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#1 User is offline   Shadow Knight 

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 05:38 PM

This is my first post, i've read the entire malazan sequence (bar assail) 3 times, n just finished assail last noght follwing a complete re-eead of all the books.

Was any one else massively disappointed by this book? not so much for what actually happened in the book, as a book it was decent, but for what could of been? everything the book could and should of been?

The book took a really poor direction, similiar to OST, in my opinion,
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#2 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:21 PM

Welcome to the forum Shadow Knight.

I myself enjoyed the book, but i know there are forumites around who will enthusiastically agree with you.
At least until we finish rounding them up and adjusting their brainz.


You might have a look at some of the other threads in the ASSAIL subforum... the titles are usually pretty clear about which side of the like/hate divide the original post falls on.
But only for the moment... a mind is a terrible thing to waste but a wonderful thing to edit.

If you've read the series three times, you probably have a lot to share in the various forums. Jump on in.
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#3 User is offline   Shadow Knight 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for the reply Abyss.

I have had a look around the forum and the Assail sub-forum, and as you said there is a pretty clear divide, this is true of all of ICE's novels it seems, also notice there is very little topics of discussion/ debates on ICE's novels in comparison to SE's novels, and that illustrates the divide quiet well I think.

My problem with Assail is, it was nothing like what was hinted at, throughout the series, not only that but the direction the story took left alot to be desired, a gold rush??

Also the ending of the Crimson Guard arc let alot to be desired, I mean new T'lan?

I actually have a real fear that the early empire novels ICE is working on, tentively called Dancers Lament, will also be a massive let down similar to OST, Blood and Bone and Assail.

Should ICE just let the writing to SE? I dont think he'd have a book deal only for what SE achieved in the MBOTF and him refusing to write certain things saying they are ICE's department.

This post has been edited by Shadow Knight: 01 April 2015 - 11:42 AM

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#4 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:34 PM

I tried a different approach after I was disappointed by OST. I basically read Blood and Bone and Assail like standalone books. I just abandoned all expectations that many questions would be answered. It helped. I really enjoyed my read of Assail. I consider the Crippled God to be the final book of the Malazan arc. OST, and the other two I regard as standalone books in the same universe.
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#5 User is offline   Shadow Knight 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:25 PM

Andorion, I understand that approach, I actually read all of SE's books in sequence, then ICE's, the problem when it comes to both OST and Assail, is its hard not to have expectations givin the hints/lead up, the tyrant in OST, was just shockingly poor in my opinion, and with Assail as a book it was decent but given everything before was a massive let down.

I always read ICE's as more stand alone books and quiet enjoyed KOK, and ROTCG and SW, as a hole (though not some elements) but just went downhill from there.
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Posted 01 April 2015 - 03:24 PM

It's funny... something that both SE and ICE do is play with the concept that rumour and legend are rarely reflective of reality, and sometimes deliberately misleading. Narrators and POVs tell their own story, which isn't the whole story. Neither the Tyrant of Darujhistan nor most things about Assail were what we expected, largely because the authors laid down a trail of hints and clues that could be taken a variety of ways and most of us jumped to the obvious... someone says there are humans with magic swords running around Assail slaughtering Tlan Imass, well it must be true... it never occurred to anyone that Lanas Togg could be lying, that the Imass could be slaughtering each other over whether to slaughter humans with thin traces of Jaghut blood. Dancer mentions that the it's all a game to the Tyrants on Assail... we all assume these must be wildly powerful tyrants and not a bunch of inbred part-Jaghut mages who just want to rule their little empires and be left alone. Reread Endest Silann's conversation with Brood about Assail in TtH and decide whether it doesn't reflect what we learned of Assail, just not the way we thought it did. One could say SE and ICE did their job too well.


I've spent multiple posts 'defending' Assail and ICE and I don't need to repeat it all... I just think it's a shame that the primary problem many people seem to have with the book is that it wasn't what they expected. By all means, read it, don't enjoy it, say so... but 'I was expecting something and I got something else so I dislike it on principal' just seems, to be cheating one's self of a potentially solid book on its own merits. Not that all of ICE's (or even SE's) books are without flaw (tho mostly, but i'm biased ;) ), I just don't think 'not telling the story I thought it would' is fair.
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#7 User is offline   Nevyn 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 05:46 PM

View PostAbyss, on 01 April 2015 - 03:24 PM, said:

It's funny... something that both SE and ICE do is play with the concept that rumour and legend are rarely reflective of reality, and sometimes deliberately misleading. Narrators and POVs tell their own story, which isn't the whole story. Neither the Tyrant of Darujhistan nor most things about Assail were what we expected, largely because the authors laid down a trail of hints and clues that could be taken a variety of ways and most of us jumped to the obvious... someone says there are humans with magic swords running around Assail slaughtering Tlan Imass, well it must be true... it never occurred to anyone that Lanas Togg could be lying, that the Imass could be slaughtering each other over whether to slaughter humans with thin traces of Jaghut blood. Dancer mentions that the it's all a game to the Tyrants on Assail... we all assume these must be wildly powerful tyrants and not a bunch of inbred part-Jaghut mages who just want to rule their little empires and be left alone. Reread Endest Silann's conversation with Brood about Assail in TtH and decide whether it doesn't reflect what we learned of Assail, just not the way we thought it did. One could say SE and ICE did their job too well.


I've spent multiple posts 'defending' Assail and ICE and I don't need to repeat it all... I just think it's a shame that the primary problem many people seem to have with the book is that it wasn't what they expected. By all means, read it, don't enjoy it, say so... but 'I was expecting something and I got something else so I dislike it on principal' just seems, to be cheating one's self of a potentially solid book on its own merits. Not that all of ICE's (or even SE's) books are without flaw (tho mostly, but i'm biased ;) ), I just don't think 'not telling the story I thought it would' is fair.


I don't think you can blame people for being disappointed. It was SE and ICE who built Assail up, even if they build it up with characters who could be lying. They still set the expectation.

So its perfectly natural to be disappointed when the be all and end all continent doesn't meet that expectation. You can argue lies (not really rumor or legend since its mainly first hand accounts) to say that its not a mistake or break in continuity, but you can't argue that they didn't build up an expectation and then deliver something else.


And everyone judges just about everything they come across based on their expectations going in, whether consciously or subconsciously. Happens all the time. Personally, over time my expectation of Assail being epic was just a general one. Going into reading it I had forgotten the specific references made, other than they made it sound badass and utterly terrifying even to Ascendants and the undead. Going back through the forum now and re-reading the actual references from SE books, I am actually even more annoyed.


To me I feel like OST and Assail represent backstory that ICE and SE never really just gamed out, just knew in broad strokes as character tie-ins. And when ICE built out those stories as novels they ended up far less epic in scale than SE had envisioned (because as we've seen SE sees everything as epic conflagration, and ICE likes to keep things much simpler).

This post has been edited by Nevyn: 01 April 2015 - 05:55 PM

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#8 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 07:30 PM

View PostNevyn, on 01 April 2015 - 05:46 PM, said:

I don't think you can blame people for being disappointed. It was SE and ICE who built Assail up, even if they build it up with characters who could be lying. They still set the expectation.

So its perfectly natural to be disappointed when the be all and end all continent doesn't meet that expectation. You can argue lies (not really rumor or legend since its mainly first hand accounts) to say that its not a mistake or break in continuity, but you can't argue that they didn't build up an expectation and then deliver something else....


I don't take issue with anyone's disappointment. I get it, really (tho Lanas Togg did lie... the book sets that down clearly).

It's just that minus the hints, i think Assail is a pretty solid novel on its own, and that gets lost in the fact that it's not a massive killfeste of Imass, Jaghut, FA and fanatic humans with shiny swords.

...not that there would have been anything wrong with that...
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#9 User is offline   Shadow Knight 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 07:35 PM

My problem with say the Tyrant in OST for example is this;

Raest from GOTM, was fairly bad ass, took on Silandah (hopefully spelt correct) and a number of soletaken eleint, and more then held his own, to the point he would of won had it just been them. Then was revealed that he was nothin compared to the true tyrant, and what do we get in OST........? nothin in comparison no matter how you look at it, now to take abyss at this point, that is not meant to be deliberately misleading or one persons point of view etc
it was simply failure to deliver in my opinion,

Now as for Assail its not just that it wasnt what I expected, its that the hole book (which I said was decent as a stand alone) was disappointing and was left with the feeling of 'if only' or 'what could of been', from the gold rush arc lets call it, to having every character go to the same places throughtout the book, ie all pass the dead sea, lady mist etc, to the CG vow, to a jaghut who had enough power to freeze a continent for how long? but not be able defeat a few t'lan imass in the prologue, n the end was just plain lame, hole entire book lead to a conversation all the struggle etc for a conversation.

Was Assail what it was built up to be? not even close.
Was what we were given different to expectation but equally as bad as was hinted at? no...... it just failed to deliver.......

As a stand alone its decent but incorporating everything from the previous books all the hints and subtle references and it falls flat.

This post has been edited by Shadow Knight: 01 April 2015 - 07:39 PM

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#10 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:48 PM

View PostNevyn, on 01 April 2015 - 05:46 PM, said:


I don't think you can blame people for being disappointed.


I assure you, this isn't true.
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#11 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:54 PM

View Postworry, on 01 April 2015 - 09:48 PM, said:

View PostNevyn, on 01 April 2015 - 05:46 PM, said:

I don't think you can blame people for being disappointed.


I assure you, this isn't true.



Point.
Worry can blame people for breathing.
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#12 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 10:13 PM

Also, I mentioned this in the Reading ATM thread, but rereading OST made me like it even more than the first time. The Tyrant makes so much sense as the "bluff" Raest accurately points it out to be, and the metaphor (and historical reality) strikes home really well when you're not fixated on a big action-packed finale.

The thing I most agree w/ detractors about -- at least in BaB and Assail (neither of which I've reread) -- is the Crimson Guard story. Not in its broad plot strokes, which make sense, but in the nitty gritty moments which are sparse and vaguely drawn (as opposed to RotCG somewhat and SW in particular, where the characterization was excellent). Shimmer's decently thoughtful, but she's not enough.
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#13 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 01:47 AM

My problem in OST wasn't about expectations. I really had no expectations about the Tyrant except "ok so the tyrant will rise, lets see what he can do"

It was more about missed chances. Think about the Seguleh being bombed. Wouldn't a Seguleh PoV rank and file, not elite, built up through the book which climaxed there make that scene richer?

Wouldn't the Rhivi storyline be better with an in-depth Rhivi PoV? This has been done. Look at the Burned Tears and the Barghast.
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#14 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 02:14 AM

ICE doesn't have "enough" POVs in any of his books. Them's the breaks.
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#15 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 08:55 AM

View Postworry, on 02 April 2015 - 02:14 AM, said:

ICE doesn't have "enough" POVs in any of his books. Them's the breaks.


Or, when he does have them, they often are too painfully obviously tooled as POVs. Some of his characters appear to be nothing but POVs, i.e. they do not have any function in the storyline other than to provide a window on events. With SE, the POV characters are usually also integral to the storyline, unless they are used for emotional impact (but they usually are only around for a few paragraphs, not for most of the book). A case in point is that captain in Assail, can't remember his name, with his Ruse witch wife. He is present throughout the book, but he doesn't actually do anything of note (as far as I can remember) apart from showing up during events as an eyepiece for the reader.

This post has been edited by Gorefest: 02 April 2015 - 08:56 AM

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#16 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 09:06 AM

He married a woman and loved her well and was loved in return. Is that not of note?
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#17 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 09:18 AM

Not unless their love is abused to seal the new pact between FA, Jaghut, Imass and Tiste, leaving his wife forever in stasis beyond his reach inside an Azath House.
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#18 User is offline   Shadow Knight 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 11:16 AM

Gorefest makes a very valid point Jute was the captains name, you could also put Reuth in that catagory, the nephew of the captain of the mare galley, and also to a degree silverfox, what did she actually do in the book? bar complain, her arc was a waste of time, so much could of been done with her.

Also thought the jethiss (spinnock, well better be spinnock if its rake its a joke) arc was a waste as well, there was no need for it whatsoever.
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#19 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 12:59 PM

I do actually think that Tiste involvement in the larger scheme of things is quite valid. When we first encounter the Tiste, they are a broken people without purpose, whose sole reason to continue existing seems to be whatever Rake can think up to make them feel relevant and instill them with a sense of purpose.

In FoD we get initial glimpses into their society and we will undoubtedly learn in the Kharkanas trilogy what turned them into such broken, empty shells. Coral is their first glimpse back into having a modicum of society and relevance, but it is still a very bleak shadow of existence. It is not until Rake sacrifices all to return Mother Dark and the Tiste to Kharkanas that their age-long struggle and suffering appears to come to a conclusion. After tCG we are left with the sense that healing and rebuilding is finally possible for the Andii, but it is still a big jumbled mess in the realm of darkness.

With Jethiss (and yes please, let it be Spinnock) taking up the role of First Sword/defender/champion of the Andii, the healing process can truly start and structure and society can be rebuilt. Furthermore, the Tiste were not included in the initial pact between the founding races of Wu and their brutal arrival on the scene caused great turmoil (almost complete eradication of the K'Chain Che'malle, massively changing the power balance in the realm of Wu). With this new pact, they finally get a place in the overall structure. It has echoes of accepting the House of Chains into the Deck and it ensures peace and harmony looking forward.

This is an important storyline that we never saw a true closure to in the MBotF series, so in that respect it is of great import that Jethiss is there at the end of Assail. Not sure about the point or the implications and impact of the sacrifice of his arm, but I definitely do not consider his inclusion a waste.
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#20 User is offline   Shadow Knight 

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 01:32 PM

Id have to disagree on Jethiss, I think was no need for that entire arc, at least u agree it shouldnt be rake anyway,

Firstly we never actually see spinnock die or lose his memories, last we see him hes kicking ass at light fall, so to suddenly have an andii wash up, frozen solid and be spinnock is bad story telling, if its rake its even worse for other reasons.

What you said I mostly agree with but it could of been accomplished in a much easier and direct way, then having an andii we last seen alive and hole wash up frozen solid, with no memories, so im not sayin the andii part shouldnt be involved or doesnt make sense just that the Jethiss character was ill conceived in my opinion.

To achieve the same could of had MD choose a new champion, then be sent to Assail to confront sumthin.....at the start of the book/prologue, instead of memory loss andii guy.....

I dont know if I explained that well enough?
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