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House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)
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SERIES—List & Discussions > Malazan Book of the Fallen--5/31--House of Chains: Chapters 9-14

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message 1: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3085 comments Mod
SPOILERS only through Chapters 9-11 of Book 2, Cold Iron and Chapters 12-14 of Book 3, Something Breathes.


message 2: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3085 comments Mod
Oh, my! So many things happen in this section, it's hard to know where to start. So, in no particular order:

I'll start with great sorrow that, as L'oric said, "We knew he wanted her. Yet we did nothing." How could they fail to protect Felisin Younger from Bidithal?

Karsa's journey seemed odd to me. An awfully long way to go for a horse. But, of course, we get to see his meeting with Mappo and Icarium (that fight was a bit anticlimactic, no?) and he picks up some good information from his conversation with the Jaghut, Aramala. Information he later uses with his seven "gods".

And so it appears that both Felisin Younger and Karsa are aligned with the Crippled God. What do you make of that?

There are also the scenes with Cutter and Apsalar on the island of Drift Avalii. We meet Anomander Rake's brother, Andarist, and see Cotillion in action. We meet the mysterious Traveller.

I struggled with the whole section about L'oric being the son of Osric and looking for a protector for Kurald Thyrllan. And "Osric sleeps"--is that like "Burn sleeps"? What do you think?

And a transformation for Heboric, and a new god for him to serve...

And a crucified otataral dragon...

And a freed demon who will serve Togg and Fanderay...

And Kalam nursed back to health by Iskaral Pust and his wife...

Ah, so much to talk about!


Justine (justinejustine) | 563 comments This is where the book started to fall apart for me a little. Lots of bits and pieces as you say and some of them were just kind of there but didn't seem to have much to do with "this" book so I assume they are there for the larger story (e.g. the freed demon who will be serving the Beast Throne etc.)

Where do you get the idea that Felisin Younger is aligned with the Crippled God? I didn't get that. Also, I was getting the sense that Karsa was not so interested in being a part of that either. I may have read it differently?

I thought the fight with Icarium was both hilarious and typical in the sense that there is Mappo stepping in and trying to make sure a complete and utter bloodbath doesn't occur by stepping in and knocking people in the head. Good one! :)


message 4: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3085 comments Mod
I'm not sure they both will actually end up serving the Crippled God, but chapter 13 and then 14 seem to indicate that, at least for now. They are both "damaged"--Felisin Younger by what Bidithal has done to her, and Karsa is "chained" by all his dead.

In Chapter 13, Felisin Younger gets to Karsa's grove after Bidithal mutilates her. L'oric goes to get healing elixirs for her. While she is waiting, Karsa’s gods awaken and Ber’ok speaks to her: “Vengeance swarms about you, with such power as to awaken us . . . We would ease your pain . . . You seek vengeance? . . . The one who has damaged you would take the power of the desert goddess for himself . . . the [Felisin’s] wounding is of no matter. The danger lies in Bidithal’s ambition A knife must be driven into his heart . . . Serve us and we in turn shall serve you . . . We shall ensure that Bidithal’s death is in a manner to match his crime, and that it shall be timely.” When Felisin asks how she is to be the knife, Ber’ok answers, “Child, you already are.”

Since Ber'ok and Karsa's gods are themselves servants of the Crippled God, I took this to mean that Felisin Younger is as well.

In Chapter 14, after Karsa frees the flint for his sword from the pillar:
Urugal tells him there is a place for him in the House of Chains, and Karsa says he knows--“Knight of Chains, champion of the Crippled God.” Surprised, Urugal says, “You have learned much,” to which Karsa, looking at his hands bloodied by catching the flint shard, says, “I have, T’lan Imass. As you shall witness.”


Maggie K | 298 comments Witness.


Tani | 132 comments I agree, Justine. The book feels quite disjointed to me. There's so much going on that I can't keep everything in my head, and it loses focus on the main story a little. I'm still enjoying it, but it's harder to focus. And I completely forget things. I completely forgot that exchange between Felisin Younger and Ber'ok, for one.

I also find that I'm most interested in some of the characters that are now getting the least time. I love the banter between Lostara Yil and Pearl, for one. Karsa in general has become a favorite. Fiddler and his new squad. I'm much less interested in Cutter and Apsalar, Gamet's struggles, and even Felisin Older, to be honest. I seem to be falling in on the side of the Malazan Empire, for the most part.

I think I will finish the book soon, though. It's picking up speed for me, and I find myself more and more reluctant to put it down. :)


Justine (justinejustine) | 563 comments I find that is the case with most of these books so far...at the beginning of each there are all these threads you have to sort out and half of them you forget about and then suddenly it all picks up speed and becomes really exciting as it all (mostly) comes together towards the end. :)


Helen This book had me at the beginning, I traced through the first few hundred pages and now showed down.

I don't think Karsa week align with the crippled god, I'd forgotten the interchange with Felisin. I'm fed up of both Felisins. Heboric has potential.

Strings and his storyline are quite interesting, as is Kalam. But Karsa is my main interest currently.

We also seem to have a phenomenal amount of Tlan Imass about. Ha, my mobile just predicted that, funny as it can't do 'all'.


Helen See, mobiles! First paragraph is raced and slowed.


message 10: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3085 comments Mod
Helen wrote: "See, mobiles! First paragraph is raced and slowed."

Oh yeah, autocorrect is a joy sometimes. ; )


Helen Yes, and I have noticed that it says week not will!


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