Malazan Empire: 2020 Malazan Re-read: Forge of Darkness - Malazan Empire

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2020 Malazan Re-read: Forge of Darkness Begins April 1st

#1 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 25 March 2021 - 10:30 AM

2020 MALAZAN RE-READ: FORGE OF DARKNESS

Book description for FOD:

Quote

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told...

It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power… and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold.


January 1st 2020 we began the re-read of the main series of the Malazan books. The plan being to read one book a month. We've now added additional Erikson and Esslemont publications to the schedule, to be read roughly according to the publication order.

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2020
January: Gardens of the Moon
February: Deadhouse Gates
March: Memories of Ice
April: House of Chains
May: Midnight Tides
June Night of Knives & The Bonehunters
July: Return of the Crimson Guard
August: Reaper's Gale
September: Stonewielder
October: Toll the Hounds
November: Orb Sceptre Throne
December: Dust of Dreams

2021
January: The Crippled God
February: Blood and Bone
March: Assail
April: Forge of Darkness
May: Fall of Light


You can read our thoughts from earlier months in these threads:

Quote



April 1st we begin the re-read of Forge of Darkness, the first book in the Kharkanas trilogy.

There will be spoilers for all published books. So beware. Spoiler blocks are not mandatory.

Are you ready? What do you remember about Forge of Darkness?

My memory is hazy. As far as I recall I didn't outright hate this book but I didn't enjoy it much either. It was a slow and ponderous book, continuing the trend of the later Malazan books. Lots of cool scenes where you learn new things about ancient characters but somehow still lacking in a greater sense.

I especially disliked the discovery that, rather than being this alien, extra dimensional, elementally attuned beings born out of Darkness and Light - The Tiste people are basically just another kind of human civilization, same kinds of culture, same kinds of politics, boring and mundane origins that ruin the mystique surrounding the Tiste races. On top of that, we learn that all these warrens and founding races were all just people on some kind of proto-Wu world, doing their thing, some here, some there - The books strips the reader of all these magical and amazing mental images and head canon we'd built up and replaces it with a reality that maybe fits Erikson's style of revisiting human history and human nature but fucking sucks as a fantasy setup. On top of that, not enough new mysteries are established to further the early wonder of getting into the series.

I did not like this book. And in turn I did not read Fall of Light. I may end up reading Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light if the third book finally gets published but I'm not exactly jumping up and down in anticipation.

This post has been edited by Aptorian: 25 March 2021 - 10:30 AM

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#2 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 25 March 2021 - 10:42 AM

Lol your memories really sold the urge to reread this one Apt.

Anyway started.

Arthan feels a bit mary sue to start with.

Dranconus sudden rise after sudden death of the house would reek of sinister doings in most plots/contexts.

This post has been edited by Cyphon: 25 March 2021 - 12:06 PM

Para todos todo, para nosotros nada.

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#3 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 25 March 2021 - 11:23 AM

I aim to please.
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#4 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 02:55 AM

View PostAptorian, on 25 March 2021 - 10:30 AM, said:

My memory is hazy. As far as I recall I didn't outright hate this book but I didn't enjoy it much either. It was a slow and ponderous book, continuing the trend of the later Malazan books. Lots of cool scenes where you learn new things about ancient characters but somehow still lacking in a greater sense.

I especially disliked the discovery that, rather than being this alien, extra dimensional, elementally attuned beings born out of Darkness and Light - The Tiste people are basically just another kind of human civilization, same kinds of culture, same kinds of politics, boring and mundane origins that ruin the mystique surrounding the Tiste races. On top of that, we learn that all these warrens and founding races were all just people on some kind of proto-Wu world, doing their thing, some here, some there - The books strips the reader of all these magical and amazing mental images and head canon we'd built up and replaces it with a reality that maybe fits Erikson's style of revisiting human history and human nature but fucking sucks as a fantasy setup. On top of that, not enough new mysteries are established to further the early wonder of getting into the series.

I did not like this book. And in turn I did not read Fall of Light. I may end up reading Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light if the third book finally gets published but I'm not exactly jumping up and down in anticipation.


I did not like this book so much that I can't stomach trying to read it again now. I don't think it's bad... it's just absolutely not for me.

Well said on the Tiste-as-another-human-society thing. Feels like you could swap out the Tiste here for Imass Empire or First Empire humans or any of the other races that had nations in the long ago and not much would change. Kinda sours the idea of there being this humongous half a million years of civilization history across a dozen realms when each realm, each people, and each time period all end up being mostly the same.

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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#5 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 09:21 AM

It is quite a singular route of human development approach to one version of "civilisation" isn't it? Looking back at the Barghast it was like if you don't come out of tribes you're stunted and the positive associations throughout the malaz empire of we'll they may well be invaders/dictators, but they're benevolent ones who made life easier to live.

It's only the the Letheri that stand as a direct counterpoint to that.
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#6 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 02:06 PM

The only thing I recall from it was the Glimmer Fate (cool concept) and (naked?) Triss making a horse made of long grass? And someone who worked there having a relationship with someone else...and in another place someone having themselves painted and being annoyed about it?

And then bits and pieces of the Rake family and hearths?

I got lost pretty quick.
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#7 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:29 AM

I struggled so much with this book and as a result of it only managed 10% of FoL
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Posted 28 March 2021 - 01:51 PM

I recall thinking this a dense book, but enjoying it. That said, by the release of Fall of Light I had forgotten enough of this novel to be confused off the bat.

Anomander was always this mysterious character in TMBotF. While we can speculate on his motivations based on his actions, and by what those who know him say about him, we don’t really know what he’s thinking. I’ve seen some interviews with Erikson talking about how alien it must be to have lived for hundreds of thousands of years, and how a direct choice was made to not have any Anomder point of view scenes. A choice that makes sense. It just seems strange to now see the Andii society at its outse, petty squabbles and all.

I may skip this and FoL, waiting on Walk in Shadow to do a full reread.
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#9 User is offline   ContrarianMalazanReader 

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 04:02 AM

I need some advice. I want to discuss each book individually in greater detail but I am unsure if I should start topics or post in Aptorian's threads, so please help me out.
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#10 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 08:16 AM

First read or reread?

If reread jump on the threads.

First read there are good threads in the forum's for each.

That said you'll likely catch a more in depth response in the reread threads as most people there have reread the whole series at least once
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#11 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:08 AM

If you've read all the books or don't mind spoilers, just use any of the appropriate reread threads but you can always make your own thread if you want. There's no rules about making your own threads, except not putting spoilers in thread titles.
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#12 User is offline   ContrarianMalazanReader 

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 04:50 PM

Since I have already read the full series all the way through, novels included, and know exactly how it all unfolds thus spoilers not being a concern, I will jump on the threads.

Thank you Aptorian and Macros for your advice and helping me make up my mind.
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#13 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 05:58 PM

So chomping through this. Interesting to see Anomander be an ass and demand an oath from Brood that presumably is still in play in the main series.

Lots of set up otherwise. Haut and the Jaghut are great as always.

The mystery set up around the emergence from the Vitr is good too.

Can't really be doing with all the unrequited love bits, all seem to be slight variations on that.

This post has been edited by Cyphon: 01 April 2021 - 05:58 PM

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#14 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 06:06 PM

T'riss' arrival was pretty momentous. Certainly less striking though after Jacacurku though.

Onto chapter 5.

This post has been edited by Cyphon: 03 April 2021 - 06:07 PM

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#15 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 10:05 PM

Chapter 5 is very satisfying classic travelogue fantasy fiction with the young hero coming of age and maturing.

Grizzin Farl's appearance is good if nothing more for the speculation on who Arthan's living mother is.
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#16 User is offline   Cyphon 

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Posted Yesterday, 07:39 PM

So onto Chapter 8 and things starting to hot up and move beyond standard fantasy set up.

The shedding of Feren sets up some proper tension.

Grizzin Farl and Caladan Brood booze up was almost kruppe like in its word play and sets up Errastas and Lechul Sath... who appear from nowhere to kill a Jaghut on a jealous desire for power that just feels like an echo of the main series...

Let's get cracking!
Para todos todo, para nosotros nada.

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