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Werthead

The Malazan Book of the Fallen Thread

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You really don't have to drag yourself through GotM. You have to maybe drag yourself through the first 200 pages tops. By the time everything's settled in Pale the book makes a fair amount of sense and moves speedily from there. By the time you're in Darujhistan the book has completely settled, you've been introduced to all the major characters, and the plot is pretty simple to understand.

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It's also worth noting that Book 1 was written a decade before and separately to the rest of the series, when Erikson was a much clunkier and more inexperienced writer. Book 2 is a vast improvement. In fact, because Book 2 is set on a different continent with a different cast, you can put off Book 1 until later on and read Book 2 first. I know a few people who didn't like Book 1 who tried that and ended up becoming huge fans.

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Just finished The Crippled God. Holy crap that was Epic! Totally worth it. I thought it was a pretty perfect book. I liked the resolution for House Paran. I liked the resolution for Icarium, though I would have liked more of him in this book. I liked the resolution for the Bonehunters and the Bridgeburners. Wish we could have found out more about Ruthun Gudd. Loved the resolution for Gesler and Stormy, that was just perfect, though I had hoped they'd ascend, maybe they will later, who knows. A lot of my favorites didn't make it, but I was happy with the amount that did. Loved the little resolution for Cutter and Apsalar, though I would have liked more of them. I would have liked more of Karsa too, but I was happy with that I got, this really wasn't his book. The Fener/T'lan Imass stuff really surprised me, that was awesome. I LOVED the resolution of Onos Too'lan. Yeah, overall I loved it, it was perfect. Now I'm reading Stonewielder, then the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas, and then I'll FINALLY be done with this series after like 4 months! I'll have to speed through ASoIaF at this rate to prep for ADwD.

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Orb Sceptre Throne by Ian Cameron Esslemont

 

With the Pannion Seer defeated, the Jaghut Tyrant Raest imprisoned and peace declared with the Malazans, the beleaguered citizens of Darujhistan are finally hoping for a time of peace and prosperity. Of course, this is the perfect time for an ancient force of unspeakable evil to escape from the barrows outside the city and unleash a new age of chaos and war across most of Genabackis. This war will draw in the Moranth and the Seguleh, the Rhivi and the remnants of the Malazan armies still stationed on the continent. Far to the south, treasure hunters are looting the crashed ruins of Moon's Spawn, searching for the storied Throne of Night, whilst in another realm hunters are searching for the missing High Mage Tayschrenn at the very Shores of Creation. But the fate of Darujhistan, Genabackis and maybe the world will rest in the hands of one fat thief and a bunch of Malazan deserters who want nothing more than to run their pub in peace.

 

Orb Sceptre Throne is Ian Cameron Esslemont's fourth entry into the Malazan world, expanding on the novels written by his friend and collaborator Steven Erikson. It's an interesting book in that, unlike Esslemont's previous novels which largely focused on new characters, this novel extensively features characters Erikson has used and developed in several previous books, most notably the curiously-dictioned Kruppe. This poses challenges for Esslemont, but thankfully he overcomes them with aplomb. Kruppe occasionally feels a bit off, but most of the other shared characters (Caladan Brood, Duiker, the ex-Bridgeburners, Torvald and Rallick Nom and more) come across very well.

 

The narrative is, as is typical with Malazan, somewhat disjointed, with several apparently unconnected storylines unfolding before converging at the end. This disconnect seems more pronounced than is normal for Esslemont and is briefly worrying, since he has far less page-time to play around with than Erikson (despite being almost exactly 600 pages long in hardcover, this is the one of the shortest books in the series). However, as the storylines move together and things start making sense, the book picks up a tremendous momentum. The second half of the novel is stuffed full of battles, plot revelations and character moments that are satisfyingly epic. By using elements familiar to readers from other books, Esslemont is able to imbue events with more meaning than would otherwise be the case. When four hundred Seguleh (the sword-wielding taciturn badasses of the Malazan world) show up, the reader knows that some serious carnage is about to go down, for example.

 

For this reason, Orb Sceptre Throne works much better for established Malazan fans than newcomers, particularly those who have already read Gardens of the Moon, Memories of Ice and Toll the Hounds. A number of plot elements stretching all the way back to Gardens of the Moon are expanded upon and backstory is (finally!) given for the Seguleh, the Moranth and indeed Genabackis as a whole. It's also nice to see some established characters given more depth and bigger roles than previously, such as Antsy, who becomes a major player in events at the crashed Moon's Spawn.

 

On the negative side, there's a number of story elements that are somewhat obtuse, either referring to storylines still to be detailed or referring very obliquely to events in other novels. Some characters fare better than others, and notably after the initial ferocious power and abilities shown by the antagonists, they seem to be caught a bit flat-footed by the forces arrayed against them at the end of the book. Also, it's confusing why Esslemont alludes to the fact that a fan-favourite character is still in the environs of Darujhistan when that character plays no role in the book (despite events being more than epic enough to attract his attention).

 

Despite these minor niggles, Orb Sceptre Throne (****½) is a well-written, thoroughly enjoyable addition to the Malazan canon. It is available now in the UK and on 22 May in the USA.

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I'm at a loss how anyone can not absolutely LOVE this series. And I mean that based on the fact that were all on a site dedicated to great fantasy books. WoT of course being.the greatest. But how can you not like Gardens. It's freaking amazing. With WoT you get a great story with characters and history you can relate to.

But Malazan is OUT OF THIS WORLD. There are no greater characters out there. If you were to list the top 100 greatest fantasy characters you'd have to fill the first 20 slots with all Malazan characters.

Keep reading. You're starting off learning about a group of characters known as the bridge burners. And they end up being very loved and very very amazing. Wade through it. The rewards are worth it.

I'll admit I loved the first 4 books and I'm sort of mired down in Midnight Tides, because of the huge history lesson, but I still love the series as one of the greatest. Just under WoT.

Edited by Brujah

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What were the names of the two guys that one was a psycho but could never remember and the second guy was his pal and cared about him but also didn't WANT him to be doing any remembering?? And which books was their storyline prevalent?? THANKS!!!

 

 

Fish

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What were the names of the two guys that one was a psycho but could never remember and the second guy was his pal and cared about him but also didn't WANT him to be doing any remembering?? And which books was their storyline prevalent?? THANKS!!!

 

 

Fish

 

Icarium and Mappo. They're in Deadhouse Gates, House of Chains (barely), The Bonehunters, Reaper's Gale, Toll the Hounds (at least Mappo is), Dust of Dreams, and The Crippled God.

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Look up "Bad Ass" in the dictionary and its defined as Icarium. And he doesn't even know it. Then a synonym would be Karsa.

SUCH awesome characters in this series. Anomander Rake? And.these are all non human. It's just so imaginative. And the humans are great , too.

What better duo is there than Quick Ben and Kalam.

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What were the names of the two guys that one was a psycho but could never remember and the second guy was his pal and cared about him but also didn't WANT him to be doing any remembering?? And which books was their storyline prevalent?? THANKS!!!

 

 

Fish

 

Icarium and Mappo. They're in Deadhouse Gates, House of Chains (barely), The Bonehunters, Reaper's Gale, Toll the Hounds (at least Mappo is), Dust of Dreams, and The Crippled God.

 

Thank you! I'm presuming that means Kruppe, Crokus and the other two of that foursome who's names escape me are in GOTM and MOI a lot?

 

Reason I'm asking is, after many failed attempts to 'get into' this series my latest approach is trying to read individual storylines of characters who had caught my interest in previous attempts. For me, it was that foursome, Mappo and Icarium and Heboric, Bauden and Fesilin. I'm really into Fes and about halfway through her story in DG and I guess Im a weirdo bc she seems to be widely-hated on many fansites and I really enjoy her. What's up with THAT, lol??

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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What were the names of the two guys that one was a psycho but could never remember and the second guy was his pal and cared about him but also didn't WANT him to be doing any remembering?? And which books was their storyline prevalent?? THANKS!!!

 

 

Fish

 

Icarium and Mappo. They're in Deadhouse Gates, House of Chains (barely), The Bonehunters, Reaper's Gale, Toll the Hounds (at least Mappo is), Dust of Dreams, and The Crippled God.

 

Thank you! I'm presuming that means Kruppe, Crokus and the other two of that foursome who's names escape me are in GOTM and MOI a lot?

 

Reason I'm asking is, after many failed attempts to 'get into' this series my latest approach is trying to read individual storylines of characters who had caught my interest in previous attempts. For me, it was that foursome, Mappo and Icarium and Heboric, Bauden and Fesilin. I'm really into Fes and about halfway through her story in DG and I guess Im a weirdo bc she seems to be widely-hated on many fansites and I really enjoy her. What's up with THAT, lol??

 

Fish

 

Crokus is not in MoI, he's in the Seven Cities in DG so he continues in that theater of events. Kruppe stays in the Genabackis for the most part, so he's in that theater. Heboric, Bauden, and Fesilin are in the Seven Cities theater with Crokus. Fesilin is a character I like and deeply pity as her story continues, but there's reasons why readers don't like her, I find her more tragic then difficult.

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True but I was talking about human/mortals when I mentioned those two.

But you could just as easily say Kellevened and Dancer when they were mortal I suppose.

Also I've only just finished book 5 and so can anyone say Crimson Guard?

Jesus, does Erikson know how to pump out pure badassness or what.

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True but I was talking about human/mortals when I mentioned those two.

But you could just as easily say Kellevened and Dancer when they were mortal I suppose.

Also I've only just finished book 5 and so can anyone say Crimson Guard?

Jesus, does Erikson know how to pump out pure badassness or what.

 

The Crimson Guard are Esslemont territory, and they're really all his characters. Read "Return of the Crimson Gaurd" and "Stoneweilder" after you finish The Bonehunters, and you'll see what I mean. Erikson's just borrowing Iron Bars from Esslemont.

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Wow I didn't even realize there was a co creator of the Malazan world. Didn't even know about Esslemont.

But what blows my mind is that these two guys created their world for the GURPS roleplaying game. I played GURPS for 4 years in high school. Small world.

 

Edit: also this Iron Bars guy takes on 5 Toblokai. Are each of then as powerful as Karsa? If so did he take on 5 Karsas? I mean I know he ended up with help but to have even held out like he did is saying a lot.

Edited by Brujah

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Wow I didn't even realize there was a co creator of the Malazan world. Didn't even know about Esslemont.

But what blows my mind is that these two guys created their world for the GURPS roleplaying game. I played GURPS for 4 years in high school. Small world.

 

Edit: also this Iron Bars guy takes on 5 Toblokai. Are each of then as powerful as Karsa? If so did he take on 5 Karsas? I mean I know he ended up with help but to have even held out like he did is saying a lot.

 

Most of the time its a safe bet to assume that nothing is as powerful as Karsa.

 

As for Iron Bars. Yeah he's pretty crazy. All of the Avowed really are but appearantley he was the one with the most "will" which is the most important part of their crazy "cant touch me" powers.

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I'm at a loss how anyone can not absolutely LOVE this series.

Well, one reason is that long strectches of it can be quite boring. It's not a bad series, but there are plenty out there that are better.

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I'm at a loss how anyone can not absolutely LOVE this series.

Well, one reason is that long strectches of it can be quite boring. It's not a bad series, but there are plenty out there that are better.

 

Like ones written by George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Robin Hobb, Melanie Rawn and Glen Cook - just to name five.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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I really, really want to like this series, but I gave up after the first four books. There were some nice bits and pieces, but overall it made no sense to me, I only cared about one character (Karsa Orlong), and there's way too much deus ex machina going on. I'm debating whether to re-read it just to say that I got through the entire thing.

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I really, really want to like this series, but I gave up after the first four books. There were some nice bits and pieces, but overall it made no sense to me, I only cared about one character (Karsa Orlong), and there's way too much deus ex machina going on. I'm debating whether to re-read it just to say that I got through the entire thing.

 

I think the end of Book 4 is a great place to call it a day. If you've read they first four you get at least y for pretty much the entire story for Fesilin, Bauden and Heboric.....Mappo and Icarium.......Crokus and Kruppe....Paran...

 

Book Five launches all new storylines, so, yeah, like I said, Book Four is a good place to wrap it up if the series is not for you.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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I really, really want to like this series, but I gave up after the first four books. There were some nice bits and pieces, but overall it made no sense to me, I only cared about one character (Karsa Orlong), and there's way too much deus ex machina going on. I'm debating whether to re-read it just to say that I got through the entire thing.

 

I think the end of Book 4 is a great place to call it a day. If you've read they first four you get at least y for pretty much the entire story for Fesilin, Bauden and Heboric.....Mapping and Icarium.......Crokus and Kruppe....Paean...

 

Book Five launches all new storylines, so, yeah, like I said, Book Four is a good place to wrap it up if the series is not for you.

 

 

Fish

 

What are you on about? Almost none of those characters have had their story reach a conclusion by the end of book 4. In fact the only two characters in that list that is finished is Baudin and Felisin. Heboric, Mappo, Icarium, Crokus, Kruppe and Paran all have huge and important roles to play in the later books.

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I really, really want to like this series, but I gave up after the first four books. There were some nice bits and pieces, but overall it made no sense to me, I only cared about one character (Karsa Orlong), and there's way too much deus ex machina going on. I'm debating whether to re-read it just to say that I got through the entire thing.

 

I think the end of Book 4 is a great place to call it a day. If you've read they first four you get at least y for pretty much the entire story for Fesilin, Bauden and Heboric.....Mapping and Icarium.......Crokus and Kruppe....Paean...

 

Book Five launches all new storylines, so, yeah, like I said, Book Four is a good place to wrap it up if the series is not for you.

 

 

Fish

 

What are you on about? Almost none of those characters have had their story reach a conclusion by the end of book 4. In fact the only two characters in that list that is finished is Baudin and Felisin. Heboric, Mappo, Icarium, Crokus, Kruppe and Paran all have huge and important roles to play in the later books.

 

Ummm...nooooo. (And Im only beginning like that because the Mods here really enjoy posts that start with "Ummm" lol ;-) ) ... Those characters begin NEW storyarcs in Book 5 - The Tides of Midnight - but their INITIAL storylines wrap in House of Chains/Book 4. If you don't want to begin the next cycle of stories in Book 5 because the series just isn't doing it for you, then Book 4 is a decent place to cut bait. That's all I'm saying.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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I really, really want to like this series, but I gave up after the first four books. There were some nice bits and pieces, but overall it made no sense to me, I only cared about one character (Karsa Orlong), and there's way too much deus ex machina going on. I'm debating whether to re-read it just to say that I got through the entire thing.

 

I think the end of Book 4 is a great place to call it a day. If you've read they first four you get at least y for pretty much the entire story for Fesilin, Bauden and Heboric.....Mapping and Icarium.......Crokus and Kruppe....Paean...

 

Book Five launches all new storylines, so, yeah, like I said, Book Four is a good place to wrap it up if the series is not for you.

 

 

Fish

 

What are you on about? Almost none of those characters have had their story reach a conclusion by the end of book 4. In fact the only two characters in that list that is finished is Baudin and Felisin. Heboric, Mappo, Icarium, Crokus, Kruppe and Paran all have huge and important roles to play in the later books.

 

Ummm...nooooo. (And Im only beginning like that because the Mods here really enjoy posts that start with "Ummm" lol ;-) ) ... Those characters begin NEW storyarcs in Book 5 - The Tides of Midnight - but their INITIAL storylines wrap in House of Chains/Book 4. If you don't want to begin the next cycle of stories in Book 5 because the series just isn't doing it for you, then Book 4 is a decent place to cut bait. That's all I'm saying.

 

 

Fish

 

 

Still no. Mappo, Icarium and Crokus sorta begin new story arcs. Icarium's story is really still the same one, Mappo's changes due to losing Icarium. Kruppe, Paran and Heboric very much continue their pre existing ones. Please tell me exactly what separates the pre Tides of Midnight story arcs of those 3 characters from the Post Tides of Midnight story arcs. Because the way I see it: Heboric is still dealing with being a big mixing pot of Jade Giant, Treach and Ottataral. Paran is continuing his story of being the Master of the Deck and Kruppe is pretty much just being Kruppe.

 

 

 

In any case (and this is aimed at whoever posted that he didnt like it after book 4); if you don't like the series at this point, you probably never will. Personally I was tentative after book 1 but after book 2 and 3 I was completely sucked in. Easily one of my favourite series if not THE favourite.

Edited by Hallow

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