Malazan Empire: 2020 Malazan Re-read: Bonehunters - Malazan Empire

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2020 Malazan Re-read: Bonehunters Starts Monday, June 1st

#61 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 06:55 PM

P. 392:

Here's that mention of King Iskar Jarack and the frozen time. I remember a lot of speculation about this, about there being some mythological meaning to this story. But as I read it now it just sounds like The Bridgeburners hunted some enemies and Whiskeyjack warned the anibar of the coming of war and civilization.

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We witness the Deliverer slaying the bhederin. He rides a bone-horse – we do not see a bone-horse ridden. He carries a sword of birth-stone. The Iron Prophet tells our people of such warriors – the wielders of birth-stone. He says they come.’ ‘I have not heard of this Iron Prophet,’ Samar Dev said, frowning. Boatfinder made a gesture and faced south. ‘To speak of this, it is the frozen time.’ He closed his eyes, and his tone suddenly changed. ‘In the Time of Great Slaying, which is the frozen time of the past, the Anibar dwelt on the plains, and would travel almost to the East River, where the great walled camps of the Ugari rose from the land, and with the Ugari the Anibar would trade meat and hides for iron tools and weapons. The Great Slaying came to the Ugari, then, and many fled to seek refuge among the Anibar. Yet the Slayers followed, the Mezla they were called by the Ugari, and a terrible battle was fought and all those who had sheltered among the Anibar fell to the Mezla. ‘Fearing retribution for the aid given to the Ugari, the Anibar prepared to flee – deeper into the Odhan – but the leader of the Mezla found them first. With a hundred dark warriors, he came, yet he stayed their iron weapons. The Anibar were not his enemy, he told them, and then he gave warning – others were coming, and they would be without mercy. They would destroy the Anibar. This leader was the Iron Prophet, King Iskar Jarak, and the Anibar heeded his words, and so fled, west and north, until these lands here and the forests and lakes beyond, became their home.’ He glanced over to where Karsa, his supplies gathered, sat astride his Jhag horse, and his voice changed once more. ‘The Iron Prophet tells us there is a time when, in our greatest peril, wielders of the birth-stone come to defend us. Thus, when we see who travels our land, and the sword in his hands … this time is soon to be a frozen time.’

This post has been edited by Aptorian: 11 June 2020 - 06:56 PM

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#62 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 10:26 AM

Reading the part where Taralack Veed is preparing Icarium to becoming a weapon of the Nameless Ones, I'm surprised at how pliable Icarium is. He's resisting clearly but seems susceptible none the less.

Knowing the story of Reaper's Gale it does seem weird that they think Icarium necessary to deal with Rhulad. That's using a nuclear bomb where a scalpel is needed.

This post has been edited by Aptorian: 12 June 2020 - 10:26 AM

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#63 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 01:57 PM

P. 408.

Cotillion talks about the theoretical lost elemental powers:

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A slow nod. ‘As much as is possible. Shadowthrone, and I,’ he looked up, then half-shrugged, ‘our path to ascendancy was through the Houses of the Azath. There were years – a good number of them – in which neither I nor the man who at that time was known as Emperor Kellanved were to be found anywhere within the Malazan Empire. For we had begun another quest, a bolder gambit.’ Firelight gleamed in his dark eyes. ‘We set out to map the Azath. Every House, across this entire realm. We set out to master its power—’ ‘But that is not possible,’ Mappo said. ‘You failed – you cannot have done otherwise, else you both would now be far more than gods—’ ‘True enough, as far as it goes.’ He studied the tea in the clay cup nestled in the bowl of his hands. ‘Certain realizations came to us, however, earned from hard experience and somewhat unrelenting diligence. The first was this: our quest would demand far more than a single, mortal lifespan. The other realizations – well, perhaps I had best leave those for another night, another time. In any case, in comprehending that such a gambit would enforce upon us demands we could not withstand – not as Emperor and Master Assassin, that is – it proved necessary to make use of what we had learned to date.’ ‘To make yourselves gods.’ ‘Yes. And in so doing, we learned that the Azath are far more than Houses created as prisons for entities of power. They are also portals. And one more thing for certain – they are the repositories for the Lost Elementals.’ Mappo frowned. ‘I have not heard that phrase before. Lost Elementals?’ ‘Scholars tend to acknowledge but four, generally: water, fire, earth and air; yet others exist. And it is from these others that comes the immense power of the Azath Houses. Mappo, one is at an immediate disadvantage in discerning a pattern, when one has but four points of reference, with an unknown number of others as yet invisible, unaccounted for in the scheme.’ ‘Cotillion, these Lost Elementals – are they perhaps related to the aspects of sorcery? The warrens and the Deck of Dragons? Or, more likely, the ancient Holds?’ ‘Life, death, dark, light, shadow … possibly, but even that seems a truncated selection. What of, for example, time? Past, present, future? What of desire, and deed? Sound, silence? Or are the latter two but minor aspects of air? Does time belong to light? Or is it but a point somewhere between light and dark, yet distinct from shadow? What of faith and denial? Can you now understand, Mappo, the potential complexity of relationships?’ ‘Assuming they exist at all, beyond the notion of concepts.’ ‘Granted. Yet, maybe concepts are all that’s needed, if the purpose of the elements is to give shape and meaning to all that surrounds us on the outside, and all that guides us from within.’

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#64 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 02:30 PM

P. 424.

The story of Dunsparrow. I don't remember what becomes of her in the series but this is a hell of an origin story.

Also some pretty crazy continuity spoilers for the age of both Whiskeyjack and Fiddler, if Dunsparrow is only in her twenties.

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Fiddler barely heard him. ‘Dunsparrow,’ he repeated. ‘Do you know the hag? The witch? The seductress and corrupter?’ Gods, I once tossed her on my knee. He realized of a sudden that he was clawing a hand through the remnants of his singed, snarled hair, unmindful of the snags, indifferent to the tears that started from his eyes. The girl squirmed. He stared over at Corabb, unseeing, then hurried ahead, feeling dizzy, feeling … appalled. Dunsparrow … she’d be in her twenties now. Middle twenties, I suppose. What was she doing in Y’Ghatan? He pushed between Kalam and Quick Ben, startling both men. ‘Fid?’ ‘Tug Hood’s snake till he shrieks,’ the sapper said. ‘Drown the damned Queen of Dreams in her own damned pool. Friends, you won’t believe who went with Leoman into that warren. You won’t believe who shared Leoman’s bed in Y’Ghatan. No, you won’t believe anything I say.’ ‘Abyss take you, Fid,’ Kalam said in exasperation, ‘what are you talking about?’ ‘Dunsparrow. That’s who’s at Leoman’s side right now. Dunsparrow. Whiskeyjack’s little sister and I don’t know – I don’t know anything – what to think, only I want to scream and I don’t know why even there, no, I don’t know anything any more. Gods, Quick – Kalam – what does it mean? What does any of it mean?’ ‘Calm down,’ Quick Ben said, but his voice was strangely high, tight. ‘For us, for us, I mean, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It’s a damned coincidence and even if it isn’t, it’s not like it means anything, not really. It’s just … peculiar, that’s all. We knew she was a stubborn, wild little demon, we knew that, even then – and you knew her better than us, me and Kalam, we only met her once, in Malaz City. But you, you were like her uncle, which means you got some explaining to do!’ Fiddler stared at the man, at his wide eyes. ‘Me? You’ve lost your mind, Quick. Listen to you! Blaming me, for her! Wasn’t nothing to do with me!’ ‘Stop it, both of you,’ Kalam said. ‘You’re frightening the soldiers behind us. Look, we’re all too nervous right now, about all sorts of things, to be able to make sense of any of this, assuming there’s any sense to be made. People choose their own lives, what they do, where they end up, it don’t mean some god’s playing around. So, Whiskeyjack’s little sister is now Leoman’s lover, and they’re both hiding out in the Queen of Dreams’ warren. All right, better that than crumbling bones in the ashes of Y’Ghatan, right? Well?’ ‘Maybe, maybe not,’ Fiddler said. ‘What in Hood’s name does that mean?’ Kalam demanded. Fiddler drew a deep, shaky breath. ‘We must have told you, it’s not like it was secret or anything, and we always used it as an excuse, to explain her, the way she was and all that. Never so she could hear, of course, and we said it to take its power away—’ ‘Fiddler!’ The sapper winced at Kalam’s outburst. ‘Now who’s frightening everyone—’ ‘You are! And never mind everyone else – you’re frightening me, damn you!’ ‘All right. She was born to a dead woman – Whiskeyjack’s stepmother, she died that morning, and the baby – Dunsparrow – well, she was long in coming out, she should have died inside, if you know what I mean. That’s why the town elders gave her up to the temple, to Hood’s own. The father was already dead, killed outside Quon, and Whiskeyjack, well, he was finishing his prenticeship. We was young then. So me and him, we had to break in and steal her back, but she’d already been consecrated, blessed in Hood’s name – so we took its power away by talking about it, ha ha, making light and all that, and she grew up normal enough. More or less. Sort of …’ He trailed away, refused to meet the two sets of staring eyes, then scratched at his singed face. ‘We need us a Deck of Dragons, I think …’

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 09:00 AM

Just crawled out of Y'Ghattan.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Neither the Adjunct or the Empress are competent in their respective positions.

For a cd.irkn genius commander (based on the musi be of her figuring out how to win the unwinnable battle with her toys) the adjuncts performances are just a string of fuck ups.
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Posted 13 June 2020 - 04:37 PM

Ah man that whole chapter with Paran is great. A lot of planned elements come together nicely, and it's pretty funny the the way Shadowthrone just throws QB into it all.

Don't remember Poliel trying to excuse her actions as a way of helping Burn though.
Also she has lizard feet?!

This post has been edited by Traveller: 13 June 2020 - 04:39 PM

So that's the story. And what was the real lesson? Don't leave things in the fridge.
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#67 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 06:04 PM

I took the description as her being Forkual assail - yes cant remember how to spell it.
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Posted 13 June 2020 - 06:17 PM

View PostCyphon, on 13 June 2020 - 06:04 PM, said:

I took the description as her being Forkual assail - yes cant remember how to spell it.


It does say multijointed, but do FA have taloned feet?
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#69 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 06:35 PM

I've only just reached the part where Paran meets Poleil. As far as I recall Poleil and Soleil are Forkrul Assail. The taloned feet are probably just a quirk of the way her worshippers see her or have seen her in the past.
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Posted 13 June 2020 - 07:32 PM

I can't remember, this Captain Ruthan Gudd, is he that secret first empire Ascendant from the later books?
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Posted 13 June 2020 - 07:49 PM

A timeline problem just occurred to me. How long was Heboric and co. traveling? Scillara has time to teach almost if not full term of her pregnancy. Now, maybe it took three months for Scillara to realise she was knocked up, but that still meant they were traveling for 5-6 months. I doubt the child would have survived being born too early with no neo-natal care.
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Posted 13 June 2020 - 08:07 PM

P. 521.

Ganath dies. Why does she "die" die and not linger to heal or die to find a new shape or form? I don't get Jaghut mortality at all.

This post has been edited by Aptorian: 13 June 2020 - 08:12 PM

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 01:02 PM

Aptorian said:

A timeline problem just occurred to me. How long was Heboric and co. traveling? Scillara has time to teach almost if not full term of her pregnancy. Now, maybe it took three months for Scillara to realise she was knocked up, but that still meant they were traveling for 5-6 months. I doubt the child would have survived being born too early with no neo-natal care.


A lot of time passes without comment in this book. The 14th's arrival in Malaz City takes place exactly a year after the events of the prologue in Kartool, which itself starts 24 days after HoC.

This post has been edited by ArchieVist: 14 June 2020 - 01:07 PM

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#74 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 04:03 PM

Poor Dujeck.

I wonder why he altered the records so Ganoes Paran became High Fist. Feels a bit Dues Ex Machina to me.

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 05:02 PM

Dujeks death is so...quiet, and undignified, and hardly even witnessed. Its such a contrast to Whiskeyjacks.

Almost like when a movie sequel is made, and they kill off original characters off-screen because the actors didnt want to be in it.
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Posted 15 June 2020 - 03:15 PM

Releasing the deragoth to get dejim is such an overkill.

Mason Gilani takes one out and injures another, surely the hound of shadow would be more than sufficient
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Posted 15 June 2020 - 03:44 PM

Well, there is a reason why Shadowthrone calls Paran an idiot. Ganath didn't seem impressed either.

Interestingly. If I understand the Death Bridge correctly. The Deragoth aren't just released, they're ressurected.
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Posted 15 June 2020 - 04:07 PM

That was what I was questioning earlier - they cross a guarded floating weird bridge, escorted by a ghost; but then they end up in the nascent, where the Edur/Andii clashed, Trull got chained, and Onrack was.. shuffling about.

I just read the bit with the naval clash, where Tomad sees the Silanda - and realises two sons are lost. He gifted the Silanda to Binadas, and sent him to get Trull.

It's really funny and absurd the way the Eres gets all frisky with Bottle and leaves him laying on the deck in a mess whenever shes assisted with the magic.

This post has been edited by Traveller: 15 June 2020 - 04:08 PM

So that's the story. And what was the real lesson? Don't leave things in the fridge.
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Posted 15 June 2020 - 05:23 PM

P. 558

Cotillion speaks with the Tlan Imass at the First Throne. Again there's this mention of tyrants. Why did none of this transfer to Esslemonts book?

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The empty eyes remained … empty. ‘Cotillion of Shadow. Your companion claimed the First Throne—’ ‘Then he need only command the T’lan Imass to attend—’ ‘No. The others journey to a war. A war of self-preservation—’ ‘To Hood with Assail!’ Cotillion shouted, his voice echoing wildly in the cavern. ‘This is nothing but damned pride! You cannot win there! You send clan after clan, all into the same destructive maw! You damned fools – disengage! There is nothing worth fighting for on that miserable nightmare of a continent! Don’t you see? Among the Tyrants there, it is nothing but a game!’

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 06:11 PM

I feel like I've run into a reading wall. I'm reading so slowly right now and I'm not really thirsting to see what happens next.

I think I'm going to go read something lighter to clear my palette and come back for the convergence.
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