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Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)
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Group Read - Dust of Dreams > DoD: Chapter Fifteen - No Spoilers

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

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Discuss Chapter 15 only. Please make liberal use of spoiler tags when discussing other books/series-wide implications.


message 2: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
As Tool heads towards Hood’s gate he is witness to an alternate past – one where the ritual of Tellan hadn’t happened. In this “what if” past – he sees that humans would have hunted Imass to extinction

He saw a different past. One that rolled out after choices not made...

... A dogged rival slipped serpent-like into the mossy cathedrals of needled forests, sliding along shadow streams, and life became a time of picking through long-dead kills, frowning at broken tools of stone different from anything ever seen before. This—all of this—he realized, was the slow failure that, in his own past, had been evaded.
By the Ritual of Tellann. ...

... The children of the Imass, who were not children at all, but inheritors nevertheless, had flooded the world with the taste of Imass blood on their tongues. Just one more quarry hunted into oblivion,


Tool then comes across Toc, who stands in his path – blocking him from entering Hood’s realm and the eternal rest Tool is looking forward too.

‘Toc, my friend, do not take this from me. Do not take this, too, when you and your kind have taken everything else.’
‘I cannot let you pass, Tool.’


Toc then makes of himself a representation of the imagined alternative past that Tool just witnessed – as if deliberately provoking a rage and hatred towards humans

‘The rage burns bright within you, doesn’t it?’
‘Abyss take it—I am done with fighting! I am done with all of it!’
‘On my tongue, Onos Toolan, is the taste of Imass blood.’


Tool is then provoked to deny that humans are Imass children – seeing them instead as undeserving inheritors

‘They are not my children!’
‘You have found the rage of the Imass—the rage they escaped, Tool, with the Ritual.


The encounter ends with Tool’s last bond with humans ie his friendship with Toc severed – and he goes back as an undead Imass

A withered but oversized hand reached down and closed about the grip, lifting the weapon clear.
Onos T’oolan faced southeast. And then set out.
He had a people to kill.



Only when Tool leaves Toc do we discover that the whole thing has been set up Olar Ethil – Toc was not himself but speaking under a compulsion from Olar. Toc is not happy

A voice broke through from a few paces away, ‘Compelling you to such things, Herald, leaves me no pleasure.’
Collecting himself with a groan, Toc the Younger straightened in the saddle and fixed his eye upon the ancient bonecaster standing now in the place where Tool had been. He bared dull, dry teeth. ‘Your hand was colder than Hood’s own, witch. Do you imagine Hood is pleased at you stealing his Herald? At your using him as you will? This will not go unanswered—’


Olar wants to use Tool as her ...well Tool. Whatever she has planned, it involves killing humans – who Olar Ethil hates with a passion. She claims that those Imass that did not participate in the ritual were taken out by humans, one more crime in a host of crimes against the environment.

Toc, while under compulsion still managed to fight free enough to try and remind Tool that his children need him. Tool, misses the point – but once Toc is free he moves to rescue Tool’s fleeing children – and escorts them to Setoc.

Interestingly, Toc calls Setoc, Destriant. This is rather sigmificant given that Toc has a foot in both Hood’s camp as well as the Wolves – or more precisely, he has an eye in each camp. But I’m thinking perhaps his role as Herald extends to being Herald of the Wolves as well – in which case he just declared Setoc as their Destriant to replace the one that the Perish Grey Helms lost.

‘Take them,’ the revenant said to Setoc, and the undead eyes he fixed upon her blazed—one human and wrinkled in death, the other bright and amber—the eye of a wolf.
Setoc gasped. ‘You are not the Reaper’s servant!’


Toc urges Setoc to stay camped in her protective circle until Tool’s war is done. Which is really Olar’s war

...I am coming, mortal, the earth awakened to judgement! And you shall kneel, pleading, begging—your kind, human, shall make pathos your epitaph, for I will give you nothing, yield not a single instant of mercy!’

Olar Ethil’s bitterness is also driven by the fact that she used to be an Avatar for the likes of Burn – and Mother Dark, Father Shadow, Father Light and a whole heap of other gods –

‘So many names... Eran’ishal, Mother to the Eres’al—my first and most sentimental of choices.’ She seemed to flinch. ‘Rath Evain to the Forkrul Assail. Stone Bitch to the Jaghut. I have had a face in darkness, a son in shadow, a bastard in light. I have been named the Mother Beneath the Mountain, Ayala Alalle who tends the Gardens of the Moon, for ever awaiting her lover. I am Burn the Sleeping Goddess, in whose dreams life flowers unending, even as those dreams twist into nightmares...’

But no more – the ritual of Tellan undid all that – all of those forces she mentions are forces of life and creation – and the ritual is the opposite of that

‘Perhaps,’ he said, ‘you were once all those things, Olar Ethil. But not any more. It’s all torn away from you, isn’t it? Scattered and lost, when you gave up life—when you chose to become this thing of bones—’


And with Tool dead, Hetan’s enemies hobble her and subject her to pack rape. That was just ugly.
An assassins war breaks out between Maral Eb and his supporters from the Barahn clan – and those who support Bakal of the Senan clan ie Tool’s adopted clan. Seeing that the Senan clan is the most powerful, they aren’t just going to roll over and let the Barahn take charge.
And I don’t think either side can see Tool coming.


message 3: by Linette (last edited Feb 12, 2014 07:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Linette | 152 comments Tool is going to clean house!
I feel bad for both Tool and Toc, their friendship severed because of someone else's agenda. Hope Tool finds Olar Ethil too.

When Gunth Mach was reliving the K'Chain history she remembers the dying matron who loosed her eggs into the surf trying to create something new that might survive better - must be how those 'seeds' ended up on the shores near the Shake, causing deformations.

Loved this, Kruppe's twins talking about Tool's son: 'He says "blallablallablalla" and that's all he says. That doesn't sound Imass to me.' And touching how they conspire about ways to get rid of their brother, but when the crunch time comes they risk their own lives to save him.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Linette wrote: "When Gunth Mach was reliving the K'Chain history she remembers the dying matron who loosed her eggs into the surf trying to create something new that might survive better - must be how those 'seeds' ended up on the shores near the Shake, causing deformations. "


Yes. I think so.


message 5: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1055 comments Mod
The first half of this chapter bored me. The second half enraged me. Too many factions I just don't care about. Now I care about the Barghast. I hope Tool is on his way to kill them all...

This book like the last two is just too uneven. I'm kind of disappointed so far.


Linette | 152 comments I get bored every time the 'snake' of children walking in the desert shows up - could definitely do without them.
I'm liking some of the other newer groups of characters though.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Tool was probably the best adjusted undead in the world, and then he got used to life and mortality. It must be awful to be undead again.

Really wondering how Olar Ethil is a universal goddess and an undead part-Imass at the same time. The K'Chain Che'Malle will probably be the highlight of this book to me. I wasn't expecting to ever get much insight into their point of view. This feels like another chapter where I probably didn't notice everything important.


Lori This is the chapter I hate most in the whole series. I've been avoiding it. And the barghast are exhibiting the very worst of what Tool saw in the alternative reality. And the worst is that he has become the embodiment of hate when he was so joyful and noble. I hate Olar.

And what's her deal anyway? Surely she was never all those things. Especially Burn, who sleeps and dreams. Didn't she say she was the original Bonecaster? So she started as a mortal Imass? Can't do spoilers on my iPhone but FoD confuses this.

Was it the Barghast who are a kind of static line of the Imass or some other group? Can't remember.

This chapter is so upsetting.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Reviewing David Sven's notes for MoI 10, I think the Barghast are hybrids of humans (i.e. Imass descendants) and Toblakai.


Sumant I am confused here about beast's hold and the tellanan warren, in MOI Tellanan got transformed correct with all the Imass memories and the beast's hold is the place which imass use to worship?.

Also when tool died he should have gone to transformed tellanan like tiste andii spirits go to kurald galain then how come did he end at hood's gates ?.Also olar ethil so late in series she is like deux machine with all powers and all it is really hard to digest her.

Also the barghast are a nasty lot, hope all of them are wiped out till the end of the book.


message 11: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Sumant wrote: "I am confused here about beast's hold and the tellanan warren, in MOI Tellanan got transformed correct with all the Imass memories and the beast's hold is the place which imass use to worship?.

Al..."



The Imass worshipped the beast hold or the gods of the beast hold prior to Tellan. Tellan was made from a piece of Kurald Liosan - the Tiste Liosan in HOC were hot to trot for whoever "stole" a piece of their fire.

So Tellan has no connection to the beast hold except that it was part of the Imass religion before they abandoned it for the ritual of tellan.


message 12: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Interestingly, Toc calls Setoc, Destriant. This is rather sigmificant given that Toc has a foot in both Hood’s camp as well as the Wolves – or more precisely, he has an eye in each camp. But I’m thinking perhaps his role as Herald extends to being Herald of the Wolves as well – in which case he just declared Setoc as their Destriant to replace the one that the Perish Grey Helms lost.

Yes this caught my attention. I had to go back a bit to work out if I had missed something.


Silvio Curtis | 403 comments Sumant wrote: "I am confused here about beast's hold and the tellanan warren, in MOI Tellanan got transformed correct with all the Imass memories and the beast's hold is the place which imass use to worship?.

Al..."


Olar Ethil also strikes me as inelegantly planned. She's appeared here and there so many times that if she was going to be this important, we should have had some foreshadowing of what would be important about her, particularly since Erikson does a lot of foreshadowing in general. But we still don't really know what's up with her, so maybe complaining is premature.

I think the reason Tiste Andii go back to Kurald Galain when they die is that they actually lived there and are alien to this world. T'lan Imass have an ancestral connection to Tellann, but they're still natives of this world.


Sumant I think the reason Tiste Andii go back to Kurald Galain when they die is that they actually lived there and are alien to this world. T'lan Imass have an ancestral connection to Tellann, but they're still natives of this world.

This seems reasonable.


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments I think the Jaghut got her name right: Stone Bitch. As for the rest, I see her as being kind of like what Feather Witch would have become. She's drunk on her own power and self-deluded. I discount what she says about being Burn, the mother of the Eresal, or the progenitor of all Soletaken. I think she's self deluded, and the Jaghut should rename her to Crazy Stone Bitch.


message 16: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
And then laugh at her. I am still getting over a troupe of comedian Jaghut.


message 17: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori They bring the absurd.


message 18: by DangerBin (new)

DangerBin | 52 comments Lori (Hellian) wrote: "This is the chapter I hate most in the whole series. I've been avoiding it. And the barghast are exhibiting the very worst of what Tool saw in the alternative reality. And the worst is that he has ..."

Agreed. It was not fun.

There seems so much unnecessary text/philosophizing in this last "book". I feel like it would have been more successful as a single door-stopping volume.


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