Malazan Empire: The Masquerade - Malazan Empire

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The Masquerade The Traitor Baru Corumant

#1 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:07 AM

These books deserve a thread!

Book 1: The traitor Baru Corumant

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They'll conquer Baruís island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She'll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. Sheíll be exactly what they need. And she'll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this landís intricate web of treachery - and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

Book 2:
Spoiler

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#2 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:30 AM

I loved The traitor Baru Corumant. There were scenes in that book which genuinely pushed me to the brink of tears. That's happened maybe a handful of times in my entire life of reading.
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Posted 05 November 2018 - 10:32 AM

Okay I'm back! So hard to discuss this without spoilers!

Traitor to me was an excellent book. Its brilliant in its story and I also thing very good in the way it covers its deeper topics. Its a philosophical book that stays grounded. It leaves you to think bout the implications. However once you have done some thinking on your own Id advise reading some interviews with the authors.

For me one on the most powerful parts of the books is that the empire of masks is anti-gay, anti-lesbian, anti-transgender and very pro eugenics. However they don't hate, at least not in the typical sense. They hide everything behind incredibly sterile terms. They talk about sexual and social hygiene. Gay people are bad because gay people don't have kids. It comes across to me as incredibly creepy and even more off putting than vile hate. They also teach these doctrines. The empire of masks teaches you to abhor gay people in the same way they teach you to wash your hands before eating, lest it make you sick.

It also touches upon the ideas of control, governance and civilization. Progress seems to require people working together and that requires laws and someone being in charge. When does the progress justify the rules? The people of the empire feel justified in conquering the savages because after they have explained soap and why polygamy and gayness are wrong they will be so grateful. Which leads ultimately to the plot of the first book. The only way Baru can defeat such a powerful empire is to learn their secrets and their ways and attack them from within. However can you act like them without being them?

Great novel. Thoroughly recommend it. Want to discuss it! I just finished book 2 and have many thoughts which Ill post later
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Posted 05 November 2018 - 03:25 PM

I didn't know bk 2 was out. Shall get.
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PUST: *pauses ranting* What does that mean?
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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:46 PM

Traitor seemed to be very love or hate. I know the people on Westeros mostly hated it, it's pretty well liked on Reddit. What makes it so divisive? Thinking about adding it to my TRP.
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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:09 PM

I honestly can't think of a reason. I can see why Bakker turns a lot of people off but I think these books are well worth a read.
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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:37 PM

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 November 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

Traitor seemed to be very love or hate. I know the people on Westeros mostly hated it, it's pretty well liked on Reddit. What makes it so divisive? Thinking about adding it to my TRP.



Firstly, the writing style is kind of weird, and quite infodumpy in places, and second, it was written with a very specific point in mind and while I don't really mind books having agendas and this is a well-intentioned one, at times it was pushing its point so hard that it was repeating itself and detracting from the story.

I mean, I was one of those who liked the book, but it did have its issues.


There were also people who thought it mishandled the issues it was talking about, though I can't remember the exact arguments for that.
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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:45 PM

Curse you all this sounds amazing and I can't add to my TRP I just can't!

*Heads to Amazon to see how much Kindle version is*
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#9 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 07:18 AM

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 November 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

Traitor seemed to be very love or hate. I know the people on Westeros mostly hated it, it's pretty well liked on Reddit. What makes it so divisive? Thinking about adding it to my TRP.


Westeros have never been good at the whole taste thing anyway. The whole place is a little too American.
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Posted 07 November 2018 - 07:44 AM

View Postpolishgenius, on 06 November 2018 - 10:37 PM, said:

Firstly, the writing style is kind of weird, and quite infodumpy in places, and second, it was written with a very specific point in mind and while I don't really mind books having agendas and this is a well-intentioned one, at times it was pushing its point so hard that it was repeating itself and detracting from the story.

I mean, I was one of those who liked the book, but it did have its issues.


There were also people who thought it mishandled the issues it was talking about, though I can't remember the exact arguments for that.


I didn't find the writing style weird of overly info dumpy myself. I also think that its wrong to say the books are hammering home a specific point. They are perhaps doing that, however the book is also very much an argument against that point. Its basically saying that reality gets in the way.

I guess I can see now that for some people the handling of Gay people or transgender people etc might put them off. I think it handles it well. The empire in the book is as I say anti-gay, though the author is not. The main characters parents are polygamous and bi however so their is conflict around this point. The book does what good fantasy does best, it highlights an issue worth discussing through a fantastical caricature that perhaps does not exist in the world and maybe never could. Its also as I say creepy in how they go about it. They don't hate gay people, going around killing them or anything. Instead they treat it as both a mental and physical disease to be cured. Genital mutilation of lesbians to take away pleasure from sex will remove their desire for other women. Or perhaps fear of punishment will make a gay man suppress that side of himself and he will start a family, if so he is 'cured'. Similarly as I say the book is very pro-eugenics, the empires citizens the falcresti are industrious and clever, the savages have a primal vitality to them that may make them useful. Some beauracrat could get it in his head that their should be ten percent intermarriages to create a new stock of citizens who are industrious and vital. One of the core tenants of the empire is that it treats the whole of civilization as a patient which must be tended. Certain ideas are diseases to be cured (revolt and rebellion) because they threaten the empire. Other ideas (gays, lesbians, marrying whoever you want) are dangerous because they supposedly damage the demographics of the empire etc. Their are some vile ideas in the books but the points the author is trying to make are interesting.
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Posted 07 November 2018 - 08:35 AM

Suspire Suspire Suspire

Book 2 spoilers

Book 2 spoilers

Book 2 spoilers


Spoiler

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 01:02 PM

View PostMorgoth, on 07 November 2018 - 07:18 AM, said:

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 November 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

Traitor seemed to be very love or hate. I know the people on Westeros mostly hated it, it's pretty well liked on Reddit. What makes it so divisive? Thinking about adding it to my TRP.


Westeros have never been good at the whole taste thing anyway. The whole place is a little too American.


Meaning what exactly?

Anyways I liked the first. Need to grab second soon.
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Posted 07 November 2018 - 02:18 PM

View PostMorgoth, on 07 November 2018 - 07:18 AM, said:

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 November 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

Traitor seemed to be very love or hate. I know the people on Westeros mostly hated it, it's pretty well liked on Reddit. What makes it so divisive? Thinking about adding it to my TRP.


Westeros have never been good at the whole taste thing anyway. The whole place is a little too American.

I guess that means I'll hate it!
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Posted 07 November 2018 - 03:26 PM

View PostMorgoth, on 07 November 2018 - 07:18 AM, said:

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 November 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

Traitor seemed to be very love or hate. I know the people on Westeros mostly hated it, it's pretty well liked on Reddit. What makes it so divisive? Thinking about adding it to my TRP.


Westeros have never been good at the whole taste thing anyway. The whole place is a little too American.


Disagree
Americans are delicious.




...as to THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT, it's polarising for a number of reasons, not least that while it's fantasy, the magic elements are so minimal as to barely exist, economics form a key and huge element of the story, plus all the gender issues, a relatively unsympathetic protagonist, and a slow pace. None of these are automatic negatives but for many fantasy fans who like their swords bloody and their dragons fiery and their baddies outright capital E Evil, they're offputting.

Me, i enjoyed it because of most of those elements. It was nicely original and different.
CHASE: Paw Patrol is ready for action Mr Pust sir!
PUST: *pauses ranting* What does that mean?
ZUMA: It means let's dive in, dude!
PUST: What? What is a dude? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?????
-The Malazan Book of the Paw Patrol
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