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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different approach to the Malazan world
I like Esslemonts story telling and in my opinion this book is one of his better ones. The territory is relatively virginal with regards to what Erikson has written about, and I think this plays out in Esslemonts favor, or should have. Because fewer people would be dissapointed by how favorite oldtimers were used/written by Esslemont as opposed to Erikson. I think he is...
Published 10 months ago by J. Jensen

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit hit and miss
I suppose it's difficult to consistently write well. But this one is probably the weakest in the series ICE has done
Published 18 months ago by A. Robinson


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different approach to the Malazan world, 26 Sep 2013
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J. Jensen - See all my reviews
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I like Esslemonts story telling and in my opinion this book is one of his better ones. The territory is relatively virginal with regards to what Erikson has written about, and I think this plays out in Esslemonts favor, or should have. Because fewer people would be dissapointed by how favorite oldtimers were used/written by Esslemont as opposed to Erikson. I think he is getting better at writing dialogue and quirky characters as there are 2 very weird and awesome mages in this book, who took my straight back to the Black Company. - I know Esslemont doesnt get quite the same applause as Erikson, but if you dont expect Erikson to be the author when you buy an Esslemont book, I dont think there is any reason to give the book less than 4 stars. It is well written, well told, with engaging characters. I recommend it to anyone, especially younger fantasy readers. It doesnt have to be read in sequence with the other books imo. Although it would leave out alot of depth if you dont understand the references to the Malazan world and the events in it at large. Alot of which comes nicely together with the story in this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'll just read Eriksons books now, 7 Mar 2013
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I'm a Malazan addict,BUT!
Having read this book, Stoneweilder and Return of Crimson Guard, I am finally going to give up on ICE. He is simply not a storyteller. He lacks Eriksons prose, humour and plot building. One example is when Shadowthrone and cotillion put in an appearance. Erickson has made these two among my favorite characters, he writes them with pathos and great humour, whilst they are cardboard cutouts in this novel. I'm surprised that Erikson allows his close friend to ruin their joint project. ICE who undoubtably is a talented man however is not a novelist. So despite the fact it means I'll have to wait longer for my next dose of Malazan, I'd rather do that than suffer further disapointment.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 21 Feb 2013
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S Duncan "sfedlandd" (London) - See all my reviews
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ICE has gotten steadily worse and this book was just tedious- I wanted to finish it in order to finish it. Simple. Return of the Crimson Guard was his best, in my opinion. It was exciting and epic. This?? It was rambling and disjointed.

I had the distinct impression that ICE was not the only one who wrote this novel, and I say that with complete objectivity. The standard of writing was distinctly variable throughout and the difference was STARK!

At times, the prose was juvenile...since when do we use the honourifics 'Mr.' and 'Miss' in the Malazan series?? And the number of times I saw the word 'cyclopean'....ermmm, I get that it is legitimate to use it in the grammatical sense, purely as an adjective but the reference to Cyclops in Greek mythology was a bit misfitting.

Contrast though the prose describing Osserc, Gothos and the Azath House, which is actually interesting and imbued with that real sense of intellect and subtlety....despite the fact that they spend most of the time staring at each other without speaking!!

Yet there was the ABSURD Thaumaturg campaign and the equally ridiculous way that they were **SPOILERS** so easily decimated....inconsistent themes...To be honest, ICE has really spoiled a few running notions and themes that had been so carefully developed during the Malazan Books of the Fallen. The Seguleh for instance in the Orb, Sceptre, Throne....and the T'Orrud Cabal (let's all forget that Derudan was ever in it, ay?)...and this??

Well I'm not happy and I think it's reached a level now where I'm ready to abandon the trail with ICE. Sorry. I used to be SUCH a fan but this is terrible.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 25 Jan 2013
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J. L. Merritt "Jason Kent" (England) - See all my reviews
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Having read all of the Malazan books this ranks as the worst. It was obvious who the Warlord was from the start, the story lurched from one sub plot to another and back again. I'm tired of reading half a dozen pages on one sub-plot and then jumping to another. I want to read a story with substance, a story which allows you immerse yourself not one which flits all over the place like a demented butterly.

I am slowly going off the whole Malazan series, the only decent ICE book I have enjoyed was RoTG and I found Forge of Darkness tedious. Such as shame as the Malazan Books of the Fallen are probably the best fantasy series I've read for years and easily ranks up there with Robert Jordans Wheel of Time & Spephen Donaldson First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

I hope ICE and SE improve drastically soon, I'm starting to have Deja Vu and would hate to end up comparing them to Terry Goodkind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit hit and miss, 10 Jan 2013
By 
A. Robinson "hansolo" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I suppose it's difficult to consistently write well. But this one is probably the weakest in the series ICE has done
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An epic fantasy journey through the heart of darkness, 30 Dec 2012
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Jacuruku: an island-continent located south-west of Quon Tali and west of Stratem. Separated from the rest of the world by large ice floes, Jacuruku has long existed in isolation. The peoples of western Jacuruku lie under the dominion of the Thaumaturgs, mages of tremendous power, whilst the eastern half of the continent is dominated by the jungle of Himatan, domain of the goddess Ardata.

Now the Thaumaturgs have launched an invasion of Himatan, determined to find the fabled city of Jakal Viharn. But even as their army drives deep into the jungle, so their homelands come under threat from the desert tribes of the far south, now united into a formidable army by an invading foreigner...who may not be as foreign as he first appears. Also newly arrived in Jacuruku are the Crimson Guard, summoned to bring to justice their renegade warrior Skinner and those sworn to his service. For K'azz D'Avore and his Avowed, this is an opportunity to heal a painful schism...but at a cost.

Blood and Bone is Ian Cameron Esslemont's fifth novel, taking us to the hitherto unexplored (but oft-mentioned) continent of Jacuruku. The setting is the key to the novel, with the reader soon feeling the humidity and discomfort of the jungle terrain. It's actually rather unusual for geography to be so integral to a Malazan novel (normally it's incidental), and it's a new approach that Esslemont handles well.

In terms of character, the book has a substantial cast taking in Jacuruku natives, Thaumaturgs, demigods, Malazan mercenaries and Crimon Guardsmen. Esslemont takes the time to establish story arcs which are contained within this one novel (such as Saeng's journey) as well as furthering long-running storylines established in earlier books, such the Crimson Guard looking for a new purposes in the aftermath of the Quon Civil War. There's also some excellent use of the established backstory (Jacuruku was once the site of Kallor's empire, the one whose destruction resulted in the Fall of the Crippled God) to drive forward the storyline. Unusually for a Malazan novel, I felt I had a pretty good handle on what was going on throughout. Newcomers might be tempted to jump aboard due to the main storylines being more or less self-contained in this book, but will likely be lost by references to past and simultaneous events (the novel takes place simultaneously alongside Stonewielder, Orb Sceptre Throne and The Crippled God).

Esslemont's prose is readable and compelling (and more accomplished in this novel than ever before), but a little lacking in artistry compared to Erikson's. However, it's also far more concise and approachable. Esslemont handles his large cast and his complex, multi-layered plot quite successfully. In fact, Blood and Bone just about nudges it as his best book to date.

Blood and Bone (****) is available now in the UK and will be published in May 2013 in the USA.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blood and Bone, 19 Feb 2013
This is the worst novel in the series by far. I enjoyed very much Return of the Crimson Guard and Orb Sceptre Throne but I have suffered this last novel to the end. I have been very disappointed by Blood and Bone. It is slow and boring with almost no character development. I considered leaving the book before finishing it. I hope that the author is able to improve its performance in the next novel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Going downhill, 18 Feb 2013
By 
N. Offer (London) - See all my reviews
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Unlike many I actually enjoyed Esselmont's first book and thought the characters were the best he has created. Unfortunately as he has continued as a writer the various characters become less and less interesting.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with liking characters, or wanting a character to not have numerous flaws in ability and character. Yet Esselmont seems intent on all characters having flaws, becoming less exciting and in my opinion less interesting.

The world building is ok, the story lines are confusing, boring and hard to follow at best.

So why did I give it 3 stars, simply because I did not hate it. Mainly due to one or two moments which reminded what the Malaz world used to be all about.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disapointing, 5 Jan 2013
I find it hard to like this book. It has many characters but almost no character development. Its hard to see what motivates anyone. At least a third of the book achieves nothing, its just filler. Eg everything golan related and there are gaps in how it fits with others. Eg how the warleader got from the end of toll the hounds to having a merc army or why he decided to invade or who the priests of agon were. Just seems deeply random and poorly thought through. Lastly the one big death was hugely disappointing. This should have been so much better.

After this, and recent efforts the author really need to do better. The assial book feels like the last chance to me
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5.0 out of 5 stars a good series, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Blood and Bone: A Novel of the Malazan Empire (Malazan Empire 5) (Paperback)
good very writer, has great very good plots, great series many different personalties covers a large number of areas, all well worth following
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Blood and Bone: A Novel of the Malazan Empire (Malazan Empire 5)
Blood and Bone: A Novel of the Malazan Empire (Malazan Empire 5) by Ian C Esslemont (Paperback - 10 Oct 2013)
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