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Bakker LV - Nau's Ark

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Random aside, did anyone else feel like reading 'The False Sun' way in advance of 'The Unholy Consult' kind of spoil a. lot of that book's power?

I love TFS, and it was a great read. But upon reading TUC, I realized so much of Kellhus's talk with Mek/The Dunsult hinged on this big revelation of the Inverse Fire and what it means/does to a person. Whilst reading TUC, it was already stuff I knew so nothing really struck me as particularly gripping until the Ajokli reveal. I guess that scene would have felt a lot more revelatory if one hadn't read TFS beforehand...the entire inner nature of the Consult and their goals/methods would have been revealed. As it was, I remember feeling disappointed that I didn't get much more info than I'd already known in the grand finale. 

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13 hours ago, unJon said:

Which of us truly knows who the No-God is?

 

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Truth shines!

The trial broke you.

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On 8/29/2018 at 10:26 PM, Darth Richard II said:

Didn't that inference come from a crazy fan though?

Nah, I'm thinking of The Great Ordeal, during Achamian/Mimara's journey, they are discussing his dreams, and arguing whether Kellhus "sent" Mimara. Eventually, Mimara thinks something along the lines of:

"She could see her stepfather, standing in Achamians room, seeing the scattering of maps and scratchings" or something of that nature.

Edit: found on Google Books, and I was wrong. This is Achamian thinking Kellhus came into his tower, Mimara is skeptical.

https://books.google.com/books?id=YAAuDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT11&lpg=PT11&dq=mimara+bakker+"prophet+of+the+past"&source=bl&ots=iPieWpc_1U&sig=Mpsh4NJnXCShI-Pg3oqmvKirAds&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjrpqLC95fdAhVdHDQIHR6EA7MQ6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=snippet&q=tower&f=false

 

 

Edited by redjako

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23 hours ago, IllusiveMan said:

Random aside, did anyone else feel like reading 'The False Sun' way in advance of 'The Unholy Consult' kind of spoil a. lot of that book's power?

I love TFS, and it was a great read. But upon reading TUC, I realized so much of Kellhus's talk with Mek/The Dunsult hinged on this big revelation of the Inverse Fire and what it means/does to a person. Whilst reading TUC, it was already stuff I knew so nothing really struck me as particularly gripping until the Ajokli reveal. I guess that scene would have felt a lot more revelatory if one hadn't read TFS beforehand...the entire inner nature of the Consult and their goals/methods would have been revealed. As it was, I remember feeling disappointed that I didn't get much more info than I'd already known in the grand finale. 

I wonder if we could say that going into TCU we already had a good idea of the what, where, and who of the Inverse Fire.  We just didn't exactly know the "how," and the reveal of the "how" didn't have all that much more to it than we'd already speculated.  

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On 8/30/2018 at 6:37 PM, IllusiveMan said:

Random aside, did anyone else feel like reading 'The False Sun' way in advance of 'The Unholy Consult' kind of spoil a. lot of that book's power?

I love TFS, and it was a great read. But upon reading TUC, I realized so much of Kellhus's talk with Mek/The Dunsult hinged on this big revelation of the Inverse Fire and what it means/does to a person. Whilst reading TUC, it was already stuff I knew so nothing really struck me as particularly gripping until the Ajokli reveal. I guess that scene would have felt a lot more revelatory if one hadn't read TFS beforehand...the entire inner nature of the Consult and their goals/methods would have been revealed. As it was, I remember feeling disappointed that I didn't get much more info than I'd already known in the grand finale. 

yes and no, After the Great Ordeal came out, I had a poorly articulated theory that the entirety of the False Sun and it's focus on the Inverse Fire was a gigantic meaningless red herring. 

the rationale? because there's no way Bakker would write a seven book series hinging on an idea--The Inverse Fire--articulated twice in the first six books and only elaborated in an online short story about 3% of his book audience would ever find and read.  there's no way any writer would be that actively bad, rather the false sun, is just the author playing around with theological "dead ends" in a really fun way for readers.

Well that was ass-backwards.

The point of comparison to one of the greatest writing talents of Bakker's generation would be horcruxes, which are carefully not mentioned until the penultimate novel (but have been present and significant in three of the preceding books), but that penultimate novel dedicates the entirety of the "A" plot thread to teasing out the concept, extrapolating the implications, beginning a quest centered around them and setting up the pathways to the finale.

It's sort of like about oh six or seven years ago, I lurked on some of the early "heresy" threads in the DWD forum here, and was utterly baffled that those early threads were more or less dedicated to the concept that the Night King was going to be the big-bad of the remainder of the ASOIAF book series, my thinking being, "really, a single legend mentioned once in the third book is going to be a crucial part of the narrative going forward? that doesn't fit." yeah... but that is more understandable because it would be more a result of gardening, vs Bakker or Rowling's much more involved everything-planned-out approach to writing.

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On 9/2/2018 at 3:44 PM, lokisnow said:

yes and no, After the Great Ordeal came out, I had a poorly articulated theory that the entirety of the False Sun and it's focus on the Inverse Fire was a gigantic meaningless red herring. 

the rationale? because there's no way Bakker would write a seven book series hinging on an idea--The Inverse Fire--articulated twice in the first six books and only elaborated in an online short story about 3% of his book audience would ever find and read.  there's no way any writer would be that actively bad, rather the false sun, is just the author playing around with theological "dead ends" in a really fun way for readers.

Well that was ass-backwards.

The point of comparison to one of the greatest writing talents of Bakker's generation would be horcruxes, which are carefully not mentioned until the penultimate novel (but have been present and significant in three of the preceding books), but that penultimate novel dedicates the entirety of the "A" plot thread to teasing out the concept, extrapolating the implications, beginning a quest centered around them and setting up the pathways to the finale.

It's sort of like about oh six or seven years ago, I lurked on some of the early "heresy" threads in the DWD forum here, and was utterly baffled that those early threads were more or less dedicated to the concept that the Night King was going to be the big-bad of the remainder of the ASOIAF book series, my thinking being, "really, a single legend mentioned once in the third book is going to be a crucial part of the narrative going forward? that doesn't fit." yeah... but that is more understandable because it would be more a result of gardening, vs Bakker or Rowling's much more involved everything-planned-out approach to writing.

As someone who read Harry Potter for the first time very recently, I would be interested in hearing you expound about why you feel Rowling constitutes one of the greatest writing talents of Bakker's generation. I thought there was a very well-crafted continuity in the books (and god the film series, which I'm now going through with my girlfriend, is fucking awful in comparison) but, honestly, I saw it more as Rowling planting seeds that would be easy to turn into plot hooks later on as opposed to necessarily planning everything in advance. I suppose we can't really know her exact thought process, but I keep coming back to these threads to read people's theories, and in the case of TSA they ended up being immensely more satisfying than the actual series, so...

On another note...

Just the other day, I was going through the original trilogy again in Spanish. I've taken a class in Ancient Greek since my last read through and was delighted to pick up some fun references, and while there are a few glaring errors in the Spanish translation, on the whole it's pretty solid. Though unfortunately it doesn't seem like the second series was ever translated... at least, I couldn't find anything about it.

I noticed something in Leweth's dialogue as well that has probably been mentioned already, but I thought it was worth bringing up. He mentions in his dialogue to Kellhus that he felt as if the forest beckoned him, when explaining his exile from Atrithau: I thought it might be the most explicit kernel of information to suggest Moenghus prepared the way for Kellhus' initial journey into the world. Anyone have any thoughts?

Also, I'm considering digging into the fantasy genre again. Is Malazan worth the ride? How does it compare to Prince of Nothing? What else is out there and worth eating up?

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11 hours ago, odium said:

I noticed something in Leweth's dialogue as well that has probably been mentioned already, but I thought it was worth bringing up. He mentions in his dialogue to Kellhus that he felt as if the forest beckoned him, when explaining his exile from Atrithau: I thought it might be the most explicit kernel of information to suggest Moenghus prepared the way for Kellhus' initial journey into the world. Anyone have any thoughts?

It is definitely something we have discussed before.  There really isn't anything textual to point directly one way or another, but it is a plausible reading that Moe had something to do with conditioning Kellhus' path.  Another option, of course, is that something else (Ajokli, Anagkë, et. al.) was responsible for Kellhus' "favored" journey into the Three Seas.

If you want Moe the Elder's TTT to be the "prime mover" of events in Darkness, it is a eminently plausible that he, knowing the Shortest Path he took and so Kellhus would also take, would place some safeguards to assure that Kellhus would walk completely on Conditioned Ground in reaching him.  It's a little hard  to believe that Leweth has been out there for something like 30 years though, at that point, being "in his middle years" would have made his relationship with his wife either something from a young age, or very short.  That's not out of the realm of plausibility, but also not anything that lends credence either.

If you take a wider look, post-TAE and the more "direct" involvement of the Hundred, it isn't all that implausible that some external force was actually Conditioning Kellhus' journey.  The likely culprit here would be Ajokli, since he has most to gain from Kellhus actually making it to where he "needs" to go.

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Moenghus could have sent Leweth at some indeterminate point. Honestly though I guess there is no way of being sure if it's a plot hole or what, but Kellhus' miraculous Sranc-free journey from Ishual is pretty convenient

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17 hours ago, odium said:

Also, I'm considering digging into the fantasy genre again. Is Malazan worth the ride? How does it compare to Prince of Nothing? What else is out there and worth eating up?

Malazan is either incredible or fairly horrible depending on what you like about fantasy. If you like high fantasy with a LOT of very cool worldbuilding, Malazan will probably be awesome for you; if you are more character and plot-driven, probably not. Abercrombie is also quite good, and has significantly better characters. 

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Also, I'm considering digging into the fantasy genre again. Is Malazan worth the ride? How does it compare to Prince of Nothing? What else is out there and worth eating up?

 

Malazan is better than PoN/AE in several key areas, being far less grimdark-for-the-sake of it and certainly doing far, far better by its female characters. It also does tonal variation better, it's certainly much funnier and it doesn't go as hardcore mega-grimdark (although it gets pretty grim on occasion). It's also philosophical - as much, if not more, than Bakker - but Erikson addresses different concepts, ideas and themes in each book, so it doesn't get quite as repetitive.

It's certainly much less focused than PoN/AE and the change of continents/cast of characters/magic system every couple of books may get wearying, but it's also structurally stronger. Each book has its own primary storyline resolved in that volume with only subplots and characters recurring between books. One slight issue with that is that the cumulative weight of all of these subplots gets bit crazy later on, when it feels like there's 400 subplots going on at once which might not have much to do with the primary narrative of the novel at hand and minor characters show up to do important shit and you can't remember if they're new character or if they had a bit-part five novels earlier.

The worldbuilding also isn't as good. Everyone says how great Malazan's worldbuilding is, and it's certainly original and intriguing, but it's also very broad and fairly shallow. The immense depth of history present in Earwa, that gets revisited and fleshed out book by book, doesn't really happen in Malazan. You can write a 150-page book on the history of the Earwa continent (I know, because I did), but you'd struggle to do that with all eight of the continents in the Malazan world, even with considerably more books available.

Overall, I'd say that Malazan is a superior series, but also a rather different one (PoN/AE sits roughly halfway between ASoIaF and Malazan on the crazy-ass stakes, I'd say; Malazan is epic fantasy turned to 11).

 

Quote

 

Abercrombie is also quite good, and has significantly better characters. 

 

 

I'm not sure I'd fully agree. No character in Abercrombie comes close to the tragic power of a character like Coltaine or Itkovian, and I'd rank Karsa - for all his objectionableness - as a more interesting character than the Bloody Nine. Abercrombie was definitely much more successful in making the reader fully aware of the Bloody Nine's nature by the end of the first six books though, whilst some Erikson fans definitely have a blind spot in acknowledging their favourite barbarian character is actually a really nasty piece of work.

I'm also not convinced that Abercrombie has a female character as complex and as well-realised as Felisin.

Both Erikson and Abercrombie are united in having scenes designed specifically to mock Terry Goodkind though, which is a definite plus for both (Bakker has't produced one, as yet, although he is also aware of the lunacy of the Yeard).

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Thanks to both of you. Are the Lord Foul's Bane books any good? And I realize historical fantasy is a quite different flavor, but I also saw the books but I Maurice Druon flouted by Martin himself as the historical Game of Thrones, curious to know if anyone has read and enjoyed them.

I recall seeing your posts on the history of Earwa at some point, Wertz! And also I think I've noticed you posting over at RPS now and again. The Internet is a small place after all.

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I was saying that Abercrombie's characters are better than Bakker's - though I also think they're much better than Malazan with about two exceptions total. 

The Thomas Covenant series are groundbreaking in some ways - they're the first real deconstruction of the fantasy storyline before it was cool - but they're also quite horrible in their own, special ways, and Donaldson really likes making things obtuse at times. I would try the first one, and if it doesn't grab you I'd recommend staying away from it. You'll know quickly if it's your cup or not. 

I really liked Abraham's Dagger and Coin series and his 4 seasons quadrilogy, but others think he's a bit shallow. The books are short, though, so they're easy to get through. Dagger and Coin in particular has one of the best villains I've read in a long time, and Shadow in Summer has one of the more unique settings in a while.

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@Kalbear:  I don't think you give Abraham his due when it comes to the "Seasons" series (just saying they're short and easy to get through.)  While the Dagger and Coin series was certainly enjoyable, the Seasons series was exquisite in the delicacy of its composition.  I feel it really stands alone (in my estimation, at least) when it comes to great works of Art.    

Just an observation.  That series really sticks with me. 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 5:35 PM, Werthead said:

 You can write a 150-page book on the history of the Earwa continent (I know, because I did),

 

Whut?!

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14 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

The answer is the same it always is, go read all of Robin Hobb. 

Abraham is top notch too. 

I am currently nearing completion of the Farseer trilogy.

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14 hours ago, Tears of Lys said:

Whut?!

Just so.

 

Quote

 

The answer is the same it always is, go read all of Robin Hobb. 

 

Closing in on finishing The Golden Fool, and thus at the exact halfway point of her over-arcing series, and I think it's safe to say that if you like slow-burn, low-key, introspective, very character-focused, decidedly non-epic fantasy (or rather, a fantasy where all the epic stuff happens off-screen), Hobb is definitely the writer to go for. If you're into widescreen epic fantasy with a mix of introspection, action, magic, small scenes, big stuff, she's not quite writing in that style.

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9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Just so.

 

Closing in on finishing The Golden Fool, and thus at the exact halfway point of her over-arcing series, and I think it's safe to say that if you like slow-burn, low-key, introspective, very character-focused, decidedly non-epic fantasy (or rather, a fantasy where all the epic stuff happens off-screen), Hobb is definitely the writer to go for. If you're into widescreen epic fantasy with a mix of introspection, action, magic, small scenes, big stuff, she's not quite writing in that style.

Too damn cool!  Are you selling it? Do you mind if I download it to peruse at my leisure? 

I've always thought the test of the worth of a fantasy world is how inspirational it is to other writers/artists/etc. 

Although, I haven't seen anyone put images and background to Abraham's Seasons series, and I put that up on a pretty high pedestal. 

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15 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Pretty damn cool... had not seen that before Wert.  And I'm betting I'd enjoy it more than most of TUC.  :( 

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I've only read the first Hobb book and thought it was just OK but have certainly seen much love on the board which has always made me think about jumping back in.

In what little Malazan that I read the description that the world building is broad but shallow feels right to me.  

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