Midnight Tides - yes, another MT thread!

Lenny

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Yeah, yeah... before you all have at me with whatever weapons Erikson buffs have secreted about their person I'll say this - the other MT threads didn't seem right enough for me to just jump in. That is to say, I want to comment on other things (oh, and I'll give my overall thoughts on HoC in a wee while).

As with all threads - Can I ask for no spoilers for the rest of the series after Midnight Tides, and no spoilers for the rest of the book? Thanks.
I'm 188 pages in, and about to start Chapter Five, after meeting Kettle in the grounds of the old Palace in Lethares with the Azath Towers looming over her.

I'll start by admitting that I was not looking forward to starting Midnight Tides. The beloved characters from the Bridgeburners/Onearm's Host and Fourteenth Army (including Kalam, Pust, Crokus, Apsalar, Cotillion, and whoever else may be lurking) story arcs are nowhere to be seen in MT, and the only character I'm acquainted with is Trull Sengar... who is nothing like he is in HoC. I've seen Gothos' name splashed about a bit, but never really come face to face with him, so to speak.

And let's say I was surprised. To start with, there's a nice revelation about the Rake family - everyone's favourite Rock Pilot, his sent-to-an-island brother, and the albino (come on! Every family has at least one strange member). A nice bit of history to cement what we'd learnt about the K'Chain Che'Malle from MoI. War, betrayal, imprisonment... what else could you ask for from the first five pages of a book?

Now I'm not too impressed by the Edur segments of the story (though Hannan Mosga intrigues me), but I'm loving the Letherii parts, particularly Tehols arc. He's like the Kruppe of the Letherii, but better, more cold, and less riddley. Suffice to say, he's my favourite character so far, and I can't wait to see how he makes his [second?] fortune.

So, I went in thinking, "Gah! 932 pages separating me from The Bonehunters... help me Jebus!!", and I'm actually starting to enjoy it (particularly Tehol, as I've said - I don't know why, but economical things interest me. It's not as if I've got the uber-dull personality oftwn required for that type of thing, nor the terrible death wish needed to become an accountant... I just enjoy it. It's like learning about Thatcher - I'd rather slice my wrists open than praise her, but the economic side to her Tyrannical rule is strangely... exciting).

But, I must say, herds of wild bhederin won't keep me from starting The Bonehunters (eventually).
 

chopper

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well, you're ahead of me - i've had to put off MT until after June, because the bookshelf i filling up at an alarming rate. (and, just as you say, the thought of leaving the cast i got used to over 4000 pages is a little unnerving).

spoiler-free zone so far then!:D
 

nixie

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Ah... The shock, the horror. of a full new cast of players not even a familiar landscape in sight. Daunting just as you think you are getting the feel of things BANG he does this but then Tehol and Bugg get under your skin. It dawns on you that it runs MOI a close second.
 

Lenny

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Actually, out of the four I've read so far, Memories of Ice is fighting for third/fourth place with Gardens of the Moon in terms of best liked... and it's getting pummelled.

Deadhouse Gates is my favourite - Coltaine (and Bult) and Duiker are two of my most favouritest characters in the wholest, widest Malazan series.
House of Chains comes in a close second because of the Shattered Warren in the first third, and because we follow the Fourteenth Army for part of the last two thirds (I like following the Malazan armies).
Gardens of the Moon is looking to be third, because I absolutely loved Darujhistan.
And Memories of Ice, although epic, with some brilliant battles and an amazing ending (particularly when we see a zombie in the epilogue. "YESYESYESYESYES!!" I would have screamed, if it hadn't had been four in the morning), is trudging along in fourth place... though it still stands head, shoulders, and three bodies over most of the other fantasy I've read.

I might be too early to predict where MT will come, but I'm thinking it might manage to displace GotM and sneak in at third. Which will then be displaced by Bonehunters, I reckon.

But yes, it was terribly daunting to pick it up and see that everything is new.
 

Rane Longfox

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Midnight Tides did knock everyone a bit of balance when it was released. The fact that there's only one character in it who was even mentioned in the previous books can be a real kick in the teeth for those who like to know what's going on all the time, but personally, I loved it. Like nixie, it's my second favourite, after MoI. I love the Letherii in particular, and Tehol/Bugg is the best duo in the book, bar none (and yes, I realise that they have some very serious competition for that title).

Despite the confusion though... such a good book. The ending... stunning. I'll say no more:)
 

Lenny

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It was a very good ending. And I'm so glad my favourite duo survived! :D

I'm can't figure out how things lead to Trull getting shorn, but hopefully something will be explained in The Bonehunters, or even Reaper's Gale.

---

Links! More information about the Shattered Warren that featured in DHG and HoC - now we know how it came to be flooded! :D And it was interesting to finally learn about Lady Envy and her sister Spite, as well as the children of Mother Dark.

Overall, the book was much better than I originally expected, and the Edur parts really started to pick up in the second half.
 

Rane Longfox

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They do. I think a whole new cast of characters in the fifth book of a series is a very offputting thing to do from an author, but depite that, the series still hangs together well. Only now might we claim to have a grip on the scale of the piece :)
 

Green

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I enjoyed the book more than I expected, mainly I think because Erikson had become a much better writer by that point. The Edur and that whole side of the story I thought were very interesting. the Letherii... not so much. The Ceda was cool and Tehol and Bugg were useful as comedy interludes (they felt more like Pratchett than anything else), but on the whole I think the entire Letherii plot was dull. I guess me and Lenny find different things interesting. Particularly since he rates MoI as his fourth (or fifth!) favourite of the series.

Also, the ending... without giving it away, I have to say that I hate tragedy. It frustrates me.

Without being a miserable git (I know, too late) I found the series went downhill from here and has yet to pick up.
 

chopper

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right. major bugging issue here:

in HoC Trull Sengar is shorn & abandoned in 1159.

in MT's prologue, 1159 is described as "Three years before the Letherii seventh closure".

chapter 1 then continues "one year before the Letherii seventh closure", which would make it 1161. but trull sengar has not yet been shorn.

am i missing something here?
 

Lenny

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And I believe that Erikson himself has admitted to being terrible with timelines in general.

I don't think I actually took notice of the dates after blanking them in GotM. :p I find it easier to guess when things are happening, based on what is referenced and what the characters say in conversation.
 

Rane Longfox

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The timeline doesn't matter, the timeline doesn't matter, the timeline doesn't matter!!


In otherwords, yes, there are a million inconsistancies. "Things happened, and now other things are happening. In the future, more things will happen" is the best attitude to take:)
 

Rahl Windsong

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Midnight Tides is by far my favorite book of the series and the main reason for that is why most people seem not to like it. I love the fact that the story goes off on this completely new ark, and yet Erikson still ties it all together very nicely.

Also Trull Sengar has become one of my favorite characters in the Malazan story. He should have been the leader of the Edur, he was the only one of them that saw it all as it happened.
 

nj1

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Dammit, I've lost all my posts in the Errikson threads.

Ah well here goes. ASSUME SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED!!!!!

I really struggled with the start of this book, there wasn't really any one character that i liked, so it made things a bit of a trial for a while.
Didn't think much of Trull, but did enjoy the flight from collecting the sword, the probelm was he was just too negative, same with Udinass, man he depressed me sometimes.
The redeeming light was Tehol and Bug and of course Iron Bars and the Crimson Guards. Loved the banter between T + B especially the discussions on dinner. Really glad T survived his kicking as that would av been a nasty way for him to go! I don't know what to think of B actually being Mael and what was the link with Wither praying to him (don't answer that, I guess answers will follow in later books).

I'm looking forward to reading more on the Crimson Guards and finding out more about the Avowed.

Before the crash, Lenny mentioned that we were introduced to ENVY and SPITE, when was that? were they supposed to be the daughters the the Edur feared?

Anyone know who the Tobalakia gods were supposed to be? have they been mentioned before? and if they could be killed then why were they in the Azath house?
 

Judderman

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The Edur and that whole side of the story I thought were very interesting. the Letherii... not so much. The Ceda was cool and Tehol and Bugg were useful as comedy interludes (they felt more like Pratchett than anything else), but on the whole I think the entire Letherii plot was dull. I guess me and Lenny find different things interesting.
I have just read Midnight Tides. Excellent book overall. It is interesting how much different fans of the Malazan series like different parts but still enjoy the whole. I totally agree with Green about Tehol and Bugg being like Pratchett. This is exactly what I thought after a couple of their scenes and was surprised not to read comments about the similarity in some reviews I looked through. The style of those sections is bordering on a ripoff of Pratchett. Some of them are amusing but it took me a while to get past this grinding change in tone between the grimmer sections and this. And what was the weirdness of the Rat Catchers Guild for? Almost totally pointless. I do like comedy though and I think Krupke is an absolute highlight of the series, particularly in Gardens of the Moon. Bauchelain was kind of funny too, along with Pust and others.
Despite this slight gripe I thought the story was for the most part fantastic with the Edur, and parts of the Letherii story were good too. I actually think having a different set of characters to the other books was a refresher as some of the usual ones are even more grim. The Bridgeburners and in general the Malazan soldiers are the dullest parts of the series. Too much reminiscing and grim thoughts. I would disagree with Lemmy about Deadhouse Gates as the grimness in that means it is probably my least favourite so far, despite some impressive fight scenes.
As usual the action was written magnificently. Though also as usual there seems to be an endless parade of powerful and super powerful creatures with insane fighting abilities. How come even some Humans like the King's Champion are so amazingly fast? Aren't the other races generally superior in agility and strength etc? But outnumbered.
Finding out more about different Gods personalities was fun too.
 
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