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Orb Sceptre Throne (Malazan Empire 4) Hardcover – 19 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059306450X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593064504
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 4.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The finest Esslemont novel so far, and a superb Malazan novel in its own right, Orb, Sceptre, Throne is a book long-time Malazan fans will love" (DRYING-INK.BLOGSPOT) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The epic new chapter in the history of Malaz - the new epic fantasy from Steven Erikson's friend and co-creator of this extarordinary imagined world...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Quick run through: better writing than the past three books, but still large chunks of stilted passages, "telling instead of showing", unsubtle characters and some moronic non-answers regarding the Tyrant. The Seguleh arc wavered at times between great, good and not good, while big portions of the Moon's Spawn storyline and Darujhistan characters' arcs were very good. ICE showed a nice willingness to build up and/or kill off some characters (although several of the fighting/war scenes were dumb - even for fantasy). The Shore of Creation storyline remains a question mark - much like the manner in which Greymane was used in Stonewielder.

Also, who in the eff is on the cover? It is literally Generic Fantasy Guy. Only realistic option I see is Corian Lim, who would be a truly bizarre choice as a cover character for this book.

ICE needs to find a more challenging editor. The talent and imagination is there, but he's allowed to be too complacent about not providing substance in crucial spots and the prose is not consistent at all.

I am actually considering jumping ship on this author and I'm an enormous Malazan junkie. This is four books, with three being full novels, by ICE and these problems are not going away. There needs to be a radical shake-up or he's going to chug along exactly as he's going right now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S Duncan on 8 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
ICE is a great author and even though this is (in my estimation) the weakest of his output so far, this series and all associated with it remains the pinnacle of authorship in the fantasy genre.

Without giving away too much of the plot, there are some aspects of the Seguleh that were simply too hyped for ICE to sustain or develop, resulting in inconsistencies. The rationale of the Tyrant is also a begging question...I mean, we get the STORY of the Tyrant but who/what/WHY 'it' is remains to be addressed. And on the issue of gender, there is one 'turn' of gender for a very key character that seems to clash directly with Memories of Ice- I mean, either 2 VERY powerful beings in MoI were incredibly ignorant or this gender-bender was addressed as whichever manifestation it chose at the time. Even so, it makes no sense to me.

The Moons Spawn story was the best...that and the involvement of the remaining Bridgeburners. So there seem to be some very potent sorcerors roaming about as free radicals and that always gets my attention- sorcery is perhaps the main attraction in all of these books for me. :o) It raises many interesting prospects and questions about characters that we thought were out of play!

There are 2 characters here though that were mentioned for Lord alone knows what possible reason!! I mean, they were SO utterly irrelevant to the plot that ICE looked to have literally lost the plot there for a moment.

Return of the Crimson Guard is my favourite ICE novel- things developed brilliantly to an astounding climax with some shocking developments. A few threads are tied up here in this novel but again, we are cheated of vengeance in many ways. Ah well....let's write it down to the potential for redemption, ay??
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
With the Pannion Seer defeated, the Jaghut Tyrant Raest imprisoned and peace declared with the Malazans, the beleaguered citizens of Darujhistan are finally hoping for a time of peace and prosperity. Of course, this is the perfect time for an ancient force of unspeakable evil to escape from the barrows outside the city and unleash a new age of chaos and war across most of Genabackis. This war will draw in the Moranth and the Seguleh, the Rhivi and the remnants of the Malazan armies still stationed on the continent. Far to the south, treasure hunters are looting the crashed ruins of Moon's Spawn, searching for the storied Throne of Night, whilst in another realm hunters are searching for the missing High Mage Tayschrenn at the very Shores of Creation. But the fate of Darujhistan, Genabackis and maybe the world will rest in the hands of one fat thief and a bunch of Malazan deserters who want nothing more than to run their pub in peace.

Orb Sceptre Throne is Ian Cameron Esslemont's fourth entry into the Malazan world, expanding on the novels written by his friend and collaborator Steven Erikson. It's an interesting book in that, unlike Esslemont's previous novels which largely focused on new characters, this novel extensively features characters Erikson has used and developed in several previous books, most notably the curiously-dictioned Kruppe. This poses challenges for Esslemont, but thankfully he overcomes them with aplomb. Kruppe occasionally feels a bit off, but most of the other shared characters (Caladan Brood, Duiker, the ex-Bridgeburners, Torvald and Rallick Nom and more) come across very well.

The narrative is, as is typical with Malazan, somewhat disjointed, with several apparently unconnected storylines unfolding before converging at the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Why is my name not valid! on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like all Esslemont's books this is an enjoyable read. While Erikson is off battling to save the world in Kolanse, Esslemont lets us in on what's been happening with some of our favourite characters back in Darujhistan.
Kruppe, Caladan Brood, Vorcan, Barak, Coll, the Nom brothers and a few others from Erikson's books all make an appearance. We find out more about the Seguleh and the Moranth. The remaining Bridgeburners; Picker, Blend, Spindle and Duiker are all involved and Antsy travels to the remains of Moon's Spawn to find fame and fortune and makes some new friends on the way. What seemed a pointless story arc in Stoneweilder, Kiska's search for Tayschrenn, is resolved here and everyone's favourite necromancers make a cameo appearance. Yay!
So why the slightly sarcastic tone?
Well, while this is an entertaining book and I certainly enjoyed reading about all of the above, I'm left wondering what the hell is going on?
What are Esselmont's books? Are they just appendices to the Malazan Book of the Fallen, a bit of background information about characters, events and places alluded to in the series, or do they form their own series that weaves in and around Erikson's main story? The answer would seem to be both but falls just short of completely satisfying either.
Not that I'm surprised. I mean, the poor guy has to give us information about all the things we wanna know about; the Emperor, the Crimson Guard, Korelri, the Stormriders, the Seguleh, the Moranth, the Wickans, Assail, etc. He also has to tell us about the characters in the MBOTF that no longer play in a part in that storyline; Lasseen, Mallick Rell, Kruppe, Tayschrenn, Topper, Traveller, Cartheron and Urko Crust, etc.
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