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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 Six & Epilogue - 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 Six and Epilogue discussion thread.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Ah the irony. Tavore asks Pearl and Lostara if they have found her sister, unaware that she is standing right over her corpse. And Pearl decides not to tell her that as a mercy

‘We found her, Adjunct. With deep regret... Felisin is dead.’
‘Are you certain?’
‘Yes, Adjunct.’ He hesitated, then added, ‘I can say one thing for certain, Tavore. She died quickly.’


The whirlwind goddess is killed by Korbolo’s Talon. It is now confirmed that she was indeed the betrayed wife of Onrack and her jealousy drove her insane.

‘She is destroyed. The woman who gave Onrack her heart in the time before the Ritual. The woman to whom he avowed his own heart ... only to steal it back. In many ways, she was destroyed then, already begun on her long journey to oblivion.

The T’lan put her down like a rabid dog – mirroring the brief story at the beginning of chapter one of a rabid dog being cornered and put down.

‘Madness, of such ferocity as to defeat the Vow itself. Like a camp dog that awakens one day with fever in its brain. That snarls and kills in a frenzy. Of course, we had no choice but to track her down, corner her. And so shatter her, imprison her within eternal darkness,

Just before the whirlwind goddess is killed she is struggling to free herself from chains – The cripple god’s chains I assume

She had stumbled into a web of vines, the twisted ropes entangling her arms and legs, wrapped like serpents about her torso and neck....
...– and they were changing...
Into chains.



Korbolo’s Dogslayers are all dead – killed in the night by the ghosts of Raraku. But not just the ghosts of raraku but also the ascended dead of the Bridgeburners and the spirits of Colataine’s Crow clan and the Wickans and the crucified Malazan along Aren way.

A standard that had no right being here. No right existing at all.
Coltaine’s standard, the wings of the Crow Clan.



‘Adjunct,’ Nil said, ‘there is no need to scout the Dogslayer positions. They are all dead.’
Tavore frowned. ‘Explain.’
‘Raraku’s ghosts, Adjunct.’
Nether spoke up. ‘And the spirits of our own slain. Nil and I – we were blind to it.


The two Wickan dogs and Duiker’s horse it seems are responsible for leading the dead from the Chain of Dogs to vengeance

‘The dogs.’
He nodded. ‘And the spirits of the slain. Our own ghosts, Adjunct, have marched with us. Those that fell around Coltaine at the very end. Those that died on the trees of Aren Way. And, step by step, more came from the places where they were cut down. Step by step, Adjunct, our army of vengeance grew.’


And the Bridgeburners were here – as reported by the infamous Captain Kindly of the Ashok regiment – presumed dead by us but in fact a prisoner of the dogslayers

‘Just before dawn, a couple of Bridgeburners showed up and burned out the locks.’
‘What?’
The captain waved for his lieutenant to follow, said over one shoulder, ‘Don’t worry, they were already dead.’



With Sha’ik dead and the goddess dead, Leoman takes over what’s left of the rebellion’s army and abandons the position.

Raraku’s memories healed and freed from the goddess brings back the inland sea to the desert.

The four Liosan end up catching up with the Trespassers they have been hunting whop turn out to be Gesler, Stormy and Truth when they were on the Silanda.

The meeting isn’t a pleasant one for the four Liosan as they get a closeup of Moranth Munitions. Lying stunned on the ground they benevolently decide maybe they should cut the Trespassers some slack. They put it all down to “innocent momentum” and they deduce it was the undead dragon’s fault after all and decide they will go hunting dragons instead.

Nearby in the rubble, Brother Enias coughed. Then said, ‘Brother Jorrude?’
‘Yes?’
‘I want to go home....’
...From off to one side, Malachar grunted. ‘Innocent momentum?’
‘Indeed. Were not these trespassers but pulled along – beyond their will – in the wake of the draconian T’lan Imass bonecaster? If an enemy we must hunt, then should it not be that dragon?’
‘Wise words,’ Malachar observed.



Cotillion offers Cutter safe babysitting duties

I charge you with protecting Felisin’s life. To accompany them on their long, and dangerous, journey.’
‘How epic of you.’



Karsa Orlong rides off into the sunset after declaring he no longer considers the Malazans his enemies.


We finish with Trull Onrack and and the two other T’lan along with Minala (care of Shadowthrone) waiting at the site of the First Throne – preparing to defend against the renegade Imass on their way.

Trull is about to tell his story and the story of the Tiste Edur – which will be the subject of the next book.


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments I loved the ending with Cutter and Cotillion, and Cotillion's comment about preserving symmetry (Baudin, Felesin, and Heboric become Cutter, Felesin, and Heboric).

Another symmetry that occured to me reading your summary is with the dogs. On the one hand we have the two Wickan dogs from the Chain of dogs who lead the ghosts to battle in Raraku. On the other hand we have the House of Chains summoning the two hounds of the Dark to the same battle. And it appears that Karsa, the hero or focal point of this book, is also the focal point on which this symmetry balances.


message 4: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Haven't quite finished the chapter yet, but I found this part very interesting.

you were right, Adjunct. In the dreams that haunted you from the very first night of this march, you saw what we could not see

So I have been wondering wht Tavore just does her own thing, without discussing with her commanders. It's like she knew the ghosts were going to be there. How? That is what I have been wondering. Perhaps it has something to do with this little gem at the start of the chapter.

Felisins thoughts her mother had been gifted with visions. This was well known.a respected truth.
Felisin used to hope she would have the talent. Perhaps it is Tavore with the ability to have visions of what is to be. Would explain quite a bit.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Felisins thoughts her mother had been gifted with visions. This was well known.a respected truth.
Felisin used to hope she would have the talent. Perhaps it is Tavore with the ability to have visions of what is to be. Would explain quite a bit. "


I hadn't thought of that, but yeah, that makes sense.

@Duffy - thats an interesting thought on Karsa. You could also say Raraku itself is Karsa's focal point - a mirror that casts a reverse image with the Karsa, the savage noble(or a subverted noble savage) who is more savage before Raraku and more noble after.


Lori Raraku changes everyone, rebirths them. It's where the Bridgeburners were created. So too with Karsa, who is no longer the savage that needs to kill everyone, and has become an instrument of justice. He really is outraged by what happened to Felisin. He's forming deeper attachments.

Lee, I love that observation about the visions! Tavore is hard to figure out, she's remote and alone, we never get her POV. I sure appreciate these kinds of clues. No sentence by SE is ever a throw away.

And for both Felisin and the goddess their lives are wasted because of unrequited love, although we know that Tavore does love Felisin and it's heartbreaking that Felisin died without knowing this. So sad that Felisin only realizes her inner truth at the very end but still says nothing, she willingly goes to be slaughtered. So tragic.

This was one of my least favorite last read, now I'm very sad and moved.

But still the humor! Like with the Tiste Liosan!

So the children with Minala are being trained to protect the throne, completely missed that before.

Beautiful moment when Fiddler, Kalam and Ben are reunited. They are family. Something that was torn away from Felisin. We need family, and get in trouble when we isolate ourselves. And without Gamet and the possibility of Felisin, Tavore would be alone but she has T'Amber.


message 7: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
After the last chapter, this one was a bit of a letdown. I was very pleased with the ending however (of this chapter, not referring to the Epilogue).

There are a lot of interesting revelations, but it just felt sort of anti-climatic.

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

Karsa has always been interesting to me, but I think this final chapter has sealed him as a favorite character for me.

This really is HIS book, everyone else is just living in it.

I LOVED him making it a point to un-declare war on the Malazans. That whole dialogue made me smile:

The giant bared his teeth. 'Once, long ago, I claimed the Malazans as my enemies. I was young. I took pleasure in voicing vows. The more enemies the better. So it was, once. But no longer. Malazan, you are no longer my enemy. Thus, I will not kill you.'

'We are relieved,' Tavore said drily.

He studied her for a long moment.
During which Keneb's heart began to pound hard and fast in his chest.

The the Toblakai smiled. 'You should be.'
With that he wheeled his Jhag horse and rode a westerly path down the length of the basin. The huge hound heads bounced and thumped in their wake.

Keneb's sigh was shaky.

'Excuse my speaking,' Squint rasped, 'but something tells me the bastard was right.'

Tavore turned and studied the old veteran. 'An observation,' she said, 'I'll not argue soldier.'


I also really liked the final scene:

'When I began this journey, I was young. I believed in one thing. I believed in glory. I now know, 'Siballe, that glory is nothing. Nothing. This is what I now understand.'

'What else do you now understand, Karsa Orlong?'

'Not much. Just one thing. The same cannot be said for mercy.'


He really has grown A LOT in this book. Can't wait to see what he does next.

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

Man group hug for Fiddler, QB and Kalam!

And how funny was it when Hedge shows up to save his life?

Not to mention that Lt. Ranal finally got what was coming to him.

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

The Liosan cracked me up.

Shit. We nearly died.
You know, on second thought those guys didn't MEAN to violate our laws..it's really that Dragon's fault.
Yeah..that's it..lets go get the Dragon instead..you know..once we recuperate a little bit.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Oh Felisin. I felt more like crying at that scene than any other so far, except maybe the death of Whiskeyjack. Whiskeyjack was sad because it was so unfair, Felisin's death is sad for its sheer pointlessness. I think Tavore's isolation is an important tragedy, too. One of the recurring patterns in this book is that the farther you go into power, the more you tear yourself away from family and companions. In that light, it'll be interesting to see how the Bridgeburners take ascendancy.

The whirlwind goddess' story gives us another revelation I wasn't expecting. Kilava Onass and Onrack the Broken are the ancestors of the entire human species. That explains something I was wondering about, how it is that the T'lan Imass have any descendants when they all were supposed to do the Ritual.


message 9: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I'm not sure I would go so far as to say the Kilava and Onrack are the ancestors of the whole human race. There were other Imass who didn't make the ritual - The seafarers from MOI - And they may have descendants who are the result of interbreeding or who evolved prior to the ritual. Unless I've missed something specifically this book.


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments I'm finding it wonderful the outpouring of feeling for Felesin, who was almost universally reviled in Deadhouse Gates. Erikson has an amazing ability to turn your feelings about characters. Compare Pearl and Lostara in this book to them in Deadhouse Gates.

So which, if any, of the chief villains from Deadhouse Gates survived? Korbolo Dom is in the bag, if you will. Almost all of the other main actors against Coltaine have been offed. Except maybe Mallick Rel?


message 11: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Well, the last we know of Mallick, he is off to visit the Empress.

Ch21
Somewhere to the south, Mallick Rel, the Jhistal priest of Elder Mael, was trekking towards Aren, there to surrender himself. He would, in turn, be brought before the Empress herself.
And then what? That snake of a priest would announce an extraordinary reversal of fortunes in Seven Cities. Korbolo Dom had been working in her interests all along.



message 12: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Mr. Erikson was unsuccessful in making me care about Felesin. I suppose she's a tragic figure, but she just was completely unlikable to me.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments David Sven wrote: "I'm not sure I would go so far as to say the Kilava and Onrack are the ancestors of the whole human race. There were other Imass who didn't make the ritual - The seafarers from MOI - And they may h..."

I could be wrong, but I'm getting this from the section the whirlwind goddess's POV, for example: The children will die. I will cleanse the world of their beget, the proud-eyed vermin born, one and all, of that single mother. What I thought was going on there was that all humans were Kilava and Onrack's descendants and so the goddess wanted to exterminate them in revenge.


message 14: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
@Silvio - that's a fair point actually. I missed that. If we take her POV as factual then that does appear to make Onrack and Kilava the Adam and Eve of human ancestry.


message 15: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Huh, I never even thought that....great insight.


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

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments Lee, great insight on Tavore's possible visions. I hadn't picked up on that.

Silvio, I also took that to mean Kilava and Onrack are the Eve and Adam of the human race.

I did end up liking Karsa in the end. His comments about mercy were wonderful and seeing him grow so much was great. As for Felisin the elder, I was hoping she'd get a little redemption but I still didn't care about her all too much. I was very excited when QB showed up. Woo for him and Kalam!


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments If there's a remotely uplifting moral to this series, I think Karsa's line was it.


Deano | 41 comments Done!
Done!
On to the next one


Conor | 78 comments Felisin's end was heartbreaking, really sad both because I found her sympathetic (especially at the end) and a really compelling character.

Karsa was badass. His standing down the Malazan's and freeing the T'lan Imass were both awesome. I'm a bit disappointed with Bidithal's end though. It seemed kind of hypocritical that Karsa was taking the moral high ground and acting as the arbiter for justice and 'balance' given that he was a rapist earlier in the series and never really suffered for his actions. I kind of wish it had been one of the girls Bidithal mutilated who got him. Still, I found Karsa's development in this one to be awesome, really interested to see where it goes from here.

Yeah I also understood the Goddesses rant to mean that Kilava and Onrack were the progenitors of all humanity which doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

The finale as a whole was great. Although I wish we had gotten a proper battle scene. This was a great read, I'm really psyched to start book 5 now.


message 20: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
So have you changed your mind about Karsa? I know you liked him a little more at the end of part 1..but still not that much.

And you seem to enjoy these more than I did..but the beginning of book 5 really pissed me off. I have a rant about it in my review. lol.


message 21: by Dara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments I'm interested to see what you think of Midnight Tides, Conor.


Conor | 78 comments Yeah, I definitely like Karsa a lot better now. He's approaching being one of my favourites in the series. I really appreciate what Erikson has done with him, by and large there isn't a whole lot of character development in this series so it was cool to see (relatively) linear storyline with noticeable character growth.

I've heard that book 5 has completely different characters, setting etc. I've known about that since book 2 or 3 though so I'm prepared to be thrown in at the deep end.... again :D I appreciate how frustrating it would be to not have any heads up before hand though. Makes me really glad to have discussed the series with so many of my friends on here.


message 23: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Oh I had a heads up too. That didn't make it any better for me.


Conor | 78 comments Rob wrote: "Oh I had a heads up too. That didn't make it any better for me."

*Grows slightly weary of starting the next book*


message 25: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Meh. You seem to relish being thrown in the deep end. I was tired of it by this point. I did eventually like the book in the end however.

To contrast that though, The Bonehunters is my favorite book of the series.

It's sort of the sequel to Memories of Ice and this book because Midnight Tides is a giant flashback.


message 26: by Dara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments Rob wrote: "Oh I had a heads up too. That didn't make it any better for me."

Same for me. I really struggled with it.


message 27: by Dara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments Conor, I think you're really going to dig The Bonehunters. I loved that one.


message 28: by Conor (last edited Oct 22, 2014 11:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Conor | 78 comments I might take a brief break before reading the next one so. It seems feelings towards it are mixed, even if you know what's coming. I rather like being thrown in at the deep end (provided it's done well anyway, in GoTM it was kind of dodgy while in MoI and DG it was cool) but I also really liked the more focused narrative at the start of this on. I have heard that the Bonehunters is supposed to be awesome though so I'm really psyched for tat. Although based on what I've heard from my friends the series seems to go downhill afterwards :(


message 29: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Yeah. 7-10 aren't as good as 1-6 IMHO.


message 30: by Dara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments The books get bloated and spend too much time on the character's internal thoughts rather than actions.


DangerBin | 64 comments Dara wrote: "The books get bloated and spend too much time on the character's internal thoughts rather than actions."

Oh man, just wait until the new trilogy. It's so much worse.


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