Thu
Sep 15 2011 3:02pm

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: House of Chains, Chapter Seventeen

Welcome to the Malazan Re-read of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover Chapter Seventeen of House of Chains by Steven Erikson (HoC).

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A forum thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

Chapter Seventeen

SCENE ONE

Karsa makes his flint sword, feeling his companions in it: “Bairoth Gild, whose cutting irony seemed to have somehow infused the weapon, as had Delum Thord’s fierce loyalty.” Done, he faces the Seven, now in their “battered, broken bodies” and carrying their own swords. Urugal tells him “We are now free of the Ritual’s bindings. The chains, Karsa Orlong, are broken.” Another informs Karsa his weapon has been invested with Tellann and will not break. Karsa, though, points out broken weapons in the caverns and Urugal admits “Elder sorcery . . . Inimical warrens. Our people have fought many wars.” Karsa asks which battle killed them but Urugal says it doesn’t matter: “We have known wars beyond counting, and what have they achieved? The Jaghut were doomed to extinction — we but hastened the inevitable. Other enemies announced themselves and stood in our path. We were indifferent to their causes, none of which was sufficient to turn us aside. And so we slaughtered them. Again and again. Wars without meaning, wars that changed virtually nothing. To live is to suffer. To exist — even as we do — is to resist.” Siballe picks up: “This is all that was learned . . . every creature that ever lived — all share the same struggle. Being resists unbeing. Order wars against the chaos of dissolution, of disorder. . This is the only worthy truth, the greatest of all truths. What do the gods themselves worship, but perfection? The unattainable victory over nature, over nature’s uncertainty. There are many words for this struggle. Order against chaos, structure against dissolution, light against dark, life against death. But they all mean the same thing.” Another continues: “The ranag has fallen lame. It is distanced from the herd. Yet walks on its wake . . . time will heal. Or weaken. Two possibilities. But the lame ranag knows naught but stubborn hope. For that is its nature. The ay have seen it and will close . . . . the ay attack all at once . . . Until the ranag is dragged down. And stubborn hope gives way, Karsa Orlong. It gives way, as it always must, to mute inevitability.” When Karsa says the Crippled God, their new master, would “harbor the lame beast . . . offer it a haven,” Urugal agrees and Siballe adds: “Perfection is an illusion . . . mortal and immortal alike are striving for what cannot be achieved. Our new master seeks to alter the paradigm, Karsa Orlong. A third force, to change for ever the eternal war between order and dissolution.” Karsa says “A master demanding the worship of imperfection,” and Siballe says “yes.”

Karsa tells them they are not gods, saying, “To be a god is to know the burden of believers. Did you protect? You did not. Did you offer comfort, solace? Were you possessed of compassion? Even pity? To the Teblor, you were slave-masters, eager and hungry . . . expecting cruel sacrifices — all to feed your own desires. You were the Teblor’s unseen chains. And you woman [Siballe] were the taker of children.” Siballe points out they were “imperfect” ones who would have died otherwise and argues the children don’t regret it. To what Karsa replies “No . . . the regret remains with the mothers and fathers who surrendered them. No matter how brief a child’s life, the love of the parents is a power that should not be denied. And know this Siballe, it is a power immune to imperfection . . . Worship imperfection you said. A metaphor you made real by demanding that those children be sacrificed. Yet you were — and remain — unmindful of the most crucial gift that comes from worship. You have no understanding of what it is to ease the burdens of those who would worship you. But even that is not your worst crime. No. You then gave us your own burdens.” When he asks Urugal what the Teblor had done to deserve that, Urugal says “You failed,” and Siballe adds “We too failed, once, long ago . . . Such things cannot be undone. Thus, you may surrender to it, and so suffered beneath its eternal torment. Or you can choose to free yourself of the burden . . . our answer to you is simple: to fail is to reveal a flaw. Face that revelation . . . It is done. Celebrate it! That is our answer, and indeed is the answer shown to us by the Crippled God.” Karsa says he’ll now give his answer, and he cuts Siballe in half. The other six do nothing and Karsa tells them “Her army of foundlings will follow me . . . You will leave my people — leave the glade. You are done with us . . . If you ever appear before me again, I will destroy you . . . You used us. You used me. And for my reward what did you just offer? . . . . A new set of chains. . . .Get out.” They leave Karsa alone with Siballe, who is still sentient. She asks if he’ll leave her there and when he asks if there is “no oblivion” for her, she answers, “long ago a sea surrounded these hills. Such as sea would free me to the oblivion you speak of.” When he asks of her master, she informs him the Crippled God has abandoned her — “it would appear there are acceptable levels of imperfection and unacceptable levels” — and Karsa says he is “another god that understands nothing of what it means to be a god.” He puts her head, shoulder, and arm into his pack and leaves the cavern, just as Trull and Onrack rise up at its entrance. He uses the flat of his sword to sweep them off the edge and leaves.

SCENE TWO

As they recover from their fall, Onrack senses the Tellann warren still active in the cavern and rushes into the cave then into the Tellann fire to fuse Siballe’s other arm to himself. Trull eventually catches up just as Onrack finishes, and Onrack tells him the renegades have just left and are close. They leave just as Trull realizes Onrack now has two arms.

SCENE THREE

Karsa enters the edge of the Jhag Odhan and feels a kinship with it: “Its scale matched his own in ways he could not define. Thelomen Toblakai have known this place, have walked it before me.” He kills a deer and as he continues comes across an emaciated Jaghut sitting in a circle of flattened grass beside a brazier. The Jaghut — Cynnigig — offers an exchange of deer meat for his cooking fire and Karsa agrees. Cynnigig then tells him Aramala contacted him and so he came to meet Karsa. He informs him that both he and Aramala had helped the T’lan Imass against the Tyrants. Cynnigig says he’s going to bring Karsa to another Jaghut — Phyrlis — who will summon the Jaghut horses — they will come to her because it was “by her hand and her will that the horses came into being.” They converse and at one point, Karsa tells Cynnigig “I care not for fame, I did once . . . I changed my mind.” Cynnigig explains how he hid using magic, but not Omtose Phellack since the T’lan Imass would have sensed it and there is no law that a Jaghut can only use Omtose. On a tangent, he mentions the Forkrul Assail: “saving us the bloody recourse of finding a Forkrul Assail to adjudicate, and believe me, such adjudication is invariably bloody. Rarely indeed is anyone satisfied. Rarer still that anyone is left alive. Is there justice in such a thing? Oh yes, perhaps the purest justice of all.” He continues in a torrent of words, discussing the “preening empires that have risen only to then fall . . .Pomposity choking on dust, these are cycles unending among short-lived creatures” and other things.

SCENE FOUR

Cynnigig takes Karsa to a lone huge tree atop a hill, telling him the tree is “An Elder species . . . A sapling when an inland sea hissed salty sighs over this land . . . Hundreds of thousands [of years old]. Once these were the dominant trees across most of the world. All things know their time, and when that time is past they vanish.” This one has not because Phyrlis is part of it: “The tree and all its branches were wrapped in spiders’ webs that somehow remained entirely translucent . . . and beneath that glittering shroud, the face of a Jaghut stared . . . the tree had indeed grown around her, yet a single shaft of wood emerged from just behind her right collarbone, rejoining the main trunk along the side of her head.” Cynnigig tells Karsa that Phyrlis was a baby when she and her mother were caught by T’lan Imass. Phyrlis was spitted on a spear that was then shoved into the ground and the spear took part of her life-spirit and was reborn as a tree, whose own life-spirit helped keep her alive. When Karsa asks what her connection is to the horses, she says her blood gives them their longevity, which is lucky since they breed too infrequently to maintain themselves. She is happy to hear Karsa’s news that his people still breed them, as the Odhan horses are being hunted to extinction by the Trell. When Karsa asks if she means people like Mappo, she says yes, “Mappo Runt, who travels with Icarium. Icarium, who carries arrows made from my branches. Who, each time he visits me, remembers naught of the previous encounter. Who asks, again and again, for my heartwood, so that he may fashion from it a mechanism to measure time, for my heartwood alone can outlive all other constructs . . . It would kill me [so] instead I bargain. A strong shaft for a bow. Branches for arrows.” Karsa wonders if she has no defenses and when she replies none do against Icarium, he tells her he fought him once and now that he has a better sword, the outcome will be different next time, a statement that causes some alarm to the Jaghut. She then calls for the horses, telling Karsa usually no more than a dozen or so come, but soon a herd of 10-15,000 arrives. Cynnigig tells Karsa they have come not in answer to Phyrlis’ call but to Karsa’s, though neither of the Jaghut knows how or why. Phyrlis tells him the horses can smell the bloodoil in him: “It courses in your veins Karsa Orlong. Bloodwood has not existed in the Jhag Odhan for tens of thousands of years. Yet these horses remember.” Karsa picks out a stallion and names him Havoc, and then the herd leaves. Cynnigig says he had never imagined Thelomen Toblakai horse warriors and asks Karsa why the Teblor haven’t conquered all of Genebackis. Karsa answers one day they will and he will lead them. Cynnigig says then he and Phyrlis have “witnessed the birth of infamy” to which Karsa replies in his mind “Witness? Yes, you are witness. Even so, what I, Karsa Orlong, shall shape, you cannot imagine. No one can.”

SCENE FIVE

Cynnigig sits with Phyrlis after Karsa has left. The two discuss how she did a good job disguising the remains of the Azath House under her. Cynnigig calls the T’lan Imass fools for driving the spear into a House’s ground, but Phyrlis says, “What did they know of Houses, Cynnigig? Creatures of caves and hide tents. Besides, it was already dying and had been for years. Fatally wounded. Oh, Icarium was on his knees by the time he finally delivered the mortal blow, raving with madness. And had not his Toblakai companion taken that opportunity to strike him unconscious . . .. “ Cynnigig finishes the thought, “He would have freed his father . . . [who] had no desire to be saved. And so the House died, weakening the fabric . . . “ Phyrlis finishes for him “sufficiently for the warren to be torn apart.” She asks if Cynnigig sensed the six T’lan Imass standing beyond the House walls and he said yes, “Servants of the Crippled God, now, the poor things. They would tell [Karsa] something . . . They possess knowledge with which they seek to guide the Thelomen Toblakai.” He thinks they stayed back because of the House, but she says the House is dead; it was Karsa they feared, not the House. Cynnigig says then perhaps they aren’t so foolish, those Imass.

 

Amanda’s Reaction to Chapter Seventeen

Hmm, the Prayer of Giving at the start of Chapter Seventeen talks about one of the seven faces in the rock being Unfound. Mother to the Toblakai? I’m not sure what this refers to. Ah! Just read further, and of course it is ‘Siballe.

It’s quite profound how progression is seen as coming forward from the Stone Age, and yet here we have the way that Karsa feels about stone: “But wood and stone were the words of the hands, the sacred shaping of will.”

We’ve seen before the way that Tool — a T’lan Imass — worked with stone, and there are many similarities here as Karsa creates his weapon.

And a pointed remark on the fact that Karsa is learning to shape and bend with circumstance: “To fight with such a weapon would demand changes to the style with which Karsa was most familiar.” We’ve already seen evidence of this change in other areas.

I’m sensing that here is the forging of an important sword — I imagine the forging of Dragnipur was just as considered. “The sword commanded all.” This is a demanding weapon. (And, no, I didn’t mean the inadvertent euphemism there.)

Free of the Ritual’s binding? You know, this Ritual didn’t seem to be as watertight as was previously believed! When they say that the chains are broken — well, only one sort of chain. As far as I am concerned, the seven are still bound in chains to another master.

Ouch — Karsa has little respect for the T’lan Imass, does he? “I walked upon stairs made of your kin. I have seen your kind, fallen in such numbers as to defy comprehension.”

Heh, with these words Erikson approaches traditional epic fantasy: “There are many words for this struggle. Order against chaos, structure against dissolution, light against dark, life against death.”

And suddenly he veers away again... “Our new master seeks to alter the paradigm, Karsa Orlong. A third force, to change for ever the eternal war between order and dissolution.”

Here again is more evidence of the changes in Karsa. I personally like his view of godhood and what it should mean. By that definition, we certainly know some people in the series who aren’t gods but probably should be! Is this what the process of Ascendancy seeks to accomplish? “To be a god is to know the burden of believers. Did you protect? You did not. Did you offer comfort, solace? Were you possessed of compassion? Even pity?”

I’m glad that Karsa has made clear his position, that he refuses to be shackled by the Crippled God. Bill is always right! [Bill: I’m showing this to my wife!] I just need to keep reading and have a little faith. I love Karsa’s deadpan acceptance of the fact that ‘Siballe remains alive, although, y’know, I could have stood to see her swept to oblivion after what she did.

The whole “I go in search of a horse” reminds me a little of the “I’m going to see a man about a dog.” *grins* [Bill: Oh, just wait for that one.]

Has Onrack stolen ‘Siballe’s body? Because it seems as though Karsa just nicked the head — for what reason, I’m not yet sure.

Sometimes there are just certain paragraphs or sentences that make me happy to be reading these books, and sometimes they are perhaps something that no one else would identify. Here is one that I love: “He knew, suddenly, that this land would capture his heart with its primal siren call. Its scale...matched his own, in ways he could not define. Thelomen Toblakai have known this place, have walked it before me. A truth, though he was unable to explain how he knew it to be so.”

Oh, I LOVE how he names this new sword: Bairoth Delum. How appropriate!

I think I like the fact that this sword’s first kill was born of necessity and not of rage. It gives the blade a measure of dignity that might otherwise be lacking. And is there something in the fact that the creature killed is a fleet and clever type of deer?

Cynnigig is one of those great characters that absolutely abound in this series — one of those characters that you feel an instinctive affinity to and appreciation of. And we have another verbose and humorous individual here!

“It was, by and large, by her hand and her will that the horses came into being.” Is she some type of god of the Jaghut people?

Here, with Phyrlis, we have the now-familiar tale of woe between T’lan Imass and Jaghut, but, unlike other occasions, this one has a slightly more happy ending — or at least an ending of growth and renewal. And a few more hints about Icarium; an emphasis on the heartbreak of his neverending cycle of forgetting what has gone before. And the rather foreboding: “Have you no means to defend yourself, then?”

“Against Icarium, no-one has, Karsa Orlong.”

The Jhag horses are attracted by the otataral that exists in Karsa’s veins from his use of bloodwood and blood-oil? Heh, I absolutely adore horses, in every shape and form, and these Jhag horses are noble specimens indeed. I cannot wait to hear more about them and how they fit into the story.

The warren that was sundered when Icarium attacked the Azath House — was this that same warren that we’ve seen fragments from all over the place? (I’m pretty sure I’ve asked that before and received an answer, but I’m damned if I can remember!)

And we now move onto Book Four, which is, I’m guessing, where all these very disparate storylines start coming together.

 

Bill’s Reaction to Chapter Seventeen

There certainly are starting to be a lot of unbound T’lan Imass running around.

I like how Karsa punctures their grand statements:

“The Warren of Tellann has found your sword Karsa Orlong. It shall never shatter.”

Karsa: “There are broken weapons in the caverns beyond.”

Hard to stay pompous around Karsa Orlong.

“Our people have fought many wars.” Sad to think that could end up as the tagline for the T’lan Imass.

Or this:

“We have known wars beyond counting, and what have they achieved? The Jaghut were doomed to extinction — we but hastened the inevitable. Other enemies announced themselves and stood in our path. We were indifferent to their causes, none of which was sufficient to turn us aside. And so we slaughtered them. Again and again. Wars without meaning, wars that changed virtually nothing.”

“Indifference.” If “compassion” is, as I’ve argued repeatedly perhaps the most important word in this series, the driving guide, then “indifference” is the darker flip side of compassion, maybe even more so than cruelty. And so what a horrible light to cast the T’lan Imass in. And by one of their own — think of the burden of this realization. Of course, one always has to question these pronouncements — is Urugal’s observation wholly the right one? It’s hard to argue killing the Tyrants was a bad choice, I’d say, or that it changed nothing. But maybe it’s those words “slaughter,” and “indifference” that are key — the inability or unwillingness to make distinctions, to know when to stop, the pursuit of the absolute. And doing so in complete “certainty” — another one of the series’ key weighty words.

“To live is to suffer. To exist — even as we do — is to resist.” Now that’s uplifting. In some ways, it’s tough to argue I suppose, and that last part is a bit uplifting. But when Siballe says “that is all that was learned,” that seems so tragic. “to live is to suffer” is all you got out of millennia of living (well, kinda living)? No wonder they were “indifferent.”

I did like her summary of the idea of resistance though: “order against chaos, structure against dissolution, light against dark, life against death.” What I find interesting about this is that these abstractions have their literal counterparts in this fantasy world. Light against dark? Liosan against Andii? Chaos against order? The Crippled God versus? Even death, in the form of Hood, walks this ground and is a player. How much, if any, of this metaphysical summary is correct and/or literal? Is Siballe even working from the right prime premise?

“Our new master seeks to alter the paradigm . . . to change forever the eternal war between order and dissolution.” This is interesting to me because we’ve had several major players — mortals and gods — talk about the futility of walking the same paths over and over. And I’ve mentioned a few times now how maybe turning things over or upside-down is what is needed. And perhaps the ones to do so are those who are relatively new to the game. Perhaps this is a hint that the Crippled God isn’t all wrong.

Urugal’s definition of being a god is a telling one, I’d say: “To be a god is to possess worshippers.” Possession implies ownership, power over. It means to simply have and makes no mention or implication of responsibility. Siballe does add, “to guide them” — but again, it’s a one-way street and assumes greater wisdom always on the gods’ part and also assumes the worshippers are tools to be guided.

Karsa’s response is certainly evidence I’d say of the great changes that have gone through this character. Can anyone imagine the Karsa who left Teblor land with his two friends arguing for compassion or pity, talking about grieving parents? To be honest, part of me wondered if this might be too big a change too soon. He is so fervent in his argument, part of me wondered if he might still be stepping his way through this thought process at this point. But I can accept it. Of course, I also have to try to recall that the Karsa who left his homeland is more distant in the past than it feels from reading through the books — certainly more than a year and perhaps several. (And no, this is not where I try and put together a timeline of events — I’m fine with the vagueness and possible contradictions. But knock yourselves out if you’d like.)

When Karsa starts referring to the Seven as the Teblor’s chains, you’d think they’d get a bit nervous. After all, by now we all know what Karsa does with chains. So I can’t say his next act comes as a great surprise.

I’m not quite sure what Karsa means by parental love is “immune to imperfection." My first response is a tragic if only that were so, but perhaps he means it less obviously than I take it.

Karsa’s discussion on the burdens of godhood is yet another reminder of why some of those who perhaps could be gods choose otherwise, such as Rake. We’ll have to see if all the gods we meet seek to “ease the burdens of those that would worship” them.

I do enjoy when Erikson sets us up for what we anticipate may be encounters ripe with potential and then just pulls the rug out from under us. He just did it with Karsa and Icarium obviously, and I like how he does it here as well with Karsa just brushing aside Trull and Onrack and moves on — the two of them not even warranting names the “encounter” is so non-existent.

Good for Onrack getting a hand back. This was nicely set up early on with the mention of the Tellann fire at the start of the chapter.

Small detail on Karsa realizing Trull was “like the ones on the ship.” More like perhaps than he knows

More evidence of Karsa’s growth — his change of mind on fame.

Good idea to file away that little bit on Forkrul Assail and adjudicating. They’ll remain a mystery for some time, but don’t’ worry — they have their part to play.

I like Cynnigig — I would have been quite happy to have seen more of him.

Boy, the hits keep coming for the T’lan Imass, don’t they? Spitting suckling babies on spears — nice.

So Icarium has arrows made from the wood of a Jaghut/Azath mix. Wouldn’t want to mess with those....

The scene with the Jhag horses reminds me of a scene in Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books when the rhynnin arrive to answer a call.

So Karsa, and one assumes all Teblor, have bloodoil running through their veins, and bloodoil is associated with otataral, meaning this would go some way at least to explaining Karsa’s magical resistance (whether other things help is another question)

So another small piece of info regarding Icarium and the Azath. He destroyed the Odhan Azath House in trying to get his father Gothos out, a story we’ve heard already, just not which House. As to which warren was then made vulnerable by the House’s death (Houses dying is an important piece of info to file by the way) and so be “torn apart” isn’t made clear here. We obviously know the Shadow realm has been torn apart — so we’ll have to see if this is the warren or is this a more-than-once-ever occurrence, a warren being shattered.


Bill Capossere writes short stories and essays, plays ultimate frisbee, teaches as an adjunct English instructor at several local colleges, and writes SF/F reviews for fantasyliterature.com.

Amanda Rutter contributes reviews and a regular World Wide Wednesday post to fantasyliterature.com, as well as reviews for her own site floortoceilingbooks.com (covering more genres than just speculative), Vector Reviews and Hub magazine.

35 comments
djk1978
1. djk1978
I've always assumed that Siballe's foundlings were disabled children. Am I off track? Karsa's words seem to suggest that too. My comments below are in that light.

"Parental love *should* be immune to imperfection" is probably more accurate. Alas for the children for whom this is not the case.

And as someone who had a sibling who we might describe as imperfect in human terms (though not in God's eyes), who has experienced the special kind of love and happiness and unifying bond someone like that can bring to a family, I would say alas too for those parents who are unable or unwilling to give that love.
Julian Augustus
2. Alisonwonderland
Karsa seems to think his encounter with Icarium gives him some level of superiority over Icarium, and ignores all warnings, first from Rylanderas and now from Phyrlis that no one can stand toe to toe with Icarium. What he doesn't know, and we may never find out, is that when they had their sword fight Icarium was in his stable peaceable mode, and that Icarium in a rage is more than a force of nature that nothing can withstand. I almost wish he meets Icarium again and gets that smugness knocked out of him ... teach him a little bit of humility.
Chris Hawks
3. SaltManZ
Parental love being "immune to imperfection" could be read a couple of ways. The first being that parental love is always perfect. The second, and IMHO much better, option is that a parent's love is given despite the child's imperfections. As @1 said, this is sadly not always the case, but it should be.

Am I the only who thought Trull should have recognized Karsa as a "Tarthenal"?
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
I find it amusing (and sad) that while the T'lan go about with their 'unbreakable' ritual and 'unbreakable' weapons firm in their beief that they are expunging the Jaghut, we keep seeing that there are really Jaghut all over the place. Even, hiding in the rocks.
We see why Tool commented upon futility in GotM.
Iris Creemers
5. SamarDev
@ SaltManZ re Tarthenal
you're right, that would have been logical in the light of later events. It would have prevented some questions later.

I like the way Karsa puts 'Siballe quite unceremoniously in his 'suitcase'. I wonder how big that one is to make it fit. We have already seen another interesting bag (Mappo's), although I'm quite sure this is a similar one.

I need to say that on reread after finishing the series, the Jaghut humour is much more striking to me than in earlier reads. I guess there was too much time in between to catch the similarities in those relatively small scenes. Now I appreciate the more or less subtile fun much more. Whahahaha!
Iris Creemers
6. SamarDev
Imagine the biggest horse you have ever seen, and think it some bigger (I've been riding on a horse of 1.76m for years and I'm 1.63 myself, so I remember well how I struggled to climb atop its back).
Imagine 10-15.000 horses together on a plain.
Then combine these two images.
I can feel the ground trembling...
Sydo Zandstra
7. Fiddler
Re: Trull recognizing a Tarthenal.

I am not sure if Trull should have recognized Karsa's species.

MT spoilers, whited out:
.
The Edur conquest of Lether was sort of a Blitzkrieg coming from the NW, and IIRC the Tarthenal live more to the SW of Letheras. I don't think there was much time between the climax of MT and the events we saw with Trull being shorned in this book's prologue. The Edur were separated from Lether, without much interaction at the start of MT, and I don't think Trull had much time for a Grand Tour after the conquest...
.

I could be wrong, of course :)
Robin Lemley
8. Robin55077
@3. SaltManZ
"Am I the only who thought Trull should have recognized Karsa as a "Tarthenal"?"

I initially thought the same thing. However, it seems to me that when we get around to meeting the Tarthenal, the term Toblakai is known (I think they refer to the Tarthenal gods as "Toblakai"). So, it is possible to think that based on the fact that Karsa did not appear "defeated, dirty,and drunk" Trull thought of him as more a Toblakai than as a Tarthenal?
Just a thought.
djk1978
9. djk1978
Didn't Trull kind of get knocked senseless as soon as he saw Karsa? Not sure he really had time to do much recognizing anyway.
Robin Lemley
10. Robin55077
Yes. Trull was knocked about, but he used the specific term, "Thelomen Toblaki" which was kind of wierd. It may have just been one of those rare slip-ups by SE. :-)
Robin Lemley
11. Robin55077
@ Amanda

I just wanted to say that I am enjoying seeing your change toward Karsa as he "grows." It seems that you enjoy him much more now than you did earlier in the book. He is one of the characters that I always found myself missing when he was not part of whatever current threads SE was working on. Thank you for sharing this with us.

:-)
Amanda Rutter
12. ALRutter
Robin, you are so right! I didn't even realise it as it was happening but Karsa is definitely one of my favourite plotlines in the novel now :-)
karl oswald
13. Toster
i think we need to bring back the quote game. it's late in the day, but i love this line.

"Funny man," she whispered, "Do you remember the dark?"
Iris Creemers
14. SamarDev
yeah, the quote game! No matter it is late in the day where you are, here in Europe it is already morning and we're not expecting the next post in an hour or 9... So:

Felisin never learned if her sister had succeeded where Kenussen D'Avore - reputedly a military genius - had failed.

'There are two, High Mage. And one of these is capable of both: Toblakai.'
'And the other?'
'Leoman of the Flails.'

'There is nothing simple about that simple warrior,' L'oric murmured.
karl oswald
15. Toster
it's the perfect time to bring it back. so many good quotes during this convergence

"You have thought yourself into a nightmare, and now invite me to join you."
Steven Halter
16. stevenhalter
The advantage was entirely with the Army of the Apocalypse.

djk1978
18. djk1978
"Hey Sergeant, maybe that horse killed the cook!"
David Thomson
19. ZetaStriker
I don't have access to my book today - is this the chapter where we finally get Corabb? I've been so patient, and I really hope my reward is finally within sight.
David Thomson
21. ZetaStriker
Oh thank God. I can't wait to see Amanda's reaction to his scenes. Since at this point he does kind of steal them from everyone else around him . . . even when the POV isn't his!
Chris Hawks
22. SaltManZ
Since Wednesday's post was a day late, does that mean today's will be too?

I never realized Corabb's luck was with him this early. Wonder what kind of water he got dipped in as a kid?
Sydo Zandstra
23. Fiddler
@SaltManZ:

Probably in water from the well of Oponn ;-)


Re: schedule.

I have never liked the Wednesday-Friday schedule, especially since people in Europe have a very small time window on the Wednesday ones to reply with others actually reading them. If TOR really wants only 2 days in between Malazan posts, I'd prefer a Friday-Monday schedule. That's still a two days' difference, but at least those will be weekend days...

Or have them both on the same day as Leigh's ones, on Tuesday and Friday.
djk1978
24. ksh1elds555
I did not remember Cynnigig at all from my first read of this book. But I really loved his scenes! I would have liked to see more of him also. I love the jaghut humor.... we see quite a bit of this in tCG. I am going to make sure to pay extra attention from now on.
David Thomson
25. ZetaStriker
I don't think you're the only one thinking that way, Fiddler. I don't mind having the chapters broken up, even if it was a jarring change at first, but it would be nice to have a wider gap between the posts.
Robin Lemley
26. Robin55077
The quote game!

"The goddess within you, Sha'ik, is not welcome in my temple."

Also...

"Chosen One, Kobolo Dom and Coltaine fought nine major engegements - nine battles - on the Chain of Dogs. Of these, Korbolo was clear victor in one, and only one. At the Fall. Outside the walls of Aren. And for that he needed Kamist Reloe, and the power of Mael, as channelled through the jhistal priest, Mallick Rel."
Iris Creemers
27. SamarDev
re schedule: the reaction time on the wednesday-post is very short indeed 'in Europe'. I think friday-monday (or actually, monday-friday :-)) would be nice to have more interaction possibility. Of course technically it excist now too, but most of the time people just react on the most recent post.
Bill Capossere
28. Billcap
hey all,
As you've surmised, we're still behind this week. Sorry 'bout that.

The schedule was given us by TOR, I assume to fill in days where they didn't have regular posts and so as not to overlap with days they did. I agree the two-day turnaround makes it tough for comments on that first post (as well as being tough just to get that second post out). I'm not sure the chances of a switch, or if there are a lot of better options (I'm a fan of Tues-Fri but that's a heavy post time and Monday just scares me coming on the heels of weekends), but maybe we can look into it.

In any case, we appreciate your patience. We knew that somewhere in this 13 (14? 15?) book reread, we'd have days/weeks like these!

On a good note upcoming--we get to see Corabb in real action! And scorpions!
Amir Noam
29. Amir
I just wanted to comment that since the series I'm reading at the moment is Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, I found it very strange to read this week's chapter beginning with:

Raw copper gouged from outcroppings, tin and their mating that was bronze.


(Those of you who've read Mistborn know what I'm talking about. Those that have not - go read it :-) )
Sydo Zandstra
30. Fiddler
Bill:

On a good note upcoming--we get to see Corabb in real action! And scorpions!

I love the part with the scorpions! It may only seem a funny scene just reading it, but stuff like that happens in armies, and it shows how capable officers like Keneb are more aware of what happens in the ranks than the soldiers think.

(There's a better example of that in DoD, between Pores and Keneb).


On the schedule thing, Bill, I am happy with whatever Amanda and you can bring whenever it suits. It's just that if the people at TOR expect and want participation, they'd have to use common sense. (You don't have to pass that last bit on ;-) )

Keep up the Good Work!
Gerd K
31. Kah-thurak
@Bill
You dont have to apologize... you dont get paid for this, do you? ;-)

Concerning the Schedule: I think the participation in the comments really suffered from the splitting in two posts per week. One post was better. Maybe tor.com should reconsider :-)
djk1978
32. ksh1elds555
I was reading ahead a bit last night and hopefully this week, we'll get to discuss Joyful Union!!! I remember the first time reading through, laughing out loud at how birdshit took out Red bastard and InandOutAmber. Only this time did it stick with me that SE is using it not only as a really colorful scene of the troops boosting their morale, but also as a metaphor for how the Malazans are going to approach the attack against Leoman's forces. Layers upon layers....
Iris Creemers
34. SamarDev
oh, the quoting game! Don't have my book here, but by heart it would be Geslers oath when he examines Joyful Union. He knows he is missing something, but is man enough to swear anyway because he can't prove anything.
Iris Creemers
35. SamarDev
Hmmm, thought I was little late, but I just realise that I mentioned a quote in chapter 19 in stead of 18. That's what you get when checking the reread while on work... Never mind if someone'll see it, let me add it here, so both posts can stand happily together :-)

'I, Sergeant Gesler of the 5th squad in the 9th Company of the 8th Legion, swear by the two Lords of Summer, Fener and Treach, that the creature before me is a natural, unalterd Birdshit scorpion - even though I know there's something about it I'm not seeing and I'm about to lose my life's savings on the Sergeants'Wager.'
(and note he is swearing by Treach too)

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