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  1. #16
    Analyze That
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyye View Post
    Malazan is complex, not confusing. Pon is confusing, but not very complex.
    You know what, I'd completely reverse this. Malazan is confusing, and that is completely on purpose by the authors. PoN is a much more complex, character based story, and really I didn't find anything confusing about it at all.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by molybdenum View Post
    You know what, I'd completely reverse this. Malazan is confusing, and that is completely on purpose by the authors. PoN is a much more complex, character based story, and really I didn't find anything confusing about it at all.
    Yes. Also I feel that as the series go on, Erikson's multi POV, multi plot juggling act increasingly descends into a chaotic mess. There are many fascinating pieces in the books, but they are much less than the sum of their parts.

  3. #18
    Which is more confusing?
    Chronologically? The Malazan Books of the Fallen.
    In any other way? Bakker.

  4. #19
    I loved Kehlus in Bakker's books but I haven't gotten to the judging eye yet. Akka was pretty good except when he obsesses about his dilemas... which happens far too often. My biggest problem though is that there was so much sex in the books. It was (imho) pretty graphic in some scenes and really seemed unnecesary.

    Based on characters and philosophy, Bakker is more complex. Based on plot Erickson is more complex.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Althax View Post
    I loved Kehlus in Bakker's books but I haven't gotten to the judging eye yet. Akka was pretty good except when he obsesses about his dilemas... which happens far too often. My biggest problem though is that there was so much sex in the books. It was (imho) pretty graphic in some scenes and really seemed unnecesary.

    Based on characters and philosophy, Bakker is more complex. Based on plot Erickson is more complex.
    PoN isn't exactly YA, is it? On topic, I'd read Bakker first, then start Malazan.

  6. #21
    True kirk, but it's just not my cup of tea to read stuff like that. If I'm worried or embarassed that my wife will see what I'm reading, I'm not totally comfortable reading it.

  7. #22
    http://tinyurl.com/363ogv DurzoBlint's Avatar
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    I don't find the Malazan books all that confusing. Of course there are issue with the books but the ride is always worth taking.

    With the PoN books I also found them to be an easy read I just had a hard time with the characters as none of them had any redeeming qualities.

    Both are decent it just depends on what you are in the mood for.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyye View Post
    Malazan is complex, not confusing. Pon is confusing, but not very complex.
    Only if you read PoN without thinking about some of the underlying philosophy. Bakker is a philosophy professor and it shows in PoN - there's references to cognitive science and Nietzschean philosophy, as well as an interest in psychopathy (becomes even clearer if you also read Neuropath and then compare the main character there with Khellus). His characters also have tremendous depth and show development throughout the series; whereas the Malazan characters are all static and purely serve a narrative purpose.

    Both are very strong series; both are intended for a mature audience. Perhaps the best testament to both series is that they will leave you with mental images and ideas that will stay with you a long time. I personally give the nod to PoN - the characters are better developed, a I found Bakker's prose more rewarding (both Khellus and Cnaiur have several monologues are amazing). MBotF is more epic in scale; but also requires a bit more work to get through. I get that Eriksson wanted to write "smart" fantasy and largely he succeeds.. but at times, the whole "you must figure out what's going on and it's going to take a while" starts to feel a bit like a gimmick.. it's kinda hard to stick with a story where repeatedly you're watching from someone's viewpoint and it takes 25 pages before you even know whom that person is... that being said - some of the scenes (Chain of Dogs?) are flat out amazing.

  9. #24
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    Wow, it's always fun to see how other readers experience the series one is reading. A lot of very strange proclamations in here

    Some stuff that comes to mind:

    PoN is not really finished after the third book...the first 3 books are just the beginning. True, the second trilogy starts some 20 years later but it takes up the thread of the first books and if you stop at PoN you have no real closure for almost all the major threads! Scott definitely sees his first two trilogies as something that belongs together. The third series that should follow...that is a bit more up in the air.

    Malazan book characters all purely static and only serve a narrative purpose? Uhm yeah, i guess you must have read different books than i did.

    Overall i really enjoyed those two series a lot. Bakker and Erikson are THE epic fantasy authors of our time, imo. Complexity of story and depth of worldbuilding is superb in both series and the intricacies of the stories only come to light if you read them with all your brain attending and/or some rereads.
    People who think they got everything those books have to offer in one read-through are kidding themselves And that is also what makes them so good in my opinion...they are both very reread-worthy...which i enjoy in a good series.

    Which one is more confusing? Well i echo DurzoBlint. In other words, i can not recommend a reading order for you...the only thing i want to say is : definitely read both series...no matter in what order.

  10. #25
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    Malazan for me, without a doubt, and I would add deliberately so. Erikson never fully or clearly explains his world history and his magic system. The reason I gave up on the series after I think 8 books is when it became clear that I was reading only half of the epic, with many events and characters reserved for the books written by Esslemont.

    Bakker is dense and demnading, but rarely confusing. The only issues I had where those left for the later books in the series, like the exact nature of the ancient adversaries.

  11. #26
    I'm a big fan of epic fantasy, and found Malazan so deliberately confusing that I stopped after volume I. Its perhaps my least favorite epic fantasy that gets recommended (by some) on this site.

    I think there is a philosophical divide between people that "want to work for it" and "not be handed everything on a silver platter" and people that don't appreciate having to say "wait, WTF is that guy, and WTF is he doing that?" again and again, over and over, repeatedly and with vehemence. Yeah, ok, I'm biased -- I didn't state that entirely fairly. But there is definitely some truth to it.

  12. #27
    Mordecus the necromancer. Not complaining!

    Both great books. Malazan is by far the most confusing. Both are very philosophical and dark. But Malazan purposely throws you into the middle of plots with no explanation. PoN is somewhat linear plot lines. I like Malazan only slighter better, just because of the massive scope. Then again I read 14 malazan books and only 3 of the The Second Apocalypse, PoN trilogy.

  13. #28
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    I would say that the timelines in the Malazan BOTF are the more confusing of the 2. There are so many things going on concurrently that it can get confusing. A lot of the so called "Re-writing of history" in MBOTF is more that the POV of one character is mistaken or flawed, but I understand the point. MBOTF is truly epic in scope but if you are the type of reader that just wants one or two POVs, then you may want to hold off on MBOTF..... There are about 15 to 20 POVs throughout the series.

    The confusing thing for me with PON is that I steadily disliked every single major character more and more as the story went on. Drusas is the only character that I at any time had any real empathy for. Eventually as the story wore on he went from sympathetic to pitiable finally to loathsomely weak and my pity turned to disgust. As the Aspect Emperor series continued (through white-luck warrior anyway), my primary joy and motivation for continuing to read the series has been to watch all the horrible things that start to happen to these hideous and hateful characters. Drusas does finally start to fight back a bit in the second trilogy and for me has partially redeemed himself ...... a bit. I look forward to The Unholy Consult in the hope that somebody somewhere can find something that Kelhus actually cares about and then crush whatever Kelhus loves (if there actually is anything that he even remotely cares about) just to hurt that callus son of a B.

    Both authors do an outstanding job, but the stories aren't even remotely similar.

    Cheers!

  14. #29
    I'd look at it as PoN books are confusing in better ways. There are more philosophical and historic fantasy elements in Bakkers books I find. Malazan is confusing in timelines and occasional continuity hiccups.

    Both are great, but if i was forced to choose it would be Bakker. I've read both completely through twice.

  15. #30
    I think the Malazan series was very confusing and even though I am not a fan of the series at all I would still suggest reading them just because of the fact that the people who do enjoy the series seem to love it. I thought Prince of Nothing was a breeze compared to Malazan.

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