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AncalagonTheBlack

Malazan: High House Shadow edition

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Oh god, the hobbling. That was so, so, so, awful. But pretty much the whole of DoD leaves a bad taste in my mouth, from the meandering, overlong plotlines to pretentious writing to the very, very random spaceship lizard battle at the end as the "climax" (it has been a while, so I may be misremembering exactly what happened here).

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3 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

Oh god, the hobbling. That was so, so, so, awful. But pretty much the whole of DoD leaves a bad taste in my mouth, from the meandering, overlong plotlines to pretentious writing to the very, very random spaceship lizard battle at the end as the "climax" (it has been a while, so I may be misremembering exactly what happened here).

I remember it felt like the first 500 or so pages was mostly the Bonehunters talking about the big journey they were going to embark on but not actually starting it. I think I would agree it is probably the weakest novel in the series, while Toll The Hounds also had serious pacing issues at least it did have a strong ending. 

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Came back to the series a few months ago and have been gradually re-reading MBOTF since; at first I was not sure if I would be able to get to the finish line, especially since my opinion of the text being turgid was strengthened upon the re-read, but now I'm halfway through Dust of Dreams and I can say it has been a pleasure. 

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On 11/23/2018 at 8:47 PM, williamjm said:

I remember it felt like the first 500 or so pages was mostly the Bonehunters talking about the big journey they were going to embark on but not actually starting it. I think I would agree it is probably the weakest novel in the series, while Toll The Hounds also had serious pacing issues at least it did have a strong ending. 

I think the biggest problem with the Bonehunters plotline is the author's blatant attempt to paint Paran as some kind of genius commander with superhuman will and grit, it's bad because the reader knows it, he knows it and even the damn characters know it.  

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8 hours ago, L’Age d’or said:

I think the biggest problem with the Bonehunters plotline is the author's blatant attempt to paint Paran as some kind of genius commander with superhuman will and grit, it's bad because the reader knows it, he knows it and even the damn characters know it.  

This is a problem across the board. Lots of people talk about how tragic the Chain of Dogs was, but for me it was just authorial schmaltz, constantly telling rather than showing how EPIC and how DOOMED all of this was as shorthand for actually developing character for Coltaine or the moustache-twirling, cowardly Nobles. Whiskeyjack was another example, Erikson's shallow characterization not jiving with how much love everyone on page has for this cipher. 

Part of me wants to re-read Malazan, but then I remember stuff like that above, and how arrogant Erikson regards his series & how some of this stuff apparently gets worse after book 4, and I just. cannot. commit the time.

Edited by kuenjato

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9 hours ago, L’Age d’or said:

I think the biggest problem with the Bonehunters plotline is the author's blatant attempt to paint Paran as some kind of genius commander with superhuman will and grit, it's bad because the reader knows it, he knows it and even the damn characters know it.  

I think Erikson does have some great characters but Paran definitely wasn't one of them, despite all the time spent focusing on him.

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8 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I think Erikson does have some great characters but Paran definitely wasn't one of them, despite all the time spent focusing on him.

I was referring to the Adjunct but I agree all the same, the three Parans rank among the weakest. The youngest being the most loathsome and insufferable character in the books by far.

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15 hours ago, L’Age d’or said:

I was referring to the Adjunct but I agree all the same, the three Parans rank among the weakest. The youngest being the most loathsome and insufferable character in the books by far.

Felisin? By far, Erikson's most three-dimensional, well-developed and logical character. Given her status as the youngest, pampered daughter of a noble house who was then imprisoned and abused, it's quite logical that she wanted to inflict vengeance on the Malazans, but lost faith along the way (not helped by the Whirlwind Goddess trying to possess her). Although it starts off Erikson's increasingly problematic attitude to female characters (I'm noticing a lot more on this reread how many female characters are raped, abused or maimed), at least with Felisin the story was handled quite well.

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I quite liked Ganoes Paran in the first three novels, anyways, and I agree, Felisin was a pretty well-done story. The sister -- Tavore, right? -- was quite a cold fish and never struck me as particularly interesting, though, but I gather most of her story is in the later books I have not read.

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

I quite liked Ganoes Paran in the first three novels, anyways, and I agree, Felisin was a pretty well-done story. The sister -- Tavore, right? -- was quite a cold fish and never struck me as particularly interesting, though, but I gather most of her story is in the later books I have not read.

Most of Tavore's story happens off-page even in the books where she is physically present. I don't think we ever get a 100% clear idea on when and why she decided to use the 14th Army to resolve the Crippled God situation permanently, which is awkward given it is the driving storyline for the entire second half of the series.

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