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YMMV: Malazan Book of the Fallen
  • Arc Fatigue: The Tiste Edur and Jade Giant storylines.
  • Base Breaker: Karsa Orlong.
  • Canon Sue: Every third character is said to be this.
  • Complete Monster: Bidithal is an elderly member of the rebellious army the Whirlwind and its most powerful High Mage who gets away with his atrocities due to his power and high position. He has a disturbing taste for little girls that he rapes and performs female circumcision on. In his darkest act, Bidithal captures the adopted daughter of the Whirlwind's leader, Felisin the Younger, and rapes her. He tells her he will "drink all the pleasure from your precious body, leaving naught but bitterness, naught but dead places within." Even the barbarian Anti-Hero Karsa Orlong finds Bidithal an utter blot on humanity as a whole and relishes a chance to force Bidithal to choke on his pleasure.
  • Cult Classic: Opinions abound that it will never reach mainstream success circa A Song of Ice and Fire because the depth and complexity that makes it great is alienating to casual readers, and cannot be translated to other mediums.
  • Crazy Awesome: Karsa Orlong, Iskaral Pust, Tehol & Bugg, Second Seguleh, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, probably all sapers...
    • As we see in The Crippled God, after becoming Master of the Deck, Captain Ganoes isn't afraid to come to talk to dangerous enemy commander, just to see what person she is, and piss her off just by talking... and he gets away with it!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Cotillion and Udinaas are quite popular.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Some with A Song of Ice and Fire the other major Genre Deconstruction of High Fantasy. The authors themselves are on friendly terms, and have tried to discourage any thoughts of competition.
  • God-Mode Sue: How some fans see Karsa.
  • I Knew It: Some fan speculation held that the final book would portray the Crippled God as a sympathetic victim, and end with his liberation and healing. This is exactly what happened.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Felisin Paran.
    • Rhulad Sengar. Yeah, he's technically an Evil Overlord and has done some inarguably bad things- but just look at the rest of this list. You've got to feel sorry for the poor guy. He needs a hug. And possibly, a therapist.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • A particularly obvious example, Sirryn Kanar in Reaper's Gale seems to exist solely to cross it repeatedly.
    • Mallick Rel convincing High Fist Pomquarl to abandon Fist Coltaine to die outside the walls of Aren. Particularly vile since Coltaine was less than five hundred metres away, the garrison was more than strong enough to rescue him and Coltaine had just spent the last few months leading 30,000 Malazan refugees across a desert to safety.
    • If that's not bad enough, Rel crosses it again only a few pages later when he betrays Aren to the Army of the Apocalypse, resulting in 10,000 soldiers being crucified and left to die.
      • And the absolute worst part? He's a Karma Houdini, and when his plan fails he convinces everyone that he was the hero who defended Aren and that Coltaine and the Wickans were the true enemy. After Laseen's death he becomes Emperor of the entire Malazan Empire.
  • Older Than They Think: The series owes a considerable debt to The Black Company.
  • The Scrappy: The Mhbye in Memories of Ice. Depending on who you ask, Karsa Orlong and/or Kruppe as well.
    • Also, Nimander and Felisin.
  • Tear Jerker: Itkovian's death.
    • Coltaine's death on the crucifix.
  • Too Cool to Live: Itkovian.
  • Wangst: So bad it results in Angst Dissonance for many readers. The Tiste Andii explicitly have Wangst as their Hat... although they are not more wangsty than everyone else...
  • What an Idiot:
    • Sums up everyone's behavior around Kallor. First they let the psycho into their army, then they mock and belittle him. Brilliant move, people.
    • Sorry/Apsalar. Multiple people have pointed out to her that abandoning Cutter wasn't a great idea. Anyone who's moderately perceptive can spot either of their broken hearts immediately.

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