Malazan Empire: Newbie reads through Deadhouse Gates (spoilers) - Malazan Empire

Jump to content

  • 5 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Newbie reads through Deadhouse Gates (spoilers)

#1 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 09 June 2018 - 07:19 PM


This thread contains spoilers for Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates.

Hello... if it is all right to use the forum in this manner, I thought to write my impressions and reactions to Deadhouse Gates as I go along, chapter by chapter, one chapter per post.
Since the books are older now (this one almost 20 years old) I thought I could let veterans of the series take a trip back to when they read for the first time and be amused and entertained to see someone discovering the series as they once have done.

So if that is all right, please, as an exception to the general rule of the forum, no spoilers, even for Deadhouse Gates, in this thread except up to the point I've read.
(EDIT: Although general comments of other sorts are welcome.)
I wrote my impressions of Gardens here: https://forum.malaza...-gotm-spoilers/

Anyway, onto the prologue:
----

Looks like this is a direct sequel to Gardens, being set in 1163 BS, right after Adjunct Lorn died at the end of Gardens. Needless to say, I was shocked that Ganoes Paran's sister, Tavore, became the new Adjunct - at the cost of sending her own sister Felisin to be murdered. (I think that was the cost of becoming the Adjunct.) The prologue focuses on what I think is "The Cull." The Empire rounds up about 300 nobility in Unta and chains them together to be attacked brutally (and some killed) by a peasant mob as they are led to the slave ships. In the chain we have Felisin, Hebroic, a former priest of Fener, and Baudin - a thug who decapitates Lady Gaesen in front of him, thinking throwing her head to the bloodthirsty mob will quell them. The prologue is pretty crazy and I was just plain surprised to see what happened to Felisin and Tavore. I wonder how this will tie in to the rest of the plot.

This post has been edited by Burn's Bridge: 10 June 2018 - 06:06 PM

7

#2 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 10 June 2018 - 10:58 AM

Raraku - Chapter 1
This chapter talks a lot about shapeshifting! First off it takes place a year later, in 1164 BS, in what looks like the last year before Dryjhna (the Apocalypse). I think Dryjhna is the same as (or at least associated with) a prophesied uprising led by Sha'ik the Seer. Dryjhna also seems to be the name of the Apocalypse that wiped out the cities that used to exist in the desert, so maybe Dryjhna is a cycle and now it's coming again. The chapter opens up with Icarium and Mappo Runt in the Holy Desert Raraku. I remember Icarium as the one who gave Darujhistan the Wheel that names the years. He's a half-blood Jaghut and his friend Mappo is a Trell (pastoral nomad warrior). Anyways, it looks like they just left the holy city of Ehrlitan after sneaking around there; they are seeking out a path to Ascendancy called the "Path of the Hands" which is the same path taken by shapeshifters - Soletaken, and advanced ones, D'ivers. (I don't know what a Path to Ascendancy is or how it's done. But I do recall the dragons from Moon's Spawn being called Soletaken.) So they come across some ruins in the desert where some sort of "convergence" is taking place, supposedly a few months away. Convergence of shapeshifters? They think a D'ivers named Gryllen was there too (who became rats) and also have a standoff with Ryllandaras - a D'ivers who appears as six wolves. So it looks like maybe Soletaken just shift into one thing, but D'ivers can split into multiple beings? Icarium and Mappo seem to be avoiding Sha'ik, and some demon wandering the desert. Oh, and Shadowthrone is involved somehow - I think he sent out some scouts to investigate the convergence, including a demon wandering around the desert that Icarium and Mappo are trying to avoid. (Which might be under control of Sha'ik now.) Anyway, lots of new information here.

Then we shift to Hissar in the east - same continent (Seven Cities). We've got Mael's priest Mallick Rel, wizard Kulp, and historian Duiker, all Malazans, watching someone named Coltaine calm down a bunch of Wickans about to fight the guards. Apparently Coltaine led a Wickan uprising against the Empire a while ago and things are still a little testy. But the Emperor allied with him, and now Laseen wants to also - she thinks someone who led an uprising would be good at resisting one. He's just about to become Fist of the 7th army, and supposed to be welcomed by Rel on behalf of Seven Cities High Fist Pormqual.

Finally yay, Bridgeburners! Crokus, Apsalar, Kalam, and Fiddler are sailing to... Seven Cities? Ehrlitan? I thought they were going to Quon Tali. Apparently so did Crokus; turns out Kalam and Fiddler (and Quick Ben who can supposedly teleport to them instantly) want to assassinate Laseen. So they took a detour. Well, that was unexpected. They don't say how, but apparently Seven Cities being about to rebel is supposed to be good for their plan. Also Kalam used to be an assassin for Seven Cities, fighting against the Empire back when Empire was conquering it - a Dagger for Falah'dan, then turned Claw. (I guess Dagger is like the old Seven Cities version of a Claw - not sure what a Falah'dan is.) Oh and on the way over they fought a Soletaken in the form of a sea serpent - they killed it with a nice exploding arrow.

Whew, had to flip to the glossary a few times but I think I got all that...

EDIT: I just noticed the + reputation for my introductory post - as a new user, thank you!!

This post has been edited by Burn's Bridge: 10 June 2018 - 06:07 PM

1

#3 User is offline   Puck 

  • Mausetöter
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,799
  • Joined: 09-February 06
  • Location:Germany

Posted 10 June 2018 - 02:58 PM

Nice one, you're very observant, which makes this fun to read :thumbsup:

Just a heads-up that the font you're using is hard to read on screens. There's a reason the stadard forum font had a certain size and no serifs.
Puck was not birthed, she was cleaved from a lava flow and shaped by a fierce god's hands. - [worry]
Ninja Puck, Ninja Puck, really doesn't give a fuck..? - [King Lear]
1

#4 User is offline   Esa1996 

  • Fist
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 261
  • Joined: 27-May 14

Posted 10 June 2018 - 05:10 PM

Yeah, you are very perceptive indeed. I can only think of one other person I'd place roughly on the same level in their ability to pick up hints and details, and said guy jokingly calls himself "The Prophet" for being able to do so :D

Also, I agree with Puck about the text, the default Arial size two is easier to read.

Anyway, I really like to read these things so keep on writing them.
1

#5 User is offline   Gorefest 

  • Witness
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,781
  • Joined: 29-May 14

Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:37 PM

Nice chapter summary. Hope you manage to keep it up, it is a bloody big series to comment on. Just for info, a falah’dan (or falah’d) is a title for a ruler in Seven Cities. So similar to a sheik or sultan. Not sure if it was pre-malazan conquest or if there are still falah’dan around at the time of DG. They probably have some magic powers and/or religious authority as well.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
1

#6 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for the kind words. Also I changed the font to Arial.

Raraku - Chapter 2
It was cool to find out some more details about the Seven Cities continent. It's old enough that lots of Ascendants walked its lands. Called "Seven Cities" because its seven founding Ascendants made some sweet contraption that is important for some reason, now buried inside the 9000-year-old Jen'rahb hill below the 1000-year-old city of Ehrlitan. (That caved in.) The Raraku Desert used to be underwater. Neat stuff.

Somo E'nath is a Wickan warlock that should have died when Laseen killed the rest, but didn't and was reborn into a child - heck yeah boy, just like Tattersail. (They even mention the Rhivi doing the same.) Thought it was funny when Coltaine booted Mallick out of the council. So now Duiker has to find out for Coltaine why Pormqual likes Mallick so much, and he also has to help Kulp rescue Hebroic from slavery. I had no idea what that divination was supposed to be (with the fiery woman and the two twin fires). I'm guessing Sha'ik and some sort of armageddon. Bulk (Coltaine's uncle) says Kellanved's companions (like Dassem, Toc the Elder, and previous Seven Cities Fists) disappeared; they didn't die. He's sympathetic to Laseen who he thinks is just lonely. I find any lore about the previous Empire interesting.

Fiddler and Kalam's plotlines are getting pretty nicely expanded. I learned that Fiddler witnessed the Emperor clash with Ryllandaras (that wolf D'ivers from chapter one) and Treach the "first hero," whatever that means (and whoever he is), at Li Heng. The Empire allied with T'lan Imass to suppress an Aren rebellion, eh? Can't wait to find out more about that period in history. When it comes to Kalam, I can't really tell why the Red Blades are following him. Red Blades are Malazan (well, they are Seven Cities but Malazan loyal), and they should be opposing the Apocalypse... and yet they hand him the Book of Dryjhna to take to Sha'ik and start the whole thing. At least they eventually settle on a motive I can understand - try to figure out why he's going to Aren (supposedly for a ship to Malaz). Fiddler and Kalam have to cross the desert anyway, cause ships aren't leaving Ehrlitan, so that Book and Whirlwind hand sign should help them pretend to be followers of the Apocalypse and not get killed.

Icarium and Mappo come across Messrenb (a Soletaken bear that they seem to know) and also a Tessem monastery that used to be for Queen of Dreams until it got deserted and now is a temple to Shadow. Seems like this is part of the Path? The High Priest of the temple keeps talking about "give one like and take another" or something like that. I feel like that quote is going to be important (reminds me a bit of the time Ganoes Paran first was about to meet Hood). Oh and he mentions something about his poor "pieces of his soul" when talking about a D'ivers. Seems like their soul splits apart when they do that? Can't wait to see what comes next!
1

#7 User is offline   Zetubal 

  • Sergeant
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 83
  • Joined: 29-August 17
  • Location:Germany
  • Interests:Language

Posted 11 June 2018 - 12:44 PM

What would I give to experience a second "first reading" of DG... So much awesomeness in store for you.

This post has been edited by Zetubal: 11 June 2018 - 12:45 PM

1

#8 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 11 June 2018 - 12:56 PM

Thank you. I intended the commentary to be a way for veterans to almost have another “first read-through” again :)
0

#9 User is offline   Esa1996 

  • Fist
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 261
  • Joined: 27-May 14

Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:03 PM

View PostBurn, on 11 June 2018 - 12:56 PM, said:

Thank you. I intended the commentary to be a way for veterans to almost have another "first read-through" again :)


That's very much what this is and it's awesome, thank you for that.
1

#10 User is offline   Gorefest 

  • Witness
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,781
  • Joined: 29-May 14

Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:37 PM

I realised that even an off-hand "I had forgotten about..." comment can be a spoiler as it would imply that the thing I forgot about may not be as vital to the plot as you might assume. So treading carefully will be the biggest task here. Have fun on your read and thanks for sharing the journey (for ad long as you manage to keep it up!).
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
1

#11 User is offline   Puck 

  • Mausetöter
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,799
  • Joined: 09-February 06
  • Location:Germany

Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:59 PM

View PostEsa1996, on 11 June 2018 - 03:03 PM, said:

View PostBurn, on 11 June 2018 - 12:56 PM, said:

Thank you. I intended the commentary to be a way for veterans to almost have another "first read-through" again :)


That's very much what this is and it's awesome, thank you for that.


This. So envious of first readers nowadays.
Puck was not birthed, she was cleaved from a lava flow and shaped by a fierce god's hands. - [worry]
Ninja Puck, Ninja Puck, really doesn't give a fuck..? - [King Lear]
1

#12 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:44 PM

Raraku - Chapter 3
I feel so bad for Felisin. Gardens only mentioned her name in passing, but I think since I followed her brother around so much of the previous book I'm attached to Felisin by default. Plus Tavore was a total sleaze for doing this to her. I couldn't keep track of all the names of the mining shafts and so on; I didn't think they were important unless they come up later. Except for Sinker Lake. Felisin notes that it's slowly receding - what's up with that? I wonder how Fener's healing tracks work. "Sweat born of the visions she had given him..." what visions did she give Beneth? Real visions or just metaphorical language here? Oh, and then I had a crazy thought. Felisin did have some role in Gardens: she wrote the "Call to Shadow" epigraph that preceded the first chapter. It mainly alluded to Kellanved and Dancer's death, but it also talked about vengeance "chiming seven times," or something like that... is that referring to Seven Cities? Anyway that's not the crazy thought... this series is the book of the "fallen," and I wonder are those epigraphs written by fallen people? Is Felisin going to die and become significant? I'm probably totally off, so I'm going to perish that thought for now.


Some Red Blades from Dosin Pali come to Hissar - why do Kulp and Duiker specifically not like the Setrals? The Red Blades pursuing Kalam are Ehrlitan, not Dosin Pali, but I just realized that's not why they gave Kalam the book. Now it makes sense. Mebra gave him the book as a way of repaying an old debt, but then he double-crossed Kalam and sent the Red Blades after him (probably initially to kill him, but then to watch what he's up to in Aren). But the Dramatis Personae lists Mebra as a follower of the apocalypse; a spy in Erhlitan. So methinks Mebra is a triple agent: loyal to the apocalypse (giving Kalam the book), but actually loyal to the Red Blades, but actually loyal to the apocalypse. I dunno. This is all speculation right now. Too bad Kalam and Fiddler got into an argument and parted ways. At least they're all heading to the same place. Kalam's being a straight up apocalypse ally, while Fiddler and the kids are disguising themselves as pilgrims. Interesting that Fiddler wants to use Apsalar to assassinate Laseen, even though Crokus says she's totally dispossessed now.


So you can get sick and go nuts and die by being attacked by a shapeshifter. Those books that Icarium was reading not only suggest this place is old, but that water and vegetation were everywhere. But it's the twisted staff that gets me thinking. Mappo has a memory as a guard of some elders having some crazy thing happen to him by people wielding a twisted staff, which also happens to be the symbol on Icarium's old books. Mappo doesn't seem to like dwelling on the past; I wonder what's up. Crap, I have to stop reading now. Darn regular life getting in the way of non-regular life.
1

#13 User is offline   Slow Ben 

  • Ranger
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 3,477
  • Joined: 29-September 08
  • Location:Southern Illinois

Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:30 PM

I'm 2 books away from finishing my 4th re-read....and this thread is making me want to start it all over again as soon as im done.
I've always been crazy but its kept me from going insane.
1

#14 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:17 PM

Fourth reread? Respect... that's some dedication!

Raraku - Chapter 4
More Felisin. Poor girl! I just feel terrible whenever I read her sections. How could Tavore do this to her? Either Tavore is a heartless scumbag or Felisin must have destroyed Tavore's life somehow. Currently Felisin is being portrayed as an innocent victim, so I'll go with that. So Baudin escaped and Beneth is freaking out that Felisin might be nobility. Why does Beneth hate nobility so much? Why does the guard want Felisin to read more of Kellanved's quotes? ("History comforts the dull-witted" was the last quote.) What name does Sawark seek? Why does it matter that there are four mages among the victims? (Something to do with the Otataral?)

Kalam makes it to a Malazan keep and gets a Deck of Dragons thrown at him which results in six cards of Death (King, Queen, Knight, Herald, Mason, Spinner) falling in a circle surrounding the Rope. Pretty explicit. What does the Rope signify? Kalam, who is an assassin? Apsalar, once possessed by the Rope? Or Dancer himself? Kalam remarks that Obelisk (which is Burn, according to the glossary) is inactive in the Seven Cities. She was certainly underneath Genebackis because Raest tried to ground-pound her just for lolz. The Red Blades following Kalam apparently go into the keep after he leaves and murder all the Malazans there. So some Malazans are planning an insurrection too? Wow, Laseen really has her enemies - Kalam and Fiddler who want to kill her, the Whirlwind is rebelling, and now some Malazans are rebelling too.

The coolest part of the chapter for me was when Icarium and Mappo went in the bowels of the Shadow Temple and felt the gate to the Path of the Hands. They sense the Kurald Galain Warren (at least an Elder Warren that isn't Starvald Demalain, Telann, or Omtose Phellack - so they think Tiste Andii might be involved.) I'm not sure what's going on, but here's what I gather: a bunch of D'ivers and Soletaken are converging, they're trying to ascend the Path of the Hands, and for some reason Shadow and maybe the Tiste Andii are involved, with the gate to this whole thing supposedly in the Shadow Temple. (Although Iskaral Pust tries to convince them otherwise.) What is going on with the Nameless Ones? Those beings from Mappo's repressed memories that (I think) use twisted staves? The same twisted staff that appears on those old books from the time before the desert? In particular this quote stood out when Mappo thinks to himself about Icarium: "My curse is to silence your every question, and the hand I offer as a brother will lead you only into deceit. In love's name I do this at my own cost." Does this mean Mappo is lying or deceiving Icarium in some way, under curse or oath or something from the Nameless Ones?

Finally Sonos goes to some ruins in the desert where he has a nightmare vision. I'm not sure why he did this ritual but it resulted in a crapload of D'ivers and Soletaken (and a demon) fighting each other and injuring Kulp and Druiker and Bult in the process. Apparently Sonos didn't know there was a convergence happening so he flubbed it up by choosing to do this right now. Why is there a demon - is that also a shapeshifter or a Shadow demon? It attacked (killed?) a bear - I can't remember if Messrenb had white fur or not; hopefully it's not the same bear. Anyways it looks like D'ivers can become bugs too - didn't expect they'd be such inconspicuous creatures. So the Telann Warren really has something to do with all this shapeshifting but the T'lan Imass aren't interfering with the conjuring, so the shapeshifters are just having a total free-for-all. Why did the T'lan Imass turn their backs on the Empire when Laseen took over? That dung beetle at the end of the chapter...important?

Chapter 5 next... last chapter of Raraku coming up.

EDIT: Clarified that Icarium and Mappo thought Tiste Andii and Kurald Galain were involved, while Duiker et al. thought T'lan Imass and Telann Warren were involved. Also added part about Nameless Ones.

This post has been edited by Burn's Bridge: 12 June 2018 - 02:57 PM

1

#15 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 12 June 2018 - 03:32 PM

Oh. I think Anomander Rake is a Soletaken. So he must have ascended the Path of the Hands. If so, it makes sense that Icarium and Mappo felt Kurald Galain. They said it felt centuries old. Maybe Rake ascended the Path a few centuries ago. Hmm.
0

#16 User is offline   Gorefest 

  • Witness
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,781
  • Joined: 29-May 14

Posted 12 June 2018 - 04:33 PM

I must say I am very impressed with your perceptive reading. I am pretty sure I hadn't picked up on half the stuff you already flag up on my first read. Nice going. It makes it a really entertaining thread to follow because I often cannot remember anymore at which point we get what hints. SE is a master of insane multibook foreshadowings.


On a side and hopefully spoilerfree note, regarding your Rake observation. He is indeed Soletaken, but it is important to note that there are many roads to Ascendancy. The Path of Hands is just one.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
1

#17 User is offline   Puck 

  • Mausetöter
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,799
  • Joined: 09-February 06
  • Location:Germany

Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:50 PM

View PostGorefest, on 12 June 2018 - 04:33 PM, said:

I must say I am very impressed with your perceptive reading. I am pretty sure I hadn't picked up on half the stuff you already flag up on my first read. Nice going. It makes it a really entertaining thread to follow because I often cannot remember anymore at which point we get what hints. SE is a master of insane multibook foreshadowings.


This, very much. I'm very impressed. Though, to be fair, I was 14 or something when I read DG for the first time, but I am 100% sure that my head was spinning every which way and I got about half of the stuff. Especially all that Path of Hands stuff you're deducing.

Also, yeah, this series has an insane reread potential. I think I've read my favourite installment something like five times and I'm still up for another go at any time.
Puck was not birthed, she was cleaved from a lava flow and shaped by a fierce god's hands. - [worry]
Ninja Puck, Ninja Puck, really doesn't give a fuck..? - [King Lear]
1

#18 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

  • *
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 20-September 13

Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:15 PM

Kind words, everyone. Kind words. I’m 32 so hopefully my years have helped me be perceptive, and I also like that your comments are helpful yet spoiler free. When I finish DG we can wrap it up and talk with full DG spoilers if you wish, although I have a ways to go yet!
0

#19 User is offline   Zetubal 

  • Sergeant
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 83
  • Joined: 29-August 17
  • Location:Germany
  • Interests:Language

Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:48 PM

View PostGorefest, on 12 June 2018 - 04:33 PM, said:

On a side and hopefully spoilerfree note, regarding your Rake observation. He is indeed Soletaken, but it is important to note that there are many roads to Ascendancy. The Path of Hands is just one.


Quoting Baruk, eh

On a sidenote: BBridge, when did you pick up on the fact that Dancer is the Rope :p

This post has been edited by Zetubal: 12 June 2018 - 08:52 PM

0

#20 User is offline   Mako2401 

  • Corporal
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 25-December 13

Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:53 PM

View PostGorefest, on 12 June 2018 - 04:33 PM, said:

On a side and hopefully spoilerfree note, regarding your Rake observation. He is indeed Soletaken, but it is important to note that there are many roads to Ascendancy. The Path of Hands is just one.


I thought that Ascendancy means you become a God. Does Ascendancy means you become a Soletaken?
0

Share this topic:


  • 5 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

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