First-time Reader's Journey - Malazan Book of the Fallen

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by chris777, May 20, 2011.

  1. Tragedy

    Tragedy Registered User

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    What would make you think Paran was anything otherwise? It was pointed out over and over again that the gods were using him to meddle in the mortal world.

    Also, nice plot hole find. I am pretty sure (like all things) this will be answered later in the series, or left completely ambiguous. I was under the impression that the decks do change though.
     
  2. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    Well my point in saying Paran is mortal is that he's a normal person who lived a normal lifespan(so far)...around 30years old now. Just using those years since we knew he was alive when the Emperor ruled. And now Shadowthrone, 20ish years later...but has always been a part of this deck?

    I'm sure Paran will eventually be something more than he is. At the very least a hero for Good. We'll see. =)
     
  3. Raven of SD

    Raven of SD Registered User

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    The Deck does change as do the gods and goddesses. As for Shadowthrone and The Rope, they ascended into preexisting but then vacant roles.

    The reader's understanding of the Deck and the gods at the beginning of book two is very limited. By the end of book three it's fleshed out pretty well.
     
  4. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    So you are saying the roles of Gods are defined. But not always the same soul inhabiting that position? For example, if Oponn were to be killed by Paran via his Otataral sword. Someone could essentially ascend into the position and be from now on called Oponn? Can you actually kill a God? I thought it said at one point the only way to kill them was to no longer worship them.
     
  5. Raven of SD

    Raven of SD Registered User

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    Wikipedia gives a clear description of the Deck which I've modified to remove a spoiler and clarify a little.

    The Deck of Dragons resembles a Tarot card deck in that it consists of cards that divine the future. The difference is that a real Deck of Dragons adjusts itself to the changing circumstances of the pantheon. If an entity ascends or dies, the readings of the deck will change to reflect this fact. The pictures on the cards reflect the gods/ascendants that each is made to represent. Not all cards are active on all continents; for example Obelisk is referred to as inactive on Seven Cities at the beginning of Deadhouse Gates.

    I'll add that the Deck itself is not magical so if a new influence were to come into being you would need to make a new card.

    Before we discuss any further let me say that the terms gods and goddesses get thrown around a lot in the series and how you're current defining them (at least how you appear to be defining them by your previous posts) seems to be the main cause of your confusion. Gods are not all powerful (at least none that I've read about though the power level of some are pretty up there) and are not paragons of their roles. So the iffy killing of the bouncer in the first book was just sloppy work by the Rope.

    As for your last post, yes their roles are defined. I'll leave it at that as saying more would spoil some good parts. Yes gods can die. Forgotten gods lose their ability to interact with the world but do not lose any power. K'rul is an example of this.
     
  6. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    AHHH. That actually helps quite a bit. Though there is one contradiction...or I misunderstood.

    "a real Deck of Dragons adjusts itself to the changing circumstances of the pantheon. If an entity ascends or dies, the readings of the deck will change to reflect this fact."
    &
    "I'll add that the Deck itself is not magical so if a new influence were to come into being you would need to make a new card."
     
  7. Raven of SD

    Raven of SD Registered User

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    So Shadowthrone and Rope are recently ascended but their taken roles are old so their cards would be in the deck already. Just because the being a card represents dies or falls from power doesn't mean the card is removed. If a new role shows up a new card is needed. Hope this clears things up.
     
  8. Ozziespur

    Ozziespur Avaricious Aussie

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    Now I've got a headache ! :D


    Thanks. Going to pick up Deadhouse gates this weekend. Can't wait.
     
  9. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    I just want to mention this because it's cool.

    Mappo is a Trell. They are supposedly very big, very strong, with skins as strong and thick as a Rhino. Or some such. They just now explained how his whole tribe was whipped out. And how the Nameless Ones decreed he was meant to make sure this never happened again. A little ways back he made comment about not letting Icarium's rage get too far, else he was afraid he couldn't pull him back. And that he was to protect him from himself...etc. Even if I didn't know what I know about Icarium(that his rage can level a city), I think I would guess right now, and to me it seems pretty obvious not some wild epiphany, that Icarium went into his rage fit and destroyed the whole Trell village and all it's people. Which would explain the sad/strange connection he has with Icarium.
     
  10. thirstyVan

    thirstyVan the Thirsty

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    I am about 2/3rds of the way through Deadhouse Gates. It's been mixed so far, IMO. Some parts have been great, the large scale battles in particular. It's also eased the reader in a heckuva lot better than GotM did, and for the most part it's much easier to follow, and the characters have been much easier to get attached to (Kalam, Fiddler, Mappo and Icarium, the Historian has been great, a few others I can't think of off the top of my head).

    Except Felisin. Man do I hate her. She is just the worst. I cringe every time a Felisin POV starts. Though I am pretty interested in where she's going, now that they've gotten through the thing, and then through the other thing, and then passed through the 3rd thing, and met the people. But being curious about where she's going/what's going to happen isn't enough to make me not hate reading about her. We get it, lady, you hate everyone and revel in being a pain in the ass. Great.

    Sigh. Rant over.
     
  11. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    I agree. But I'm having a hard time getting into this book. I love every character. I think it's more me than the book though. I normally read at work when I have free time and when I'm laying in bed ready to sleep. Lately I just hop in bed and crash. And at work it's either too busy to read, or I use my freetime playing with my phone(i just recently got a droid). Have had no desire to read lately. I expected Malazan to quickly be one of my favorites. I love epic characters and powerful people. But it's hard. Plus I find the whole series power structure to be a bit odd. I almost think it's purposefully confusing just so your confusion can fill in plot holes. "Well that doesn't make sense...but I guess it's only because they don't explain everything...yet?"

    I do LIKE it though. I just don't have the incessant desire to read the rest like I did with GRRM, Abercrombie, or the recent WoT books.
     
  12. Tragedy

    Tragedy Registered User

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    The last 100-150 pages might change your mind on that. I was so disgusted with GotM that I just read DG because most reviewers who read it said to. I was close to giving up on the series completely (it was good, but not great at that point). The ending is fantastic and makes the hard journey so worth taking. And I hear that MoI is equally as fantastic.
     
  13. thirstyVan

    thirstyVan the Thirsty

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    I agree completely. I've been listening to the audio versions on my phone, at work, and it's tough. I have to take breaks because sometimes it's so slow I get tired (that may also be the narrator though, he's just awful). But I expected to be madly in love with the series at this point like i was with aSoIaF or WoT and instead I still feel a bit like I am trudging along, waiting for it to get good. But I will def be finishing it and reading the next one too. After that... well. We'll see.
     
  14. Sfinx

    Sfinx Life's a riddle

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    ...is a feeling i think that is shared by many if not all Malazan readers. Thankfully, at some point, it always does get good again. Although admittedly that may take a couple of hundred pages...

    Signing off with the Malazan warcry:

    Hang in there!

    Sfinx.
     
  15. thirstyVan

    thirstyVan the Thirsty

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    Also,

    WHAT THE #$q%&* DOES "ASCEND/ASCENDED/ASCENDANCY MEAN!!1!!

    Man is that driving me crazy. I have to agree with what Chris said above. I think Erikson intentionally keeps the magic/god system unclear. It's annoying.

    Sigh. Sorry again. Rant over.
     
  16. Tragedy

    Tragedy Registered User

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    I like to think of it as the next evolutionary stage that one can become. I think I asked this myself on the Malazan forum and this was the general gist of it. Ascendant can = God but not necessarily.
     
  17. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    If Ascendant doesn't = God, what exactly does it = ? Is it just another word for Immortal? You can be as powerful as anything, and never actually "Ascend" so it doesn't simply = power. Is it a state of mind? A state of being? Confusing.
     
  18. RTR

    RTR Registered User

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    why even read the books? Just come in here and ask for an entire plot summary already
     
  19. Roland 85

    Roland 85 Registered User

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    Ascendants are ascendants. They are immortal, yes, and they have great magical power. Some gods are ascendants (because they ascended from mortals), but not all (none of the old ones). Some ascendants are gods (because they are worshiped) but not all (because they are not all worshiped). None of the Founding races have ascended, from what I gather, as most of them are already ridiculously powerful AND immortal. Some spirits, however, could ascend, usually by the power of worship.

    Also, every moment in every book of the series is a subjective POV of a certain character, so no information is objective. Sometimes a being would be describe as an "ascendant" who is not actually such.

    I dunno, I never had any problem with the concept, you just gradually begin to get a feel for it, same as the magic system in general.
     
  20. Readers

    Readers Registered User

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    Not really, in WoT, if you want to get more out of later books you have to keep track of most, if not all the characters, in Malazan, even Erickson seems forget about lots of them, so you can forget about them as well.

    One thing you have to give to Jordan is how he manage to keep track of all the not so important characters in early books, and wave them back into story later on. I really can't keep track of them all after book 6. I couldn't do that after book 6 of Malazan as well, but it doesn't really matter, as I said the author seems forget many of them as well.