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32 Reviews
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Malazan novel for a good few years.
2008 is proving to be something of a bumper year for fans of the Malazan universe. Steven Erikson's eighth novel in the setting, Toll the Hounds, was published back in June and the first novel in the series, Gardens of the Moon, has seen two reprintings this year. The first was as a new, wallet-friendly budget edition from Bantam designed to entice new readers to the...
Published on 19 Sept. 2008 by A. Whitehead

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but Esslemont is not Erikson, alas
Not a bad book as such, but doesn't measure up to the standard of the Book of the Fallen in my opinion. Main reason is that Esslemont explains much too much. A large part of the charm of BoF for me is the sense of a vast mysterious world created when entities and even whole peoples drift in and out of focus inside any given book without any explanation given, and one must...
Published on 18 Feb. 2010 by Amazon Customer


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ends with a wimper, 26 Feb. 2009
By 
Oded Shorer - See all my reviews
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Quite powerful side story to the Malazan saga, colorful and at times paints breath taking scenes of battle. Characters are presnted as 3 dimension humans with depth and emotions especially the regular grunts. Kind of fizzled at the end. The knots were not tied well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good extra stories swords & magic, 5 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) (Paperback)
Set in the wonderfully imagined Mazalan world it falls within the framework of Steven Erikson's Epic saga & is a welcome addition.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 16 Dec. 2008
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I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about how well this book by Ian Esselmont would fit in with the Malazan Empire books already written by Steven Erikson. I had recently read one of his novellas which I had enjoyed but felt a little lacking somehow; mainly I think because it was a novella and so much shorter in comparison to all the other Malazan books. This however was a completely different beast and was a pleasure to read! It can hold it's head up high with all the other Malazan books.

As with the main books in the series it was a truly epic story and written very much in the same style as Erikson's contributions. A diverse bunch of characters who gradually converge at the end of the book. It has the same droll humour and slightly madcap personalities. I loved Nait - a lunatic after the heart of all sabatoeurs. I can imagine it must have been quite a daunting task to write a side story to the books that Erkson has already written, as his books are so well done and so highly thought of by fans of the series but I think this was certainly as good as any of the other books. I'm certainly looking forward to what he comes up with next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars loved this, 22 Oct. 2014
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Brilliant book, full of shocks and twists. Leaves a few questions I hope get answered in the next ones :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 19 Dec. 2014
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I didn't think that the Malazan series could be topped, but this may well have achieved that
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Big Jump From K O N, 4 Oct. 2008
By 
B. Gallagher - See all my reviews
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Fantastic read, Really enjoyed this book all the way through. Have to agree with the other reviews, with regards to reading the series to date before reading this. The whole series is fantastic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great great great great great book, 28 Nov. 2009
By 
M. Kenny (St Albans, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) (Paperback)
I read this book about a year ago, and after finishing it, I immediately started from the beginning and read it through again. I just noticed it on Amazon and thought it was time I wrote a quick review.
I loved it.
For some reason, a reason I couldn't put my finger on, it seemed utterly gripping. Heart racingly exciting! Lots of humour, lots of action + deep and beautifully drawn; more so than I've had the pleasure of reading in a good while. Less philosophical than some, and characters who stick around for the entire book and survive! (I wont say who) allowing you to really get into the story and be rewarded.
There are very minor failings of text (translation / grammatical construction?) which have been pointed out here. Though I agree there are some issues, they didn't jar with me. There's far too much excitement going on in the story to be worried overlong with a paragraph or two. Essentially, there are scenes contained within which stand against the best scenes written for the Malazan Book Of The Fallen, and thus I suggest it's an addition that can't be missed.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Erikson...., 11 Feb. 2009
Better than Erikson? Sacrilege! Surely?

I think that Esslemont has kept all that is fantastic about the Malazan world without falling prey to the trap of "Confucious says" pseudo-psychological meandering that Erikson seems to have fallen into of late.

Don't get me wrong I deeply appreciate the `verse that Erikson has shown us, but I feel that he is starting to take his own pontificating a little too seriously and forcing it upon the reader to the detriment of the story at times.

Esslemont, however, breathes life back into the world and shows us that people can talk normally and even say "no" without the need to expand upon that with a lengthy monologue.

As such the story trips along at a good pace with detail and excitement without burying us in deep thinking and the need to consider our place in the greater universe... Esslemont gets to tie up lots of the loose-ends dripped into Erickson's books as a sort of lure to get the reader to pick up Esslemont books, that, no doubt, adds to the thrill of the central plot as we find out the backgrounds of many characters and plot lines from Erikson's books.

If you are a fan of the Malazan world then these books are essential and a great read.

Do not fear that by reading another author you will be reading a lesser author, Esslemont is as good, if not better, than Erikson at giving you all the thrills alongside plenty of character, laughs and death and destruction.

Should Erickson be looking over his shoulder?

If he is then I suspect he wont have seen Esslemont already go past him.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Esselmont will see us home, 5 Nov. 2009
By 
Daniel Carpenter (Tuscany, at the moment) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) (Paperback)
Bringing to mind Ericksons original outings, The Return of the Crimson Guard is chalk full of mystery, guessing games, hints of divinity and a ridiculous climax of some 600 pages. It seems to me that just as Erickson is waning, Esselmont is rising.

This book is one of the best of all the malazan books - bringing to mind the climactic nature of Dead House Gates and Memories of Ice. It feels fresh. It feels alive. It's damn good.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Malazan read, 1 Jun. 2009
By 
P. Meredith (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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A different take on the Malazan drama compared to his first book - Night of Knives (which I still enjoyed a lot) - and a lot closer in scope and style to the earlier books in Erikson's series.

Other than avid followers of all the Malazan books, I'd recommend this book to anyone who has lost faith with Erikson's series but who really enjoyed the earlier books.

I can't wait for the next book from either of them.

Paul
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Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire)
Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) by Ian C. Esslemont (Paperback - 18 Jun. 2009)
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