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

Jump to content

  • 5 Pages +
  • « First
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Newbie reads through Deadhouse Gates (spoilers)

#81 User is offline   Zetubal 

  • Captain
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 155
  • Joined: 29-August 17
  • Location:Germany
  • Interests:Language

Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:31 PM

View PostBurn, on 06 July 2018 - 01:16 PM, said:

  • This is all that has been revealed about Dassem Ultor so far: he used to be allied with Hood, then Hood "used" his daughter somehow, then after he was done the "First Sword" of the Empire brought her to Tremorlor, then Dassem broke his vow to Hood.
  • I wonder who is the First Sword. I don't think it has been revealed yet. First Sword is both a T'lan Imass and a human title for an Imperial Champion.


If memory serves me right, it was actually revealed who the First Sword is. Dunno exactly where, though. Knowing that First Sword is a title that both humans and Imass use, shouldn't the question be who the human First Sword is and who the Imass First Sword is/was?

View PostBurn, on 06 July 2018 - 02:15 PM, said:

Deadhouse Gates - Chapter 21
This was a pretty sad chapter.


Well, that's one way of putting it.

View PostBurn, on 06 July 2018 - 02:15 PM, said:

It looks like my suspicions about Coltaine being a warlock were true, because a cloud of ravens tried to claim him. I was initially confused as to why Kamist Reloe and Korbolo Dom wanted to keep the crows away while Coltaine was dying to prevent his soul release, and then I realized it was just torture. No wonder Nether was upset!


This is once again a thing that's never definitively answered. Personally I don't believe Coltaine was a warlock. He never displayed any affinity toward Wickan magic during the Chain of Dogs, and instead relied on the magic recon and guidance of his warlock cadre. I can think of a ton of situations where it would've been really helpful if Coltaine used magic. But he never did. So why assume that he could?
Thing about Wickan culture, from what I understand, is this: When their greatest heroes perish, their souls get carried away by crows, their guardians. This sort of guarantees that fallen heroes become "spirit guardians", or, in the case of Sormo and the other child warlocks, they eventually reincarnate. Now, with Coltaine being a living legend and arguably the greatest Wickan leader in known history, he's pretty much guaranteed the deluxe crow treatment upon death.
I don't think the crow thingy is a magic thing that people actively cause upon their death, but rather it's something magical that happens to the chosen few.



Out of curiosity: Did you enjoy DG so far (I mean, you're pretty much finished with the novel by now).

This post has been edited by Zetubal: 07 July 2018 - 10:13 AM

1

#82 User is offline   Puck 

  • Mausetöter
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,852
  • Joined: 09-February 06
  • Location:Germany

Posted 07 July 2018 - 01:14 AM

I'm not going to say much 'cause I'm on the phone, but a few things:

1. From GotM you should know that Dassem Ultor was the First Sword of the Malazan Empire and that Tool (the clanless T'lan Imass) is called the Sword of the First Empire, which, let's not mince words here, amounts to the same thing as far as titles go (it's one of the weird things concerning Tool which iron themselves out after GotM, like the Imass being called T'lan in GotM but Imass everywhere else).

2. I'm with Zetubal on Coltaine not being a warlock. I think the issue is never clearly stated but only implied that anyone of enough notice (like Coltaine) can receive the crow treatment, just that warlocks are basically subscribed to the feature.

3. I'm a bit hazy on it and too lazy to go look it up, but I think Panek's statement regarding Cotillion walking through trees and imagining himself invisible pertains to the Shadow Realm having layers and Cots, as a non-native, so to speak, is unable to see all of the layers while Apt, the Hounds and Panek, through having the same eye as Apt, are able to.

..there was something else but I forgot. Anyway, nice one again and nice theories on the Imass and humans.

Edit: Goshdarn, I hate autocorrect.

This post has been edited by Puck: 07 July 2018 - 01:17 AM

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

#83 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

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

Posted 07 July 2018 - 01:22 AM

Great clarifications! Yes, I had forgotten about Dassem and Tool being the First Swords. The explanation about Coltaine's crow treatment is also very clear now! (He never did use magic, after all.)

This post has been edited by Burn's Bridge: 07 July 2018 - 02:32 AM

0

#84 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

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

Posted 07 July 2018 - 02:32 AM

Oh, forgot to answer Zetubal. I think DG is a great novel as part of an overall series. The main plot, by itself, I think would not be as compelling for a self-contained novel. The main plot is for Apsalar and Coltaine to reach Aren, which by itself needs a little more meat to it. The reason I think the novels are unequivocally compelling is because the reader assumes the role of a literary archaeologist. When the characters branch into their own pathways, which often fork and reconnect, this presents the reader with more information about the Empire before Laseen, the founding races, and the world of Ascendants and sorcery. Every time any party travels a route, you piece together bits of the universe. You start the series knowing less than the lowliest character, with exposition deliberately avoided or delayed, but with an omniscient view of their interacting pathways, you grow as a reader, put the plots together, and by imbibing and synthesizing multiple viewpoints, start to know more than the characters themselves.


But if there were no overarching lore - or more realistically, if I approached this novel casually without careful attention to detail - these detours and branching plotlines would seem like excessive padding. For example, remove the lore, and Felisin's detour to the ghost ship would be laughable; by learning about Tiste Edur, wound bridging, and the Crippled God, they are crucial details for the reader archaeologist's notebook. Likewise with Icarium and Mappo - they add little to Fiddler's delivery of Apsalar, but much to the lore of the Jaghut and T'lan Imass. If Malazan novels established a main plot and peppered lore around it, as is typically done, then the main plot would need to be reworked so it would be more logical with less padding. But since Malazan novels drip-feed lore as the primary goal, with the main plot secondary, then there is tremendous leeway for the main plot to be kept interesting and do pretty much anything simply because the reader is enjoying putting the pieces together. It's a concept that only really works with a series of novels, but in my opinion it's done wonderfully.
1

#85 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

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

Posted 07 July 2018 - 07:27 PM

Deadhouse Gates - Chapter 22
*sniff* Come on, man... I tried to control my damn emotions for Coltaine, but Duiker too? The guy just wanted to do the right thing. He supported Coltaine. He knew Pormqual was a floppy, impressionable figurehead of a High Fist. He knew Mallick Rel and Korbolo Dom were betraying the Malazans and leaving Aren defenseless (thankfully the commander's guard stayed behind). And this is what he gets for standing up for his principles. Crucified along with ten thousand other soldiers. What a twist. But you know what? Good for him. Good for sticking up for what's right, even if it kills you. That's integrity. If the Malazan novels are supposed to be about compassion, I can sure see some examples: Mappo refusing to sacrifice Icarium, Squint putting Coltaine out of his misery, Crokus and Apsalar, (edit: oh and Apt and Panek), and now Duiker's vision of the Jaghut ghost pining for him as he died. In addition to what I wrote for my mini-review above, when it comes to writing the actual plot lines, they are darn well written. I love the description of the action - especially with such accurate terms (thoroughly impressed by the naval terminology during Kalam's pirate battles and the comprehensive terms for land battles) and characterization of the fighting. The swings of swords, blasts of sorcery, and the movement of the units are all detailed well. Darn these books are good - they have to be, if I'm spending a paragraph writing about how upsetting the deaths of Coltaine and Duiker are.

Also worth mentioning is that I came out of Gardens rooting for the Bridgeburners and Rake and Paran because so much of the novel was focused on them opposing the Malazans. But then in this novel I feel empathy towards the Malazans because of characters like Duiker, Coltaine, and the entire Chain of Dogs. (The Chain of Dogs is nicely slow-paced to correlate with the long journey, but at the same time each battle and encounter is exquisitely detailed). The whole book is like non-stop action. On the other hand, Kalam and Felisin/Sha'ik are anti-Malazan and I kinda sympathize with them too... talk about shades of grey!

Well, in this chapter we also have Kalam making his way through Malaz City, fighting his way through Hands of Claws. That's another thing. Erikson does such a good job at characterizing through a person's abilities in addition to speech. I know Kalam is a badass assassin based on how his thoughts and movements are described. Likewise I know Pormqual's totally incompetent and the use of words like "gibbered" when he talks adds to his character. And we have Fiddler's party going through the Azath Warren - another jaw-dropping revelation when they find the road beneath them is a map of not just their world, but what looks like an entire universe of worlds, or at least some vast array. Definitely sets the grandness of the Azath in perspective.

I don't think I have any questions or need for clarifications here. Just getting punched left and right with plot twists and great writing. Epigraph: I saw the sun's bolt arc an unerring path to the man's forehead. As it struck, the crows converged like night drawing breath. This one's from Dog Chain, by Seglora. Obvious what it refers to...unfortunately.

This post has been edited by Burn's Bridge: 07 July 2018 - 07:27 PM

4

#86 User is offline   Puck 

  • Mausetöter
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,852
  • Joined: 09-February 06
  • Location:Germany

Posted 07 July 2018 - 08:14 PM

View PostBurn, on 07 July 2018 - 07:27 PM, said:

Darn these books are good - they have to be, if I'm spending a paragraph writing about how upsetting the deaths of Coltaine and Duiker are.


:D

You're making me want to read DG for the fifth (or sixth?) time.. I got no time for this, dammit.
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

#87 User is offline   Zetubal 

  • Captain
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 155
  • Joined: 29-August 17
  • Location:Germany
  • Interests:Language

Posted 08 July 2018 - 12:37 PM

Amen.
1

#88 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

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

Posted 08 July 2018 - 02:03 PM

Heh...thanks for the rep!

Deadhouse Gates - Chapter 23
Fiddler, Apsalar, Crokus, and Rellock travel through the magical floor down into Deadhouse. They meet Gothos, the guardian of Deadhouse, who happens to be Icarium's father. He said Icarium injured a warren trying to rescue Gothos from being an Azath guardian (even though Gothos liked it). Injuring the warren was what made Icarium subject to fits of rage. Most revealing of all, Icarium didn't actually kill Mappo's family and village. The Nameless Ones did, just because one of Icarium's guardians committed suicide for some unexplained reason and they needed a new guardian in a hurry. They figured that by framing Icarium for the Trell murder, Mappo would feel compelled to bring Icarium to the Azath - but Mappo had a change of heart.

Kalam and his follower Minala make it to Laseen who of course is smart enough to not be in the room, but speaks to Kalam through the voice of a hidden corpse coming from everywhere (I must say, Kalam fighting his way through an entire horde of Claws only to end up in an empty room with a disembodied voice is such a wonderful scene.) Laseen reveals that the betrayal of Tayschrenn and Dujek was just a ruse to get Rake and Brood on their side to take on the Pannion Domin (OK lady, but let's not forget you were at the same time trying to conquer Darujhistan and part of your plot was to have Rake take on a Jaghut Tyrant). She also says she had Dassem Ultor killed because his alliance with Hood would lead to civil war (somehow, but it's not like civil war is new to the Malazans - see Seven Cities, Korbolo Dom, etc.) and killing Kellanved and Dancer was apparently good for the Empire. Kalam accepts all this, doesn't kill her, and leaves. Minala is surprised, to say the least, that Kalam spent three continents of travel to end up doing nothing, but Laseen's words just struck a chord with him. So then they are about to be killed by a bunch of Claw, but Apt, Fiddler, and the others save the day when they swoop in and take Kalam and Minala to Shadow. Shadowthrone himself offers to keep Minala and Kalam in Shadow taking care of the children Apt rescued; Rellock and Apsalar (and Crokus) just want to go home to Unta, and Fiddler says he'll help Tavore in Seven Cities instead of going back to the Bridgeburners. Seems like nobody wants anything to do with Shadow except Kalam who's basically living there now.

Epigraph - Laseen sent Tavore rushing across the seas to clasp Coltaine's hand and closing her fingers she held crow-picked bones. This is from The Sha'ik Uprising by Wu. Again fairly obvious as to what it means: Tavore was too late to reunite with Coltaine before he died. Not sure who Wu is.

Deadhouse Gates - Chapter 24
This is a wrap-up chapter for all the plotlines. We end the novel with Sha'ik uniting with Korbolo Dom preparing to take on her sister Tavore. Bhok'arala-like servants of Baruk the alchemist take Coltaine's body, which has a small bottle of glass (and they also read the name on Duiker's paper given by his nameless marine lover: the name is Sa'yless Lothral). And Icarium wakes up on Aren Way, thinking that only a day has passed since they discovered the aptorian (basically Icarium thinks they are at the beginning of the novel).

Epigraph - The priest of Elder Mael dreams rising seas... Dusk by Sethand. Mallick Rel hasn't even been seen since he got kicked out of Coltaine's council way back in the earliest chapters, only to play a crucial role in the betrayal of Pormqual. And now he is co-commanding the alliance against Tavore. Besides that, the most significant thing about Mallick Rel is that he is a "Jhistal" priest, and the word "Jhistal" drives fear into several people. I wonder if we'll hear more about Mallick Rel in House of Chains, and if Jhistal means he can unleash some sort of fearsome power? Such as making the seas rise? Or is it a metaphor for something else?

Epilogue
The crows enveloping a pregnant widow suggests this is the rebirth of Coltaine, considering it is a cloud of them. (He needed a massive cloud; previously eleven was thought to be an obscene number for Sormo.)

Epigraph - Hood's sprites are revealed the disordered host Whispering of deaths in wing-flap chorus Dour music has its own beauty, for the song of ruin is most fertile. From The Wickan Dirge by Fisher. OK, there's that name again - Fisher. He's some sort of famous poet. "Whispering of deaths in wing-flap chorus" seems to refer to the crows. "Dour music has its own beauty, for the song of ruin is the most fertile." Ruin turning to fertility - Coltaine's death turning into a reborn child? Hood's sprites were supposed to be bloodflies, weren't they? Maybe this epigraph is comparing bloodflies to crows. It's a bit unclear.
0

#89 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

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

Posted 08 July 2018 - 02:07 PM

And thus I finish the novel. A great, wonderful read. The icing on the cake is setting up a sister-sister fight. (Sha'ik vs. Tavore.) Thank you to everyone who followed along and provided great clarifying comments.
Normally my next novel would be Memories of Ice, and I had all intentions to do writeups too.
However, I just came down yesterday with a medical problem, and it might be serious. Not sure if I'll get to MOI any time soon, let alone do any writeups.
Sorry to disappoint.
But this was fun. Thank you again. :D
0

#90 User is offline   Slow Ben 

  • Ranger
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 3,893
  • Joined: 29-September 08
  • Location:Southern Illinois

Posted 08 July 2018 - 02:57 PM

Shit man, hope its nothing serious.

Really enjoyed reading these.
I've always been crazy but its kept me from going insane.
1

#91 User is offline   Puck 

  • Mausetöter
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,852
  • Joined: 09-February 06
  • Location:Germany

Posted 08 July 2018 - 03:14 PM

Indeed. All the best to you and your health and thanks for sharing the journey through DG :)
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

#92 User is offline   Zetubal 

  • Captain
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 155
  • Joined: 29-August 17
  • Location:Germany
  • Interests:Language

Posted 08 July 2018 - 04:20 PM

View PostSlow Ben, on 08 July 2018 - 02:57 PM, said:

Shit man, hope its nothing serious.

Really enjoyed reading these.


I second this. Get well soon, man.
1

#93 User is offline   Gorefest 

  • Witness
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 2,232
  • Joined: 29-May 14

Posted 08 July 2018 - 06:37 PM

All the best with your health, I hope it will turn out not too serious. And thanks for sharing your read-through, it was very enjoyable and perceptive.
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

#94 User is offline   Mako2401 

  • Corporal
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 32
  • Joined: 25-December 13

Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:46 PM

Thank you for your posts, hope it's nothing serious. Get well soon !
1

#95 User is offline   Burn's Bridge 

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

Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:23 PM

Much appreciated :)
0

#96 User is offline   Garak 

  • First Sword
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 655
  • Joined: 03-August 09
  • Interests:40k, Star Wars, Babylon 5, WW2, A Song of Ice and Fire, the Drenai series, the Riftwar and all that followed it, D&D, Vikings, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. I think you get the gist of it.

Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:36 PM

Damn, hope it's not truly serious. Take care of yourself.
The meaning of life is BOOM!!!
1

#97 User is offline   James Hutton 

  • High Scholar of Team Quick Ben
  • Group: Team Quick Ben
  • Posts: 180
  • Joined: 09-June 10
  • Location:The Netherlands

Posted 09 July 2018 - 05:03 PM

View PostBurn, on 07 July 2018 - 02:32 AM, said:

The reason I think the novels are unequivocally compelling is because the reader assumes the role of a literary archaeologist. When the characters branch into their own pathways, which often fork and reconnect, this presents the reader with more information about the Empire before Laseen, the founding races, and the world of Ascendants and sorcery. Every time any party travels a route, you piece together bits of the universe. You start the series knowing less than the lowliest character, with exposition deliberately avoided or delayed, but with an omniscient view of their interacting pathways, you grow as a reader, put the plots together, and by imbibing and synthesizing multiple viewpoints, start to know more than the characters themselves.


Did you know that Steven Erikson is a trained archaeologist and has plenty of work experience in that field? I believe that's why his writing is like you described it.
I hope you get well soon! And that your follow write-ups will be as awesome as this one. Thanks for sharing.
Secret message: "Keep up the good work, yours truly"
0

#98 User is offline   Anomander Bake 

  • Recruit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 18-February 19

Posted 17 May 2019 - 02:48 AM

View PostBurn, on 08 July 2018 - 02:07 PM, said:

And thus I finish the novel. A great, wonderful read. The icing on the cake is setting up a sister-sister fight. (Sha'ik vs. Tavore.) Thank you to everyone who followed along and provided great clarifying comments.
Normally my next novel would be Memories of Ice, and I had all intentions to do writeups too.
However, I just came down yesterday with a medical problem, and it might be serious. Not sure if I'll get to MOI any time soon, let alone do any writeups.
Sorry to disappoint.
But this was fun. Thank you again. :p


I just finished Deadhouse Gates and absolutely loved it. Your posts made it much more enjoyable as it cleared some things up and also made me realise I wasn't the only one totally confused at some parts.😁 Hope you're medical problems turned out to be fine and if not then I hope you get well soon. Would love to see more of this for Memories of Ice if you're feeling up to it obviously. Thank you so much for this thread!
0

Share this topic:


  • 5 Pages +
  • « First
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 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