Wed
Feb 22 2012 1:00pm

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Midnight Tides, Chapter Twenty-Five, Part One

The Malazan Reread on Tor.comWelcome 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 the first half of Chapter Twenty-Five 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.

A quick note on our schedule for the next couple of weeks:

Friday 2/24: 2nd half of Chapter Twenty-Five
Wednesday 2/29: Epilogue and Comments on the whole book
Friday 3/2: Steven’s Q&A thread
Wednesday 3/7: Break
Friday 3/9: Break
Wednesday 3/14: Begin Bonehunters

All set? Good!

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part One

SCENE ONE

Shurq worries about Gerun Eberict going after Tehol and Kettle’s silence. She finds Ublala in the crypt and he says he has to go because of the Seregahl (the Tarthenal gods). Before leaving, he tells her he loves her, which makes her think he believes he isn’t coming back. She gets Harlest out of his sarcophagus and tells him they have to go to a cemetery.

SCENE TWO

Rhulad is still screaming after being reborn and Trull says Udinaas needs to be hunted down. Mosag tells Rhulad Udinaas has betrayed him, as some predicted, and only Rhulad’s kin can be trusted. Rhulad interrupts and says they are “nothing” to him. Fear tries to interrupt, but Rhulad stops him and orders Mosag against the watching Letherii soldiers. Uruth tells Trull Mayen has run away and he orders Theradas and Midik Buhn to find her and doesn’t object when Theradas says they will kill Udinaas if they find him. Mosag’s sorcery wipes out the Letherii soldiers and watching civilians, even those inside buildings, until Rhulad orders it done, telling Mosag his “secret god is so eager. Rhulad decrees this a “day of suffering” and orders them on to the Eternal Domicile. Trull realizes he is lost to them.

SCENE THREE

Iron Bars arrives at the Azath to find the Seregahl. He attacks and wounds one. He informs them he killed the Pack already and that gives them a bit of pause. They move to attack and he smiles.

SCENE FOUR

Bugg heads toward the Azath, hoping Iron Bars didn’t foolishly go in on his own. He senses a “convergence” and begins running in the other direction.

SCENE FIVE

Eberict is told by one of his killers that they’ve killed two of Tehol’s bodyguard brothers. Mayen comes running down the street and they give chase. A group of Edur attack and as his men take them on, Eberict continues on Mayen’s trail. Though his focus is Tehol, he plans on capturing Mayen then raping and killing her later. He closes on her.

SCENE SIX

The last bodyguard tells Tehol Eberict has killed his brothers and is on his way. They head for the warehouse across the street for better defense.

SCENE SEVEN

Just before Eberict grabs Mayen, she stabs herself in the chest with her knife. Before he can react, Eberict is grabbed by a mixed Nerek/Tarthenal who tells him he’s doing this for what “Eberict did to her,” then proceeds to kill Eberict slowly. The mixed blood is Unn, relation of the grandmother (Urusan) whose funeral Bugg presided over earlier in the book — the woman killed by Eberict because she was begging for coin.

SCENE EIGHT

Tehol sees Mayen stepping toward him before she falls. Edur warriors appear and kill the last brother bodyguard, then don’t believe Tehol when he tells her he didn’t kill Mayen. They start to beat him horribly.

SCENE NINE

Hull, from not too far away, sees the beating and worried begins to head toward them when he is interrupted by one of Buruk’s Nerek servants. The Nerek tells Hull he has been “judged” for choosing to side with Rhulad and betrayal. He continues, saying Hull’s heart is “poisoned, because forgiveness is not within you.” Hull is stabbed to death from behind as the Nerek weeps.

SCENE TEN

Chalas steps out of the shadows and tries to tell the Edur he saw what happened, that Mayen stabbed herself. He covers Tehol and they begin to beat him as well. At the end, a skull is stomped hard enough to kill.

SCENE ELEVEN

The Errant feels Mosag’s sorcery and nudges it down into the deep swamp where it could do no more harm. He senses Mosag didn’t feel his manipulation of the sorcery and notes Mosag’s wrecked flesh. He watches the Edur warriors head off after Mayen and “grieves” in his knowledge of where that action will lead. Using his power, he watches Iron Bars fighting the Seregahl, marveling at Iron Bar’s ability while knowing he can’t last much longer. He heads toward the Eternal Domicile where he expects a convergence/sequence of tragic events. He believes his nudging is over and that all he has to do, he hopes, is observe.

SCENE TWELVE

Ublala finds Corlo outside the Azath helping Iron Bars. Ublala tells Corlo the Tarthenal pray to the gods to stay away. He heads in to help Iron Bars.

SCENE THIRTEEN

Udinaas has been cut to pieces as he’s crossed the city, killing 30 or more Soletaken and a half-dozen Edur, and is kept alive only by the Wyval and the Wraith. They approach the Azath and enter and head to the “barrow of the Master” and dig down, the Wyval crawling free of Udinaas’ body.

SCENE FOURTEEN

Kettle, sitting on the bank of the swamp still, sees the Wyval vanish into the water. Udinaas’ body lies on the bank, a wreck and the wraith hovering over it asks Kettle for help. The wraith tells Kettle a drop or two of her blood will revive him. When Kettle asks if it would not do the same for the Wraith, it tells her “do not tempt me.” Kettle agrees.

SCENE FIFTEEN

Iron Bars is having trouble, then Ublala shows up and “the odds were getting better.”

SCENE SIXTEEN

Bugg finds the Edur stomping on Chalas and Tehol and kills thirteen of them instantly and violently. The last is Theradas whom Bugg tells, “I am sending [you] home. Not your home. My home.” Theradas disappears through a portal into water and is killed by the pressure (and I’ll point out here that we have met Theradas before this novel. Anyone? Bueller?). Bugg senses his cry (as Mael) had been heard around the world, and noted. He kneels and picks up one of the bodies, then walks away.

SCENE SEVENTEEN

The Edur stand before the entrance to the Eternal Domicile, Trull thinking of the poisonous nature of power, of arrogance and certitude that had infected the Letherii and will infect the Edur. He believes had Udinaas been there earlier, it could have been avoided. Mosag tells Rhulad he senses someone or something ahead and tells Rhulad he and his K’risnan will lead.

SCENE EIGHTEEN

Brys sees the movement of the Edur toward them. He is joined by Brizad who tells him the Edur are right behind, that Moroch Nevath is dead, and that Gerun Eberict “pursues a women.” Asked by Brys who he is, Brizad replies “a witness.” The Ceda stands and when Brizad compliments his actions today and Brys says the Ceda has done nothing, Brizad responds that not only has he dealt with the sea-demon, but he has prepared for this moment so that all the power of the Cedance will pass through him. Mosag tells the Ceda to step aside as Lether has fallen. The Ceda says it is irrelevant. When Mosag mocks him, the Ceda asks him to find his sea-demon, which infuriates Mosag. The Ceda’s sorcery strikes.

SCENE NINETEEN

Trull watches as only Mosag and Binadas live to try and fight off the Ceda. Binadas is knocked down in a spray of blood and Fear pulls him back. Mosag fights on alone.

SCENE TWENTY

As Brys and Brizad watch, the Ceda’s power seems to be winning, and Brys foresees Mosag dying and then the Cedance killing the entire Edur race.

SCENE TWENTY-ONE

Trull watches Mosag become even more deformed as he pushes against the Ceda’s power, his grey chaotic sorcery moving closer to the Ceda.

SCENE TWENTY-TWO

The Ceda knocks aside Mosag’s sorcery and the Cedance’s white flame sweeps toward Mosag.

SCENE TWENTY-THREE

Fear shouts something to Trull, who watches Mosag failing. Trull realizes Fear is telling him to kill the Ceda with his spear or else all the Edur will die. Trull, though he wishes not to, throws his spear and hits the Ceda.

SCENE TWENTY-FOUR

Brys steps forward, but Brizad tells him the Ceda is dead.

 

Amanda’s Reaction to Chapter Twenty-Five, Part One:

Dust is a word we’ve seen so often now — in relation to the T’lan Imass, the name of one of the novels in the Malazan series, and those columns of dust we saw in the previous chapter. It’s also been spoken about when considering Raraku. I think we can all agree that it isn’t usually used in a friendly manner.

Tehol has really set himself up to be this helpless sort, hasn’t he? I mean, most people are considering his fate to be fairly forlorn and take their time looking after him — but we’ve seen flashes of that towering intellect and ability to get himself out of trouble. Also, you know, he has a god as a manservant and Bugg seems entirely content to work under Tehol — that says a lot about the man, as far as I am concerned.

Kettle built a little family around herself as a dead child — as she returns to life and we learn more about what inhabits her, she seems to be losing that support. Forkrul Assail is likely to close a lot of doors to her, I’d have thought?

Ahh! I sometimes forget that Ublala has Tarthenal blood! His reaction here suggests that the Tarthenal gods are now free enough to touch their followers. Sweet that he declares love to Shurq, non?

The treachery of a slave... It is so awful to know that these events now were because of one Feather Witch trying to buy her freedom with a Wyval, for, if Udinaas had not been infected, he would have been free to help Rhulad in his moment of madness. I do love that these incidental occurrences (or not-so-incidental, in the whole Wyval thing) are all tied into the tapestry of the Malazan books. Everything links so seamlessly with everything else.

I feel sorry for Udinaas, if he is caught by the Edur. After all, what he does is prompted by that within him, because Silchas Ruin needs help to escape the Azath and help destroy the Tarthenal gods....

Also, I can’t help but contemplate on the differences between the two sets of three brothers as we embark on this final showdown. After that one warm moment, the Edur brothers are now being ripped apart, Rhulad saying: “You are all as nothing to us. Liars, cheats, betrayers! All of you!” I mean, he is going mad, but still... On the other hand, the Letherii brothers seem to have managed to retain some sort of bond, what with Brys sending bodyguards to help Tehol and Hull seeking the forgiveness of his youngest brother.

Huh! Are we seeing here where people like Karsa and Bellurdan came from in this quote? “Tartheno Toblakai. Hood-damned Fenn.” Since we know how easily (?) Karsa took down a Hound of Darkness, I can quite see why Iron Bars would be feeling a mite trepidatious....

This is a fantastic scene where Iron Bars faces off against the five Seregahl — from the moment where the one whose eye he puts out shakes himself and stands to join the fray again to this quote, which gave me a genuine belly laugh: “Well, I’ve already killed a god today,” Iron Bars said “If I’d known this was going to be a day for killing gods, I might have paced myself better.”

Hmm, I’m not sure quite everyone would agree with this! “Good things came of being nice to a Jaghut, something the T’lan Imass never understood.”

Oh man, and then we see Bugg reflect on the fact that Iron Bars should have only gone in against the Seregahl in support, not on his own! Just after watching him kick off against them....

Now there was some misdirection! When Erikson used the word “brothers” at the start of this scene with Eberict, I thought it was the Beddict brothers. *breathes sigh of relief* I could absolutely believe it of Erikson to have the Beddicts die offscreen — the same as we came in right at the end of a siege before now.

Gerun Eberict really is a foul little man. That is all. It’s rare that I’m actively glad a character dies in a book, but I’d say this occasion counts.

Shock follows shock follows shock. My god, the Edur’s treatment of Tehol... That scene as he gets beaten! Immediately followed by Hull’s death. Oh god! I mean, I knew things really weren’t going to end well for many of the people I’ve followed, but Hull... No chance to make amends, to seek forgiveness. At least he never saw that it was his brother being kicked to death. Small mercies. It isn’t clear here whether Tehol actually dies. I have not read further yet. I am keeping my fingers so firmly crossed that he survives.

I admire Chalas very much here.

How true is this: “A most egregious error was in the offing...”

Hmm, I know the Errant is more of the subtle manipulation type but he seems to be doing bugger all right now about anything...

Oh! Well, now this just causes everything to make more sense — the Tarthenal pray for their gods to stay away! Geez, just what does that say about them?!

Now we lose Udinaas. It’s carnage, this chapter....

Or do we? Wither really doesn’t want Udinaas to die, does he? And that is a powerful moment when Wither turns down the chance of life in order to allow Udinaas to take it.

It’s really odd seeing the Avowed’s curse taking effect here and bringing life/energy back to his limbs as Iron Bars watches Ublala take on his own gods. You know something? Even though he has a bit part in this tale, I have a really warm affection for Ublala — he’s so innocent-seeming and so sensitive. A good example of how a peripheral figure can worm their way into your affections.

So Mael steps out of the shadows and back into the game, thanks to Bugg’s grief over Tehol’s death. I guess it is death? But I’m very much of the “don’t be convinced until you’ve seen a body” party by now, after five Malazan novels!

I love this quote:

His roar had been heard, he knew. Upon the other side of the world, it had been heard. And heads had swung round. Immortal hearts had quickened.

I’m sincerely glad that someone knew what the Ceda had achieved for them in the battle for Letheras, and told Brys of it. And I fiercely like that moment where Kuru Qan asks Hannan Mosag to seek for his sea demon, and the latter discovers what has been done. Very cool.

Even with all the titanic battles featuring sorcery we’ve already seen, this one takes them all — the battle between Hannan Mosag and Kuru Qan. This is simply amazing, a primal struggle using godlike powers. And I think I hate Trull a little bit for what he did. I know that he was defending his own people, his family. But I also know how much he questions the war that his people became embroiled in. I know he disliked the motivations behind invading the Letherii lands. So to see him here kill the Ceda is somehow... disappointing.

Which is a foul taste to have as we leave the re-read at this point until Friday....

 

Bill’s Reaction to Chapter Twenty-Five, Part One:

This chapter begins with a nice job of reminding us/preparing us for the convergence of events to come: Eberict going after Tehol, Tehol’s bodyguard brothers, Kettle absent at the Azath because she’s waiting on Silchas, the Tarthenal gods and Iron Bars. It’s a nice concise introduction. I do like that little bit of comic relief with Harlest’s “Aarrgh! Hiss!...” Partially because it is funny, but also because I know we don’t get a lot to smile out from here on in.

As one can see by that sudden shift to “a pool of darkening blood.” Or the froth on Rhulad’s mouth. Or the “blood-smeared gold, matted bear fur, sword-blade threaded through bits of human meat and intestines.”

You’re right, Amanda, on the contrast between the brothers Sengar and Beddict. This sundering of the Sengar brothers is made all the more poignant by that scene we just witnessed earlier where we saw the potential of their relationship, what could have been. Though of course we’ve always known where it was going. What I find interesting and had forgotten is that while this is the beginning of the final sundering, the first drawn sword that comes between two of them comes between Rhulad and Fear, not Rhulad and Trull or even Fear and Trull.

And what is in those mysterious sacks?

I do like how the metaphors are piling up: the way Mosag and K’risnan are becoming more misshapen, the references to addiction, slavery, betrayal.

I’m with you, Amanda, on the Iron Bars fight scene and especially that line, “If I’d known this was going to be a day for killing gods...“ I especially love that he killed a god the Tarthenal could not. I also enjoy that Iron Bars lets them think he killed the Pack on his own. And what a great closing line to the scene:

“Look,” one whined, "he’s smiling.”

That line from Bugg about the Jaghut reminds me of just how much our views on the Jaghut have been turned from how they were originally thought. Not a bad thing to recall as we move on through this series — the way things can get turned so around.

And that’s a great bit of suspense here, leaving us wondering what could worry Bugg so much that he’s willing to leave the Tarthenal gods — who have obviously been built up to be a major, major threat.

When Crillo talks about the one brother being “cut to pieces” with a grin, I didn’t remember what happened save that some of Gerun’s men died, and I thought “Boy, I really hope he’s one of them.”

Nice little set-up there with the line “it wouldn’t do to run into a company of Tiste Edur right now.” No. No it wouldn’t.

And boy is Erikson stacking the deck on how we feel about Eberict at this point. Not enough that he’s going after Tehol. Not enough that he wants to kill Mayen. Not even enough he wants to rape her first. But we get to listen in as he thinks of having “the lads have a go too.” Even worse, he’s going to give Crillo (Crillo!) first “go” as a reward for good behavior. Anyone going to be sorry when this guy gets it? Anyone? And we didn’t even get to the part where he’s completely psychotic about killing ugly people to beautify the city. Or the part where he abandons his men. Okay, how about now — anyone going to be sorry he gets it? How about when he mentions his poisoned sword? No? Shocker!

There are few scenes more difficult in this series to bear than this scene with Tehol getting stomped. There are some that are so sad, but I’m not sure there are many or any where the effect goes on for so many lines, where you’re wincing each and every time for so long.

And for first time readers, I’m curious — how many had forgotten completely about those two Nerek? I know I had by now the first time I read this. (Maybe even the second time as well.) And while I was pretty positive Hull wasn’t going to make it by the end, I didn’t expect it to come this way or so abruptly. I’m also curious what people think about the Nerek act here. After all, one could make the argument that Hull is doing them a favor. What do you all think of their judgment and their sentence and how it is carried out? On a larger scale (or maybe we can save this for our wrap-up) what you think of Hull generally as a character.

And it is sadness upon sadness, as what befalls Chalas is just heart-breaking. And it’s an interesting contrast/convergence here — one man killed for betrayal, one killed for loyalty.

While we’re on Chalas, I’d also say there’s something special about these books for me in how even the “redshirts” evoke grief. I feel terrible over Chalas’ death, despite the lack of page time he gets. I feel bad over the brother bodyguards’ deaths, despite the lack of page time and near-muteness. That kind of sorrowing over such minor characters is quite rare in my reading experience and I wonder what evokes it in Malaz. Part of it is Erikson’s ability to fill in a full-fleshed character in just a few words or paragraphs. And part of it I think is the immersion in such a detailed, lengthy world so that everyone feels a bit more real than in other works. And part of it I think is just the cumulative effect of so much focus on the “little man (and woman)” so that it just creates this resonance, this accretion of feeling associated to each and every character no matter how small. Any thoughts?

Enjoy this moment of the Errant doing good, when he diverts the malignant sorcery. Just saying.

So much violence and pain and death and suffering and cruelty in this chapter. And yet, balanced against that, so much that is glorious: Chalas’ sacrifice, the Wraith’s sacrifice, Tehol’s bodyguards’ sacrifice, Bugg’s grief, Iron Bars’ willingness to sacrifice.

As Odysseus once learned, do not anger a sea god. Never a good idea.

And who has heard that roar? And just pause on that closing image of the scene a while, Bugg walking away with Tehol in his arms. Just hold it and savor.

Glad you have a warm feeling for Ublala Amanda; he’s not done!

Trull’s thoughts upon entering the Eternal Domicile are a nice encapsulation of so many of the basic Malazan themes: the pitfall of “certainty” and the horrors that can ensue from it, the poisonous nature of power, the constant willful obliviousness to and ignoring of the past and the almost inevitable terrible result. And specific to this book, what has been intimated all along — that by winning the Edur will lose; they will become what they defeat or worse

Oh the Ceda. How can you as a reader not mourn his death? Yet hasn’t he been a tool that has allowed Lether to do what it has done? And if he wins, will the magic do what Brys says — wipe out every Edur, all of them? And is that right? Is that something to root for? But still, who doesn’t grieve for that funny old man?

And Amanda’s right; it’s hard not to hate Trull for doing what he does. Despite knowing the alternative. Despite knowing his own unwillingness.

And if only that foul taste would get washed out by what is to come....

By the way folks, we’ve been told that as in the past, Steven will be taking questions from folks regarding the book. He’ll be responding on March 2nd (at least that’s the plan) so think up those questions and keep checking for that thread!


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.

23 comments
Steven Halter
2. stevenhalter
Here we are at the payoff(s) again. SE really does set things up and then deliver.
Iron Bars vs the Tarthenal gods is classic. Fighting five gods at once on his own for whatever length of time shows just what he is made of. Then, we get his blackly humorous point of view "maybe they'll die of exhaustion." Really well done.
Bugg and Tehol. This scene is (as Bill said) really heart rending. Tehol is really likeable and to see him getting beat into the ground is not fun. I'd like to mention that Bugg shows that people who pick on his favorite people do not get mercy. Not a god merciful to the opposition, Bugg and also not one to quit on friends. Just saying.
The killing of the Ceda is another great scene. We like the Ceda. He's a nice old man. Trull has also shown a lot of positive qualities. So we get this scene balanced on a knife's edge. The Ceda is nice. Trull is nice. Mosag is vile. But then, genocide is quite vile also and that seems to be what the Ceda's victory represents. So Trull pretty much has to kill him even as we wish that he didn't and can't help to hold it somewhat against him.
Brian R
3. Mayhem
And don't forget the one liners too.
When the Errant nudges the sorcery "past the hidden tunnels of the Rat Catchers’ Guild where so many citizens huddled"
It seems that Tehol's wishes are being successfully carried out, despite the invasion of the city.

As for Theradas ... as Jordanes so aptly put it back in MoI

"killed by a High Mage of Ruse." Mmm, yeah, pretty damn high High Mage :D
Chris Hawks
4. SaltManZ
@Amanda:

"I love this quote:
His roar had been heard, he knew. Upon the other side of the world, it had been heard. And heads had swung round. Immortal hearts had quickened."
As do I, but I especially like it with the next line: "'No matter,' he whispered."

I forget about Unn every time. (I get confused and think he's Ublala.) And who is Chalas, again?
Darren Kuik
5. djk1978
First of all, I've finally gone and registered so I'll be appearing in black instead of red now.

My favorite scenes of this chapter are Iron Bars. I'm sure they are meant to be more of an aside to the main conflicts but for me they steal the show.

As for Trull, I think he does what he has too. He can't countenance the death of all the Edur. Also while the Ceda has been a likeable old fellow, he's also been party to everything Lether has done in the past presumably. Just goes to show us, there really are no innocents here.

Ublala's introduction may be small but he's not completely a redshirt.
Chris Hawks
6. SaltManZ
Also, Amanda:
"two sets of three brothers"
Even Erikson in an interview somewhere said MT was about two sets of three brothers.

And yes, there are three Beddict brothers, but (at the risk of sounding like Jean-Luc Picard) there are four Sengar brothers. So who's the one that everybody forgets about? Is it Binadas?
M G
7. parabola
@SaltManZ: While it may have been an oversight, I think the truth is that there are only 3 Sengar brothers who matter.
Binadas is too tied up in his allegiance to Mosag to undergo any character growth.
Chris Hawks
8. SaltManZ
There are four brothers, but the book's (really) only about three of them.
Tai Tastigon
9. Taitastigon
@Bill:

You’re right, Amanda, on the contrast between the brothers Sengar and Beddict. This sundering of the Sengar brothers...i]

Funny. The Sengar brothers, sundered...as is Kurald Emurlahn...

Maybe a general condition of the Tiste Edur...?
BDG91
10. BDG91
As much as I like the Ceda, and I grieve for his death because of his character but I always found Trull to be the more understandable. For one he questions the way his people are going within his limited power while the Ceda in all his glorious being does nothing that we see to stop the questionable cultural practices of the Letherii (maybe stop is a strong word, change would be better) not to mention he is willing to commit genocide (according to Brys) and that is never a sign of a compassionite person. I think this reflects real life tragic events because often it's not the vocal hateful minority that stops change its the apathetic masses who are in the a position to change but don't.

Mind you I am not saying Trull is a pony riding a rainbow into a fluffy cupcake bed. But that reflects one of theme I think is through out the book, and that is culture clash.

As for Hull's death, I thought the Nerek killed him because he became like Letherii in general, as if they never hated him for what he did because he was a true friend to their people (hence the tears). Metafictionally (if that's a word) a statement on how hate and certainty is never a good replacement for understanding no matter how much you were wronged.

And just because I love contradiction the death of Eberict is one of the most satisifiy moments of the story for me, being a person of First Nation descent and seeing how that kind of random hate can change an entry people it's like a sick revenge fantasy, plus the grandmother is second biggest "my heart can't go own" moment in the series. The other being the toy scene in TCG.
Drew Holton
11. Dholton
I know this is very wrong of me, but when you point out the image of Bugg carrying the body away, the image that pops into my head is that of Elmer Fudd carrying the limp body of Bugs Bunny after killing him with his Spear and Magic Helmet.

Although weirdly apropos: "Well, what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending?"
shirley thistlewood
12. twoodmom
On the Ceda's death, can I recall my comment on a contrast with the Malazan's? If he had had mundane back up he might not have died. Cooperation beats independence.
Joe Long
13. Karsa
(and I’ll point out here that we have met Theradas before this novel. Anyone? Bueller?
We first saw Theradas in MoI when Paran and Co. were flying on the Moranth towards Coral. They stopped to look at the body
"The corpse lay among boulders high on the strand, fifteen paces from the soutward-rushing water. Limbs twisted, revealing broken bones - some of them jutting through torn flesh - the figure was naked, bloated with decomposition...This man was killed by implosive pressure, as if he'd been hit by a mage using High Serc"
and later
"This man was killed by the reverse. By appearing suddenly in a place of great pressure."
this is one of my favorite examples of how SE know what he was doing! :)
Robin Lemley
14. Robin55077
@ Amanda
"Wither really doesn’t want Udinaas to die, does he? And that is a powerful moment when Wither turns down the chance of life in order to allow Udinaas to take it."
I am just curious as to whether or not this is how everyone interpreted this scene...that Kettle's blood could save one or the other but not both and that Wither gave up his chance at returning to save Udinaas?

I do not interpret it that she could only save one, but rather interpret it that Wither is asking her not to tempt him with a return for himself. Remember that the Andii have somewhat skewed views on life.

Anyone care to share their thoughts on this?
Hugh Arai
15. HArai
@Amanda:
Hmm, I know the Errant is more of the subtle manipulation type but he seems to be doing bugger all right now about anything...
Remember you said this when we get to the end of the series.
I have to agree with several other posters: It's too much to ask of Trull to accept what he believes to be the total destruction of the Edur. I have a lot of doubts about humanity, but I can't see letting something wipe us out if I could stop it. To me it's like objecting to the peace offered by Calm or Serenity. One has to do it.
Robin Lemley
16. Robin55077
As for the Trull/Ceda discussion, even on my initial read I was in Trull's corner on this one.
"Tears blurred Trull's eyes. He did not want to so this. But they will kill us all. Every one of us, leaving not a single Tiste Edur alive. I know this. In my heart I know this....They will sweep us into history's forgotten worlds. I...I know this."
Given the history of the Letherii's treatment of conquored peoples, Trull had valid reason to believe that all Edur would be annihalated if the Ceda was not stopped. Even Brys believed that would be the result of the Ceda winning his battle with Mosag. Trull was faced with a lose/lose choice and I felt that he made the only choice he could have made. I found myself liking/respecting Trull even more for the fact that he did not want to make the throw and the fact that he only did so with tears blurring his vision.
BDG91
17. endymion
@robin 14

definitely agree with your interpretation of wither's choosing not to come back to life

what a great half a chapter!
Brian R
18. Mayhem
It occurs to me that this is probably a suitable point to point out a similarity between the Ceda and Imperial High Mage Tayschrenn, although many of the deeper parallels require spoilers.

Both seem to have exceptional powers aspected towards fire and light, and both seem to go out of their way to stay apart from the empire they are a part of. Yet both get drawn in to protect what they see as right, with unfortunate implications for their opponents.
Robin Lemley
19. Robin55077
@ 18. Mayhem.

Thanks for pointing that out. I had not thought of any similarities between the two.
BDG91
20. Capetown
Ublala killing one of his gods in a surprise attack is really some great foreshadowing again by SE.
Kenneth La Rocque
21. kjtherock
@ Amanda
But I’m very much of the “don’t be convinced until you’ve seen a body” party by now, after five Malazan novels

I would think after 5 novels you would be in the don't be convinced even if you have seen a body camp. :-)
Iris Creemers
22. SamarDev
I'm late (and this is such a wonderful chapter!), so just a few (in hindsight: few?) short notes.

- How do you motivate an undead who likes to scare people? Well, tell him you're heading to a cemetery :-).

- Theradas has been worked bit by bit into a non-sympathetic character (for example by letting Udinaas fall in front of Rhulad). Here we see it's outcome - and his final fate.

- Just as Eberict gets his unpleasant death. SE can delever justice...

- The scene where Tehol gets beaten is so ugly... Difficult to read every time. Maybe could be a good alternitive/additional punishment for youth that commited random violence?

- Poor Udinaas, but there is hope! Another reason to be glad Kettle got back to life.

- And poor Ceda... I'm not sure if defeating Mosag would mean obliterating all Edur, but the Letherii past is speaking against him/the Letherii. But how painful: letting one cherished character kill another cherished character...

@ Mayhem re the Ceda / Tayschrenn. Thanks, hadn't thought about it that way before!

And to conclude... Hi djk, welcome in black! :-)
M G
23. parabola
@Karsa 13: The only thing bothering me about that is that Ganoes says he thinks that another Tiste Edur killed Theradas. Another example of an unreliable narrator?

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