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

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

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Discussion thread for chapter sixteen.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
The 14th begins boarding transports as they prepare to return to Unta. They have been unable to contact Dujek’s army due to the warrens being poisoned around G’danisban similar to how the area around the Pannion Domin was poisoned.

‘It is not our fault, Fist. This plague seethes through the warrens. We have lost all contact with Dujek and the Host; ever since they arrived outside G’danisban

Morale is low (as usual) in the aftermath of Y’Ghatan. The other factor in the air is what the Empress has in store for Tavore

Why not Korel! What might Laseen have in store for us, if not another campaign? What does Tavore suspect?

Tavore suspects that the Empress may see her as a threat and rather than using her in another campaign she may instead kill her using the losses at Y’Ghatan as a pretext.

Grub makes a prophecy which results in Keneb delaying departure an extra day.

‘It has to be three days, or we will never get anywhere. We’ll die in the sea, two days after we leave Sepik Island.’

The delay causes the other fists to question Keneb’s competency

Grub also makes this comment

And the big man with the cut hands says yes.’ He looked up, eyes bright. ‘I found a bone whistle and I’m keeping it for him because he’ll want it back.

I’m assuming the man with “cut hands” is Heboric. The bone whistle I’m guessing belongs to the Silanda. Heboric, or Heboric’s body, still needs to cross the Otataral sea to get to the Island with the Jade Statues. I can’t remember any of this from the first read.

All this leads to the question, how is Heboric talking to the Grub if he’s dead? One other phenomena re Heboric – his hands are no longer ghost hands. They have solidified into physical hands

‘His hands are solid now, Scillara.’
She started. ‘What?’
‘Solid jade – not pure, filled with ... imperfections. Flaws, particles buried deep inside. Like they were flecked with ash, or dirt.’


Ganath shows up at the fissure with the K’Chain Chemalle sky keep –

The crucified dragon was not there when she sealed off the sky keep. Rather her ritual was broken by a combination of Draconean blood and Chaos magic

She did not need to descend that vast fissure, nor enter the buried sky keep itself, to know the cause of that shattering. Draconean blood had been spilled, although that in itself was not enough. The chaos between the warrens had also been unleashed...

And K’Chain are known for utilising chaos magic. And Ganath is attacked overun by short tails (or Nah’Ruk) who cut her down

They had returned, then. But not the truly chaotic ones. No, not the Long-Tails. These were the others, servants of machines, of order in all its brutality. Nah’Ruk.

Meanwhile Mappo, Spite and Pust are also taking a boat (crewed by Pust’s Bhokarala worshipper) across the Otataral sea.

Spite raises the possibility that Icarium has been unleashed by the Nameless Ones to end the war of the gods

Perhaps,’ she added, ‘this is Icarium’s true purpose, why the Nameless Ones seek to unleash him. It is, after all, one sure way to end this war.’

But on whose side? And why is Spite now opposing the Nameless Ones? Whose side is Spite on?

Paran’s first task as new Fist of Onearm’s Host is to follow all the pilgrims to find out where they are going. We already know where they are going from two chapters back. They are plague survivors being drawn to the new CG headquarters

Ch14 - All that Kulat had predicted was coming to pass. Survivors arrived, at first a trickle, then by the hundred, drawn here, guided by the hand of a god.


Karsa finds the enemy that has been attacking the Anibar. They are in fact Tiste Edur – specifically the Merude clan. And on top of their search for the true throne of Shadow they have been ordered to find champions to fight their Emperor. Karsa quickly get their attention when he starts cutting them down like flies. They invite him to come take a more direct form of revenge by fighting the Emperor himself

‘Thus, if this Toblakai hunter seeks the sweetest vengeance of all, he must face the one who has so commanded that his soldiers inflict atrocities upon all strangers they encounter. Accordingly, the Preda invites the Toblakai – and, if desired, his companion – to be Guest of the Tiste Edur on this, their return journey to the Lether Empire. Do you accept?’

How can Karsa say no to that?

The other interesting thing to note is that the Edur have adopted the Imperial titles of the Letherii they conquered – I wonder what else they have adopted. If they have bought into the Letherii system of indebtedness as well then who has conquered who?

And the chapter Ends with the survivors of Yghatan being welcomed back into the 14th. (as opposed to being charged as deserters)


Mpauli | 245 comments Either my brain is too mushy today or I'm way to distracted by the transfer window in european football closing today, there weren't many interesting sentences in this chapter, although lots of interesting things happened.
We finally get an idea of how the Tiste Edur/Letherii part of the story might get connected to the threads from the first four books.

1) High Fist Kindly

This is a nice bit of Erikson foreshadowing, which is then build upon only a few paragraphs later:

Pores watched his captain walk away, then he looked back down at the retainers and smiled. ‘Now wouldn’t that be something? High Fist Kindly, commanding all the Malazan armies.’

Paran assumed the name of Kindly within Dujek's army and later on in the chapter of course he's the one becoming a High Fist. That was a nice little sentence there.

2) Chains

Samar Dev talks a bit about chaining with Karsa:

‘Stop looking so damned pleased, Karsa Orlong. I don’t think you have any idea to what you are now bound. Can you not hear the shackles snapping shut? Chaining you to this ... this absurd challenge and these damned bloodless Tiste Edur?’

But what we learnt through the series is that a chaining always goes both ways.
So, technically the Tiste Edur chained themselves to Karsa as well and if you take his role in the House of Chains into consideration by extent to the CG.

That's it already from me for this chapter. So don't chain yourselves to Karsa, never travel with a frog as critic and don't explore sky keeps on your own.

See you next chapter


message 4: by Silvio (last edited Sep 02, 2013 02:21PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Silvio Curtis | 403 comments So the Long-Tails were aligned with chaos, and the Short-Tails were aligned with order and were "servants of machines." I wasn't expecting that and there's room for a lot more explanation. For example, how did the Long-Tails relate to machines?

This chapter is heavy on philosophical/anthropological dialogue, with Mappo-Spite and Gumble-Ormulogun, plus Samar-Karsa two chapters ago. Spite sounds like some kind of distillation of the more pessimistic viewpoints of the series. I thought this quote goes well with some comments I've been making:

'You propose little hope for civilization, Spite.'
'Oh, my lack of hope extends far beyond mere civilization. . . .'


I'm seriously wonderings what's up with Grub. I think he's going to be one formidable First Sword when the time comes. And at this rate that story isn't even going to be in the series.


Paul (brocklaser) | 55 comments My theory on Heboric is that he has become a god in his own right.

The reason I believe this is treach makes it clear that he died to become a god (mentioned in one of the visions under ygahtan as important) also heboric was being worshipped by the souls trapped in the jade statues.

I might be wrong but can't wait to find out!


message 6: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Sep 02, 2013 03:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "My theory on Heboric is that he has become a god in his own right.

The reason I believe this is treach makes it clear that he died to become a god (mentioned in one of the visions under ygahtan a..."


Yeah, the jade souls have made him their god and then he is also Destriant to Treach - no wonder Heboric was going insane, he's being reamed from both ends - not only is he being used by a god - but he is also being used by worshippers. The whole journey back to the jade statues is about resolving this duality in him. To give back his jade hands and hopefully rescind the godhood that has been imposed on him.

On the Treach side it's interesting to note that both Treach and Heboric are killed by agents of the Crippled god. The K'Chain in Treach's case - and the renegade Imass for Heboric.


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

Rob (robzak) | 1055 comments Mod
David Sven wrote: "Whose side is Spite on?"

The same side she's always on..her own.

Sorry that question was asking for it..

Karsa vs. the undying asshole emperor. Both are attached to the CG, although Karsa hasn't exactly been doing his bidding this whole time. I hope Karsa manages to kill him for good.

I wonder if the human witch is Featherwitch. I forget what she looks like though, and I'm too lazy to go back to MT to look it up.


Mpauli | 245 comments Rob wrote: "David Sven wrote: "Whose side is Spite on?"

The same side she's always on..her own.

Sorry that question was asking for it.."


The other obvious answer to that one would be: On the opposite side as Envy is on.^^

Regarding your Feather Witch theory, I think we can assume you're right. The finger around her neck (from the Errant) is a huge hint.


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments This is too much for me to dig up, but assuming the blonde is Featherwitch, then does anyone know if we have had a glimpse of either this moment, or of what is to come with Karsa, in any of her tile readings?

The other thing I loved in this chapter was the reaction of the Predator to Karsa. I got the feeling that the Preda is not at all happy with the empire,or what he is forced to do in its name, and he is pleased with Karsa because he thinks there might be some hope of Karsa finally offing Rhulad.

Other wonderful moments: Fid telling Tavore that she better get a lot of nooses if she plans on hanging Faradan. The image of the Bonehunters carrying the withered kids out of the desert. According to Grubs timetable, very soon one or more of the Bonehunters is going to do something at sea that will save the entire 14th. The only likely candidates are QB, Bottle, or perhaps the sappers. Fid already blew up a soletaken with his xbow and a cusser, and Erikson doesn't like to repeat himself. We will see.


message 10: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1055 comments Mod
Duffy wrote: "Other wonderful moments: Fid telling Tavore that she better get a lot of nooses if she plans on hanging Faradan"

Definitely.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Duffy wrote: " and he is pleased with Karsa because he thinks there might be some hope of Karsa finally offing Rhulad."

I read that more as a "mission accomplished" - part of the Preda's brief is to find worthy Champions - and the whole point of finding worthy champions is to hopefully find someone skilled enough to kill the Emperor so he can resurrect better and badder than before.

Duffy wrote: "According to Grubs timetable, very soon one or more of the Bonehunters is going to do something at sea that will save the entire 14th. The only likely candidates are QB, Bottle, or perhaps the sappers. "

Hence the extra day's delay - They needed the Bonehunters. Thanks Duffy, I missed that connection. :)


I'm not sure any prophecy has seen Karsa coming that I can remember anyway


Kimberly | 15 comments Rob wrote: "David Sven wrote: "Whose side is Spite on?"

The same side she's always on..her own. "


this is a bit of a theme in this series- everyone's on their own sides a good deal of the time resulting in conflicts between characters that are on the same "team" for example:

Karsa vs. Rhulad (team CG)
Apsalar vs shadow hounds (team shadow)
Malazans/adjunct/empress/claw vs each other (team malazan)


message 13: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Spite really captures that dark nihilistic theme running thru this series. She's another character who seems to want to destroy civilization. Even Mael has said that to this day there hasn't been any system that has worked for equity, but he is still on the side of humanity especially after finding Tehol.

And I most definitely recognized Featherwitch.


Linette | 152 comments Seeing the beginning of convergence in this chapter, with Karsa and the Tiste Edur emperor heading toward a confrontation. At least I assume that's what's happening, as Karsa has been taken by them to be a 'challenger' for their emperor.


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments Through the translator, we learn that the Preda abhors his mission on the coast, and emphasizes twice that he is forced to do what his emperor commands. It's possible that he's only pleased because he accomplished his mission, but I definitely had the sense that he sees more in Karsa, and is doubly pleased because there is a chance that the emperor's orders to find challengers might backfire with this one.


message 16: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments I thought that was Featherwitch. Glad to see that I was correct. I'm looking forward to seeing Karsa go up against Rhulad. It doesn't make sense though. They're both working for the Crippled God even if they don't want to so why would TCG allow this to happen? Unless when Rhulad resurrects, Karsa admits defeat and joins Rhulad's army.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I don't think the CG has as much control over what Karsa does as he would like. And he doesn't exert direct control over a whole lot anyway. He is forced to use others via manipulation.


message 18: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments Right, right. Karsa rejects anything that might try to influence him. I do remember him rejecting his place in the deck (I forget if he's Knight or what) but he's still there.


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

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
The CG should have worked Karsa out and worked his belligerent indifference to Gods, gods and sorcery to his advantage. Maybe it is because the CG is alien that he failed to adapt.


Conor | 78 comments I kind of thought that the Preda was psyched about Karsa fighting Rhulad because he wanted Karsa to pay for killing his men. *Shrugs* Either way I think Rhulad might be in for a surprise.


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