Wed
Feb 29 2012 1:00pm

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Midnight Tides, Epilogue and Wrap Up

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 Epilogue 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. This Friday at noon Tor.com will be hosting a Q&A about Midnight Tides with Steven Erikson, then the Malazan reread will take a break until March 14, when we will begin Bonehunters.

All set? Good!

 

Epilogue

SCENE ONE

The Kenryll’ah demon princes look down a hole they threw the Forkrul Assail down. They urinate down the hole.

SCENE TWO

Withal, Sandalath, and the Nachts are on the beach as a storm rages and they can feel its “wrath and its impotence.” Sandalath says it is waiting for someone to do something and he says he’s thought of something, then spots a boat. He runs to the Crippled God’s tent and knocks it down, then yanks it away from the god. The storm arrives on the shore save for a patch of calm where the boat pulls in. Bugg gets out and tells him the ship is for them all, adding he’s “going to beat a god senseless.”

 

Amanda’s Reaction to the Epilogue and Midnight Tides

Well, this line really does say it all: “As the world unfurls anew...” As we close the last pages of Midnight Tides, it feels like everything has changed and we are ready to start the story anew.

These two Kenryll’ah do make me laugh a lot. They are so crude and yet somehow entirely childlike.

And there is so much potential in this sniping relationship between Sandalath and Withal — loving that!

FINALLY Withal gets what those rather clever Nachts have been trying to tell him! Nice to see Mael arrive in answer to Withal’s prayers and, oh boy, did I want to see Mael beat the Crippled God senseless... A good ending.

BUT... my first comment regarding Midnight Tides is one that is starting to apply to the whole series: what exactly is achieved by these epilogues? I mean, what is done there that can’t be achieved by just putting that section on the end of the previous chapter? Mind, I’ve often wondered as to the point of Prologues like those Robert Jordan produced in the Wheel of Time, and now these Epilogues that Erikson writes. They are just an extension of the rest of the story being told within the novel. Anyway... *shrugs* ...I suspect I shall be alone in my thoughts on that, so onwards!

My overwhelming view of Midnight Tides is one of deep appreciation of a writer’s craft. Yes, I know that the novel is nigh on 1,000 pages, but, even with that, it feels as though Erikson has included masses of detail and none of it is extraneous to the plot. The way that the different plotlines and scenes all slot together by the end of the novel is a joy to experience. The fact that we have explosive battle scenes and quiet moments of reflection gives brilliant balance to Midnight Tides.

I won’t deny, when I realised this was going to be a whole novel featuring Trull, who hadn’t exactly set my world alight during House of Chains, my heart sank. I went into Midnight Tides thinking that it would be the most difficult novel of the series. Instead, it has easily become one of my favourites, and Trull is now a character with depth, someone I have enormous liking and pity for. So here is a question... How many of you re-readers/old-timers liked Trull in House of Chains purely because you knew his back story would be filled out in Midnight Tides? I’d be interested, because I found his storyline dull in the previous novel. Now I’m very keen to go back to his parts of House of Chains and re-read them — see just how much of Trull has been created by the events in Midnight Tides.

I loved the fact that Midnight Tides was both a complete story, and also opened like a flower at the end to show the potential of the rest of the series. I am DYING to read the rest of the stories of some of these characters — and it will be of great interest to see how they slot into the rest of the characters we already know and adore.

What also gets me is the fact that I truly have NO idea where the tale is going now. I want to find out, of course, but nothing would surprise me. All I know is that we have gods, ascendants and regular or not-so-regular people assembling on stage for........ And that is the bit that I’m not sure about. What exactly are they assembling for? I know it’s likely to involve death and tragedy and dark humour, but other than that I’m a blank. And I love that. I love the potential. I love the fact that I simply cannot predict this epic fantasy. With other series it is easy to see the way the author is taking things — the journey is what becomes important and how they get there — but you pretty much know what the ending will bring. I could not even try to predict the end of The Crippled God!

Bring on The Bonehunters!

 

Bill’s Reaction to the Epilogue and Midnight Tides

Giving us some slapstick buddy humor is a nice breathe of air at the end here, coming as we have through such emotionally wrought scenes: so much death and tragedy and, in the Errant’s word “poignancy.”

We also get to feel pretty good at the end with the escape of Withal, the comeuppance via Withal to some extent of the Crippled God, and then the emergence of Mael who makes us feel even better as we picture the CG getting what’s coming (and wise to let this happen off-stage because really, how are you going to show us one god beating the hell out of another?).

A few big picture items, certainly not exhaustive, I’d like to mention before handing off the baton to Steven.

Wait, this already happened?: The flashback nature of the book adds a constant background of, yes, poignancy, to the novel that we know always where it is heading in terms of the Sengar brothers. Granted, it is difficult as a re-reader to separate out what haunts the novel because of what’s come before (Trull’s shorning) and what haunts you because of what you know coming up. (You don’t really think I’m going to put an example in this parentheses do you?). But I’m pretty sure offering this novel up as a flashback makes the reading experience richer than had we gotten it in chronological order. And I admit, I’m a sucker for playing with time and structure and order and the like. I don’t care for such things as gimmicks, but when they are woven in to the heart of the story, they enhance the read for me.

Hey, where’s everyone going?: We get some resolution at the end — Lether is conquered, Rhulad is Emperor, Hull is dead, etc. But look at how much of the end of the novel is in truth a “beginning” or a “rebirth.” Silchas crawls out of the earth and is reborn into the world. We have no idea. Kettle is “reborn” into the living. Seren is reborn into purpose. Tehol is pretty literally reborn. Mael is reborn from Bugg, coming into his full nature. Udinaas is released from his old life as slave. Shurq is about to begin the pirating life. Sandalath is literally reborn. Withal is off to a new life. And I’m sure I’m leaving some out. Beyond the characters themselves and how they are reborn or beginning anew, we have plots starting up: the questing group at the end, Iron Bars reference to the Crimson Guard getting together, the Edur beginning their rule rather than their conquest of Lether, Rhulad about to begin to start Malazan Idol — the search for a champion. Trull and Seren making with the swordplay. Tehol about to put his plot into effect. And of course, now that Trull has told his tale, we can get back to what he’s going to be up to. And I’m sure I’ve left out characters and plots. But the point is obvious — the tide comes in, and the tide goes out, and Midnight Tides ends sweeping us outward into more and more story.

Trull and Seren, sitting in a tree, first comes sword...: Yes, we’ve got sweeping epic storytelling, kickass world-shaking sorcery, major battles, trips to the bottom of the ocean, people killing gods, etc. But give me character and relationship if you want to hold my attention for longer than a short story or novella cuz action alone isn’t going to do it for me. What keeps me reading isn’t to see how the Ceda kicks Mosag’s butt in a battle of magics, it’s what happens between Tehol and Bugg; between Fear, Rhulad, and Trull; between Kettle and the adults in her “life,” between Ceda and Brys, Brys and Tehol, Iron Bars and Seren, Trull and Lilac. It’s the banter, the growing intimacy, the growing estrangement. It’s the relationships.

We’ve got philosophy, yes we do; we’ve got philosophy, how ‘bout you?: I love the social criticism of this novel. The rapaciousness of capitalism, imperialism, colonialism in both its obvious and not-so-obvious fashions. The deleterious nature of our old friend “certainty.” The nature and impact of inequity. The horrors of rationalization and destiny. The dangers of the unexamined belief system. All the ways one can be enslaved (literally, to an addiction or a drug, to power, to a belief/faith, to self-delusion, to the past, to family). I like that Erikson makes me think.

When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes: I actually don’t have much to say about this yet, save to point out that

a) we’re getting more gods coming on stage
b) some of those gods get killed. That’s going to be an important concept down the road
c) Hood has balls

What did he say again?: Just a few reminders:

  • Kolanse: Seems it’s a very messed up place.
  • Bluerose: Home to some estranged Andii apparently.
  • The Shore
  • Where are all these released Forkrul Assail going?
  • Udinaas has a son.
  • Sheltatha Lore is still trying to get out.
  • Brys is dead, sure, but still in the game (albeit a wet one). After all, there’s dead, and there dead. Or as Xander once described it, “walking-around-and-drinking-with-your-buddies dead.”

Okay, there’s lots more to discuss with the book so have it folks, what did we leave out?


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.

29 comments
Kadere
1. Kadere
WOO!! Bring on The Bonehunters! Easily my favorite of the series. You ain't seen nothing yet, Amanda. ;)
Steven Halter
2. stevenhalter
@Amanda:The prologues are generally about larger details and history. They set the table. The Epilogues are a focus on small detail and clearing the table. Why aren't they part of the chapters? Well, because they have different purposes and subjects--just like why isn't any given chapter part of the previous one.

Good summaries Bill & Amanda. When I first read Midnight Tides I wasn't that entranced with the idea of a whole book about Trull, but it swept me in with its details and characters. Yeah, Trull gets a whole lot more interesting and we get Tehol & Bugg and all the others. And, it gets better every time I read it.
I really like Bill's comment that Midnight Tides is about opening up possibilities. We get to see a new place and some back story of snippets that we had seen mentioned before.
Each book so far has added a bit to a vast wide angle pull back shot that makes up the overall story. As Amanda mentioned that is one of the very cool things about the story. Where is it going? What is going to happen? The possibilities are endless at this point in the story. Contrast this to say "The Lord of the Rings." LotR is a fantastic journey but the end is pretty much pre-determined. What's the end at this point--could be anything, but you can be sure it will be cool.
Rob Munnelly
3. RobMRobM
I always felt lost with MT, as I could not figure out how it connected to the prior three books as a matter of geography. Putting that aside, I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially with the Tehol-Bugg comedy show.

Rob
Thomas Jeffries
4. thomstel
I could not even try to predict the end of The Crippled God!
The statement will continue to be true up through (almost) the actual end of the series. And I agree: it's great to have a series so rife with possibility, instead of a normal "complete quest" and/or "fight big bad" plotline.
Amir Noam
5. Amir
So here's something I've only now noticed for the first time:

Remember how the first chapter of the book started? It started with a tale (possibly narrated by Trull) about a giant who fell asleep on the shore and drowned. The tale ended with:
Of all the gifts Father Shadow has given his children, this one talent stands tallest. Look away to see. Trust in it, and you will be led into Shadow. Where all truths hide.
Look away to see.
Now, look away.
And, now, how does the epilogue start? With this poem by Fisher:
And it is this moment, my friends,
When you must look away,
As the world unfurls anew
In shapes announced both bright
And sordid, in dark and light
And the sprawl of all existence
That lies between.
I keep finding reasons to admire Erikson's writing. The man's a genius.
Brian R
6. Mayhem
Yep, the epilogues are there to quietly reflect on what has happened, to provide a particular note or tone to finish on and to balance out the tale. They can be lighter, like here or in MoI, or they can be full of pathos, like in HoC. DG has one of my favourites in that it has to balance out one of the darkest points with a note of triumph.

Shalter puts it very well in that they are there to clear the table, to provide a clean context to build the next part on.

The other thing to mention is that with the end of Trull's story, we are now up to speed with all the backstory context we need - we know what is happening on Genabackis, Seven Cities and Lether.
Now the dominoes are set up, it is time for a gentle nudge from Steve, as we begin the cascade ...
Thomas Jeffries
7. thomstel
Amir@5: That's actually really fabulous. I never saw it before, so thanks for the pointer!

As soon as I read it, two additional thoughts that tie in occurred to me:
1) It's not too far a leap to interpret the "look away to see" concept to tie in with the theme of certainty = bad. Looking at things from different perspectives and/or looking for alternatives can help someone "see" the issue more clearly by truly evaluating the pros/cons instead of relying blindly on faith, tradition, authority, etc.
2) Steven practices the "look away to see" throughout the series. One of my biggest concerns with the series is the amount of trust a newcomer has to show throughout the first half to really get to the point that they understand the bigger tapestry that's being revealed. DG has us looking away from Darujhistan, MoI has us look away from Seven Cities that we've come to know and love, HoC has us transported to some backwater tribal forest with a fairly unsympathetic and unlikable protagonist, and MT shifts continents, governments and the timeline so far it's tough to find touchpoints to the earlier series. To what end? We end up "see"ing better by "looking away" each time. The tapestry turns out to be a phenomenal work, but had we just stared at the one part of it the whole time, it wouldn't be anywhere near as impressive.
Dustin George-Miller
9. dustingm
I must say, I found MT one of the more difficult books in the series to read the first time. Not only because it dealt with an entirely different set of characters (virtually none in common) from the previous books, but also because, more than perhaps any book before Reaper's Gale, it made me feel uncomfortable.

I struggled (and continue to struggle) with Udinaas as a character. I find him pitiable, but distinctly unlikeable, for his pathos. Feather Witch I dislike for her cruelty. The Errant for his rapacious disregard. Hull for his callous ennui. Rhulad... well, we all know why we dislike (and pity) Rhulad. My first time through this book, I endured it, rather than enjoyed it. I was dreading coming back to it. I even skipped over it on my first re-read.

But, confession aside, I gained a much clearer picture of this novel in the overall scheme of the series upon this past re-read. Motivations were clarified. The big picture came (ever so slightly) into focus. And despite all the, well, melancholy of this book, I feel in grappling with it one more time that I've come to understand it a lot more.

However, as others have posted, bring on The Bonehunters. That book is by a good margin my favorite of the series, no less for a certain epic chapter 7...
Darren Kuik
10. djk1978
Well, we reach the end. I enjoyed the little epilogue. Amanda, I find putting those two sections at the end on their own makes more sense than stuffing them in with the rest of the battle for Letheras. It's just one last moment to catch our breath before we dive into the Bonehunters.

I may be an oddity, I loved the book the first time through. I was intrigued by Trull in House of Chains so I was eager to read his story. The first time through I mostly ignored Tehol and Bugg, what a mistake that was! Midnight Tides is one of my favourites in the series, actually of the 5 (6) we've read so far, it ranks the highest for me.
Joe Long
11. Karsa
What also gets me is the fact that I truly have NO idea where the tale is going now. I want to find out, of course, but nothing would surprise me.
at this point, I don't anybody does. if re-readers tell you they did, they are probably lying. :)

btw, for those of us who do know the end, there is a very interesting conversation to be had about the epilogue and Mael’s behavior towards the CG. My assumption is that SE know *exactly* what he was doing here and how it relates to the rest of the books and leaves it to us the reader to notice, remember, and understand the implications (or not as the case may be). I love how on reflection the feeling you get and the understanding of the implications are so completely different. Wow.
James Golden
12. Treemaster
I'm on my first trip through the books too, and I also just finished Midnight Tides!

I thought portions of Midnight Tides were great, others less so. The first third of the book, in particular, was difficult. I don't object to social commentary or discussion of sexual issues per se, but I thought Erikson was trying too hard to bash capitalism and the United States. Lether is very different in many ways from the modern world, but I felt that we were supposed to conclude the modern world is bad in the same way that Lether is. In addition, I disliked the sexual jokes with Ublala and Shurq -- they felt forced and not really all that funny.

While I'm on the sexual points, is it just me, or do nearly all fantasy books make women the sexual agressors who initiate relationships with men? This is true in Eddings, Jordan, and Erikson. In the real world, men are still the primary instigators of sex. (I'm not making a moralistic point on whether that is good, or bad, just an observation.) I don't know why fantasy is like that -- wish fulfillment on the part of the male authors perhaps? Or maybe I'm way-off on this point.

Although I found portions of the book difficult, Midnight Tides also had great moments, including Trull and his brother's journey to recover the sword, nearly every moment with the Cedant, and the end when we get a point of view from Fear (which was my favorite part of the entire book). Rhulad's descent into madness was also well done...enough sympathetic points were included to prevent Rhulad from being a caricature, and his story did indeed gain pathos over time. I also liked Udinaas. I suppose I'm a bit unusual in that I found him almost entirely a sympathetic character from the beginning.

Erikson's books, so far, have flaws, but they are also brilliant at times. Erikson is masterful at including shades of grey and making things as complicated as they are in real life. I'm looking forward to the Bonehunters.
Chris Hawks
13. SaltManZ
@Treemaster: Regarding America = Lether, have you read this?

Another tidbit from the Reddit AMA: The three books of the Kharkanas trilogy will be Forge of Darkness, Fall of Light, and Walk in Shadow, with FoD seeing publication this August, and 2 years between subsequent books. Sounds awesome.
Brett Loftesnes
14. baloft
Definately one of my favorites of the series so far. But I wish I had read this one first, before the others. Not because it happens chronologically before the others; but for me, I think I would have gotten a lot more out of the first books. In some sense, this book stands on its own and could be used as a starting point without feeling like you're being dropped in the middle of the story - there is very little from the first 4 books that you needed to know in order to enjoy this story (other than the general world-building). But so many of the events that we ran across in the previous books didn't have as much punch or meaning except in retrospect, since we didn't know the backstory yet - the Silanda, Theradas's decompression, the seemingly pointless wandering of Trull and Onrack in HoC, etc. They all came across as mildly interesting side events, with some mystery certainly, but not much emotional attachment. But had I read MT first, these events would have been so much more meaningful to me, especially Binadas for instance. Just curious if anyone else thought the same.
But onward!
(Just went back and edited out a possible spoiler, sorry. It's hard to keep straight how much of previous events haven't been fully revealed yet.)
Amir Noam
15. Amir
baloft@14,

Please white-out your spoiler about the death of Binadas and the Silanda. We haven't reached those events yet in the re-read.
Thanks.
Tricia Irish
16. Tektonica
No time to read the comments thus far, so I apologize if I'm redundant.....

Amanda, the first time through HoC, I didn't pay much attention to Trull...it wasn't his story, so meh. I too dreaded MT with all new continent and players, and didn't like the first book with the Edur....but....I loved it here on the reread. And it certainly is necessary in light of the rest of the books. And yes...hard to tell where this story is going, but trust that it was well planned. ;-)
James Golden
17. Treemaster
@13-- I hadn't seen that. Thanks for the reference, and it makes sense and improves my thoughts about the book.
Kadere
18. Mrglum
I'm very much looking forward to the re-read of Bonehunters, one of my top three in the series. We get to meet Hellian! We get to meet Barathol and Chauer! We get to go to Y'Ghatan! Apsalar is awesome! I'm also looking forward to the Q&A, but when you say noon on friday, which timezone?
Iris Creemers
19. SamarDev
Mrglum @ 18
according to previous Q&A's it's the same time the posts usually pop up in your time-zone (so in the Netherlands around 7 pm - I'm too lazy to count back in which timezone it's noon then...).
And don't worry, it means that from that moment you can leave your questions in the comment section, and within a few days (usually not specified) SE will collect those to answer them. So no need to sit ready for a live Q&A, but don't wait to long with posting your questions (within a few days), otherwise SE might be already writing his answers...
Kadere
20. Jordanes
Roll on The Bonehunters! The book that brings everyone together in one big not so happy family :) so many things to come - and THAT chapter :D
Iris Creemers
21. SamarDev
That's a very good wrap-up, Amanda and Bill! Both your parts touch important stuff related to how you receive this book on a first read, what things are important to remember (Hood has balls. Really?), and the way this book opens up for... another 5 books :-) (+ those of ICE, of course).

I think Bill is right when he states that the relations between the characters in this book were a huge motivation to read along. I don't mean to say that the plotlines or the new cultures etc were not / less interesting, but we had such great duo's / trio's in this book...

I tried to think back to my first read of MT, but its difficult to distinguish feelings / opinions of that one with those in the reads that followed. I think I had some difficulties getting into the story, being on another continent with just Trull as previous known character. Tehol and Bugg helped a lot to get further, the plotline of Seren/Hull/Buruk wasn't that favorite (still isn't) but actually somehow/somewhere I got hooked again. That always speeds up my reading tempo, so I miss more subtile things :-) (I really found out Bugg=Mael very late...).
And I think I did what I do with most books in this series: read it, close it, sigh 'wow', open it and start reading it again. Because the 'what's-happening-next'-drive is missing, that second time a lot more things click together (and even later the things that fall in place when rereading after having read subsequent books).

So, first the Q&A and then it's Bonehunters. Really looking forward to that one. Especially that chapter where others are already hinting at. Well, it almost could be a book on itself, being 1/10th of the entire novel...
Damian Dubois
22. ParadoxicalDr??
Even though I have been following this re-read for some time now this is the first time I've actually decided to post something. Have to say right off the bat thanks to both Amanda and Bill for taking the time and effort to analyse the books in so much depth and detail. No doubt you both live busy lives and to display this level of commitment shows how much passion you have for Steven Erikson's work and the Malazan series in general.

I recently just finished DoD and tCG at the end of January after re-reading the first 8 novels throughtout 2011 and can say without a shadow of a doubt that this series is my new number one set of fantasy novels (beating out both Martin's Song of Ice and Fire and Donaldson's Thomas Covenant chronicles). I'm also finding it extremely hard to get into anything else so I'm reliving the series yet again through a friend of mine who just happens to be reading them for the first time :)

Since you have now finished Midnight Tides and had all the good discussions already I'll just throw my hat into the ring and say I was one of those readers that loved the complete shift to Letheras right from the start and had no issue with countless new characters thrown my way. When the characters are written so well and so intricate all I can say is keep 'em coming!

One more time, thanks to everyone on here for their great insight and comments on the books as I have found them very helpful at times in explaining certain things that I might have missed and connecting the dots. It is amazing the amount of new things you pick up when you go through them a second time :)
Thomas Jeffries
23. thomstel
Cmon guys and gals, this is the Internet. It's "DAT CHAPTER", superimposed over a picture of a big fiery-red number 7!
Iris Creemers
24. SamarDev
Funny to see that at every wrap-up in this reread, half of the posts (well, not really, but a lot) are saying: 'Oh, I'm só much looking forward to the next book!' (or plotline X, or character Y, at least something of the next book.)
What does it tell us about the series...?
Every single book of it is worth looking forward for! :-)
Iris Creemers
26. SamarDev
and ParadoxicalDr??, welcome 'in the open'!
Bill Stusser
27. billiam
I know I am late to the party, but I just finished reading MT this weekend and while it had its flaws; and let's face it, every SE book has them, I think it is the best of the MBotF that I have read so far (in order from best to least that would be MT, HoC, MoI, GotM, DG). I had no problem getting into the new setting or characters and it was cool to see how things are starting to come together. Plus, Tehol and Bugg are great!

I have to disagree with those who say that this book is out of order because it is Trull telling his story. If we only got Trull's story that could be a valid interpretation but there were just too many things in this book that Trull had no way of knowing. The story is just not being told in a linear fashion and there is nothing wrong with that. But then again, I have no problems following stories that are told out of order, as a matter of fact I like it that way.

I wanted to answer a few questions that were asked during the course of the reread of MT. I know I am very late with this, but what the hell.

Yes, Amanda, I think that SE uses rape too much. He has used it as a plot device in every book so far with the exception of GotM, I believe. I, for one, am tired of it reoccurring over and over. I see from the rest of the comments that I am probably alone in that.

I agree with Bill about the fight between Brys and Rhulad; to be more precice, the surgical precision of Brys's sword cuts during the battle, really taxed my suspension of disbelief. Totally took me out of the story as I rolled my eyes and asked myself really? This also applies to the Segulah in MoI.

Also to Amanda, no, I had no problems with Trull killing the Ceda. As a matter of fact I wanted him to do it. I was on the Edur side of this war for the entirety of the book, despite Rhulad being a total tool. I wanted to see Lether fall. Which is why I have to disagree with those who say they hated Hull. I understood exactly what he was going through and thought his death was the most tragic (it would have been Tehol, but you know, he ended up not dying, so). I know I am in the minority here but Brys was actually my least favorite of the Beddict brothers.

At Treemaster, I have to disagree with you on women not being the sexual aggressors in real life. Since my divorce a couple of years ago I cannot believe how many women have straight up hit on me. Actually, now that I think about it, it started happening even before I was divorced. A couple of female coworkers flat out asked me to go home with them after work while I was still married. "You can tell your wife you had to work OT," they said. I declined, of course, as I was married and loved my wife.

One last thing, am I the only one who gets anoyed when SE breaks his limited third person POV structure? It drives me nuts and throws me out of the story every time. And it happened too often in MT.

So on to The Bonehunters. As someone who hasn't been the biggest fan of the MBotF and has had to take a two to three month break between each Malazan book so I've read so far, I think it says something that I am looking forward to reading The Bonehunters right after finishing MT. Maybe someday I will even catch up to the reread.
Kadere
28. smv1979
I know I'm way late to be commenting here but. I just recently discovered this re-read. Thanks so much! It has been fantastic to join in with your comments and hear discussion about differing viewpoints.

I did find that Night of Knives was my favourite book so far. I loved it from the first chapter.

I just wanted to add a comment regarding the discussion of how Brys incapacitated Rhulad Sengar. I thought it flowed seeamlessly with the rest of the story, and I experienced a feeling of near inevitablity after my initial surprise at what was happening. Here are some of the reasons that I felt this way:
1. Brys was concidered the very best swordsman of all the Letherii; it's why he was made King's Champion.
2. The Ceda warned him not to kill Rhulad.
3. Rhulad was not a very experienced swordsman.Trull comments to us on his first battlefield death that he is not very good yet, but he would gain experience with each death.
4. Rhulad came to Lether looking for death, actively seeking it out.
5. Udinaas has just betrayed Rhulad, so Rhulad is reeling with feelings of betrayal. It is the first time that Rhulad has come back to life without Rhulad's presence, and we are told that he had never been gripped by so much madness.
For me this last reason is the most compelling, as I don't think Rhulad was anywhere near in his right mind while fighting. Iron Bars noted in this chapter also, that mental space when fighting was extremely important.
Kadere
29. Karambha
27. billiam
I don't think rape is used too often - rape is a wepon of war and is used everywhere, but not talked about often enough. I think it is fantasic that SE brings it to the fore as often as he does. It's one of the reasons that the aftermath of war takes so long to heal - raped and traumatised women and battle shocked men make dreadful pairents, so societies take generations to heal............ if they ever do.

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