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Foxhunt

So I just read the first Malazan book

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I thought it was pretty good though it took some getting used to.

The Pros

1. Cool take on magic. very original(at least in my reading experience)

2. Gods and Demons. Always a plus when done right.

3. Some badass characters like Brood, Vorcan, and the Tiste Andii assassin mages.

4. Anomander Rake. Seriously one of my main reasons for reading the book was just to read about him.

Now the Cons

1. Plot was built in a weird way. Personally I don't like something to just happen then have it explained afterward. I like foreshadowing and subtle hints.

2.I still dont get what the hell happened when Paran was warped and fought the Finnest. Can anyone explain?

3.The Jaghut tyrant didn't live up to his name. He was badass fighting the dragons but then is defeated by explosives and some random spirit thing that dragged him away. I mean one of the dragons torn him to pieces and he still lived so why not the same with an explosion.

4. The prison inside of Rake's sword just seemed weird. This is more of a personal preference thing however.

5. I thought each Warren only allowed you control over certain things. For example the Jaghut warren is ice and preservation. So why is it the jaghut Tyrant could use fire as well?

6. Another personal preference thing but the fight with the Lord of the Galayn didn't live up to the hype. It was too short and while it was badass Galayn just didn't seem that big a deal. I mean Rake already rocked his socks off with possibly the most badass dragon skydive ever so he couldn't have much left.

So overall it was enjoyable but I would like help answering these questions of mine. I am not the most alert reader so maybe I missed details or maybe it is explained in later books. If the answers are in other books just leave me with the mysterious "You will see".

Last thing: Do you think i overused badass in this one post? It feels like I broke some invisible word usage barrier or something.

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I'm not a fan of his writing style either, though I've only read the second book in the series. Can't really answer your questions.

I will say that his worldbuilding skills are unmatched, and several characters were quite engaging though i was frustrated by the lack of oppurtunity he gave to delve into them.

You definitely overused badass. Edit your post and find a thesaurus, i won't accept such shoddy wordplay in the literature section.

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I think most of your criticisms are shared by many people who have read the first book, and even further into the series. Many fans of the series are not fans of the first book. Gardens of the Moon was very much a first book, and the second book wasn't written until well later, so it is different in approach and much improved in style.

I'll have to leave answering your questions to someone who is a bit more immersed in the series than I am. Normally the advice though is to continue on with book 2, as it is a big improvement, and if you are still feeling underwhelmed it is probably a good idea to quit.

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Gardens of the Moon is structurally different from the other books because it was originally developed to be a movie. This gets better, and worse, in the other books. Erikson has a tendency to just include whatever cool thing he just thought of, with no regard to how it will fit, and so there's some hacking going on to get it in there. But he's also got a handful of decent long-term plots going on.

Moranth munitions aren't just regular old fireworks, they are magicked somehow, and they react violently with magic (so throwing a sharper onto a mage will make for spectacular results). The House that grabbed Raest is pretty much the bad-assedest thing in Erikson's pantheon of bad-assed things, which explains why it could nab him, particularly when he was put off balance by a Moranth bomb.

Dragnipur is explained further as you continue the series, but I'm not sure it will make it any less weird :)

Omtose Phellack is one of the so-called Elder Warrens, and as a rule they have a more versatile use than more modern Warrens. I think it is because the Elder stuff is meant to service an entire people (Jaghut, Tiste Andii, Imass, and so on) and the newer stuff is there to serve a specific purpose (control of elements like Water, Air, Fire, used for Healing or for mind-control etc.). It could also be that in his path to becoming a Tyrant, Raest mastered another Warren.

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Hmm Erickson will need some getting used to then. I don't mind hacking if it is pulled of well enough but there can't be too much hacking.

And it is not that I was underwhelmed; the book was solid enough. it is just that I heard the books were as good or close to as good as GRRM Martin so I was really excited ( damn you Martin for setting my standards so high). I have the second book with me so if the series really does improve I will plow through it.

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Moranth munitions aren't just regular old fireworks, they are magicked somehow, and they react violently with magic (so throwing a sharper onto a mage will make for spectacular results).

I disagree with this. I think the munitions are sort of anti-magic, in that ascendants and mages can't defend themselves against them. We see several times in the series, instances where ascendants underestimate sappers and end up paying for it. Moranth munitions are what level the playing field between normal humans and ascendants.

As for the use of "badass," it's really hard not to overuse that word when talking about these books.

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There is so much mentioned in GotM that never comes up again, like saying words for magic, Tattersail hears Quick Ben speak all sorts of magical words and is like "Wow, this guy is better than me" and in all the later books, either that's retconned, or magic words are no longer mentioned. A lot of Elder Warrens gave birth to modern Warrens, like the Tiste Andii Warren gave birth to the Warren that Tayschrenn uses, if I recall. The Line between Warrens and Holds are kinda blurred with the Elder Races, and is never really explained. Omtose Phellack was probably once a Hold, but when

SPOILER: iunno some later book
Hood died or whatever happened to him and the Jaghut became Godless
it transitioned over a Warren or something.

I've always wondered what's the deal with the Moranth, they're related to Barghast, and the Barghast look pretty much like Imass but probably taller and less stocky, though not by much, so sorta Eskimo-Neanderthal-ly, but they're way slimmer, which would imply they probably interbred with some Tiste at some point, I really want to know what they look like under their Power Ranger costumes.

SPOILER: I've read up to Toll the Hounds
It really also bothers me, at the rate the Moranth die, like in the later books, they're dying at a rate of like 10,000 an hour, and nobody cares. I mean, Twist is dying in front of everyone, and no one even comforts him , they just keep ordering him around to fly around Malazan troops while his arm is like falling off. I know he looks like a bug, but there's a regular dude under there, god damn it.

Also Quick Ben is way too overpowered at this point

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Hmm Erickson will need some getting used to then. I don't mind hacking if it is pulled of well enough but there can't be too much hacking.

It's not very noticable at the start, but it just gets worse and worse till you hit Toll The Hounds, which is essentially ALL hack.

And it is not that I was underwhelmed; the book was solid enough. it is just that I heard the books were as good or close to as good as GRRM Martin so I was really excited ( damn you Martin for setting my standards so high). I have the second book with me so if the series really does improve I will plow through it.

Nah, not even close to ASOIAF. It had promise at first, but the bad parts have only gotten worse as the series has gone on.

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I haven't read Gardens of the Moon recently, but some points on the overall series:

1. There is a ton of foreshadowing and subtle hints. I didn't like how the ending of GotM came out of nowhere but the other books are a lot better about that. Some hints won't pay off until several books later in the series, and there are hints of the future revelations in GotM too.

2. Anticlimactic combats keep popping up occasionally. I think that's just the way Erikson plots. I guess it would be unrealistic if every single battle in a large group were epic.

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I disagree with this. I think the munitions are sort of anti-magic, in that ascendants and mages can't defend themselves against them. We see several times in the series, instances where ascendants underestimate sappers and end up paying for it. Moranth munitions are what level the playing field between normal humans and ascendants.

Yes, this is true. But there are also several references to inherent magical properties of Moranth munitions. One that springs to mind is:

SPOILER: Toll the Hounds

When Tiserra is examining Torvald's gifted set of munitions. Which admittedly is a special set because they're not just plain clay, but porcelain and whatnot, but still, they're not a-magical.

Much of the world builds on balances, Otataral is the balance to magic etc., so maybe what's inside Moranth munitions is sort of like Otataral. Except explosive.

A lot of Elder Warrens gave birth to modern Warrens, like the Tiste Andii Warren gave birth to the Warren that Tayschrenn uses, if I recall.

Tayschrenn uses Telas on at least one occasion (the Warren of Fire), which is a descendant of Tellann, the Imass Elder Warren of Fire.

I've always wondered what's the deal with the Moranth, they're related to Barghast, and the Barghast look pretty much like Imass but probably taller and less stocky, though not by much, so sorta Eskimo-Neanderthal-ly, but they're way slimmer, which would imply they probably interbred with some Tiste at some point, I really want to know what they look like under their Power Ranger costumes.

The Imass came first, and from them came Barghast (and Humans). Imass are basically Neanderthals, but Barghast are like if you took a Neanderthal and scaled it up 200%. Imass are stockier and shorter than Humans, Barghast are also stockier but taller than Humans.

SPOILER: I forget which book, but one of the early ones

The Moranth are specifically explained as Barghasts (or close cousins) having made peace with the Tiste Edur, the sworn enemy of the Barghast, this is why there is such enmity between Barghast and Moranth. Presumably, the peace-making was accompanied by love-making too. The chitinous armour is really fucking weird, though. There's really nothing comparable except maybe dragon-scales and K'Chain Che'Malle bone-ridges and whatnot.

What I think is that Erikson forgot about the Moranth, or he's leaving them to Esslemont. Or they're both just saving them up for that super-awesome bad-assitude come the final chapter.

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Nah, not even close to ASOIAF. It had promise at first, but the bad parts have only gotten worse as the series has gone on.

I'm sorry but I really disliked Malazan. I bought the first two books because I saw how highly recommended they were on this board and was really disappointed. I read the first one and am trying to force myself through the second one (which, to be fair, is a bit more readable).

The problem is that I don't understand the plot. The names are strange (was it really necessary to put apostrophes in there?), the gods get involved way too often for me to follow and I don't get their motivations, I was really interested in Sorry at first but it wasn't done in a satisfactory way for me, I didn't understand what exactly they were fighting over and why, or who the different factions were. The plot got way too complicated too quickly.

It just made absolutely no sense to me. I like magic and all that fun stuff or I wouldn't enjoy fantasy. But it was just too much in one book - between the gods, the Hounds, the psycho marionette, etc. I like books that I can "believe" at some level and I never "believed" in the world, I was too confused by it.

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Tayschrenn uses Telas on at least one occasion (the Warren of Fire), which is a descendant of Tellann, the Imass Elder Warren of Fire.

Whoa, yeah, I got Andii confused with Imass.

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Omtose Phellack was probably once a Hold, but when
SPOILER: iunno some later book
Hood died or whatever happened to him and the Jaghut became Godless
it transitioned over a Warren or something.

SPOILER: Hood
Do you mean that you think Hood was the Jaghut God before becoming God of the Dead? I may have missed something (very possible with Erikson), but I didn't get that impression - I assumed Hood was just a 'regular' Jaghut who ascended to become a God when he died.

What I think is that Erikson forgot about the Moranth, or he's leaving them to Esslemont. Or they're both just saving them up for that super-awesome bad-assitude come the final chapter.

Isn't Esslemont's next-but-one book meant to be set back around Darujhstan? Potentially the Moranth could play a bigger role in that, I agree they are potentially interesting.

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SPOILER: Hood
Do you mean that you think Hood was the Jaghut God before becoming God of the Dead? I may have missed something (very possible with Erikson), but I didn't get that impression - I assumed Hood was just a 'regular' Jaghut who ascended to become a God when he died.

SPOILER: hood
If you recall, at one point, the Ghost-Bridgeburners(i believe), are traveling through that Hold which holds all them undead-Imass where that one broken Imass's son lives, you know, the Imass who had a kid with Tool's sister, where that son lives with all his undead-but alive looking Imass buddies, and Quick Ben rapes those dragons (before being ported out to fight Icarium), anyway, while they're there, I kinda imagined the Warrens and holds are concentric spheres or something, and they're walking that place up through the bottom of Hood's Warren, if you recall, and before they enter the bottom of Hood's Warren, they find a Jaghut corpse on a throne, in a glacial warren, surrounded by a shit ton of Jaghut corpses, I've always taken this to imply, Hood was the Jaghut god, but as his people died, he became the God of Death.

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I'm sorry but I really disliked Malazan. I bought the first two books because I saw how highly recommended they were on this board and was really disappointed. I read the first one and am trying to force myself through the second one (which, to be fair, is a bit more readable).

The problem is that I don't understand the plot. The names are strange (was it really necessary to put apostrophes in there?), the gods get involved way too often for me to follow and I don't get their motivations, I was really interested in Sorry at first but it wasn't done in a satisfactory way for me, I didn't understand what exactly they were fighting over and why, or who the different factions were. The plot got way too complicated too quickly.

It just made absolutely no sense to me. I like magic and all that fun stuff or I wouldn't enjoy fantasy. But it was just too much in one book - between the gods, the Hounds, the psycho marionette, etc. I like books that I can "believe" at some level and I never "believed" in the world, I was too confused by it.

That is another thing. I still don't get why Oponn got involved. Was it just to fuck with everyone? They didn't seem to have a goal. Also I don't get why Cotillion allowed himself to be taken out of Sorry so easily when he was hell bent on getting back at Laseen. Rake is part of Shadowthrone and he resist Annamas(or whatever his name is) so why not Cotillion.

Eh should I even continue?

Last thing: The guy who said Malazan is better than asoiaf should be shunned now.

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That is another thing. I still don't get why Oponn got involved. Was it just to fuck with everyone? They didn't seem to have a goal. Also I don't get why Cotillion allowed himself to be taken out of Sorry so easily when he was hell bent on getting back at Laseen. Rake is part of Shadowthrone and he resist Annamas(or whatever his name is) so why not Cotillion.

Eh should I even continue?

Last thing: The guy who said Malazan is better than asoiaf should be shunned now.

I wouldn't bother. It keeps going on like that. There are some interesting ideas seeded throughout but he can't plot and his characters are rarely developed enough for me to give a shit.

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Count me in as a big fan of MBotF. I wouldn't say it's better than GRRM; in fact, I hesitate to compare them at all, considering that their stories are worlds and worlds apart. However, I will say that Erikson could be producing incredibly books and consistently wonderful prose if he would just let an editor at his books, or even self-edit. As is, I enjoy the series and I like his writing, but he could be so much more if he let himself.

Anywho.

2.I still dont get what the hell happened when Paran was warped and fought the Finnest. Can anyone explain?

3.The Jaghut tyrant didn't live up to his name. He was badass fighting the dragons but then is defeated by explosives and some random spirit thing that dragged him away. I mean one of the dragons torn him to pieces and he still lived so why not the same with an explosion.

Well if you recall the same thing did happen with the explosion - Raest was reforming in the bottom of the crater. You'll learn a lot more about Houses of the Azath, but suffice to say that they are sufficiently powerful to contain these powerful beings. Yet this was a new, and therefore weak Azath House - this is why it needed Paran to defend it. So he gets pulled in and fights the Finnest (which was in the garden) and prevents it from destroying the House. The House then grows stronger, and sucks in Raest whenever he is weakened by the Moranth munitions.

4. The prison inside of Rake's sword just seemed weird. This is more of a personal preference thing however.

So, so much more about Dragnipur later on in the series. It will make more sense later, but won't necessarily be any cooler (heh - unless you're under the wagon).

5. I thought each Warren only allowed you control over certain things. For example the Jaghut warren is ice and preservation. So why is it the jaghut Tyrant could use fire as well?

This is never explained fully, but basically the idea is that each Warren is capable of manipulating certain kinds of energy, but they can also just kind of be let loose into purely destructive energy. This gets explored some later on (especially in Quick Ben's POV inside Capustan, when he channels Serc to make himself light enough to fly), but ... well, it's not really clear.

There also seems to be a difference between "raw" magic and "ritual" magic. Basically, you can cast a spell with sticks and runes and incantations and such, but these tend to be very powerful or very specific things, or you can just kind of let the energy of the Warren come through in bursts. Or a combo thereof. But GotM's ideas of chain words and such are quickly dropped - don't expect to see them anymore.

6. Another personal preference thing but the fight with the Lord of the Galayn didn't live up to the hype. It was too short and while it was badass Galayn just didn't seem that big a deal. I mean Rake already rocked his socks off with possibly the most badass dragon skydive ever so he couldn't have much left.

The point of the anti-climactic fights with the Galain Lord and Raest (especially Raest) is exactly that they are anticlimactic. As K'rul tells Raest, in that world even mortals can kill them. Erikson is saying that yes there are all these badass monsters out there... but even a plucky soldier can kill it.

This gets carried to EXTREME lengths later in the series, by Erikson and Esslemont both:

SPOILER: examples

RotCG when the random Seguleh Malazan soldier is able to hold off one of the most feared creatures in the world, Ryllanderas, without the aid of magic or allies.

RG? maybe? whichever book it is when suddenly the random autistic soldier is able to defeat the massed power of the Tiste Edur and Crippled God single-handedly, after being mentioned maybe a grand total of one time before that book.

Sinn, saving them from the firestorm.

Etc... etc... etc...

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Arrgh can't stand anticlimactic fights. But if other stuff is explained later I will give it a shot. My final decision will be when I finish Deadhouse Gate. Thanks for the help good ladies and gentlemen.

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