House of Chains opinions (spoilers included)

Judderman

The Iceman cometh
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I just finished House of Chains and thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Another great book. The Karsa Orlong story taking almost the first quarter of the book is fantastically written. The action is so well done. What a great page turning section and very different to how much of the books are written. Erikson makes some of the plots so complicated but we see here that perhaps his simpler, more action based writing is probably his best. You also get to know a lot about Karsa's character, which is not the case for many others where they talk/think a lot about memories.
Karsa in the early stages reminds me a bit of the Fighting Fantasy book Creature of Havoc, where the playable character becomes more intelligent as you progress.
The second quarter of the book, mainly focussing on the Malazans is a little dull, but then it picks up again. Also the Adjunct Shaik storyline isn't great but otherwise lots to enjoy. A lot of the characters just seem to think grimly all the time. Cotillion was very interesting.

How come Karsa becomes so powerful? Is it because he is empowered by The Crippled God? In the early part he isn't quite so absurdly unbeatable. The way he dispatched the Hounds of Darkness seemed almost too easy. They are meant to be ridiculously quick. But so many characters in the series are incredible fighters.

I really hope I don't have to read much more about Coltaine and The Chain of Dogs in the following books now their ghosts have had their revenge.
 

Fedos

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Well, I think Karsa Orlong is so powerful because he's descended from a race of superior beings physically in the series. He has Teblor blood in him but if I give it away as to what else it is that would be spoiling it now wouldn't it.
 

Judderman

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Ok if you are saying more will be revealed in later books that is good. Must be a special race to be so superior to the Hounds of Darkness.

Kalam makes the talon assassins appear rather mediocre in this book.
 

EJ Heijnis

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Ok if you are saying more will be revealed in later books that is good. Must be a special race to be so superior to the Hounds of Darkness.

Kalam makes the talon assassins appear rather mediocre in this book.
There's more to Karsa than just his race(s), and the reason the Talons die fairly quickly isn't because they're so bad, it's because Kalam is that good. Without spoiling anything, he gets better.

I read House of Chains more than most of the books in the series because I took it with me during a six-week internship in Wales. It turned out I had more time to read than I had expected, so I read it over and over again, wishing I had brought Memories of Ice, too. The more you read it, the more you get out of it. Which, for me, goes for all the books in the series except maybe Gardens of the Moon.:censored:

Midnight Tides is a break in the progression of the overall story, so be prepared for that. It's fun to read, and every bit as intricate as the others, but you may find yourself wondering what's happening to the other guys. The Bonehunters picks up right where House of Chains left off, pretty much, then with Reaper's Gale the fireworks really start going off. Writing this post made me want to read the whole series all over again, but I must resist. I have so many other books to read! :confused:
 

Judderman

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There's more to Karsa than just his race(s), and the reason the Talons die fairly quickly isn't because they're so bad, it's because Kalam is that good. Without spoiling anything, he gets better.
Yeah, that's the thing. If they are trained expert assassins I think Kalam desposes of a group of four of them rather too easily. If they are walking a few paces apart then the last two would likely notice two behind being delayed. Though the action is impressive and I think we just have to try to enjoy some of the superhuman feats regularly seen in this series rather than wonder how can elite fighters be so easily be beaten by other special fighters who are then killed so easily by.....
Perhaps if Shadow has somehow increased his powers to be superhuman that could be an explanation for Kalam.
 
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