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Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)
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Kitty G Books (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
Discussion of Chapter 2 ONLY please, no spoilers for any other part of the book!


Kitty G Books (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
Okay Chapter 2 is another kind of dramatic one (I have the feeling this book might have more brutality and drama than book 1!) as we once more see a few new characters and plots beginning to emerge.

We get a more clear look at the new Fist Coltaine here as he not only shows a bit more of his status but also introduces the fact that he has a Warlock on his side (this is taken with shock from everyone else as apparently the Warlocks were supposed to have all been wiped out and killed earlier by Laseen).
The Warlock in question is called Sormo E’nath and he was apparently so great and filled with such power that it took 'eleven crows' to carry his power to where he was reincarnated. It seems like this is another case of power being reborn in a new body and flesh (much like Tattersail in book 1 with the Rhivi) and I am interested in if he still has the strength he possessed before his death or whether it's been diminished or tarnished somehow.

Duiker is the Imperial Historian and when he's introduced he sees a prophecy about a whirlwind which will arise (I'm guessing that water is metaphorical and actually it means a rebellion or something?)

'Two fountains of raging blood! Face to face. The blood is the same, the two are the same and salty waves shall wash the shores of Raraku. the Holy Desert remembers its past.'

A pretty interesting segment and I wonder if this will play a bit part in the series or just this book. I look forward to finding out exactly what this is relating to.

Mallick Rel is also there and the Warlock Sormo tells Cortaine that he believes Rel to have hidden motives and when Rel gives Cortaine the instructions from High Fist Pormqua,l Cortaine disobeys him and says it's a stupid plan. Already we can see that Cortaine is not one to be easily bullied and he has strong alliances which may aid him on his path to whatever he seeks.

By disobeying the orders from High Fist Pormqual Cortaine manages to offend and insult Rel which seems like a bad idea because he's then told that it's actually Rel who really controls things and realistically he might be in trouble now. It's said that many who get in Rel's way end up dead (a pretty ominous and scary threat when you consider he's an Elder God!)

There's also a person named Kulp there (a mage) and he's strong enough to sense that it really is Sormo E’nath reincarnated who is working with Coltaine. He seems like he might be an interesting character especially since he's asked at the end of this section by Duiker to help him free Heboric Light-Touch from the prison on Otataral Island... I don't think we yet know who that is and I'm pretty sure we've not been to Otataral Island yet so I wonder what that's about and where the connections will form with them...

Next we follow Fiddler's story a bit more (which was probably my fave bit of this chapter) as he's disgusied and sees some Red Swords attacking some Dryjhana girls and women. The Dryjhana seem to be believers in some sort of Apolcalypse and are therefore seen as threats to the Empire which I assume is how the Red Swords got away with attacking them.
Fiddler rescues two young girls from rape and he takes them back to their granddad (who just happens to be) Kimloc, greatest Tano Spiritwalker ever (pretty lucky! :D) The conversation between the two of them was interesting for the offer of memory exchange and the ideas about making songs to potentially bring back the Bridgeburners and let them Ascend. It seems like it's a power controlled by Song for Spiritwalkers and they are yet another addition to the series which makes it really interesting and exciting to think what they may do.
Kimloc also warns him about a gate called Path of Hands which is due to open and will be a dangerous obstacle as Fiddler and the crew cross through the Desert...
Kimloc gives Fiddler a conch shell filled with songs of power to protect him in the desert. I wonder what abilities these songs will offer him and if they will be the saving grace in a moment that looks hopeless?

Next we see Kalam again as he goes to visit Mebra who is apparently in some sort of debt to him and he can therefore blackmail and force him to tell Kalam the signs/codes that will let him safely pass through the desert.
Then we see Mebra drop the 'Holy Book of Dryjhana' which Kalam decides to take with him on his journey as a kind of insurance policy. It's apparently got a lot of rules attached to it and needs to be delivered to the Seeress so she can 'raise the Whirlwind' as Kalam said. I guess this refers back to the earlier prophecy we saw and I wonder who this Seeress is and how she will form a rebellion or army etc.

After Kalam leaves we find out that he's been set up by the Red Swords and they are going to follow him as he journeys into the desert with the book. They think that he's going to kill the Empress and it seems like he's in a fair bit of trouble right now without knowing it!! :S

Finally we see Icarium and Mappo again and it seems that they were busy taking on a D’ivers leopard pack! They managed to defeat the but Mappo seems to have been hurt and whilst they rest a strange Soultaken Bear walks over to them and strikes up a conversation (as you do!)
The Bear apparently knows Mappo and is called Messremb, he becomes a human and talks with them about the strange smell surrounding Mappo. I wonder what exactly he's been doing following them and if it really is about the smell or not?

Iskaral Pust, High Priest of Shadow, then turns up to the party and he seems a bit crazy as he keeps saying “a life given for a life taken." and then says "Remember those words, remember them” so I guess that they are pretty important and it seems to represent the way of the Malazan world, nothing without consequences!
Iskaral says he's going to take them to his tower and he sends his horse into a cave but then out comes 'Servant' who is apparently super incredibly strong as he manages to heave them all up a rope dropped by a bhok’aral and then they continue on their way...

My god a lot seems to be happening and it's all very complex and filled with new plots and new faces. I think I am finding this read super interesting but I do wonder how many more plots and storylines we will be introduced to and expected to remember. It's probably a good thing we're all making notes so I can go back and remember whatever I forget :D
If I got anything wrong them hopefully someone who knows will let me know too!


Mpauli One thing to point out here, cause I think you've read that wrong.
Mallick Rel is not an Elder God. He is a Jhistal Priest of an Elder God. Of course that doesn't mean that his power and influence is to be dismissed, but he isn't an Elder God.

Just another interesting thing to point out now is the use of crows/birds to transport the souls of dead people for the purpose of rebirth.
If you would go back now to Gardens of the Moon, you would be very intrigued by all the mentions of birds that might or might not be in direct context to some of the rebirths in GotM.

And finally Iskaral Pust arrives at the scene, one of my personal favourites of the series.
Also, Mappo and Icarium are great characters. I think in your chapter 1 thoughts you mixed them up, cause Mappo is the Trell and Icarium the Half-Jaghut. but I think that is more clear now already.

As far as the complexity goes, we're now getting slowly into what Erikson does. As I often say, it's not an exxageration to think of the complexity of this work as ASoIaF times ten, it's merely an estimated guess to show that a series like ASoIaF is still rather "simple" in complexity compared to Malazan.
Trust me, when I say that we've barely scratched the surface so far.^^


message 4: by Akshay (last edited Feb 02, 2015 09:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Akshay (akshay_sauron) | 5 comments Mallick Rel is the priest for the elder god Mael as mentioned in first chapter.


Also Kimloc said that he needed to touch Fiddler to know his history to which Fiddler declined but when he gives him the conch shell he lays a hand on Fiddler's shoulder. He needs the history to power the Tano song.

He stepped close and laid a hand on Fiddler's shoulder. 'Kimloc Spiritwalker thanks you.'


Kitty G Books (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
Thank you all for the corrections. I was trying to make sense of everything myself and being the first to comment I clearly got a bit confused but that's all cleared up now :-)
Looking forward to seeing more from all these characters and yes I did mean Mappo was Trell and getting them the wrong way around was a typo but I clearly misunderstood about Rel. I'm sure he's still a badass even if he's not a God as a lot of Non-potable characters are badass in this series!


Kitty G Books (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
non-God **


message 7: by Chernz (new)

Chernz | 15 comments Glad to hear you mentioning the complexity of this world in only the second chapter! People have told me that the Malazan series only gets better with each re-read because you pick up on a bunch of foreshadowing and details that you might have missed before, reading through it completely new to the series.
And yes, while GotM wasn't exactly a tame read in terms of brutality I do think DG kicks it up another notch. I also, personally, like the setting of DG more as well- I dig the whole arid, desert locale because it seems we don't get many fantasy books set in such places. Cool stuff all around!


Evan | 67 comments We really start to get a sense of the Wickan culture in this book through the likes of Coltaine and Sormo E'nath and more to come. They always sort of gave me a Native American vibe while still feeling unique instead of being copy/paste. Be mindful of those 'eleven crows'.

Now that we have our first mentions of the Whirlwind, I know don't mind reposting what I said to Paul in the Gardens of the Moon final thoughts thread:

Evan wrote: "Paul wrote: "hah, yah that ending was a whirl wind of events."

Haha, you don't even know how funny what you just said was."


That still tickles me.

Kaitlin wrote: "'Two fountains of raging blood! Face to face. The blood is the same, the two are the same and salty waves shall wash the shores of Raraku. the Holy Desert remembers its past.'

A pretty interesting segment and I wonder if this will play a bit part in the series or just this book. I look forward to finding out exactly what this is relating to."


Holy crap I'm so glad you picked that line out. I'd completely forgotten it. I really wish I had my copy of the book right now. Not a bit line at all. Hot damn, that's a line that tells you Erikson knows exactly what he's doing.

Kulp is a cool guy, I like him alot. Heboric Light-Touch who Duiker wants to free is the handless priest of Fener from the prologue.

I believe there's a moment in Fiddler's section (the man is my favorite in the whole series) where he tells someone his true name. We don't learn what it is, but he gives it. I remember liking that bit because its a thematic connection to the nature of the Bridgeburners. What we've learned about the Bridgeburners as we've come to know them is that their past does not dictate who they are, or they don't even allow their past to define them. Quick Ben was a former devotee of Shadow, who he has turned his back on. Kalam was a former Claw, and now conspires to assassinate Empress Laseen, the head of the Claw. Whiskeyjack was busted down to sergeant from commander or Fist, I can't remember haha. He doesn't seek to regain that former status within the Empire. Fiddler here displays that theme by stating a name we don't hear. That's not his name anymore, 'Fiddler' is. Whiskeyjack's name itself actually has a pretty endearing origin to it. It's minor and not super important, but I just smile thinking about it. You'll see, and hopefully agree.

And whew, Iskaral Pust, he is a character. One of Erikson's more unique and consistently funny characters, he's a class act.

One thing we can take so far from Mappo and Icarium's journey together is that there is a saddened air to it. Mappo truly grieves for Icarium's lost memories, but for what reason?


Alex Willis (fightingokra) | 71 comments There was a lot going on in this chapter. I was a little confused reading the events at the council with the High Fist, but got the gist of what happened.

I love Erikson's crazy characters like Hairlock in GotM and Iskaral Pust here. In a book with a lot of serious and dark elements they add a little dark comic relief.

I did notice the "twin fountains of blood" line as a lone that stuck out at important. Learning Erikson's writing style when reading GotM helps to pick up lines such as this that foreshadow future events.

I think it was Evan that mentioned names, chapter 2 gave us Quick Ben's full name when the spy is threatened with Ben's presence.

I am enjoying the book a lot and very grateful to be reading with a group to help with any small details I missed.


message 10: by Paul (last edited Feb 15, 2015 03:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paul_sff) | 68 comments Hah, yah the whirlwind comment kind of plays right along. Can't wait to find out more about that.

I'm not going to type a whole lot. I'm enjoy the book so far but I'm going slow. Not the book's fault, just mine. One thing I really enjoy about these books so far is how visual they are. Erikson's descriptions, imagery, and settings are just full of visuals. Even though this book is complex, visually it is one of the easiest books to visualize because of Erikson's writing style.


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