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Congratulations for finishing it the second time :slight_smile:

The ignominious end

It couldn’t have ended in any other way. First off, Icarium’s story demands that. And secondly, Mappo gave up Tool’s kids to have a chance to find Icarium. I am not sure that was redeemable. I felt very sad about his death but it also seemed very poetic that Icarium just starts over with a new guy. But maybe, maybe he remembers something. Loved this glimmer of hope.

I admit that Book 9 was a slog

It was also a slog for you the second time? I think book 9 is in the top half for me just because it has so many amazing scenes and moments. So many hilarious scenes and so many moving ones. And also so many explanations. The Snake which was mostly confusing the first time, made much more sense the second time for me. And their meeting with the Bonehunters is so powerful too.

Tavore almost killing her brother the same way she killed her sister

Good catch! It is very symbolic.

Almost every Malazan book finale was sad and tragic but this last one… really made me cry a lot. So much death, so much sacrifice, and yet …

The ending overall is kinda positive and hopeful, surprised me a lot back then.

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You are right about Mappo of course. Still… it is somehow so anticlimactic what happens.

Dust of Dreams was maybe bad timing when I started it I was quite motivated from the ending of Toll the Hounds but then life got in the way of reading and slowed me down and I lost track. Between my 2 full readings of Malazan there were 10 years. So I really didn‘t remember a lot of things beyond the first 5 books which I had read again after 5 years.

I think I may have to read the wiki synopsis for that one to understand some more of it.

Some parts towards the end felt like the plotlines had to be pulled back together with some force. But it is quite the achievement that it works as well as it does. Considering the amount of plotlines… and characters.

I agree that the ending is more positive than I had feared for a long time. And far more people survive as well.

In the meantime, I have since then finished rereading the first book of the Arc of Scythe which is slightly longer than 300 pages. But 300 pages YA really don‘t compare to the density of writing that Malazan presents.

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Yeah, I get that.

If you liked Karsa, you should read The God is not Willing. It deals with his legacy. And it is written in a way faster style than MBotF.


Also I personally finished Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s apprentice (first book of the Farseer trilogy). A reread, though the last time I read it was like 20 years ago and I did it in German. Still as good as I remember, even better in some ways now because the language flows better than in the German translation. A very good series.

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I read a whole bunch of stuff in June. Thanks largely to getting stuff for my birthday.

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I just read the complete “Arc of Scythe” trilogy in the last week (slightly less than 1.000 pages ~ 1 volume of Malazan but written less densely) I had previously read the first 2 books but never got to the third.

Arc of Scythe’s premise is a Utopia with a benevolent AI in a post-mortal age on Earth.
Utopias never quite work out obviously…

Rereading the first two books was a bit difficult. Not all goes well all the time and seeing things coming is sometimes difficult for me. This is a shadow of the same reason I cannot go back to ASoIaF/Game of Thrones ever because I would have to start at the beginning and I can’t, I just can’t suffer through that again. For Arc of Scythe, I remembered just enough to make things stressful.

Still, highly recommended and there is a coherent end to the story that makes complete sense to me even if not all goes well for everyone.

Weirdly, rereading Malazan was very different for me than rereading most other books and I cannot quite put my finger on it why. Malazan has a lot of drama, people die, plans fail… but seeing things coming is more exciting, and on every reread I am noting more details, grokking more scenes, creating more excitement for what is going on… Rereading Gardens of the Moon I couldn’t wait for things to begin happening. There are so many scenes I can’t wait to get to. Scenes I definitely would reread again and again. Every single book as a tragic ending and yet… I love those endings. Why is that? Is Malazan missing or adding some secret ingredient?

While rereading ASoIaF I was always filled with dread at what was coming… there are a few scenes that I really wanted to get to of course but later books always set out to ruin those moments of peace or redemption…

I have always been someone who rereads books. Especially lengthy series. Usually, I do this after I took a break and want to read the newest volumes. I must have read the first 5 WoT books 4 or 5 times. By the time Stormlight Archive is done it’ll be similar. WoT and Stormlight Archive are other books where I don’t quite suffer as much when rereading.

On the one hand I feel like those twists and turns that I dreaded so much while rereading Arc of Scythe are a sign of a good plot. Raising the stakes making the reader care for what happens to the characters. But I won’t go back to reread this trilogy again.

Since last August or so when I started my reread of Malazan, I’ve been asking myself these questions: why do I reread this and why are there are series I just can’t go back to? Why is this one fine for me despite all the terrible stuff that happens? Why couldn’t I stomach Black Company when this series cites it as a primary inspiration?

Thinking of other series I have yet to finish reading, I wonder what would happen if I tried to reread The Expanse to get to the final volumes or if I am better of reading a synopsis off the books I’ve read.

Arc of Scythe and Malazan prompted all these thoughts. To me a sign that both are very good–albeit extremely different.

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Finished Oathbringer last night. Might have a bit of a palate cleanser before launching into Dawnshard.

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Sanderson said he sent Stormlight 5 to the editorial team. Maybe this is the best time to start reading Stormlight once i’m done with Dune

Finished Dune and currently reading Dune Messiah

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Especially ASoIaF is focusing more on just the dark stuff imo. It also focuses way more on fewer more prominent point of views, so the suffering is greater I guess when something happens to them because we follow them around all the time.

Malazan is a series about hope and compassion, it often seems very dark and it is dark but the darkness is there to get through to some bright shining light in the end. And it is series with a lot of humor in it to alleviate the dark stuff, Malazan is way funnier than anyone expects. The jokes not only help the soldiers (as one of the main sources for fun banter) to get on with the terrible shit happening to them but also us readers.

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I should get around to reading the last book at some point. My focus and interest seems to have wavered.

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You really should :slight_smile:

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As previously mentioned I found Book 9 „Dust of Dreams“ the hardest to read this time around. It took me longer than any of the other books. I think I spent several months with it. And then I read the last book in a very short time. I almost quit this read through because of I found certain things so confusing and frustrating: the children in the desert, the ghost in the K‘Chain Che’malle city. The whole thing with the destriant of the lizards. The Barghast stories were sad and sadder.

If you‘ve finished that one, the finale is easier and (IMO) more rewarding. There are no new plotlines or characters, it‘s just resolution after resolution and a gripping convergence of almost everything that was built up.

There are still a few things I can‘t quite connect to the rest (The Shake) but it mostly makes sense.

I’ve almost posted this on at least one previous occasion, but I’m hesitant to write about something that I didn’t enjoy as much as others clearly do. Anyway, here is my experience with the Malazan Book of the Fallen:

Probably sometime in 2010 I got to the end of Reaper’s Gale and never carried on. I found I hadn’t enjoyed it or the previous book as much, and at well over a thousand pages each it was a considerable time investment, which I could use to read multiple other books instead.

I guess it’s been close to 15 years, so my memories are hazy, but I seem to remember it was increasingly being told through characters that I had less interest in, and in one case also disliked (I’m looking squarely at you, Karsa). The later books were also some 20%-30% longer without me feeling like the author necessarily had 20%-30% more things to say. Which is a shame, because I still remember the emotional impact of the end of Deadhouse Gates and I recall really enjoying Memories of Ice, even if I couldn’t tell you exactly why any more.

It didn’t help that two close friends who I discussed the books with both moved away around the time I read The Bonehunters, which is of course no fault of the series but undoubtedly contributed to my feeling less invested in it.

I think about picking it up again every so often. On the one hand, I’ve probably already read some 7,000 pages of it. But on the other, it looks like there are still about 3,600 pages to go and I’d prefer not to become a living embodiment of the sunk cost fallacy if I don’t enjoy it!

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After watching the new Dune movies I decided to go back and re-read Dune.

My memory of reading this in the past (say 40 years ago) was it felt like the first 100 pages were a bit of a slog.

However, on the re-read, though the writing style is archaic (from a strict POV perspective) the book was remarkably easy going. Should finish it off tonight.

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It is not a series everybody enjoys, so don’t feel bad about that :slight_smile:

If you pick it up again, I will advise starting with book 1 and not continuing with book 8. A reread helps a lot in general and you probably forgot most of it anyways after so many years. You also enjoyed book 2 and 3 a lot, so that could help (re)connecting with Malazan.

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"My father, Lazar Abelard Whitsuntide, the noted biologist and deviant, inventor of the walking lungfish and the tapevole – a parasitic vole that can infest the human intestines – of no earthly use to anyone, but ars gratia artis as the old man would say – was a very busy man…"

Started Kill Baby Hitler! A Whitsuntide Science Adventure by David Cairns this evening. Looks to be very much more of the same as far as this series goes, which suits me fine as it’s sufficiently bonkers and amusing to meet my current needs.

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Amusingly, my book club are reading At the Mountains of Madness, which features the famous
“tekeli li !”

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I had a similar experience on all 3 of my reads (two of which I completed nevertheless)–there was always a book that stopped talking about the characters I wanted to read about. On my first read it was the first appearance of Letheras and the Tiste Erdur that threw me off. It was the most confusing book when I read it the first time and I completely lost track of what was going on because I kept waiting for characters to appear that I would recognize. There were NONE for a whole ~1000 page book. What kind of author does this? Notably, I enjoyed this book a lot on my rereads mostly because Bugg and Tehol are fun.
And I must admit that Karsa grew on my in his later appearances–his beginning is appalling of course.

Malazan is not without flaws. And I totally get why you didn’t finish it or won’t finish it …

So I am currently still palate cleansing now with the Incryptid series by Seanan Mcguire… it’s a little inane. At least the first book is. But it is utterly different from Malazan and that is what I need right now :slight_smile: I previously read 4 of the books in the series but there was recently a bundle somewhere and now I have like 10 books…

Finished Dune Messiah. Masterful!

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I have messiah sitting on my bedside. Probably going to be my next read having never read it before (I know, my dad liked dune so not reading dune was rebelling).

Just finished stormlight book 3, suneater book 1, midnight library and shades of magic book 3.

Stormlight was probably the best of that pile. So far each book has a really well earned flawed hero’s overcoming adversity moment over the last 200 pages that I love.

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Finished the ten Malazan books. Yes, it was nice to reach some sort of conclusion.

Some things about the writing seem tailor made to annoy me though. Here’s an example:

At the end, you have a bunch of soldiers gathered at the funeral of two friends. The non-human centuries-old lover of another dead friend approaches holding a stone that the soldiers have heard in her culture is a symbol of “the gift of her heart”. All the soldiers go to draw their swords, threatening to kill her just because they think that stone is probably the one she carries for her most-recently dead lover that they all respect and they think she’s about to leave it as an offering at the grave of the funeral they are all at.

What in the actual shit is that?

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