Abyss 

  • abyssus abyssum invocat
  • Group: Administrators
  • Posts: 19,838
  • Joined: 22-May 03
  • Location:The call is coming from inside the house!!!!
  • Interests:Interesting.

Posted 14 October 2014 - 04:48 PM

 theocean, on 10 October 2014 - 04:55 PM, said:

...
I still hate how Bars was written. He basically was the baddest ass dude going when he was killing gods in his first appearance sort of just as an .. i guess i can hop in and help out in this fight for a few minutes and slay multiple god like entities. Then he has never relived that first beast mode like moment. Hes like a drug, that fist hit of iron bars and your constanatly waiting for that same high you got when he first appeared slaying things.. but you never get that same awesome high again.


In RCG he takes out a Seguleh and ends up in the Agatii.

He stood the Stormwall for most of SW and repeatedly punched Stormriders in the face, then killed a mage who had his hands wrapped around Bars' heart at the time. Not badass enough?


 bhokaralasenator, on 14 October 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

I will say that I liked the Shimmer/Iron Bars romance.


It came a bit out of nowhere but i enjoyed it, maybe moreso for that reason.

I was semi-expecting Bars to end up stronger for all the crap he went through and step up to challenge Skinner, but B&B ended that possibility.
I don't have a problem with ICE writing him as somewhat broken from his experiences, given all the crap he went through. The Shaars took a serious toll on the Guard and made the point that Bars was lucky to survive and get most of his squad out.

I am not one of those who hates Assail because it didn't deliver 'what i wanted' - quite the opposite, part of what i really enjoyed about the book was how ICE refused to give us exactly what we expected - i did want Bars to have one more shining moment of awesome on par with facing the Teblor Gods in MT.
THIS IS YOUR REMINDER THAT THERE IS A
'VIEW NEW CONTENT' BUTTON THAT
ALLOWS YOU TO VIEW NEW CONTENT
0

#7 User is offline   polishgenius 

  • Heart of Courage
  • Group: LHTEC
  • Posts: 4,905
  • Joined: 16-June 05

Posted 14 October 2014 - 10:09 PM

Yeah, ICE's writing of action isn't quite up to par with SE's (the one area where I think SE really has the advantage), but in terms of actual achievement, I don't think Iron Bars lets up, especially since even in that first appearance it's made clear he's winning on willpower as much as skill and power, and that's what he does later on too.
I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you.
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1


Fast Reply

  

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users