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Malazan Book of the Fallen > "Gardens of the Moon" Part 1--February 15-21, 2011--Prologue & Chapters 1-4

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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) This is the folder for discussion of the first of our four-part discussion of Steven Erikson's first installment in his brilliant "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series. This first portion of the discussion covers the Prologue and Book One (Chapters 1-4) of "Gardens of the Moon". Enjoy!


message 2: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 15, 2011 09:18AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) A couple of opening thoughts from me, and I know that Maggie probably has some introductory thoughts and comments as well. First, I want to welcome all of you to this read (or re-read, as the case may be) and discussion of "Gardens of the Moon" over the next month. I am really looking forward to delving much more deeply into this first novel in the series, as I have a suspicion that it really is much more important to fully engaging with the remaining volumes in the series than many previously thought. I will be interested in your thoughts as we read the novel now, and look back upon GotM as we read future novels in the series.

It has been said by many, and I wholeheartedly agree, that GotM is perhaps not the easiest read the first time around. Personally, I think this is quite intentional upon the author's part. As much as Mr. Erikson challenged himself in developing this world and its characters, I think he is quite adamant that he wanted to challenge the reader as well. So hang in there. Yup, it can be 'tough sledding' for the first couple of hundred pages, but the pay-off is ever so grand! There's a lot of stuff coming at you, fast and furiously, and not a lot of explanation (or, 'info-dumps'); so, you really do have to be a bit of a detective and kind of carefully sort through what you're reading and start compiling a mental "important facts file" in your head. You will start having some 'aha' moments as things become more clear.

Finally, some readers can be put off by the epigraphs leading off each of the chapters in a novel. I used to breeze by these when reading books. It wasn't until I read A.S. Byatt's "Possession" that I finally realized that these are not simply 'window-dressing', but are actually an integral part of the narrative. In the case of Erikson's "The Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, they are truly quite illuminating, and can provide significant information about what is to come in that chapter. I have even developed the habit of going back and re-reading the epigraph upon completing that particular chapter. Typically it makes much more sense.

Finally, I cannot stress enough--and I bet Maggie will agree--that the five pages of the Prologue of GotM are hugely important to the entire series, and really help shape several of the more important characters in this novel, and subsequent novels in the series. Pay attention! There is important information left and right here!

Cheers! And Happy Reading!


message 3: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (last edited Feb 15, 2011 09:30AM) (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
This prologue is jam-packed full of information for such an enigmatic type of novel.

Erikson does some amazing work on setting up the imagery here-
I love how the characters are standing on the apex. These characters all are major characters in this series, and this is Malazan Book of the FALLEN, so it’s an apt image that they start out at such a height.

There are a lot of tidbit throwaway lines in here: the first mention of the Bridgeburner's , talk of First Sword Dassem Ultor (who was killed in Y’ghatan, seemingly a mystery) and his betrayal of a God, Laseen’s rise from a bar wench named Surly to Empress, the seeming dissension in the soldiers regarding what is happening in Mouse Quarter,the intro of the claw (a mysterious and powerful cult), the apparent animosity between Laseen and the commander, and the mystery of whether or not the old Emperor is actually dead. All of this in 4 Pages!

I especially like the exchange between Paran and Whiskeyjack. Just in this introduction you can feel the intensity of Paran’s goal to someday be a soldier, and Whiskeyjack disillusionment in that field. It’s almost as though the idea of someone dreaming to become a part of the army machine actually pains him. All in all, a beautiful set up for what is to come.


message 4: by Amelia (last edited Feb 16, 2011 08:01AM) (new)

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments It seemed like the matter of the old Emperor just hadn't happened yet. At least based on the year the prologue gave. But thinking back on it, it was quite vague.

For me Gardens of the Moon is a reread, but I've only read this one, so I don't know what happens in any of the books following this one.

I've already noticed things that I probably missed my first time through and that's just stuff from the first book. I'm glad I did decide to reread this book. It's been long enough that I certainly don't remember the details. As I read, I remember more of the first book.

I definitely paid more attention to who was mentioned in the prologue. Now I know quite a few of those already, even though I'm sure I don't know their true significance.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Amelia, the Prologue identifies that it is "The Last Year of Emperor Kellanved's Reign" (the 1154th year of Burn's Sleep), so you are correct that it is in that period of transition between Kellanved and Surly/Laseen.

I am discovering that on my second time through so much more is jumping out at me as important, or now makes much more sense.


message 6: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (last edited Feb 15, 2011 02:17PM) (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
True, apparently he was just 'absent'


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Maggie wrote: "This prologue is jam-packed full of information for such an enigmatic type of novel.

Erikson does some amazing work on setting up the imagery here-
I love how the characters are standing on t..."


Great comments here, Maggie! You're so right about the vividness and power of the imagery in the scant few pages. One interesting little tidbit I picked up on from my re-read of the Prologue was of the riots in the Mouse Quarter; and the soldier (the man with 'a broken scorched fiddle strapped to his back') commenting to his 'commander' up on Mock's Hold that it seemed to be excessive sending a whole cadre of mages into the Quarter to "sniff out a few wax-witches." And then right up front in Chapter One we meet one of the 'wax-witches'--'Rigga'--'Riggalai the Seer' with her five wax candles. Intriguing.

Also, in the epigraph leading off Book One (just before Chapter One), we find a brief bit of the Imperial History describing the Malazan Campaigns on Genabackis; and we find that Dujek Onearm is now the High Fist in command of three Malazan Armies, and thereby placing Whiskeyjack under him. A reversal of positions of the two men from that alluded to in the Prologue. Again, intriguing.


message 8: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I like that you're breaking the book up into sections. That tends to help with spoilers, and gives it a nice organization. I'm finishing a book, then will be starting this one. Perhaps tomorrow.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I like that you're breaking the book up into sections. That tends to help with spoilers, and gives it a nice organization. I'm finishing a book, then will be starting this one. Perhaps tomorrow."

Terrific, Sandra! We look forward to having you join us. Yeah, Maggie and I thought that breaking the novel up into discrete and manageable chunks (all of which are about 150-170 pages in length) might help keep everyone in the game at roughly the same pacing.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Gentle Reminder: Make sure that you get really familiar with the Dramatis Personae and the Glossary. They are of incalculable value when reading this novel. The Glossary is incredibly helpful in trying to make some sense of Erikson's complicated magic scheme, races of peoples, and geography.


message 11: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Right! Rigga-where we see the possession of Sorry, and the cover up that bring Paran and Adjunct Lorn into the 'game', and ultimately introduces us to Topper and Paran's sisters, Tavore and Felisin.

Was it just me or did the whole 'riding his horse through the warren gate right into the throne room' paint a truly vivid picture? Especially funny that the horse knocked down Topper. I laughed out loud


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Gentle reminder - This thread is not marked SPOILER, although it should be self evident from the title, but perhaps everyone posting here should remember to uncheck the 'Add to my Update Feed' box before posting.

Or use the new (view spoiler) html -- directions in the (some html is ok) link on the upper right hand corner of the comment box.


message 13: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Maggie wrote: "Right! Rigga-where we see the possession of Sorry, and the cover up that bring Paran and Adjunct Lorn into the 'game', and ultimately introduces us to Topper and Paran's sisters, Tavore and Felisin..."

That was a great scene. I think it's great that Paran could maintain some sense of humor after the events he just went through.

Why is Paran usually denoted as 'Paran' instead of Ganoes? Is it just the matter of him being noble and so others just call him by his surname istead of his given name? I did notice that he didn't give Topper permission to use his given name, just his surname. Maybe it's just a cultural thing.


message 14: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Maybe more of an officer thing? Plus, I think something told him not to trust Topper on sight...rightfully so! lol


message 15: by Raven614 (new)

Raven614 | 17 comments I know the magic comes from warrens but are those warrens connected to various levels of like some under world. It seems to me that the "bad" people are truly evil. Than you have characters like Whiskyjack that want to find redeeming qualities in people, like in Sorry who is possessed. Are the "gods" truly gods or are they just immortal beings with power. Just some random thoughts but was just curious what others thought about the darker side of this book.


message 16: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Somewhere in the series, they say that mortals can 'ascend', and get powerful qualities, and when and if they get 'worshippers' those ascendants become a god. This makes it kind of interesting for those who crave power to work towards 'godhood'


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Maggie wrote: "Somewhere in the series, they say that mortals can 'ascend', and get powerful qualities, and when and if they get 'worshippers' those ascendants become a god. This makes it kind of interesting for..."

And some people who strive to do good things during their mortal lives may end up ascending whether this is their desire or not.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Maggie wrote: "Right! Rigga-where we see the possession of Sorry, and the cover up that bring Paran and Adjunct Lorn into the 'game', and ultimately introduces us to Topper and Paran's sisters, Tavore and Felisin..."

The 'affair' along the Itko Kan coastline was intense, horrific, and fascinating. There's a lot of very valuable information nested in this section too. I very much like the steadiness and sturdiness of both Adjunct Lorn and Lt. Paran.

One observation that I'll make about the Malazan military--it really is generally a very professional army made up of very well disciplined and trained soldiers. Respect, trust, and loyalty are earned and also highly valued. Importantly too, among the Malazan soldiers egalitarianism is prized and expected. Men and women serve side-by-side in absolute equality. This was really quite refreshing to find right from the git-go in GotM, and is kinda rare in fantasy fiction.


message 19: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Christopher wrote: "Maggie wrote: "Somewhere in the series, they say that mortals can 'ascend', and get powerful qualities, and when and if they get 'worshippers' those ascendants become a god. This makes it kind of ..."

This is really interesting in light of what I remember from the first book. That will make interesting speculation. Hmm, ... is (insert name here) trying to become a god. (I had no one in particular in mind, well maybe (view spoiler).)


message 20: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Amelia wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Maggie wrote: "Somewhere in the series, they say that mortals can 'ascend', and get powerful qualities, and when and if they get 'worshippers' those ascendants become a god. Th..."

Hmm, I wouldn't say 'trying'! lol He is a real active character in Memories of Ice so you will understand him better there.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Maggie wrote: "Amelia wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Maggie wrote: "Somewhere in the series, they say that mortals can 'ascend', and get powerful qualities, and when and if they get 'worshippers' those ascendants be..."

I couldn't agree more, Maggie! Stay tuned, Amelia; lots more to come with Anomander Rake!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Seeing as we are all kind of talking about the gods, ascendancy, etc.--Another aspect of Erikson's fiction, and it starts off with a bang in GotM, is the significant interaction between the mortals and the gods. Having spent the past few years spending a lot of time reading the great classics of ancient Greek and Roman literature, I am really enjoying this fascinating interplay between the mortal and immortal protagonists of the novel. And just like many of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, the Malazan pantheon of gods/goddesses loves to meddle in the affairs of everyone!


message 23: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I'm looking forward to the next ones. I'm not sure why I didn't keep reading them after I finished the first one. I guess I was actually trying to read FBC's selections. Now I read what I want and if they happen to be the same - well then I can discuss them too. Of course if something I want to read is selected for discussion, that book might be bumped up on my TBR list.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Amelia wrote: "I'm looking forward to the next ones. I'm not sure why I didn't keep reading them after I finished the first one. I guess I was actually trying to read FBC's selections. Now I read what I want a..."

Oh, Amelia, I cannot tell you how much you will enjoy the rest of the books in the series. It just gets better, and better, and better! I am currently one-third the way through the ninth book, Dust of Dreams, and continue to be simply blown away at the quality of Erikson's plotting and writing. One heck of a tale!


message 25: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
What did you all think about the Battle at Pale? Some odd 'coincidences' there...Were the Bridge burners sent into the tunnels on purpose? Did Tayschrenn kill the other mages? If so, was he acting on his own or per Laseens instructions? Were all the battle deaths just another cover up like Itko Kan?


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) I really tried to slow down and carefully re-read the Battle at Pale (Chapter Two). The description of Pale, and of the Malazan mages on their three hills outside of the city, and then the ominous and huge Moon's Spawn hovering over the city was truly cinematic in scale and scope (Just imagine a movie with this scene in it? Wow!). And then when the sorcerous 'battle' begins all Hell breaks loose. These 'warrens' that these mages/sorcerors access in combat is some really serious s**t!

All I really want to say at this point is that you must be a very diligent detective as you sift through the 'facts' of things seen and observed during the battle and its aftermath, as there are multiple viewpoints to process and consider, and some of your narrators may not be completely 'accurate'.

The mage Hairlock is a character that makes my skin crawl; he just seems to reek Evil to me. What happens to him during the battle is horrifying; as is what happens after the battle. Conversely, I like Cadre Mage Tattersail, and she is clearly profoundly confused by what has just happened (although it seems she is ultimately willing to blame High Mage Tayschrenn).

So, it seems very clear that there are several layers of schemes, actions and responses going on here related to Battle of Pale (or, (view spoiler) as it becomes known). Dujek One-Arm, Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners have issues; and it looks like Tayschrenn and the Empress have their own agenda too; and what about Anomander Rake and the Tiste Andii on Moon's Spawn?


message 27: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Well I'm not too far behind. Officially starting today. Looked over maps and cast of characters last night.


message 28: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Christopher wrote: "I really tried to slow down and carefully re-read the Battle at Pale (Chapter Two). The description of Pale, and of the Malazan mages on their three hills outside of the city. I like Cadre Mage Tattersail, and she is clearly profoundly confused by what has just happened (although it seems she is ultimately willing to blame High Mage Tayschrenn).

.."


It seems like everyone is blaming Tayschrenn for this. In later books we see some things from his POV, and so understand him better, but the question of Pale always remains...were the Bridgeburners buried on purpose? Who exactly was Tayschrenn trying to kill? or was he just following orders?

But then we see the scene where Tattersail voices her suspicions to Bellurdan, he reminds her that Tayschrenn protected them...that he was the one who forged the emperor's dream from the emperor's nightmare.
Another clue comes when the surviving Bridgeburners are told by a 'low ranking officer'(who is subsequently found garrotted) that Tayschrenn says no men can be spared to try to dig out their brethren.
When Paran meets Toc, Toc mentions his claw superior was recently found garrotted. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
Claws belong to Laseen...Did Tayschrenn even know of the request?
Plans within plans within plans


message 29: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I thought that the poem or bit at the beginning of chapter two was really interesting. It talks about the two cities that were still standing, and how the strong city fell first. This one made a lot more sense my second time through.

The descriptions of the battle of Pale were really quite vivid. I think one of the images that really stuck out was about the empty armor of all the soldiers who had been there just hours before.

I think that anytime you get such a huge empire built on conquest and assassination, there are always a lot of plans in motion. Those who are power hungry are always coming up with new ways to get more power. Then you throw the gods in the mix with their unknown or bizarre motivations, including plans of retribution and revenge and it get very interesting. Erikson really has created a very complex, rich, realistic world.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Note-- I have an extra nearly-pristine hardcover first edition (Tor publishing) copy of Steven Erikson's Gardens of the Moon that I would like to give away to a reader that would like to start this series and has had difficulty either finding a copy, or simply cannot afford a copy. Please send me a 'private message' and I shall package it up and mail it to you! I cross-posted this in the discussion folder for "GotM First Impressions" too. Cheers! Chris


message 31: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments With respect to the Prologue and what really jumped out at me on this re-reading: The weather vane in the shape of a winged, leering demon, squatting on the head of a pike, squealing as the wind gusted and changed direction. Metaphoric? Also, the Vane is reportedly a century old, and the epigraph states the Malazan Empire is 96 years old. Hmmm...

Oh, and who the heck is Mock?


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Jon wrote: "With respect to the Prologue and what really jumped out at me on this re-reading: The weather vane in the shape of a winged, leering demon, squatting on the head of a pike, squealing as the wind g..."

Mock was the pirate lord that first consolidated power in Malaz City. As I recall, he and his raiders preyed upon shipping in the waters of the region and this became his stronghold. Kellenved, Surly, and the rest of his crew came along and deposed Mock and his pirates. This was the birthplace of the fledgling Malazan Empire.


message 33: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Amelia wrote: "I thought that the poem or bit at the beginning of chapter two was really interesting. It talks about the two cities that were still standing, and how the strong city fell first. This one made a ..."

yeah! and it only just started...lol


message 34: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Jon wrote: "With respect to the Prologue and what really jumped out at me on this re-reading: The weather vane in the shape of a winged, leering demon, squatting on the head of a pike, squealing as the wind g..."

That's a good one to pick up on Jon, Ive noticed whenever any of the novels happen to be back here in Malaz they always mention the weather vane.


message 35: by Sue-Ann (new)

Sue-Ann | 3 comments Really good tip to reread the epigraphs after the chapter, they really do make more sense the second time. I like the one of chapter three about the Thelomen Toblakai, also because it reminds me of Karsa Orlong whom i really like :)
But the poem is said to have come from "Gothos folly", which kinda rings a bell but I don't know how or where...


message 36: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Watson | 46 comments There was one little toss away line that was not a toss away. Right before the girl is possessed she says 'Prod and pull'. Granted she is only repeating what the old woman said, but to my mind, Oponn was already involved.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Jeff wrote: "There was one little toss away line that was not a toss away. Right before the girl is possessed she says 'Prod and pull'. Granted she is only repeating what the old woman said, but to my mind, Opo..."

Jeff, you are spot-on with that observation. Rigga's (the Wax-Witch) comment of, "Prod and Pull" starts off Chapter One, and the 'fishergirl's repeating it ends that section. And more of Oponn to come.


message 38: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 19, 2011 08:18AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) What are everyone's opinions about Erikson's magic scheme in the novel, so far--i.e., the "Warrens"?

I have run across many different 'definitions' of the warrens and the magic used in the series in succeeding novels in the series. Typically, each of these definitions is presented as a conversation among the mages, or one of the mages to a non-mage, or between several who have no skills in magic and just observe the results. Each of these descriptions provides valuable information for the reader.

One of the more interesting descriptions, and perhaps most informative, of the mage's use of the warrens was the following:

"A warren, friends, is like a row of jugs on a shelf behind the bar. Pick one, pull the stopper, and drink. That's what mages do. Drink too much and it kills you. But just enough and you can use it to do magic. Its fuel, but each jug is different--tastes different, does different magic." ["Dust of Dreams", page 802, mmpb edition]

Apparently, most of the mages/sorcerors can typically access one warren, and they develop specialty in that warren (e.g., Tattersail uses "Thyr"--the Path of Light; and healers use "Denul"--the Path of Healing, etc.). Some mages can access more than one warren (e.g., Quick Ben, who can access six or seven warrens!).

I can tell you that, while initially somewhat obtuse, the warrens and magic scheme of the MBotF series does become more clear as one reads. It really is quite sophisticated and elegant.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) And what does everybody think of Hairlock--first, the mage, and now the marionette--one seriously messed up dude, eh? From the first moment we met Hairlock in the book, he scared the crap out of me. He's not playing with a full deck, in my opinion.


message 40: by Raven614 (last edited Feb 19, 2011 07:56AM) (new)

Raven614 | 17 comments Hairlock does seem evil. What makes him interesting is the fact that even though he is a back stabber, crazy, and a murderer the team still has to use him. It taints the team even though they are trying to do good. Like the saying about the road paved with good intentions is bad. Would they be better off without him? But that’s the stab. There is a war going on, bloody business, were murder is "legal". So it stinks all around. Also you don’t want a guy like that loose around, you need to keep you friends close and you enemies closer. I would be stressed out. I hope we see some of that stress with the team as the story continues. Thanks for all the insights Christopher.


message 41: by Raven614 (last edited Feb 19, 2011 08:02AM) (new)

Raven614 | 17 comments I like the ideas about the warrens. Now that I have read your explanation. In my post earlier I was thinking it came from some evil underworld but now it's like a 5th element. Something that maybe a byproduct of the world they live in. anybody ever read the Princess of Mars series were there was this 5th element that they used as fuel and maybe like oxygen. Just rambling.


message 42: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (last edited Feb 19, 2011 07:57PM) (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
I also find the whole 'deck of dragons' system is interesting to me as a foretelling method...there are some good readings in this section.
i think how the deck keeps changing as issues in the world change is very novel, also how people who have a talent with them can see more in a card
I found a good description of how the deck works once...I will try to find and post that.


message 43: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 19, 2011 08:25AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Raven614 wrote: "I like the ideas about the warrens. Now that I have read your explanation. In my post earlier I was thinking it came from some evil underworld but now it's like a 5th element. Something that maybe ..."

Raven, I really like your relationship of the Warrens to the "5th Element", I think you are exactly right. The warrens, seem to me, to be an extra-dimensional region and/or power that mages can 'tune' into. They seem to be discrete (i.e., spatially) regions too, as the areas separating the Warrens is Chaos (or, the Chaos Warren), and it is apparently a very, very bad place for a mage to find him/herself.

Also, regarding Quck Ben's ability to access and control multiple Warrens; well, let me say that in a subsequent novel (not too far in the future), we find out why this is possible--and a great story it is too.


message 44: by Sue-Ann (new)

Sue-Ann | 3 comments I see the warrens as a kind of worlds, with their own inhabitants, climate etc, maybe like parallel dimenions, partly because they are able to travel through the Warrens (eg the Imperial Warren). These worlds seem to have been created and maybe the power which the sorcerers can tap into is a remnant of the power of creation?
But how or why there would be specialisations of this power I can't explain.
This discussion really forces me to read and think more critically, nice!


message 45: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Well, I am muddling along, feeling slimy and covered with body parts! Trying to figure out what's going on and why I should care so far. Is Paran a good guy? I hope so. Haven't met Hairlock yet, but Ammanas seemed pretty creepy in the beginning, giggling while they talked about using that poor girl who was already subject to invasion from the old woman!

But I'm only on page 51.


message 46: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I'm bothered quite a bit about not knowing who the hell these people are and what in hell they're fighting about. The battles and carnage are horrifying and yet no one reacts much. Tattersail seems most affected of anyone so far.

Am still appalled by that girl and what happened to her. Creepy. And no witnesses, no reactions?


message 47: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 19, 2011 02:28PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Well, I am muddling along, feeling slimy and covered with body parts! Trying to figure out what's going on and why I should care so far. Is Paran a good guy? I hope so. Haven't met Hairlock yet..."

Hang in there, Sandra, things become more clear with each page turned.

Yes, I agree that what has happened to Rigga the Wax-Witch and the fishergirl is profoundly horrifying. Most definitely Ammanas (Shadowthrone), Cotillion (the Rope), and the fishergirl are very, very important characters in the novel (and the series). Pay close attention to everything that these three do; for every word said, and action puts significant 'flesh on their bones' as characters. This action along the Itko Kan coast road and plain is a very important event.


message 48: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 19, 2011 02:31PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I'm bothered quite a bit about not knowing who the hell these people are and what in hell they're fighting about. The battles and carnage are horrifying and yet no one reacts much. Tattersail see..."

By the time of the Siege of Pale, the Malazan Armies have been afield in ferocious combat on the continent of Genabackis for a number of years and countless major battles. The army and its soldiers, mages, and leaders are all quite jaded. One gets the sense that it really boils down to just watching each other's backs and trying to stay alive.


message 49: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Oh, I plan to hang in. I will 'til book 3, which I understand is the point or thereabouts where people get hooked. If I hadn't read all the praise and hoopla, though, I might give up for the reasons stated above.


message 50: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (last edited Feb 19, 2011 07:17PM) (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Oh, I plan to hang in. I will 'til book 3, which I understand is the point or thereabouts where people get hooked. If I hadn't read all the praise and hoopla, though, I might give up for the reas..."

I am glad you are giving this a shot sandra...I do hope you appreciate it as much as we do!
and yes, (view spoiler)
And I agree with Chris about the reactions...they have been through so much, they are just numb. But if you notice at one spot they are describing a blood spot on Fiddler...he isnt bleeding at all, and it is clear he had held a dying or injured friend. At another spot they are saying how they tried to round up help to dig out the rest of their company from the collapsed tunnel, and were refused.


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