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The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)
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Group Read - The Bonehunters > BH - Chapter Fifteen - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

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


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Dujek is dying. Paran decides it’s time to end the plague and goes in to face down Poliel the goddess of disease and her twin Soliel the goddess of healing.

We discover that Quick Ben’s Sister is a prisoner of the grey goddess herself – she’s expecting to die in the presence of Poliel and as she does so she dreams of her rat bag brother – we get a sisters view of Quick Ben as a child – not a very nice one. But her thinking about Quick creates a connection that is enough to prompt Quick to try and divine what’s going on. Quick is able to divine that Shadowthrone is up to something but little else.

Fiddler brings in Bottle to interpret Quick’s construction of dolls and strings. It’s Bottle that identifies Quick’s Sister and also that she is standing in the path of the Hounds of Shadow.

Quick does his soul travel thing to get an audience with Shadowthrone – because him and Shadowthrone get on so well

‘Me and Shadowthrone,’ he whispered, ‘we’re old friends.’

Quick asks Shadowthrone to send him to wherever his sister is – and Shadowthrone obliges by extracting a debt

Dammit. First Kalam and now me. You bastard, Shadowthrone – ‘All right! I owe you! I accept the debt!’
The Shadow God gestured, a lazy wave of one hand.
And Quick Ben vanished.



And Shadowthrone is true to his word as Quick lands straight in Poliel’s Temple

So, it turned out – to his astonishment – that Shadowthrone had played it true.

He very soon realizes that Shadowthrone has dumped him right in the path of the oncoming Hounds of Shadow.

It was then that he heard the howl of the Hounds, in thundering echo from the hallway.

And Quick Ben can’t exit because ST has cut his threads back to Kalam

‘Well, look at these! Threads! Worse than cobwebs, these! Getting everywhere – grossly indicative of sloppy ... housekeeping. No, they won’t do, won’t do at all.’ He swept the scythe’s blade through the sorcerous tendrils, watched as they spun away into nothingness. ‘There now,’ he said, smiling, ‘I feel more hygienic already.’


Back to Paran - he meets up with a girl – and we have a case of what goes around comes around

The girl came closer. ‘Malazans,’ she said, her voice rasping as if from lack of use. ‘Once. Years – a year? Once, there were other Malazans. One of them pretended he was a Gral, but I saw the armour under the robes, I saw the sigil of the Bridgeburners, from where I hid beneath a wagon. I was young, but not too young. They saved me, those Malazans. They drew away the hunters. They saved me.’

This is referencing Fiddler’s visit to G’danisban in DG where he rescues the girl from being raped. And if anyone recalls, Fiddler’s horse bit a man’s face off – That man is now appropriately name Brokeface –

The man named Brokeface...
... A poor soldier of the rebellion, young and so proud back then – shattered in one single moment.
A Gral horse, a breath thick with the reek of wet grass, teeth like chisels driving down through flesh, through bone, taking everything away....


Poliel says something interesting when Paran confronts her

‘You understand, then,’ the Grey Goddess said, ‘the truth beneath the veil. Blood was their path. And so we choose to poison it.’

We see here some of Poliel’s part in the Crippled god’s plan – I believe Poliel is specifically referring here to the Warrens (Blood) and the gods (their path). She is at least partly responsible for poisoning the warrens.
She also sees her spreading of disease as a means of saving Burn – get rid of the humans and free the crippled god – Burn survives

A broken goddess, who had sought to heal Burn. For such was the true purpose of fever, such was the cold arbiter of disease.


Paran iuses a shard from his shattered Otataral sword to pin Poliel in place for the Deragoth to finish. And we see how clever Shadowthrone played the curveball that Paran threw him.

Recap – Paran releases a WMD, the Deragoth to take care of Dejim –oops, the Hounds will act as a homing beacon – better give Shadowthrone a call and let him know he has incoming and that he better send his hounds into Sevcn Cities. Shadowthrone freaks – and then he scrambles – Shadowthrone redirects the WMD Paran releases towards Poliel – by getting his Hounds to save one one of Dejims Divers forms and running – drawing the Deragoth to Poliel where they throw the last remaining Trolbarahl into the goddesses lap. Deragoth kill Poliel.
Halfway through this plan however, Shadowthrone gets a bonus – Quick Ben!
But Quick Ben survives –thanks to Apsalar and Curdle and Telorast. So despite Shadowthrone’s plan coming off – and him saving his Hounds - he is most bitter about Quick having survived. He blames Cotillion...as you do.

‘It’s all your fault!’
Cotillion blinked. ‘Hold on, I didn’t attack the Hounds!’
‘That’s what you think!’
‘What is that supposed to mean?’ Cotillion demanded...
...At a low growl, he snatched his hand back. ‘I didn’t!’ he shouted.
The Hounds, one and all staring at him, did not look convinced.


Cotillion gets the blame because Apsalr is his baby. This tells us a couple of things – When Apsalar steps in to rescue Quick – she is not acting under orders – at least not from Shadowthrone. And not from Cotillion – supposedly – though we only have his word for that – which neither Shadowthrone or the Hounds believe. At least the main goal - to kill Poliel came off.

And Quick Ben still owes Shadowthrone – A deal is still a deal. And Shadowthrone loves his deals.


The interesting thing I note is that even though Apsalar managed to turn the Hound’s initial charge – it’s Curdle and Telorast that keep them at bay. What were the Hounds scared of? Is it because they recognise that they were dragons? Or did they know that the two were Edgewalkers agents? Or maybe both

‘Hurry, I don’t know how Curdle and Telorast are managing this threat, and there’s no telling how long it will last—

Paran then pays Soliel a visit – kicking in her door, summoning her and demanding she help end the plague on the army – which she does. But not in time

Dujek dies. And Paran is voted in as High First.

And we are left with a couple of thoughts – Tavore can be trusted – according to her brother anyway

‘Tavore. Can we trust her?’
The question felt like a slap, stinging, sudden. He blinked, studied the man, then said, ‘Tavore will do, wizard, what needs to be done.’
‘To suit her or her soldiers?’ Quick Ben demanded.
‘For her, friend, there is no distinction.’


Quick Ben accepts this

And Apsalar has a death wish. Which she nearly gets as Kalam thinks she’s killed Quick. Luckily Quick get there in time

No, what she wants ain’t for us to give. She wants to die.


message 3: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
‘Brokeface will not permit it. He will kill you, and your horse. Your horse first, for he hates such creatures.’

I just had to laugh when I read this. SE gave us the hint a couple of lines back about Fiddler visiting this place then he drops this on us.


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

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
So I went back and read the poem again and something was there that has implications.

‘Bedura’s Defence’ in The Slaying of King Qualin Tros of Bellid
(transcribed as song by Fisher, Malaz City,
last year of Laseen’s Reign)


Now we just need to work out when this song was written. So far we know that Fisher is a poet, one of note, but we don't know what time he is or was around.


message 5: by Mpauli (last edited Aug 29, 2013 09:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mpauli | 245 comments Chapter 15 brings one of the larger plot threads to an end. The plague is ended, as is its creator, the Grey Goddess Poliel.
We get lots of insight into QB's past, Bottle's capabilities, Apsalar's motivations and Paran's opinion on Tavore.

As there is a lot of plot and characterization happening here, there weren't that many juicy sentences for me to find. So, let's get into it:

1) Poetry

Lee already talked about the interesting bit of the opening poem:

‘Bedura’s Defence’ in The Slaying of King Qualin Tros of Bellid
(transcribed as song by Fisher, Malaz City,
last year of Laseen’s Reign)


So, let's watch out for mentionings of King Qualin Tros, a place called Bellid or someone called Bedura.

2) Cold Money

There was something interesting about the way Poliel's chests of coinage were described:

The vast chests of coinage in Poliel’s temple were bottomless – not figuratively but literally, they had discovered. And to reach down into the ice-cold darkness was to close hands on frost-rimed gold and silver, in all manner of currency.

I immediately had the Jaghut image there. A magical device to hold an endless amount of money. And the money is frost-rimmed.

And it's not the first time, that we see ice connected to strange devices in this book. The pots holding the god-bringer honey under Y'Ghatan were also sealed by Omtose Phellack magic.

As was the sky keep, sealed away by Ganath. Makes you wonder, if this is all somehow connected with her ritual, or if it just shows the influence the Jaghut had in the past of the Seven Cities region.

3) QB's nightmare

There is an interesting bit from QB's sister, regarding a nightmare he had. She concludes that QB has forgotten how to live, but I wonder, if there is more to this:

In child words, he described his nightmare. He had died, yet walked the world still, for he had forgotten something. Forgotten, and no matter what he did, no recollection was possible. And so his corpse wandered, everywhere, with ever the same question on his lips, a question delivered to every single person cursed to cross his path. What? What have I forgotten?

I personally don't think that the child, who is described here is the first incarnation of the being called Quick Ben.
My assumption is, that he is way older, ever shape-changing, looking for a reason to live, forgetting one incarnation of his life and just starting another.
In this way, he might be another Icarium, wandering through the ages, wondering what he has forgotten.

4) Karsa to the rescue!

As Soliel possessed the little girl, she had a very interesting way of phrasing her next move:

‘Of lesser priority now,’ she said, smirking. ‘Inverted in a most unholy fashion, you might say. No, what I seek now is to witness. Do you understand? To witness!’

What was this thing about witnessing again? Please Karsa from past chapters, remind us again:

‘You shall witness, and in witnessing you will become more than what you are now. You shall be prepared – for all that is coming, to you and your miserable people.’

I don't really understand Soliel's ambition here in witnessing. What does she get out of it? Understanding? Making more sense of the situation to position herself in the game or deciding if to take sides at all?
Or is she somehow connected to her sister and gains something from her death?
This is actually a very subtle undertone of this chapter. We've got a lot of linked siblings here: QB/Taravahol, Paran/Tavore, Soliel/Poliel.

5) Mortals rule!

We get another image how mortals are really in charge of what they do in the name of their god, how they just reflect their wishes and desires onto their chosen gods:

All that is worshipped is but a reflection of the worshipper. A single god, no matter how benign, is tortured into a multitude of masks, each shaped by the secret desires, hungers, fears and joys of the individual mortal, who but plays a game of obsequious approbation.
Believers lunged into belief. The faithful drowned in their faith.


6) Shadows

This sentence is probably the one I least understand in this chapter and it's giving me a headache thinking about it. It's Paran looking at QB's sister:

He looked down at the mortal woman, curled up on the floor. Then at her fragmented shadow, slashed through by ... nothing. Well, I knew that much. Time’s nearly up.

First, the fragmented shadow part. This has to do something with her shadow touching STs in QB's doll game. But why is it fragmented?
Or is it more subtle? Like the fragmented mind of her brother being in her shadow?
Or is it her own past, fragmented by the many gods shw worshipped, not a whole person anymore, but fragmented by all her different past desires?

"slashed through by nothing"

Not attached to QB anymore, as ST suggested? But if it isn't slashed through, how can it be fragmented? Or does the "nothing" just refer to something Paran can't determine?

But it seems that he actually can determine something from it:
"Well, I knew that much. Time’s nearly up."

So, by looking at her fragmented-by-nothing shadow he can determine that...what...the Hounds/Deragoth are coming and he has to leave?

I can't really make sense out of this one at all.

So, pick up the fragments of your Shadow, don't play catch with Otataral shards and go out to witness something!

See you next chapter!


message 6: by Lori (last edited Aug 29, 2013 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori I got VERY excited to see that QB info about past lives, as it sure opens so much speculation about his past, even possibly back to FoD! This was the first proof I've seen, of course I hadn't picked that up the first time. At all. I wonder if his gender can switch?

Yes so much about religion here, and how it effects the god, until that god is suffocated as the rules of worship become rigid. The inflexibility is also apparent in L'Oric, the FA, and the T'lan Imass who sought nothing except to commit genocide.

There's a ton that's been explained in the above posts, thank you. I found this chapter rather elusive, and on top of that I read this at about midnight drifting off to sleep.


Hanne (hanne2) | 228 comments Lori, i think that's ch16's poem.
I got one about grease-fingered soldier in chapter 15 :)


message 8: by Lori (last edited Aug 29, 2013 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Thank you, corrected! I guess I read 16 ahead of schedule?


Lori Lee wrote: "Bedura’s Defence’ in The Slaying of King Qualin Tros of Bellid
(transcribed as song by Fisher, Malaz City,
last year of Laseen’s Reign)"


No I did get it right!


Hanne (hanne2) | 228 comments oh damnit, sorry! looks like i need new glasses then.
not sure how on earth that one links to Laseen's last year of reign, but then most of these poems are a mystery to me. i wonder why i even read them at all :)


Mpauli | 245 comments Hanne wrote: "but then most of these poems are a mystery to me. i wonder why i even read them at all :) "

On my first read I stopped reading them somewhere in Deadhouse Gates. They just made my head hurt.
On a re-read it's easier to understand to what most of them are related, but there are still a lot, which I don't get.


message 12: by Lori (last edited Aug 29, 2013 11:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori When reading MOI I was patting myself on the back for understanding them all, finally. Now, not so much!
But this is a good time to bring up Fisher, who is the author of many of the prologues. At first I thought he was an ancient, because he spoke of elder times, and so was witness to lots. But now of course I realize he is a contemporary, which means he needs to be taken with a grain of salt as most of the others.


Mpauli | 245 comments Lori (Hellian) wrote: "But this is a good time to bring up Fisher, who is the author of many of the prologues. At first I thought he was an ancient, because he spoke of elder times, and so was witness to lots. "

The whole Fisher business is really complicated and it might be to early to talk about it already.
Personally, I think that Fisher kel Tath is more of a title, a pseudonym for many a poet through the ages. I'm not quite convinced that Fisher is only one person, more of a concept in poetry.
But let's get more into it in later books.^^


message 14: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Aug 29, 2013 01:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Mpauli wrote: "He looked down at the mortal woman, curled up on the floor. Then at her fragmented shadow, slashed through by ... nothing. Well, I knew that much. Time’s nearly up.

First, the fragmented shadow part. This has to do something with her shadow touching STs in QB's doll game. But why is it fragmented?"


I'm glad you brought this up because it triggered something I hadn't thought of but makes sense

The fragmented Shadow is a great picture of the fragmented Elder Warren of Shadow Kurald Emurlahn.

Just as Dryhjna was the goddess of the Apocalypse previously manifesting as the whirlwind - Poliel can also now me said to be the goddess of the Apocalypse manifesting as Pestilence - she is Dryjna reborn as Felisin the Younger is Shaik reborn.

Previously, the CG was trying to use the Whirlwind Apocalypse to usurp the fragment/s of Kurald Emurlahn that the Whirlwind rebellion was occupying in Raraku - I think he is still trying to do the same thing through Poliel - I think this is what Paran already knows. It also explains Shadowthrones interest in Poliel and earlier why he set up shop in Seven Cities during the Whirlwind crisis. So when Poliel is pinned by the Otataral shard her designs on the shattered warren are revealed - and soon after...shattered.
I think Paran is running out of time because he's aware the Hounds are coming, he also has Dujek and his army dying which is why he came to confront Poliel and Soliel in the first place.


Mpauli | 245 comments @David: I like this a lot! This is the step back that missed in all my confusion and brings all of the images onto a plain, where they make sense.

I'd never thought of a parallel between Poliel and Dryjhna, but it would make sense, when we look at a new Sha'ik reborn.


message 16: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Or we may just need to pull out the vacuum cleaner


message 17: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori No vacuum cleaner no no I thought the same, TCG is behind all this and yet she still believes that Burn's fever is good. But I didn't think about Dryjhna because she's easily forgotten.

And Shadowthrone is gets right before TCG as usual, sabotaging another plan. The puppet master. You'd think he knows he needs QB, I'm not sure he expected QB to die but he wanted to keep him on his toes.

The main protagonists are TCG and Shadowthrone.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Mpauli wrote: "We've got a lot of linked siblings here: QB/Taravahol, Paran/Tavore, Soliel/Poliel."

Not to mention Whiskeyjack/Dunsparrow from a little bit ago.

Little Quick Ben is every bit as unnerving as he is grown up.

I'll be watching for more information about Outrider Hurlochel too.


message 19: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
A broken goddess, who had sought to heal Burn. For such was the true purpose of fever, such was the cold arbiter of disease. Only humans, she reminded herself – her last thought – only humans centre salvation solely upon themselves.

This was fascinating. For the entire story we base this from a human perspective, obviously, but this sentence opens up a much bigger war here. We keep hearing about the gods are at war, but we keep tying it back to saving humanity.

Diseased minds and foul souls had drawn her into this world; for the sake of the land, for the chance that it might heal in the absence of its cruellest inflicters of pain and degradation, she sought to expunge them in the breath of plague – no more deserving a fate was imaginable – for all that, she would now die.

So it looks like the CG poisoned the warrens to stop them being used and I imagine stop people escaping the plague. Then release the plague to wipe out humans who are deemed the cruellest of all and heal Burn at the same time. Which would in effect also wipe out a whole lot of gods as there would be no worshippers. Which would allow the CG to free himself and allow all to recover from the parasitic infestation that is humanity.

I think .


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I don't think the CG cares if Burn dies. If she dies then all humans die and vengeance accomplished. Or if he gets released Burn lives and he is free to wreak havoc and fully express his vengeance without restraint. Life will begin anew.

Poliel is going with the latter option. It is humans who have brought this disaster on Burn and on themselves. She doesn't mind expunging humans as a means to saving Burn. We see earlier that even Burn while being a life giving source is not so concerned for any particular individual life. She could see all life extinguished provided she could start it off anew. This is in fact why she gave Caladan Brood the big Hammer - to release the CG from her. Then again, you could argue that by leaving the Hammer in the hands of a person who does in fact care about present life that she at least at an intellectual level cares somewhat for present day life and trusts someone with an emotional attachment to present day life to free her - otherwise Burn could have given the hammer to someone like Poliel.


message 21: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I don't think the CG cares if Burn dies. If she dies then all humans die and vengeance accomplished. Or if he gets released Burn lives and he is free to wreak havoc and fully express his vengeance without restraint. Life will begin anew.

Are you sure? Or is that your opinion on what you know about the CG from other gods who are trying to have humanity join the fight against him?


message 22: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
In my I love the CG day I am going to say this; he was happily being omnipotent when he was dragged down to earth by a bunch of renegades. Then a whole new lot of gods and ascendants turn up and chain him so he cannot escape.
So he begins to revolt against his prison and finds a way to do that, using what ever means he can, to escape from this hell hole.

It would be like if you were in a cell and you started using the rats to carry poison through the their tunnels to erode the brickwork. Are you going to care if the rats die as they work, of if the entire rat population is exterminated by helping you become free again?

Not that I am calling you a rat or anything. :)


message 23: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
That's just my opinion based on the CG wanting to impose his pain on everyone. Perhaps he does have a soft spot for Burn - but I suspect he's lashing out at Burn because he's chained to her. A bit like kicking the car tyre because it's flat.


message 24: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
A bit like kicking the car tyre because it's flat

or sending your rates through the tunnels.


message 25: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I normally send my rates down the garbage disposal


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments Bottle used a rat and he cares. But it looks like he's unusual for either a person or a god.


message 27: by Lori (last edited Aug 30, 2013 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori So we see that Poleil actually has a similar aim as Karsa, wipe out all the aggravating human parasites. Reminding us again that nature is being destroyed, the landscape is blighted, the animals are either extinct or struggling. The Imass did this too, and humans are descended from them.

But we also have to remember that it was the gods and ascendants who chained TCG, not the humans.

I'm still on the fence about TCG and paying close attention. (view spoiler) It's really too soon to know, but even tho we've heard from others, our actual evidence in our meetings with him is that he is malevolent, interested in spreading suffering and pain, corruption of the Edur, but for what aim? To free himself? Or just mindless destruction in his pain and hate? I don't think he gives a rats ass about Burn.

It's an interesting discussion.


message 28: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lori (Hellian) wrote: "But we also have to remember that it was the gods and ascendants who chained TCG, not the humans."

Ah yes but it was mortals who brought him, a god, down in the first place and I think these are the ones who his hatred is centred on more I think


message 29: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Only one mortal if I'm thinking straight - Kallor??


message 30: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Aug 30, 2013 02:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lori (Hellian) wrote: "Only one mortal if I'm thinking straight - Kallor??"

No. Kallor was the target of the resulting cataclysm. It was a desperate act by Kallor's enemies.

From MOI

"The summoners were dead. Destroyed by what they had called down upon them. There was no point in hating them, no need to conjure up images of what they in truth deserved by way of punishment. They had, after all, been desperate...
...The summoners sought power.
All to destroy one man."



Looking that up I also came across a reference to Ardata that I'd forgotten. This is Kallor when he is confronted by the three Elder gods

'Fifty years, dear rivals, to conquer an entire continent. Oh, perhaps Ardatha still held out – always late in sending me my rightful tribute – but I ignored such petty gestures. She has fled, did you know? The bitch.'

So Ardatha ruled in Jacaruku at one time. So her quote from this book makes more sense now...bearing in mind that she is speaking from the past

‘Who are you?’ Mappo asked.
‘A queen about to be driven from her throne, banished from her empire. My vanity is about to suffer an ignominious defeat.’



message 31: by Lori (last edited Aug 30, 2013 05:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Ooo nice find!

I never thought the original summoners were human. I always thought they were gods who do we we know that was at the chaining? Wasn't Rake?

Thinking about the infection. This is really K'rull's world he created the warrens and Burn is the earth, the physical manifestation of his body. TCG is trying to kill her. (view spoiler)


Mpauli | 245 comments Uh, that's an awesome find regarding Ardata. I never had her down for an important role in the past. Now I want to read that Esslemont Jacuruku book and hunt for clues.

Regarding the CG I agree with a lot that was said by different persons.
I agree with Lee that the CG is at a point, where he is in pain and it doesn't really matter who is in his way. Everybody is a target.

But I also agree with David's assumption that he lashes out against mortals.
In this book we get a glimpse of how the god thing actually works.
Mortals are the ones, who form and create gods with their desires and build them the way they are with their presumptions and shape them through sacrifice.

The gods who bind the CG again and again are products of the mind of mortals, either in the way described above or in the way, where mortals fullfilled their own desires in becoming ascendants, like ST and Cotillion.
So, in the Malazan world, there are no gods without mortals. You can't punish one without the other.

@Lori:
(view spoiler)


message 33: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Good discussion. I really want to pay more attention to what glimpses we get of the CG read.


message 34: by Lori (last edited Aug 30, 2013 05:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori The gods are created by mortals and thats the difference between them and ascendants. Hmm interesting. ST is not yet a god is he? No worshippers yet.

Yes loving this discussion! Really picking up on the religion this time, the making of a god, the creation by humans, the inter-relations between the two.

I'm having a vacuum cleaner moment The depth and facets is this series!


Kimberly | 15 comments Was it Paran or ST who intended the deragoth to go after poleil? Paran released them to take out dejim, and by having the hounds run off with Dejim, it would seem ST was behind leading them to Poleil, but then it seemed that Paran knew they were coming, too. If not, how did he intend to finish off poleil? Was this part of his plan too? Did he expect ST to do this?

Then Quick Ben believes the hounds were there for him. I wonder was Poleil the intended target and Throwing quick Ben in there just ST taking advantage of good timing? Or was QB the target from the start with the hounds sent after his sister to lure him in and Poleil just an added bonus? Or was the whole thing an intricate plan to do both?

I'm always wondering with these books how much everyone really knows, how much of the events are orchestrated by the gods/ascendants, and how much they are just jumping in to take advantage of events already in place (especially ST and cotillion).


message 36: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Very good questions Kimberly. I think that they can be open to interpretation. But I thought that Paran released the Deragoth specifically to attack Poleil. His plan was to incapacitate her with the shard of otataral and then have the beasts come in. Which is why he mentioned that usually he is an arbitrator in the whole scheme of things, but in this he is playing a more active role. Can't remember the exact words.
ST sends QB into the temple and has the hounds follow, everyone starts to converge and the party changes. The hounds go from hunters to hunted and run for their lives. I think they mention it as they run through the camp that Hurcholel (sp?) see's terror in their eyes. They go in quick but obviously are not going to hang around.

and how much they are just jumping in to take advantage of events already in place (especially ST and cotillion)

Great line of thought. I believe that Cotilliion and ST have a huge broad range idea of what needs to happen to meet the end goal. (this is easier as a re-reader). In making those things happen, the other gods and ascendants throw in their own plans, ie Brrod, Oponn, Erastas etc adn St has to try and work with what all is happening around them.

I don't know if you're a first time reader, but one sense you get is that 'best laid plans' etc plays through most of this book.

oh! and btw...... It only gets better :)


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments Remember that the central heroes of this book are marines. One marine motto: improvise, adapt, overcome. There are many deep plans being drawn up, but they tend to go to shit very quickly, and then the players do what they can. Quick Ben and Shadowthrone are both remarkable in their capacity to have backup plans, and then backup plans for their backup plans. They tend to look many moves ahead. And even for them, things still go to shit. Witness the intervention of Apsalar, who just happens to be as good now as Dancer.


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David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Duffy wrote: "Remember that the central heroes of this book are marines. One marine motto: improvise, adapt, overcome. There are many deep plans being drawn up, but they tend to go to shit very quickly, and th..."

I agree with this. Did it occur to Paran beforehand that the Deragoth would immediately start tracking their Shadow counterparts? No, he worked that out later - almost too late. Did Shadowthrone know that Paran was sending the Deragoth his way - I don't think so - He didn't sound like he liked the idea. So I think the Poliel plan was done on the fly because it needed the Hounds of Shadow to lure the Deragoth into Poliel's lap and only Shadowthrone controls the Hounds. So I think ultimately Poliel was Shadowthrone's improvisation.


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Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I think you are right. I was thinking that Paran planned to run the Deragoth at Poliel, but forgot his original plan was to have the Deragoth kill Dejim Nebrhal.
For master of the deck, he is certainly playing an 'active' role.


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Lori Yep, he even said that. And I thought of how his counterpart, Errastus, can only nudge.

The marines are the heart of the series. I love it's title, all the names less fallen. It's like Homer, an epic poem to the Malazan army!


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David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lori (Hellian) wrote: "And I thought of how his counterpart, Errastus, can only nudge."

I got the impression that only being able to nudge was a self imposed rule of Errastas to lower his worshippers expectations of what they could manipulate him to do and not do. If he were to ever act more directly then he ran the risk of his worshippers finding out and oh what requests they would bury him in then. Being more covert also makes it less likely that someone would try to bend him to any action through ritual magic.


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Lori As I posted I was wondering if he can only nudge or if he chose it. What you say makes sence!


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Rob (robzak) | 1055 comments Mod
So you guys are talking big things, and my takeaway was that Apsalar isn't trying to kill QB/Kalam, so yay!


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David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "So you guys are talking big things, and my takeaway was that Apsalar isn't trying to kill QB/Kalam, so yay!"

Ha Ha! Yes - that eliminates those guys as targets seeing she saved one and was about to let the other kill her.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Lori (Hellian) wrote: "Yep, he even said that. And I thought of how his counterpart, Errastus, can only nudge.

The marines are the heart of the series. I love it's title, all the names less fallen. It's like Homer, an e..."


Errastas doesn't ring any bells for me - I hope you guys are talking about some other series I haven't read!

I've been trying to think about how the Malazan Book of the Fallen might relate to ancient European epics. It seems like it has more in common with Lucan's Civil War than any other I know of, but its way of looking at the soldiers is different from them all. It's interesting to see what kinds of meaning that word "fallen" is developing. Lately it's been taking on this quasi-Christian-theological sense of "flawed" or "traumatized," which definitely includes the soldiers but it includes the survivors at least as much as the dead ones and takes in pretty much all the other characters too.


Mpauli | 245 comments Silvio wrote: "Lori (Hellian) wrote: "Errastas doesn't ring any bells for me - I hope you guys are talking about some other series I haven't read!"

Errastas is the Errant from Midnight tides.


Linette | 152 comments Loved seeing Quick Ben as a child, torturing family and especially sister, but not really hurting anyone. An imp. An imp who loves his sister. A vulnerability for QB.

Also liked the scene where QB and Bottle finally have a face to face - QB was so shocked by what Bottle did so simply - reinforced to me just how powerful Bottle's ancient magic is, how rare. QB saw right through to who was riding Bottle's shadow, can't put anything over on him.


Sumant Guys why also we don't have a section explaining the poems for each chapter ??.


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Lori I think because if we had something to say, we'd do it in the chapter thread.


Johny (drbo) | 184 comments Did anyone thought from the description of Poliel and Soliel there were FA?


Also, Dujek is dead, that's sad.

David Sven wrote: "The interesting thing I note is that even though Apsalar managed to turn the Hound’s initial charge – it’s Curdle and Telorast that keep them at bay. What were the Hounds scared of? Is it because they recognise that they were dragons? Or did they know that the two were Edgewalkers agents? Or maybe both"

At the end of Chapter 13, Bottle tells Fiddler that Telorast and Cudrn are souls of dragons, that's why hounds are scared.


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