Wed
Jan 11 2012 12:07pm

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Midnight Tides, Chapter Fourteen

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 Fourteen of Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson (MT).

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 Fourteen

SCENE 1

Bugg, as the “Waiting Man,” has been sent for by some cutthroats whose companion was killed by some kind of monster that then ducked into the last temple of the Fulcra. Bugg explores and speaks to the creature, a D’ivers god Bugg calls “The Pack.” It tells Bugg it will wait for something/one to arrive and then will hunt. Bugg leaves and tells the ruffians he’ll take care of it. He goes to check on the Azath House, worried about what else might have, like the Pack, escaped from the barrows. Speakign to Kettle, he is surprised the Ceda hasn’t visited her yet, especially now that her heart is beating. She shows him Silchas’ barrow and says the woman next to him — the one who promises her things — is often angry and scares off the five Tarthenol gods. Bugg realizes she (the Azath prisoner) is holding on to Silchas’ ankles to follow him out. Kettle says the five have killed most everything else and are almost out. Bugg tells her to call for help before they do. She says she will.

SCENE 2

Brys attends a meeting with the King, Ceda, Unnutal Hebaz, and the First Concubine Nisall. They discuss force and strategy for the upcoming war with the Edur. The King wants a pre-emptive strike to make the Edur change their minds, using the Ceda’s mages to strike the Edur villages. Brys learns Hull has joined the Edur. The King says since the Letherii know that, it will advantage them. There have been reports of the wraiths on on the frontier and Nisall suggest magically destroying Edur sacred sites as was done to the Nerek and Tarthenal. The Ceda agrees, though sadly. The Queen is using her Queen’s Brigade independently, aiming to meet the Edur. Everyone anticipates a brutal, difficult war. Brys decides he need to warn Tehol he might be a target now that it is known about Hull.

SCENE 3

Rucket (Chief Investigator of the Rat Catchers Guild) meets with Bugg. She tells him an undead little girl is killing people and Gerun Eberict has been killing a lot as well — between two and three thousand in the past year. Rucket asks if he wants to come home with her and he says he’s been under a vow of celibacy for thousands of years. She drives him away (on purpose) with some disgusting talk and as she takes pride in doing so, Bugg, appreciating her playacting thinks she might make a good match for Tehol.

SCENE 4

Tehol meets with Shand, Rissarh, and Hejun, all depressed over Ublala’s departure. Tehol tells them they have what they need and he’s just waiting for the right time. The war has made him hesitate as he’s worried that the Edur winning would be worse. When Tehol says opening the Letherii up to possible genocide is different from causing economic collapse in order to change things, they say the Letherii would just be getting what they themselves had done repeatedly. Tehol asks why they’d stoop to Lether’s level and says things are always more complicated than they seem. He says their priority should be evacuating the tribal refugees and indebted. He says the worst thign for the Edur is if they actually win the war. He leaves, still worrying about the war. Shurq meets with him and tells him Harlest is getting impatient for his fang treatment. She wants another thieving mission and he mentions the Tolls. He wants to know who holds the largest royal debt. She says she, Ublala, and Harlest are planning to become pirates after Tehol’s plan.

SCENE 5

Silchas is showing Kettle a chamber and talks to her of the Forkrul Assail and their goal of “absolute balance,” to which he is utterly opposed. He says he killed the ones they see at this scene and his “draconic kin” killed others, though some still remain (most imprisoned and worshipped by mortals). He reveals Kettle’s soul is Forkrul Assail, though she was also once a mortal human and he wonders at all that led to her. He realizes the Azath was going to have Kettle kill him once he defeated the others, but she says she’ll follow his path as long as it’s good. They both understand he may also have to kill her, if her soul fully awakens. She describes for him a scene the Azath showed her of her being prepared/chosen, revealing the Nameless Ones were involved. She guesses the Eres was her mother and Silchas agrees, thoug he says her father may not even be her father yet since the Eres travels through time. He tells her she has two souls sharing a child’s corpse.

SCENE 6

Bugg informs Tehol of Eberict’s murders and they decide they’ll have to do something about it. Brys arrives to tell Tehol of Hull and warn him of possible assassination by the Queen’s agents. Tehol agrees to let Byrs get him a single bodyguard.

 

Amanda’s Reaction to Chapter Fourteen:

Fisher’s poem at the start of Chapter Fourteen is particularly poignant because we’ve never seen a situation in the Malazan novels “when the sun bathed everything in godling light, And we were burnished bright in our youthful ascendancy.” We’ve seen tired gods, ascendants wrapped in millenia of battles and petty squabbles. We’ve seen a world where grim times are assured. This lightness is something I wish we’d seen, and I hope we come to see (but then, maybe that just happens in light fantasy novels — it certainly doesn’t happen in life, and Malazan seems to echo real life).

Bugg can smell spilled blood? Hmm, that’s not a normal human reaction, is it? Combined with what someone (sorry, I can’t remember specific names) [Bill: that would, sniff, have been me, your partner. Sniff.] said concerning the fact that Bugg identified himself as other than human, this is definitely hinting towards ascendant or god, surely? Now which one... *muses*

And then extra hints about Bugg — they’re coming thick and fast now. We see him called the Waiting Man, which implies he is much more than simply Tehol’s manservant and has a secret role in the city. We see him mention the last temple of the Fulcra, implying familiarity with the term and with the fact the cult existed. We seem him go into the temple without any worry, despite the fact that a man has been torn to pieces by whatever is in there. We see the... whatever it is within the temple (the Pack?)... show fear and concern about the fact that Bugg could hurt it.

The shape makes me curious. First it is one huge shape, and then becomes smaller reptilian shapes. Is this the Fulcra? After all, Bugg says that its worshippers are long gone. And what is the shape waiting for? Has it been trapped in the Azath until now?

Hah! As an ex-accountant (you have no idea how good it feels to say that!) I do appreciate this: “Since the list of shares was sealed, Bugg had managed to sell four thousand and twenty-two per cent of shares, and still hold a controlling interest.”

“Rats scurried from his path.” Could this be another clue about Bugg or is it just that rats would run from anyone...? Now that I suspect Bugg, I am reading everything about him very carefully, and I’m pretty sure I’m missing what must be right in front of my nose!

I adore Kettle, and somehow see her as very sweet and innocent (even with the rampant killing of people!) but that scene with the worms in her hair ensures she’d never get a hug from me.

This scene between Bugg and Kettle is very affecting. The way that Kettle is so dignified; her explanation of her heart beating and how often; the ache we feel at knowing the Ceda is not going to take any special interest in Kettle because he doesn’t know her condition.

Ha, so it seems that Sheltatha Lore is holding fast to Silchas Ruin — two dragons waiting to burst from the barrows. Well, just as soon as Ruin starts “sawing.” Who else is cringing at the idea of that?

The five that Bugg refers to — does that have anything to do with the Tarthenal’s Seregahl, the Wrath Wielders? [Bill: Just everything.]

I feel very sorry for Brys, finding out that his brother Hull has turned his back on the Letherii. Despite everything, they are of the same blood, after all.

In this scene Nisall mentions the Tarthenal again, and the fact that the Letherii attacked their sacred sites in order to reduce their magical abilities. This just reinforces my view that the Seregahl are the five spoken about.

How can the Letherii win when they are dividing and conquering themselves? With the queen and the king attacking independently, they are surely just making it easier for the Edur. Apart from a few small matters, this scene seems to be mostly about introducing us to various facts about the Letherii forces.

That scene between Bugg and Rucket was absolutely classic — one of the best I’ve read by Erikson! From the way that Rucket tries to be absolutely hideous in her pretend lust in order to keep Bugg at arms length, to the way that Bugg talks about the two-headed bug.

There are two more clues here to my mind about Bugg: “Oh, thousands of years...it seems” and “Aye,” he drawled, “the very oceans heaved.” Wouldn’t most people refer to the earth moving? Unless they are intimately involved with the sea?

Is it just me, or is what Tehol says about the war between Letherii and Edur eminently sensible and balanced? In fact, the most considered and respectful response? I suddenly have a whole lot more respect for him. And I suddenly can see exactly why you all love this duo SO much. Behind the banter and the silly dialogue there is so much going on, isn’t there?

Hee, Chapter Fourteen is rapidly turning into my very favourite chapter of this whole book! Now we have this delightful meeting between Tehol and Shurq to glory in. Yes, the plot is moved on, so the scene achieves what it needs to, but the glory of it comes from the delicate flashes of humour, the way that Tehol seems to use reverse psychology on Shurq to get her into the Tolls Repository and the royal vaults. Just fabulous.

Who is the one within Kettle?! This must be the heart that is beating? Aha! The soul within her is Forkrul Assail! Gosh, what a revelation... So Kettle has a massive part to play in future events, surely? And how scary to have a child be an independent arbiter in events....

WOW! And now we find that Kettle was not a child at all, but one of the Nameless Ones!

And one last clue: “Besides, Bugg snores. And we’re not talking mild snoring, either. Imagine being chained to the floor of a cave, with the tide crashing in, louder, louder, louder...”

A storming chapter. Up there with some of the best. Yes, I’m curious about some of the matters within, but overall I just let it sweep over me and enjoyed every moment. Classy stuff, Mr Erikson!

 

Bill’s Reaction to Chapter Fourteen:

So, as Amanda pointed out, the clues are coming faster and faster that Bugg is a lot mohre than he appears:

  • His “sniffing” for something beyond normal senses
  • His once again detailed knowledge of events long past
  • His fearlessness in going in where the “monster” went
  • His recognition of the god
  • His reference to a “mortal”
  • The way he seems to be taking on dealing with The Pack, something that would take the Ceda himself or a “few thousand” regular folks
  • His nervousness at entering the Azath grounds (remember what the Azath does and to whom)
  • His thousand plus years of celibacy
  • His “unattainable” nature
  • “Bugg, I think you are probably a wonderful lover.”
  • “Aye . . . the very oceans heaved.”
  • “Bugg snores . . . Imagine being chained to the floor of a cave, with the tide crashing in”

The “shape” Amanda is called the Pack and is a D’ivers. We’ve had references to The Pack in Feather Witch’s reading and the reading by the Ceda. It’s implied his worshippers will be coming.

We often see Bugg in pure competency mode or surprisingly powerful mode or comic duo mode, but I like how here in the scene with Kettle we see a gentle, compassionate side to him. The way he tries to assuage her guilt over The Pack getting out and how he shows concern when he thinks she might be experiencing pain.

Note another reference to that idea that if only the Ceda knew about Kettle he’d be more involved.

So what is happening to cause Kettle’s heart to start beating? Is it the Azath’s death or something else?

That’s a lot of detail and place names in that war meeting, so one might imagine we’ll be hearing more and/or seeing some of these places coming up. And that little throwaway reference to Bluerose is something to remember, especially that those people were the most difficult to conquer for Lether.

It’s interesting — the Ceda’s response to destroying the Edur’s holy sites is the second example of a high level Letherii grieving over what they are “forced” to do for their country.

That is a fun scene with Rucket all the way through. And don’t forget that two-headed bug!

We know how smart Tehol is, so we should really consider his views that
a) the Edur conquering Lether might be even worse than what he plans and
b) an Edur conquest might be worse for the Edur. Remember too, this is not the first time we’ve heard this.

And seriously, how can one read this conversation and not go immediately to actual world events, whether long ago, in the recent past, or currently (and tell me again how fantasy is always “escapist”:

Letheras declares a war in the name of liberty and would therefore assert the right of the moral high ground....

It’s not liberty they want . . . it’s the freedom of Letherii business interests to profit from those people.

And if they act to prevent genocide and tyranny, Hejun?

. . . they have committed their own acts of genocide . . . tyrannies are only reprehensible to the Letherii when they do not operate in collusion with Letherii business interests.

While I like Tehol’s content when he discusses his concern over what happens in moments of chaos thanks to the darker points of human nature, the rereader in me also likes this exchange for other reasons:

. . . waits in the wings, eager to . . . give shape to the reforging of order . . . What in the Errants name are you talking about?

Back to the modern world, um, I mean the “fantasy” world wholly disconnected from reality or our modern day lives (or our historical ones):

They [the Edur] exist now in a state of fear, seeing the influence and material imposition of Letheras as a threat, as a kind of ongoing unofficial war of cultures. To the Edur, Lether is a poison, a corrupting influence, and in reaction to that the Edur have become a people entrenched and belligerent. In disgust at what they see ahead of them, they have turned their backs and dream only of what lay beind them. They dream of a return ot past glories . . .

I love the humor in these books, the fantasy elements, the great characters, the sweeping nature of the story, the complexities, etc. But certainly one of the major aspects that for me raises it into a different tier is this sort of depth of thought — the way one can read it on more than one level, and that other level is a serious, thoughtful one.

Pirates. C’mon, who doesn’t love pirates? And undead pirates at that?

Okay, that’s a pretty dense scene between Silchas Ruin and Kettle. And I’ll be completely honest here; some of the stuff on Kettle’s past just makes my head hurt. But let’s forge on with a few points.

The Forkrul Assail are getting mentioned more and more and will eventually play a huge role in the ongoing plot. So we should keep some of what we learn here in mind:

“To achieve peace, destruction is delivered.” We’ve heard something similar about them before, and clearly this implies that that when we do meet them, it probably won’t be pleasant. We’ve already had one unpleasant encounter with “Calm” — (one of those imprisoned and worshipped).

That idea of “absolute balance” obviously opens up the purveyor of balance to perform horrid acts in that name.

They are long-lived (seemingly even in the context of this world).

They are “very difficult to be killed” (and this is a Soletaken dragon talking here). I’ll have a lot more to say about this down (way down) the road.

Many were killed by Silchas’ “draconic kin,” since nobody else supposedly could kill them. (Did I mention I’d have more to say about this?)

Silchas has his own take on the Forkrul Assail vision of balance, scorning their arrogance in assuming a “inner perfection” which allows them to seek external perfection. Instead, he believes one should seek only internal balance. Of course, this somehow also led to near genocide. Hmmm.

Then, of course, beyond insights into FA and Silchas, we get a lot of information on Kettle, beginning with the fact that she carries within her a Forkrul Assail soul. What else?

  • The Azath chose her out of seeming desperation
  • Kettle was told she was to kill Silchas afterward
  • Silchas may need to destroy Kettle
  • Kettle contains two souls — a Forkrul Assail and another
  • The other was “prepared” by Nerek witches (associated with the Eres’al)
  • The other came from Raraku and looked different
  • The Nerek thought of that other as “a true child of Eres.” Is this metaphorical? Literal? Is it “Eres” or the Eres’al? Later Kettle says the Eres was her “true mother” and Silchas agrees. We’ve seen an Eres have sex already. And as the Eres can time travel (not a big fan of time travel by the way), the father may be anyone at any time.

The Nerek Witches saw her as the “answer to the Seventh Closure” because she was “the blood of kin." Is this the blood of kin of those of the Seventh Closure? Connecting her to the Edur and Rhulad (and thus the Sengars?) who have been strongly implied to be the Seventh Closure? Is this the blood of kin of the Nerek? The Eres?

Did I mention it makes my head hurt?

More, much more to come regarding Kettle, Silchas, and Forkrul Assail.


Amanda Rutter is the editor of Strange Chemistry books, sister imprint to Angry Robot.

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.

19 comments
Iris Creemers
1. SamarDev
Thanks Bill, for disentangling the Forkrul Assail - Kettle stuff. Difficult to grasp indeed, so this helps a lot.

Amanda, good job following Bugg in every sense. Maybe you'll be able to find out before the big moment it is all spelled out!

How sad (and realistic) the Letherii way of thinking: We're sorry, but we have to whipe you out in order to preserve ourselves. Don't mind the collateral damage... Tehol, on the other hand, is talking sense. Yes, it isn't just fun with our good friend!

And hey, Amanda, still wondering what/who caused all the dead people in Letheras? In this chapter it is told who did it! I hope you don't missed it, in enjoying the comedy between Rucket and Bugg, and in your fretting about Bugg himself.
Brian R
2. Mayhem
And another hint towards the sheer overconfidence and arrogance of the Letherii - they steamrolled over the Tarthenal and the Nerek as insignificant, describing their gods as powerless.

Yet now we learn that not only was the Nerek god Eres asleep at the time, but the gods of the Tarthenal are imprisoned in the Azath. And are getting close to escape. And the Eres put Kettle in play. Makes you wonder just how many other beings in the Azath might be gods, or have worshippers looking for them. And worse yet, what will happen when they find them.

So the Edur are on the move, as are the Letherii forces with the mage Cadre preparing a preemptive strike (and we all know how well those tend to work).
We have reached the point where the wave begins to crest and Erikson starts to speed everything up. Time for it all to come crashing down...
djk1978
3. djk1978
Bill said:
They are “very difficult to be killed” (and this is a Soletaken dragon talking here). I’ll have a lot more to say about this down (way down) the road.
Oh, me too! :)

Pretty sure we find out who Kettle's father is, but I can't right now remember if that is already revealed or future revealed. So I'll say no more.

Amanda you are far further down the path of who Bugg is then I was at this point on first read. Of course I didn't know that I should be looking either...
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
@Amanda:
Behind the banter and the silly dialogue there is so much going on, isn’t there?
Yes indeed. And, I agree that this is a wonderful chapter. There are, actually, enough clues on Bugg to make a very educated guess as to who he is. I recall thinking "I wonder ..." the first time I read this. We also see more and more that Tehol is not all silliness--he's got some very serious thinking going on in there.

The Kettle and Silchas section is very interesting. As Bill said we'll be seeing more about the FA as we go and about how hard they are to kill. The journey into the inverted city of balance is complex, but shows some things about both the FA and the people who killed them.

The Lethari do seem a bit strung out and overconfident in the array of their forces.
Sydo Zandstra
5. Fiddler
djk1978 said:

Pretty sure we find out who Kettle's father is, but I can't right now
remember if that is already revealed or future revealed. So I'll say no
more.

IIRC, the first time reader will be able to complete the picture when we are reading The Bonehunters.


BTW, I haven't left you all. I still read every post and comment. I just didn't have much to say or add.

That will probably change, now the plot is starting to thicken...
Chris Hawks
6. SaltManZ
I remember very little about Kettle, but didn't Trull get raped by the Eres'al in HoC? The "blood of kin" line makes me suspect that Trull's the father, with the "kin" (relative to the Seventh Closure stuff) being the Edur.

Also, this has got to be one of the funniest exchanges in the entire series:
"I am well guarded, brother, whilst you are not."
"Nonsense! I have Bugg!"
"Tehol, this is not time for jokes—"
"Bugg resents that!"
"I do?"
"Well, don't you? I would, if I were you—"
"It seems you just were."
"My apologies for making you speak out of turn, then."
"Speaking on your behalf, master, I accept."
"You are filled with relief—"
"Will you two stop it!"
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
SaltManZ@6:That exchange is both funny and layered.
Tricia Irish
8. Tektonica
Thank you Bill, for helping me grasp a bit more about how Kettle came to be, er, who she is. Very heavy going there with Silchas.

Tehol's got a great sense of humor for sure, but I do think much of his nonsense is just coverup. He certainly doesn't want anyone thinking he's much of anything anymore. Just another broken crazy man ;-)

Do we ever find out how he and Bugg hooked up? I don't remember that, but I'd love to know!

A really good chapter with more reflected exposition on our current world state:

They exist now in a state of fear, seeing the influence and material imposition of Letheras as a threat, as a kind of ongoing unofficial war of cultures. To the Edur, Lether is a poison, a corrupting influence, and in reaction to that the Edur have become a people entrenched and belligerent. In disgust at what they see ahead of them, they have turned their backs and dream only of what lay beind them. They dream of a return ot past glories . . .


Another instance of our modern "western" world, colliding with parts of the globe that are not as developed (mideast)?
djk1978
9. BDG91
@ Tektonica

While you could make that connection, I have always thought that the Letherii were very much like the Americans. They are a colony of an older empire, their economy is very much like USAs and the whole assilimation of native people smacks of the USA treatment of the Native Americans in the early years. The Edur, for me at least, always had a Native Central American vibe (Mexica, Mayans, etc.)
Bill Capossere
10. Billcap
my guess on the analogue here is that Stephen purposely kept some details vague enough so that it didn't have to be read too narrowly. I think this is an age-old cycle of what happens when power meets less-power and to make that point it's left a bit open, but most of us will read through our own cultural/historical backgrounds. From my American background, I tend to see in it what goes one today between West East (people not wanting for instance American pop culture to poison their own) and what went on a hundred plus years ago between the U.S. and the Native Americans and what went on hundreds of years before that between the Europeans and the northern and southern Native Americans. But one could also go even earlier in Western history as well as sometimes I do, not to mention seeing it through other cultural conflicts I'm personally less familiar with. But I'd have to say my first "envisioning" is the U.S./Native American conflict (weapons and use of "tribes" probably helps with that)
Brian R
11. Mayhem
@3,5,6
Yes, the details of who Kettle is a child of are revealed about 1/3 through The Bonehunters when some of the Malazans encounter the Eres.

@Salt - but the Seventh Closure is all about the Letherii right?
I mean, thats what Brys is being told ...
:)

@Bill
Agreed on the not reading things too narrowly. One of the big things in this series is the way people seldom learn from history, especially those that were there and lived through it. And because of that, the same events crop up time and time again - the story of corruption here can be seen in our world recurring all the way back to ancient Egypt or Babylon. Or more recently the eastern Roman empire, especially during the wars with Persia. India too has many similar tales.
The North American example is just the most recent and well documented from the losing side, contrast with Australia or South Africa for examples where the losing story is less well known.
Chris Hawks
12. SaltManZ
Here's Erikson's own musings on the Lether=America thing:
This brings me, at long last, to my portrayal of the Empire of Lether starting in the fifth novel in the Malazan sequence, Midnight Tides. The reason this subject is on my mind is that, once again, I have been asked in a Q&A whether that empire and its political and economic system was intended as a commentary on the United States. Each time I am asked this question, my response is no. So, let’s take this as definitive: there were two major themes in that novel, the first being about siblings and the journeys made by two sets of three brothers, and the second being about inequity.
It’s likely that one would have to go back to the Paleolithic to find a human society not structured by inequity, and even that is debatable, given the social characteristics of our nearest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas. Without question, the agricultural revolution early on, which established sedentary civilizations, went hand-in-hand with the creation of a ruling elite and an emerging class system. The crust needs sludge to sit on, and the more sludge there is, the loftier the crust. Maintaining this system is made easier by inculcating the notion that the best rises to the top, and that opportunities always exist for it to do just that, although one could argue that these latter notions are more recent manifestations – certainly, the slave or serf in antiquity would need to step outside of the law to achieve wealth and comfort (and it’s no accident that such laws are both created by, maintained, and enforced by the elites).
I set out to explore inequity (as an aside, I have travelled through socialist countries and fascist countries, and guess what, shit smells like shit no matter what flag you stick it in), and one thing Midnight Tides taught me was that once a certain system of human behaviour become entrenched, it acquires a power and will of its own, against which no single individual stands a chance. A rather dispiriting conclusion, I admit. To this day, I’d love to see proof to the contrary.
I did not know I would reach such conclusions – well, not so much ‘conclusions’ as grim observations, and I wasn’t particularly pleased to find myself where I did.
Every social construct now in existence among humans is founded upon inequity of some sort. People of one political persuasion or world-view will tell you it’s some kind of natural order, and thereby justify whatever cold-heartedness they harbour; others on the opposite end will decry the evidence and call for a leveling of humanity devoid of individuals. Both have had their day in history, and any particular pitch at present is, as far as I can see, a minor blip on the screen. We’re nothing if not headlong.
Themes. Themes can hurt. They can cut deep inside. There’s a reason why the subject is often taboo in writing workshops. Stripping back the façade can reveal unpleasant things.
And the next time someone asks me if the Empire of Lether was a direct riff on the United States, I will say no, and mean it.
Joris Meijer
13. jtmeijer
In sections and descriptions like these the Forkrul Assail start to remind me of Pratchett's Auditors. They seem to share an impulse to order and regularity, and bothare willing to go to extreme ends to get there.
Luckily for the Malaz universe the Forkrul while powerful are bound to the physical world.
Tai Tastigon
14. Taitastigon
On a lighter note: This is the last chapter of prep work. Starting coming chapter, the sh*t hits the fan. That´s another 400 pages of sh*t in the PB version.
*g*. Me like !
Tricia Irish
15. Tektonica
Thanks for that quote, SaltMan. I'm glad to hear Ericson clarify that.

Inequity is a tricky subject to write about, indeed. Fantasy is a venue that provides a level of separation that allows ambiguity and universality, yet is very recognizable. Way to go SE.

I've really gotten back into this book now, and have forged ahead a few chapters, and yes, Tait, it's hitting the fan! Fun!
Alan Miller
16. AlanM
@11 Mayhem - I am about 4/5 the way through Bonehunters and I totally missed the relevance of the meeting you describe. Going back to re-read it now, thanks!
Brian R
17. Mayhem
@16
Having gone back myself to double check, its towards the end of chapter six, Bottle and the Eres'al.
Mieneke van der Salm
18. Mieneke
Salt @6 & 12: I thought the same about Trull and Eres. And thank you for that SE quote, that was very enlightening.

And while I loved this chapter for its manynclues and revelations, my biggest reaction was to Silchas' revelation that Kettle has a Forkrul Assail soul. That literally made me go 'Whoa, what the...!?' out loud, much to the consternation of my other half who thought B2 was kicking me in the kidneys again! Kettle is becoming cooler and intersting by the chapter!
djk1978
19. ksh1elds555
I've just been lurking throughout this book because I admit that Midnight Tides was a difficult book for me. I was not enthused to leave behind all the characters I had loved in the first 4 books. I was wondering, why do I need to read about all these new people and why should I care about them... And in that frame of mind, I did not take in a lot of this book other than the main plot points and events. On a second read though, so many things are standing out and I am really enjoying this book. I've heard others on the forum say this book improves the most with a reread and I'm finding that true so far for me. I'm seeing so much that made no sense the first time around. I always did like Kettle and now her story is making much more sense. She has a FA soul- even though I read the Bonehunters, I don't know who her father might be, although I do like the Trull (having his seed taken by Eres'al) theory. Guess I will have to wait to find out when we get to the Bonehunters.

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