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  1. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by thirstyVan View Post
    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.
    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.

  2. #77
    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.

  3. #78
    why even read the books? Just come in here and ask for an entire plot summary already

  4. #79
    Registered User Roland 85's Avatar
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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.

  5. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Agent View Post
    All I can say, Chris777, is it gets a LOT more complicated! Way more complicated than WOT. Trying to keep posting at this detailed level of analysis is a pretty ambitious task. The Malazan forums contain hundreds of threads, discussing thousands of plot elements.

    I'd suggest not worrying too much about every little detail, because frankly the Malazan universe is a bit of a mess. A giant, epic, awesome mess. You'll probably have a dozen questions for every chapter you read. The series also takes place across 3 continents, and you won't even meet some of the characters you named (e.g. Icarium, Dassem, etc.) for a long, long time.

    Unfortunately, I also find it quite flawed (just finished Book 8, and really disliked it). But the first 5 or 6 books are some of the most epic novels I've ever read. I kind of love/hate this series. Enjoy!

    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.

  6. #81
    I'm on book 9 right now, and I must say that after hearing so many people criticize the later Malazan books, I was a little bit anxious to read them. To date, I haven't read a single Malazan book I didn't like. I'm not really sure what the big deal is, tbh. Every single Malazan book has completely blown every other fantasy book I've ever read out of the water (except maybe ASOIAF, but it's close). Could someone tell me their reasons why they don't like the later books? I'm just curious.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven of SD View Post
    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.
    Iīm pretty sure there were cards magically appearing in the Deck at points during the series so just because you can create new cards doesnīt mean that the Deck does not update itself.

    I might be wrong, I havenīt done any re-reading of this series and read all books in close connection to their release.

  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by beopposed View Post
    I'm on book 9 right now, and I must say that after hearing so many people criticize the later Malazan books, I was a little bit anxious to read them. To date, I haven't read a single Malazan book I didn't like. I'm not really sure what the big deal is, tbh. Every single Malazan book has completely blown every other fantasy book I've ever read out of the water (except maybe ASOIAF, but it's close). Could someone tell me their reasons why they don't like the later books? I'm just curious.
    I'm reading The Bonehunters right now and this concerns me too. Judging solely from Amazon it seems that most like them.

    Reaper's Gale - (4.5/5)
    Toll the Hounds - (4/5)
    Dust of Dreams - (4/5)
    The Crippled God - (4/5)

    I'm hoping that those that like the later books don't feel as compelled to talk about them. I agree with you - every Malazan book I've read has been head and shoulders above any other fantasy book I've ever read.

  9. #84
    Registered User Carlyle Clark's Avatar
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    I've read all the way through the Erikson Malazan novels, and NIGHT OF KNIVES & THE RETURN OF THE CRIMSON GUARD.

    Here's is my opinion on the answer to a couple of vexing questions.

    Someone in the thread pointed out that EVERY bit of information is filtered through a character's POV. Keep that in mind while you read and then think of our own world and the opposing certainty people have in virtually every aspect of life. Take Commandos—people have strong opinions on whose the best between: Navy Seals, Delta Force, British SAS, the Israeli's, the Germans, etc. Or which fighter jet is the best. Or which gun is the best. Which Ultimate Fighter is the Best. Which food is the most nutritious. Which exercise is the best for your health.

    People will pick one, declare with certainty that it's the best, and tell you why. But that is just a strong opinion backed up by fact and emotion. There is almost never a definitive answer because it always depends on the circumstances.

    Normally in fantasy we get some sort of ranking system like "This woman is a Level 7 mage and this guy is only Level 5 so she will win almost every time." But Malazan spans hundred of thousands of years and there's maybe a dozen races significant to the plotline, each having developed their own methods of making magic. Thus though some may have access to significantly more magical power, the specifics of their opponent's magical technique may negate the difference in power.

    Think of Mixed Martial Arts in the old days: karate vs jiu-jitsu vs wrestling vs boxing vs kung fu vs kick boxing vs Brazilian jiu-jitsu. No one knew what was going to happen until they fought. And one fighter would annihilate a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt, and then in the next fight knocked out by a kickboxer, who would then be effortlessly defeated by that same Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt. Or when people pick great generals, or boxers, or sports teams from different era and speculate on who was "better."

    So there's no way to know who will win a fight without them fighting. And thus there's no way to directly rank them.

    What's an Ascendant? It's mortal who achieves a significant amount of magical power. But there's no test or ranking system or official stamp of approval. In fact there is a character in the series (I can't recall who) who actively wonders if he is an Ascendant. As others have said, being worshipped can "make" you a god, but there's no test, ranking system, or stamp of approval for that either.

    For me, the strength of the Malazan world is also what drives people insane about it. It's like our world. Subjective. It never let's you relax and establish a world order. And how could there be, with so many races with such different culture and history and magical systems inhabiting the same world? There is no clear defining answer as to who is a god and who isn't, what an Ascendant is, who's the strongest (unless they actually fight). It is a world of uncertainty.
    Last edited by Carlyle Clark; July 6th, 2011 at 11:52 AM.

  10. #85
    So much like the first book, I am finally loving it. I think about the same exact distance into each book it becomes 100x better. I'm halfway through.

    I would say once Fiddler and Icarium team up it becomes good. Once they enter the shattered Warren, it becomes really good! And I hope for it to become amazing by the end.

    The dialogue between Mappo and Icarium when he finally tells him how he truly is...choked me up. Very well written.

    I'm at the part where the Hounds just enter the fray to possibly keep Icarium from destroying the Azath. Let the battles begin?! Right? Hopefully...

    Oh and Gesler and Stormy are almost Ascended? And Coltain too?! WTF? Then what's up with Truth? Something I'm sure.

  11. #86
    I cant wait till you finish the book.

    Meanwhile, I have started MoI! YAY!

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Tragedy View Post
    I cant wait till you finish the book.

    Meanwhile, I have started MoI! YAY!
    Well I will be reading faster now that it has gotten good! And I just read MOI is a direct sequel to GOTM? How is that, when DG is also? Same world happenings, diff POV? Paran and Quickben etc?

  13. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by chris777 View Post
    Well I will be reading faster now that it has gotten good! And I just read MOI is a direct sequel to GOTM? How is that, when DG is also? Same world happenings, diff POV? Paran and Quickben etc?
    Pretty much, it occurs simultaneously to Deadhouse Gates on Darujhistan. Memories is amazing. I read it something like 2 years ago, but for some reason never picked up the next in the series. I might have to do that sometime.

  14. #89
    just started Toll the Hounds, after a few years, it's difficult to remember some of the characters and how they look like, Cuttle, Bottle, Curdle, Gruntle, Sunny, Stonny, Stormy, Sulty etc.

  15. #90
    OK. So close to being done. I think one chapter left, I'd read it now but work ends in 15min! haha. Pretty awesome..but damn. Sad. So many unhappy endings. So many heart wrenching scenes. Can i get a happy ending please! Kalam may live happily ever after with his new woman, we'll see. He just beasted like 10 Claws by himself. Though I don't really understand how none of those Claws saw her riding a horse close enough to shoot a crossbow into that mage/claw. Wasn't that a bit off?

    Anyways, we JUST met Icarium's father. And found out some f'd up stuff. Poor Mappo..

    So, Stormy and Gesler. The Warlocks saw in their blood that they were near Ascension! And Coltain was able to bloody and near knock out someone who was so close to Ascension....so what is Coltain right?! Then he gets nailed to a cross and dies? How anticlimactic. Granted the Crows were a cool touch, but I excepted him to turn out a badass or some type. Maybe he still will?!

    I should be finished by tonight!

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