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  1. #31
    The Trickster
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    There is quite a simple reason why we know so much about the warfare methods used by the various cultures - most of the time we see them preparing for a war or fighting in it. You can hardly expect long descriptions of what the Wickans do in peace time during the Chain of Dogs, it would feel quite forced and out of place. Personally, I'd rather have such depth than Jordan's repetition of the same things about certain nation over and over again. I really like his world but if I read one more time that the Domani women are the greatest seducers and traders I am going to throw the book into a law or something. Erikson's world depth is enough for me, maybe because I'd rather know some tribe or nation's history than what clothes they usually wear or which is their favourite food. In the case of the Edur we get to learn about the feuds between the tribes, the courtship and marriage customs, the magic that they have, the role of the Letherii slaves, the hierachy, the role of the ubloodied warriors, the fact thay depend on hunting seals for food etc. What do you want Erikson to do? To spend 50 pages describing a typical day in the life of your average Tiste Edur or something?

  2. #32
    Totally lost as I was in Gardens of the Moon, I acknowledged I was reading a mature piece of work that the author was taking pains to build to a climax. I ended the book with mixed feelings, realising by the time I worked out who was who the major revelations should have had more impact for me. i felt too that so many super human characters didn't make credible reading. After Deadhouse Gates, I realised you can have some good fun that way. I now like it.

    Having just finished the second book, Deadhouse Gates, I also acknowledge this is an author who's delivering the goods, hot and hard. And that's just too rare these days to pass over because the material comes across as complex and mysterious at first.

    I know the beginnings of the books are vague until you gain a better understanding. And I also know I will become conversant by the end, that each book has several new intrigues you want to have answered, and unlike other overbloated series, you're getting the answers. Only fun part is, they're dynamic and change and grow in complexity.

    And I respect that. This is mature material, not for light reading. And I'm up to the challenge, so lock and load. Once upon a time, I drowned in the sea of names with Song of Ice and Fire's hundreds of names. By the end, I found I'd subconciously memorised them all to a tee.

    Beginning the first couple of Malazan books is daunting, but you can't say the endings aren't rewarding.
    Last edited by Legend; September 28th, 2005 at 08:20 AM.

  3. #33
    El-Prawno
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    i been reading 2 much fantasy recently..... wen i go bac to a book, i find ive confused the names with another series......
    i myself dont really enjoy the long epic sorts that encompass many books... Martin, Jordan, Erikson etc... theyre too long, and by the end, ive completely lsot the trail of the story.

  4. #34
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    That's too bad, since those are often the best stories! (IMO)

  5. #35
    Surprisingly, I had no problems reading GoTM and really enjoyed it. My issues with Erikson started during House of Chains. I just found myself becoming more and more apathetic toward the story until I put the book down and never came back to it. I didn't feel the drive to read, to stay up until 4 a.m. that I did when reading ASOIAF. It was more tedious than entertaining.

  6. #36
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEF Mk1
    Oh yes, Erikson's books are busy but never overwhelming. Just need to remain keen and sharp at all times. A seemingly random piece of dialogue or event can bear immense weight later in the novel. Or novels.
    Gosh, yes. I'm on my second go with Memories of Ice, and I'll find myself stopping after a few lines and thinking "this is significant", or I'll relate it to something that happened before, and I'll try to keep it in my head because I know I'll need it later.

    But then something else wonderful and significant happens, and pretty soon, my head's full!!!

  7. #37
    And that's what is amazing with Memories of Ice. Nearly 1200 pages, and I coudl have sworn there was a key revelation every 50 pages.

  8. #38
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    I have quite a few problems with this series at the moment

    Would have posted exactly the same topic if this one wasn't here... I *love* Erikson's stuff but at some levels I'm just getting really disappointed with some aspects of the series. I'm about 2-3 chapters into Midnight Tides, so there may be some spoilers here.

    SPOILERS!


    First up, as mentioned in another thread, I read Deadhouse Gates before anything else, by accident. Blew my mind. Then Gardens, then Memories, then House, now Tides. But some things are really picking away at my enjoyment:

    1) Complexity of races. Am I alone in having NFI what all the various races and societies are? OK so you have Jaghut and Jhag and several Tiste and those dead guys, T'lan Imass, plus various tribal groups, there seem to be dragons, and so on... lots of people at malazanempire arguing about who is the most powerful... I can't join in as I can't even recall who they're talking about.

    2) Dropped threads. I'll come back to this a bit in (3), but this is killing me. It's been a while since I read the earlier books, so some of it is getting blurry, but here's some threads which I can't really recall what happened to. The guy in Memories who got turned into a Tiger-god? Toc that was imprisoned by the Matron and then became a wolf or somesuch? Wasn't there some island where a bunch of guys were getting slaughtered by some nasty race of... was that in Memories? Whatever happened to Kalam whatnot? When the hell are Mappo and Icarium coming back? Wasn't there some priest who lost his hands? If Erikson was going to foreshadow Coltaine being ressurected, then where is he? And what was the point of Duiker's ressurection if he never did anything since? And that girl who was an assassin? That ship full of dead guys? Some guy chained to a wall in a flood? That neat dead guy called Tool that was trailing around at some point?

    3) Patching together ancient history. Some people seem to enjoy speculating on this stuff, but forgive me for just being mainly confused. See (1) I guess. I really can't figure out what the hell is going on or even remotely keep track of it. Seems some lot wiped out the other lot, and some guys had a war, and there was the chaining of the fallen god, but ask me to put them in date order and I'd be one of those people that flunks "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".

    4) Interchangeable characters. Just OMG... every time a new book opens, I wish I had some kind of wallmap to check if these are the same characters or new ones. And yet again, when Tides opens you've got this tribal guy in a tribal community who I'm already struggling to distinguish from Karsa in House of Chains, and then every other character is either called Sappo Femlor or something else that sounds a lot like what all the other guys were called, otherwise they're a hardbitten Malazan solider called Puke - if not Burp, but hang on, oh no Burp was two books ago, and hung out with Wart. I read forum threads and I honestly just can't remember who people are/were.

    Here's the weird thing - from the above you'd think I hated Erikson's books and wanted to rag on the guy, but I don't - I think he's brilliant. I'm just really concerned that this is going to end up like too many good ideas vomited out at once in ten volumes, and be consigned to the hall of shame with Wheel of Time.

    Just wondering does anyone out there share this frustration? I mean, I put Tides down yesterday and just thought... there's no more room in my brain for this. I can't get "into" a whole new set of characters, especially when he keeps axing the ones I got to like. If the price of each book is that you have to learn a whole new cast and then it's tossed aside again, then I just don't see the point.

  9. #39
    Book worm werewolfv2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc
    Here's the weird thing - from the above you'd think I hated Erikson's books and wanted to rag on the guy, but I don't - I think he's brilliant. I'm just really concerned that this is going to end up like too many good ideas vomited out at once in ten volumes, and be consigned to the hall of shame with Wheel of Time.
    .
    I don't think it will go the way of WoT mainly since Erikson tends to tidy up each book towards the end. There are a few long term stories/plots that keep going from each book but not so much that would cause any problem.

    You are not alone, my mind tends to start bleeding while trying to keep track of everything going on, and I cant really talk much on the forums about certain characters since I also tend to get them confused! This however is one of the rasons I love reading Erikson, it is so far from the mindless fluff that tends to be rampant in fantasy (and which I'm guilty of enjoying), it acts as a balance I feel. If all books were like Erkisons I would have to kill myself though it would be just way too much of a great thing.

  10. #40
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    probably spoilers

    Arc, I felt like you a bit, at first... but I too am on Midnight Tides, and by this point I'm figuring things out. It's not as confusing as it once was for me...
    Complexity of races. Am I alone in having NFI what all the various races and societies are?
    I don't think it's that crazy.. there are T'lan Imass and Jaghut, who have both been explained quite thoroughly by this point. Then there are the Tiste Andi, Tiste Edur, and Tiste Liosan (respectively, the Children of Darkness, Shadow, and Light), and various other powerful races like K'Chain Che'malle... I mean, there is a lot, but I think he's doing a good job of tying it together.
    The guy in Memories who got turned into a Tiger-god? Toc that was imprisoned by the Matron and then became a wolf or somesuch? Wasn't there some island where a bunch of guys were getting slaughtered by some nasty race of... was that in Memories? Whatever happened to Kalam whatnot? When the hell are Mappo and Icarium coming back? Wasn't there some priest who lost his hands? If Erikson was going to foreshadow Coltaine being ressurected, then where is he? And what was the point of Duiker's ressurection if he never did anything since?
    The person who 'turned into a tiger god' was actually Gruntle the caravan guard, being chosen by the Tiger god Trake as his new disciple. Toc was reborn in a new body at the end of Memories of Ice, and is joined to the soul of Togg, the wolf of winter... Toc/Togg has found Fanderay, his long lost mate, and they are now both occupying the Beast Throne, as the Wolves of Winter. Kalam is still around, he was just seen in House of Chains, so I'm not sure why you're asking about him. He will probably be back in the next book, the Bonehunters which will continue the story.

    Midnight Tides, in case you're confused, is giving us Trull Sengar's story, the Edur from House of Chains that hooked up with Onrack, the Imass warrior. Mappo and Icarium were also just seen in House of Chains, so again I'm not sure of your question. Midnight Tides is on a different continent. The priest who lost his hands is Heboric, who had a fairly large part in House of Chains. Perhaps you need to do a re-read of House of Chains? Coltaine may show up in the next book as well. The point of Duiker being resurrected was explained with his appearance at the end of Memories of Ice: to be able to tell the story of the Chain of Dogs.
    And that girl who was an assassin? That ship full of dead guys? Some guy chained to a wall in a flood? That neat dead guy called Tool that was trailing around at some point?
    The girl is Apsalar, and she has been in books 1, 2, and 4. The ship of dead Andii is being explained in Midnight Tides, which focuses on the Tiste Edur. And Tool, the T'lan Imass, was a major character in Gardens and Memories of Ice, and his story line was pretty much wrapped up.

    Once again, the tribal guy in Midnight Tides is Trull Sengar, of the grey-skinned Tiste Edur, the Children of Shadow... he was a main character in the last book, House of Chains, he was the guy who's head was shaved and was chained to that massive wall on the flooded world. He kept saying he had a tragic story, concerning his people working for the Crippled God, and Midnight Tides is that story.

    It sounds to me like maybe you need to find some summaries online, or re-read the books! They are confusing (I started this thread afterall), but by book 5 you should probably not be having so much trouble remembering the characters...

  11. #41
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    Thanks for all that - actually looking at your post, it seems I'm very incorrect here: definitely sounds like a case of me forgetting stuff, not Erikson dropping the ball - especially if that many of them popped up in HoC.

    Actually now I think of it I do recall the Icarium part; he and Mappo showed up in the desert and made mincemeat of someone's guards, right?

    And Trull *being* the guy chained on the wall, 'tis like a radiant light shined upon my thick noggin... thanks a lot, I feel happier already!

  12. #42
    The Trickster
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    And I thought that I had trouble keeping track of what's going in the Malazan books...I guess there are people who had more troubles than me. Arc, most of your problems with the books will disappear if you find the time to reread them, trust me.

    SPOILERS!!!


    Actually now I think of it I do recall the Icarium part; he and Mappo showed up in the desert and made mincemeat of someone's guards, right?
    Not really, they only showed up in HoC for a brief encounter with Karsa.

    Coltaine may show up in the next book as well.
    No, he won't, Erikson has said so. Plus, he is a bit young to be of any value right now.

    Patching together ancient history. Some people seem to enjoy speculating on this stuff, but forgive me for just being mainly confused. See (1) I guess. I really can't figure out what the hell is going on or even remotely keep track of it. Seems some lot wiped out the other lot, and some guys had a war, and there was the chaining of the fallen god, but ask me to put them in date order and I'd be one of those people that flunks "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".
    You can just show up at the malazanempire forums and there will be plenty of people who would love to enlighten you about the history details, I am also confused a bit about them.

    As for the characters, you should probably use more the Dramatis personae list in the beginning of every volume. But I honestly don't see the similarity between Trull and Karsa.

  13. #43
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    Erikson does a pretty good job refreshing my memory about characters and story lines, so I've stopped trying to keep them straight in my head, and I'm trusting that he won't let me get too lost. Heck, even when I'm lost, it's damn fine reading.

    I will eventually read all of the books more than once. Normally I don't re-read, but with Erikson, it doesn't feel like re-reading. Weird.

    Plus, we have Evil Agent and others to help.

    One thing that's helped is realizing that there's really a LOT of magic in these books. Once I figured out that anything can happen, that helped too. These people don't follow the rules.

  14. #44
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Thanks for all that - actually looking at your post, it seems I'm very incorrect here: definitely sounds like a case of me forgetting stuff, not Erikson dropping the ball - especially if that many of them popped up in HoC.
    LOL, you're welcome, Arc. I hope I didn't sound condescending or anything, I too find the books to be some of the most confusing fantasy I've ever read. I would like to re-read this series one day, but until then I am just trying my best to remember everyone.
    And Trull *being* the guy chained on the wall, 'tis like a radiant light shined upon my thick noggin... thanks a lot, I feel happier already!
    It seems like a lot of people don't realize that... I think I realized it simply because I remembered Trull's name. Otherwise I'd be sooo lost right now (like some people who apparently thought Midnight Tides was set in the distant past!).
    Plus, we have Evil Agent and others to help.
    LOL... don't say that! Now people will start asking me all kinds of Erikson questions, and I really don't think I'm an expert by any means...! I agree, malazan.com or whatever it is has the best forum for any questions anyone has.

  15. #45
    Memories of Ice and the Deadhouse Gates explains most of the unanswered questions of book 1. Yes, it's a challenging read with heaps new povs, and you have to remember Picker and Blend are females and closer, that Toc is linked to a wolf. But you now know how Paran was teleporting to all sorts of weird places on the first book. What you haven't been told is why Tool freed his racial archenemy, that even his own Jaghut imprisoned Raest.

    But you only need to reread the prologue by midbook or sooner, and you'll understand and think you can predict what is going on, and you'll be okay.

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