This is going to be a bit of a messy post. For these 4 chapters, I kept a Word Doc open and at the end of each character pov, ran over to the computer and immediately typed in what had happened. It was laborious but the process of note taking helped nail things down.
I have realized that my usual method of reading will not work with this series IF I want to really get a handle on things. However, I doubt I will be this detail oriented for a couple more books. I am a Short & To The Point kind of reviewer and this series does not lend itself to that at all. So keep your chins up, I am roughly 70% done 🙂
Here is one person’s interpretation of what the Historian Duiker looks like. It definitely works for me! Also, the Hounds of Shadow are mentioned a lot all throughout the series, so the second picture is just to give them some scale. Brutes!
Thanks to Lashaan for giving me a clue about how to get the pictures to go full sized when clicked.
Now begins the messy notes. Read at your own risk.
Duiker participates in a raid on a warleader who is canny and bleeding Coltaines army. Turns out the Semk god isn’t totally gone and has possessed one of the semk. The warleader dies but the magician lives. The Malazan army is ragged and bleeding out. They need breathing room.
Kulp and Co, survive the dust storm by going into some caves. Heboric begins to rave but talks about the past. A “First Empire” that tried to ascend their whole city and ended up dying out and drawing the attention of the Tlan Imass because of the ritual. Also hints that the zombie dragon from earlier was a Tlan Imass bonecaster [magician?]. Finally, a number. The First Empire was 9000 years ago.
Kalaam and his little group seem to be lost in the imperial warren. They talk. The end.
Pearl and Lostara pasue their pursuit of Kalaam and help out Coltaine, unbeknownst to them. They attack the Semk to help cover Duiker’s raid. The Apt demon and her little boy show up and attack the Semk possessed magician and rip out the god fragment. Pearl and Lostara continue their pursuit of Kalaam.
Duiker and Coltaine set out to battle the rogue Fist so that the refugees have a straight shot to Aren.
A bloody battle ensues in which Coltaine shows his tactical genius and slaughters Kamist Reloe’s armies. Reloe is a mage? I thought he was just a Fist. Turns out Reloe was the Fist’s High Mage who got a chance to play at General.
I don’t like Duiker. He doubts they can win, which is normal, but he voices those doubts to all who can hear and saps moral. Then, when his side does win, he does nothing but moan about how much blood was spilt and how many people died. He is the kind of person who gives the worst possible outlook on a situation, no matter the situation. It’s your birthday and you get a cake? Duiker would skewer you with words about starving children in Africa. If a man tried to rape a woman and she pulled out a gun and shot her attacker, Duiker would moan how that man’s life had been snuffed out and all the people affected by his death. And since Duiker is with Coltaine,his sections tend to be longer, so I get more worked up.
Kalaam and Company make it to Aren. Only for Kalaam to leave them and board a boat to meet some stranger who he has never met. Minala begins to follow him on her own. Lostara and Pearl also make it Aren and Yostara is arrested as a Redblade, as all RB’s are wanted for treason.
Here’s a quote from the book. I continue to be very impressed with Erikson’s writing:
Squall Inn claimed to have seen better days, but Kalam suspected it never had. The floor of the main room sagged like an enormous bowl, tilting every wall inward until angled wooden posts were needed to keep them upright. Rotting food and dead rats had with inert patience migrated to the floor’s centre, creating a mouldering, redolent heap like an offering to some dissolute god.
Felisin, Kulp and Heboric leave the buried city and come across a diver’se masquerading as a merchant. It eats Kulp, but is interrupted from devouring Felisin and Heboric by Baudin’s return. He never really left it appears. And dies. Boo hoo.
Fid, Crokus, Mappo and Icarium continue their pursuit of Apsalar and her father. Only it becomes apparent that they are following her, not chasing her. Crokus and Fid begin to wonder what it might mean if she is indeed meant to be the whirlwind goddess reborn.
Leoman and a Toblakai [if you were skimming, you’d think his NAME was Toblakai instead of being his race. Erikson is such a rascist! Give the poor guy his own name] are having a crisis of faith until Felisin and Heboric mysteriously appear through a magic gate and Felisin proclaims that she is the Whirlwind reborn. No info given about how she got from where they were after the diver’se attack to here or anything about the gate. Erikson’s a dick.
There are no dates at the beginning of each chapter. I miss that from GotM. Even if I choose to ignore it, it is nice to look when I so choose. Now I can’t choose. Erikson’s a dick. Sensing a theme here?
Kalaam on a boat. The High Fist has arrested the admiral of the fleet to keep the fleet at Aren. No Claws to gainsay him and no word from Laseen. Pormqual can do as he pleases. And it pleases him to load up boats with his treasures and send them away. Turns out the mysterious stranger is a Sha’ik who knows that Kalaam delivered the book and so is delivering him to Malaz to hopefully skewer Laseen.
Duiker whines, complains and says that Coltaine can’t possibly save them. What a winner!
Felisin, Heboric, Leoman and Toblakia continue their journey and heboric warns Felisin that Leoman will use her as a mouthpiece. The Toblakai uses a wooden sword. I believe we run into him again in later books. We do. His name is Karsa Orlong.
Fid, Crokus, Mappo and Icarium come across a city from the First Empire. Icarium finds a monument that is 94 Thousand years old and it appears to be have been created by him. Time is meaningless at that point. They catch up with Apsalar and her father to find a gate to an Azath house. It will hold the various soletaken and diver’se and keep them from the world.
Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts: