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House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)
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Group Read - House of Chains > HoC - Chapter Twenty Five - NO SPOILERS

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message 1: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Chapter Twenty Five discussion thread.


message 2: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
And carnage ensues. It’s assassins and ghosts and Karsa Orlong.

There is a lot going on in this chapter so I will most likely miss something important...but here goes – Some big revelations-

The Bridgeburners, at least the dead ones, have ascended – whatever that means

‘Whoever it was and however it happened,’ Quick Ben said, ‘the Bridgeburners have now ascended—’
‘Ascended? What in the Queen’s name does that mean?’
‘Damned if I know, Kalam. I’ve never heard of such a thing before. A whole company – there’s no precedent for this, none at all.’
‘Except maybe the T’lan Imass.’



Kalam fulfills his mission from Cotillion by discovering who is threatening the Shadow Realm. The Crippled god is making a play here

This shattered fragment of Kurald Emurlahn, Claw, shall not be the plaything of a desert goddess. Nor of the Empress. None of you shall have it, for it shall become the heart of the new House of Chains.

We also get direct confirmation that The Master of the Deck has now officially sanctioned The House of Chains – binding the Crippled god to the rules of the game

A Master has come to the Deck, and that Master has just sanctioned the House of Chains.’
Heboric’s eyes widened. Then narrowed, and he slowly nodded. ‘Let the gods rail, he or she had to do just that.’
‘I know. The Crippled God is now as bound as is every other god.’



The ghosts of Raraku arise and fight – Gamet dies from his wounds and joins them in battle. He is then invited to joiun them as they go to their final resting place on the shores of Raraku’s once inland sea

We march to the shores, soldier – will you join us?’
He saw more than professional interest in her eyes.
‘I shall.’
‘You would leave your friends, Gamet Ul’Paran?’
‘For you, yes.’ Her smile, and the laugh that followed, stole the old man’s heart.


Meanwhile the assassins war is in full swing. As Greyfrog comments

Assassins are out hunting . . .
‘Delightful.’


The Talon are out hunting Bidithal’s shadow warriors, Heboric, Mathok and anyone loyal to Sha’ik – everybody’s playing their own game.


And then we have Karsa

Bidithal was to be the new Magi of Chains. Silgar the Leper. They expect Karsa will toe the line...or the chain so to speak – but instead he impales Silgar and rips Bidithal’s balls off and feeds him a six inch meatball sub.

Something soft and bloody was pushed into his mouth.
‘For you, Bidithal. For every nameless girl-child you destroyed. Here. Choke on your pleasure.’


The irony here is that Karsa started out as a rapist.


We also find out that the Hounds ie Deragoth were summoned by Bidithal. The crippled god means to control them – but I’m not sure how well that’s working out

Do you, or your Crippled God, truly believe you can control them? If so, then it is you two who are mad.’
Bidithal leaned forward. ‘They seek a master!’ he hissed.



The Rope is also backing Kalam up – helping take out the wraiths in Bidithal’s tent – and Kalam is impressed

No wonder the bastard’s a god. Hood’s breath, I’ve never before seen such skill. And that damned rope!


And we can probably now safely assume that Dancer’s Talon organisation is not what it originally was – Cotillion certainly doesn’t feel any loyalty to any of it’s members

He calls himself master of the Talon, after all. Not that Cotillion, who was Dancer, knows a damned thing about them. Sparing the revelation only a sneer.

Kalam pulls out his acorn and Quick Ben comes through to take out Kamist Reloe

A figure slowly emerged from where the Talon had kicked the acorn moments earlier, and crouched down beside Kamist Reloe. ‘It’s disloyalty that bothers us the most,’ he said to the dying High Mage. ‘We always answer it. Always have. Always will.’


Karsa kills the two Degaroth. After Kalam and Quick examine his handiwork. They decide that they don’t want to be around while there’s something that can kill Degaroth floating about.

They studied the mangled carcass.
‘Wizard...’
‘Aye?’
‘Let’s drop off the Napan and get out of here.’
‘A brilliant plan.’
‘I just thought it up.’
‘I like it very much. Well done, Kalam.’


It seems Pearl gets a reward from Cotillion as Kalam and Quick Drop the Talon Master into his lap. It appears a Lannister god of Shadow always pays his debts – even if Pearl was unconscious for a lot of it. I like how Kalam sucker punches him and reminds him of what he did to him on Malaz in book 2


Something hard struck him in the side of his head. Stunned, he fell and lay unmoving, his face pressed against the cold, gritty ground.
A voice rumbled above him. ‘That was for Malaz City. Even so, you still owe me one.’


So Pearl finally has his ticket(Korbolo Dom) back into Laseen's and the ClawMaster’s favour

Beside him, the trussed shape groaned again.
Despite himself, Pearl smiled.



Lori I'm still confused about the Degaroth. If they are Hounds of Darkness wouldn't Rake be their master?


message 4: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
From Ch21

‘You called the Deragoth “Hounds of Darkness”. Are they children of Mother Dark, then?’
‘They are no-one’s children,’ Osric growled, then he shook his head. ‘They have that stench about them, but in truth I have no idea. It just seemed an appropriate name. “Deragoth” in the Tiste Andii tongue.’


So they smell/appear to be affiliated with dark, but no one knows how exactly. But Osric is certain they have no affiliation with Mother Dark and hence Rake or the Tiste other than they appear to share an aspect ie Dark.


Lori Osric doesn't seem to know either. I hope we find out more about them. I remember they are aspected in some way to the Hounds of Shadow, didn't the 2 who died become the 2 Degaloth that were alive on the island?

I remember being confused about the Hounds last read too.


message 6: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
‘If they are but reflections, then there must be Hounds of Darkness, from which they were torn,’ Onrack persisted. ‘Yet there is no knowledge of such...’

So the Hounds of Shadow were somehow torn from the Hounds of Darkness. When Ganoes released them Dragnipur he sent them into the Gate of Dark ...
then the two Hounds of dark become alive - so maybe the Hounds of Shadow were reunited with the originals.


Lori Yay I did remember somewhat correctly!

It's got to be telling that those 2 Hounds ended up on the island, where the Tiste Andii were, and where the Shadow throne is.


message 8: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Jun 12, 2013 10:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lori (Hellian) wrote: "Yay I did remember somewhat correctly!

It's got to be telling that those 2 Hounds ended up on the island, where the Tiste Andii were, and where the Shadow throne is."


No that was only one Hound of Shadow(Blind) - not one of the two that were in Dragnipur(Doan and Ganrod). It was there because Cutter called him in. Earlier, Cutter had felt some affinity with the Hound and he asked Cotillion if he could call on the Hound if he needed to. Which he did.


Lori I meant the 2 Hounds of Darkness that were alive, that seemed to be the altered states of the ones that Paran released from Dragnipur.

Then again, I might be hopelessly confused!


message 10: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lori (Hellian) wrote: "I meant the 2 Hounds of Darkness that were alive, that seemed to be the altered states of the ones that Paran released from Dragnipur."

Yes. That's what I think at the moment. But they never went to Drift Avali or The Throne of Shadow.


message 11: by Duffy (last edited Jun 13, 2013 03:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Duffy Pratt | 354 comments "A figure slowly emerged from where the Talon had kicked the acorn moments earlier, and crouched down beside Kamist Reloe. ‘It’s disloyalty that bothers us the most,’ he said to the dying High Mage. ‘We always answer it. Always have. Always will.’"

I love this, but I'm not entirely certain who Quick means by "we"? Is he talking for Seven Cities? for the Bridgburners? the Empire? his old priesthood? or the ten souls who make up QB? or something else altogether?

This chapter more than confirms that people are making up their explanations as they go along. Quick Ben knows the Bridgeburners have ascended, but has no idea what it means. And as pointed out above, no-one seems to really know anything about the origin of the two hounds of dark, including a god. The most we know about them at this point is that they are really badass, but not so much as Karsa...

Other thing that I love is that it was the Bridgeburners (ascended version) who lead the assault on the oasis. Remember the motto: First in, last out.


message 12: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Duffy wrote: "Other thing that I love is that it was the Bridgeburners (ascended version) who lead the assault on the oasis. Remember the motto: First in, last out. "

Good Pick up.


As for Kamist - he is an ex Malazan High mage. Quick Ben has been recently promoted to High Mage so I would think he speaks for the Empire at this point.


message 13: by Rob, Quick Ben (last edited Jun 13, 2013 04:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Bithidal's death scene was one of the most gruesome I've read in a long time. I had to read it twice. Then pause and "damn" and various other random noises after reading it. I guess it's good that I live alone or people would wonder what was wrong...

-------------------------

I was really expecting Karsa to take command of the Hounds of Darkness rather than killing them based on him doing it with the dogs (or was it wolves?) at the beginning plus this quote:

'One who is worthy,' Kalam replied. 'In other words, one who is meaner and tougher than they are. And in the oasis, they will find no such individual. And so, I fear they will kill everyone.'

I suppose it's possible they aren't quite dead, or further hounds won't obey him.

-------------------------

Kalam seemed to more than make up for his slacking off last chapter. I like how he silently and methodically takes out a "hand" of Talons with little effort.

I also like the "You don't remember me, do you Kalam" followed by fighting and Kalam killing the Talon before finally responding "No, I don't".

-------------------------

Oh and Quick Ben showing up in this book and running with Kalam again might have pushed this book from a 4 to a 5 for me. We'll see how the last chapter goes.

And David already used my favorite conversation from this chapter in his summary.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Gah, another bloody chapter, and by this time I've totally lost track of why everyone wants to kill each other. Sha'ik's camp is too complicated.

Interesting how Kalam compares the Ritual of Tellann to ascendancy. I'd already thought Onrack's discussions of the Ritual and Cutter's thoughts on ascendant psychology sounded similar.


message 15: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Jun 13, 2013 12:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Silvio wrote: "Gah, another bloody chapter, and by this time I've totally lost track of why everyone wants to kill each other. Sha'ik's camp is too complicated."

Ha Ha. I'll give it a bit of a go.

Bidithal wants to be the new High Priest of a new warren. At the moment he needs Shaik so he uses his shadow army to spy on the other mages and Korbolo.

Korbolo wants to kill the Empress and maybe become Emperor himself - So he is planning to hand Sha'ik over to the Laseen so he can get close enough to do the job. He knows Bidithal is spying on him and is standing between him and Sha'ik - so he goes to kill him. He also wants Heboric dead because he's with Sha'ik also. The native desert warriors led by Mathok are loyal to Sha'ik so Korbolo is trying to get past them as well.

Karsa has his list of people who just need to die.

I can't remember who else specifically dies but the camp is generally split between Korbolo's "Dogslayers" and Mathok's desert warriors - the mages are generally split between the two with Kamist Reloe and Febryl and Fayelle with Korbolo, and Bidithal, Heboric and L'oric with Sha'ik - But not everyone is particular loyal to anyone.

You're right - its complicated. I'll stop there.


message 16: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Just go with everyone wants kill the other groups!

I could not figure out why Karsa wanted to kill Heboric?


message 17: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lori (Hellian) wrote: "I could not figure out why Karsa wanted to kill Heboric?"

Karsa's always wanted to kill him because Heboric has been quite vocal about his disapproval of Karsa. Heboric sees Karsa's chains and therefore his very presence(plus some sarcastic remarks) reminds Karsa of something he would rather ignore - that he is a god's pawn.


message 18: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Ok that's what I thought but I would hope at the end Karsa sees that Heboric only speaks true.


Sumant | 272 comments So the two hounds of shadow which onrack freed are not the ones which got freed from dragnipur by Paran ?.

Also great explanation David regarding shaik's camp who was following whom and for what purpose.


message 20: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Sumant wrote: "So the two hounds of shadow which onrack freed are not the ones which got freed from dragnipur by Paran ?."

Yes they are the same ones but they are now part of the degaroth.

Bonehunters current read spoiler (view spoiler)


Scylight | 4 comments I just wanted to say in Karsa's defense when he was raping I don't think he was mutilating girls. I thought the point of his raping was to spread his seed not to have a form of control and submission.

Plus I assumed what Bidi was doing to these girls was what happens to young girls in Africa. If you don't know about the genital mutilation thatgoes on there you may want to iinvestigate that. It may give you some more insight.


And the Brigheburners ascended! Oh I hope that means we'll see them in future books :D


DangerBin | 64 comments Bidithal finally gets his comeuppance (there is a horrible pun to made in that, but I'm above such things).


DangerBin | 64 comments Gamet be getting that ghost-tang.


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