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Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)
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Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
Discussion of Chapter 21 ONLY please, no spoilers for any other part of the book!


Alex Willis (fightingokra) | 71 comments I am grateful for a shorter chapter, but my what a chapter it was. My favorite character in this Hood damned book is now dead. I agree with Paul's sentiments earlier from an earlier chapter that the rebirths take the impact out of a character's dead. I easily see Coltaine being reborn the same way Sormo E'nath was. The amount of crows it took to take Coltaine's soul speaks to how powerful a man he was. I look forward to his rebirth in a future book.


message 3: by TS (last edited Feb 27, 2015 08:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan (tschan) | 159 comments I am not sure about the rebirth taking away the impact. While his death itself may not be final with the crows collecting his soul, the circumstance in which it happened is the most tragic of all. And it's not just Coltaine (although he is my favourite character in DG), it's the sheer horror and brutality of how the Wickans and the Seventh went down "within a soldier's reach" at the gates of Aren. After all they've been through to deliver the refugees.


Alex Willis (fightingokra) | 71 comments I agree with everything you said. The way the impact of the death is lessened is instead of feeling 'OH MY GOD HE'S DEAD' it becomes 'Oh he died....he'll be back'. On one hand it is good because I like both characters but in another way deaths mean nothing in this series so far.

But yes the way these men died was very very powerful.


Evan | 67 comments I know we're all on Memories of Ice now. But I still think there's a little bit that can be said about Deadhouse Gates.

About character death. Sure, Paul and Alex may feel like character resurrection is a little cheap. But let it be said that characters who do die and return do so in way that drastically alter their character. There's a particular passage in one of the later books, can't recall which at the moment, might be book 7, that specifically expands on this. About how the body and soul react to resurrection in very very different ways. That the flesh may be able to bounce back from death, but it is not such an easy thing for the soul. So I just look at it as a path along the character's arc.

But sure, I can understand that sort of irritation. But trust me, plenty of characters stay dead in this series haha.

Now, as for Coltaine himself. I'll admit it, I cried during this section. Especially when Duiker says what for some reason, feels like the saddest yet most heroic line in the series for me: 'And this was why that dust cloud was so slow to approach.'

Coltaine and his men hold against forces beyond their measure for the sake of those refugees, many of which probably don't bother to thank them for it. Not only for them, but for their own sense of defiance, not to give Reloe the satisfaction of their deaths.

There's also a meaninglessness to the whole thing, when the coward Pormqual could easily have saved them. This is an instance where I don't think anyone would disagree that Blistig should have assumed command and sent out a sortie to rescue Coltaine and whoever was left alive.

And in a stroke of brilliant writing that still baffles me, Erikson creates a character that is around for oh maybe three pages, yet manages to evoke such a hurricane of emotions, a great sense of historical record in his presentation, great sadness but also lung bursting relief in Squint. Some no name soldier who we've never met, flies an arrow and kills Coltaine, under the greatest duress that utterly breaks him. If that were written any other way, people would call it cheap. Instead it's masterful. In those few words I will never forget Squint.


James Chatham (jameschatham) | 35 comments I'm insanely late to this, but I think that was the most feels I've felt since Dumbledore in fifth grade


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