Malazan Empire: A new Ascendant enters the fray - Malazan Empire

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#1 User is offline   Light 

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 09:04 PM

I recently finished reading "the opening chapter in a fantasy masterpiece", Gardens of the Moon. Fascinating! What more is there to be said? Only took 20 years to fall into my lap.

Although I do have a gripe. There are few instances of information being conjured from thin air (at least from the reader's perspective). When characters go "off-screen" for a little while and return with some marvelous piece of information, and there are no clues as to how they got it, I am left reeling.

In one instance, in Chapter Twenty, after Whiskeyjack and Adjunct Lorn have just spoken upstairs in The Phoenix Inn, Quick Ben says a strange thing: "Paran said she was going to drop something off [...]" Up until this point, there is absolutely nothing that suggests that Paran should know that Lorn is going to "drop something off". I re-read all the scenes involving Paran to confirm it. His full knowledge of Lorn's mission up until he meets the Bridgeburners is this: Lorn has a T'lan Imass, and she is probably going to kill the Bridgeburners. Surely not enough to draw this strange conclusion ....

Also: typos! A reminder that your (soon to be our?) favourite author is but a human being. Sorry! There were three:

1. "Tayschrenn launched another wave of gilden flames [...]" Chapter Two, during the battle against Moon's Spawn. Golden flames. There is gilded, 'covered with gold', but no gilden.

2. Lost. Saw it somewhere between chapters three and ten. It really is there! I'm not crazy! I'll dig it up sometime ....

3. "Leaving Mallet's tenement [...]" Chapter Eighteen, Meese is watching over Crokus and Apsalar while they sleep in the attic of The Phoenix Inn. Context suggests this should be "Mammot's tenement".

Another also: the map seems a bit ... off? Captain Paran was said to be travelling through the Rhivi Plain on his way south to Darujhistan, yet the Rhivi Plain is drawn as being north of Pale. Could be that the plains extend to the Tahlyn Mountains and that Paran was not yet past them, I suppose.
Adieu!
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#2 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 10:46 PM

View PostLight, on 23 January 2020 - 09:04 PM, said:

I recently finished reading "the opening chapter in a fantasy masterpiece", Gardens of the Moon. Fascinating! What more is there to be said? Only took 20 years to fall into my lap.

Although I do have a gripe. There are few instances of information being conjured from thin air (at least from the reader's perspective). When characters go "off-screen" for a little while and return with some marvelous piece of information, and there are no clues as to how they got it, I am left reeling.

In one instance, in Chapter Twenty, after Whiskeyjack and Adjunct Lorn have just spoken upstairs in The Phoenix Inn, Quick Ben says a strange thing: "Paran said she was going to drop something off [...]" Up until this point, there is absolutely nothing that suggests that Paran should know that Lorn is going to "drop something off". I re-read all the scenes involving Paran to confirm it. His full knowledge of Lorn's mission up until he meets the Bridgeburners is this: Lorn has a T'lan Imass, and she is probably going to kill the Bridgeburners. Surely not enough to draw this strange conclusion ....

Also: typos! A reminder that your (soon to be our?) favourite author is but a human being. Sorry! There were three:

1. "Tayschrenn launched another wave of gilden flames [...]" Chapter Two, during the battle against Moon's Spawn. Golden flames. There is gilded, 'covered with gold', but no gilden.

2. Lost. Saw it somewhere between chapters three and ten. It really is there! I'm not crazy! I'll dig it up sometime ....

3. "Leaving Mallet's tenement [...]" Chapter Eighteen, Meese is watching over Crokus and Apsalar while they sleep in the attic of The Phoenix Inn. Context suggests this should be "Mammot's tenement".

Another also: the map seems a bit ... off? Captain Paran was said to be travelling through the Rhivi Plain on his way south to Darujhistan, yet the Rhivi Plain is drawn as being north of Pale. Could be that the plains extend to the Tahlyn Mountains and that Paran was not yet past them, I suppose.
Adieu!


GotM was written a long time before the other books, so be prepared for inconsistencies with the rest of the series.
The Rhivi Plain is the whole flat area bordered by the Tahlyn Mountains, IIRC. Pale is located on the Rhivi Plain and surrounded by it.


There are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you read:
1. Characters will generally not explain things which are either common knowledge or shared knowledge between them for the reader's benefit.
2. Not every interaction between important characters happens "on screen" as it were.
3. Remember, always, that every narrator is unreliable. All of the series is written from the points of view of various characters, and no character is omniscient or a 100% source on anything.

This post has been edited by Kanese S's: 23 January 2020 - 10:52 PM

Laseen did nothing wrong.

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#3 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 05:17 AM

Some of the typos got fixed in later editions, so it may depend on what edition you're reading, though it also might be that not all typos ever got fixed.

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#4 User is offline   Light 

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 09:55 PM

View PostKanese S, on 23 January 2020 - 10:46 PM, said:


GotM was written a long time before the other books, so be prepared for inconsistencies with the rest of the series.
The Rhivi Plain is the whole flat area bordered by the Tahlyn Mountains, IIRC. Pale is located on the Rhivi Plain and surrounded by it.

There are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you read:
1. Characters will generally not explain things which are either common knowledge or shared knowledge between them for the reader's benefit.
2. Not every interaction between important characters happens "on screen" as it were.
3. Remember, always, that every narrator is unreliable. All of the series is written from the points of view of various characters, and no character is omniscient or a 100% source on anything.


Of course! I have read many books in my time; I know all about perspective, asymmetric information, unreliable narrators, and the like. I was thinking more along the lines of abiogenesis of information: knowing something that isn't common knowledge. But I digress...

View PostD, on 24 January 2020 - 05:17 AM, said:

Some of the typos got fixed in later editions, so it may depend on what edition you're reading, though it also might be that not all typos ever got fixed.


It has an author's foreword from 2007, so published sometime after that. The book doesn't say. I'm not too concerned about typos, anyway. It's a part of my meta-reading to log things like that.

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#5 User is offline   Zerv 

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 02:05 PM

That comment by Quick Ben in Ch. 20 is a little confusing, though we get this exchange the next time we see Paran in Ch. 21:

Quote

'She must have given them something,' he [Paran] insisted wearily, 'even if they didn't see it.'
Kalam wagged his head. 'I've told you, sir, she didn't. Everyone was on the look-out for something like that. The squad's still clean. Now we'd better get moving.' [...]
'She'll turn up at the estate, then,' he [Paran] insisted[...]


The implication seems to be that Paran simply thought that Lorn would leave something with the Bridgeburners as her method of killing them, as opposed to confronting them directly (hence the implication that if she had dropped something off, she wouldn't need to show up at the estate). This doesn't necessarily have to imply that Paran inexplicably knows about Raest and the Finnest, there's a variety of magically invested items that could do the job (e.g., a disguised demon bottle perhaps?), and it isn't unreasonable for Paran to assume that she would take a more indirect approach instead of simply rushing in and try cutting them down on her own (IIRC, Paran does know about the Claw situation in Genabackis from Toc, so he'd know she wouldn't have aid from them). Although you could certainly argue that given the information that Paran has it would have been even more reasonable to assume that she would just have Tool materialize out of thin air and kill the Bridgeburners before anyone knows what's happening, without ever going near them herself. It's possible, though unlikely, that he (fallaciously) assumed that the T'lan Imass wasn't around anymore because she seemed to be alone (don't quite remember how knowledgeable Paran is regarding the T'lan Imass at this point, but ignorance of their ability to materialize out of dust seems a bit of a stretch). Alternatively, maybe the reasoning was that there's little they can do to stop a T'lan Imass anyway, so no point planning for it...? So yeah, I'm not gonna argue that this sequence is devoid of problems, but I think it's possible to make sense of it without assuming that characters are just inexplicably acquiring seemingly unavailable information off-screen.
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