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on 7 November 2013
Just as good as most in the series by either author. Really enjoyed it and struggled to put it down to go to sleep most nights.
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on 26 December 2012
Having read all of the Malazan series, and enjoyed their tense atmosphere, and convoluted plotting, I bought Blood and Bone at the earliest opportunity. Sadly, it leaves me unstirred: indeed, bored in parts. The story line is certainly epic, and the writing, as always, a joy to read, but the lack of sympathetic characters, and a confusing plot, left me cold. It is the first time ever, with Esslemont, that I read the book to the end just to finish it.

One gleam of interest is the dialogue between a mage leading an expedition into a fearsome jungle, and his recorder (diarist). Every setback is portrayed as a triumph for posterity, and the meetings carry echoes of Tehol and Bugg's conversations in Stephen Erikson's Malazan epic.

Would I recommend you buy it? Yes, but only to complete your collection.
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on 10 January 2013
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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on 5 January 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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on 19 February 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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on 21 February 2013
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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on 25 January 2013
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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on 18 February 2013
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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on 7 January 2013
Best malazan book in a long time, and I have read all of them. Can't help but like Kallor, he is the coolest megalamaniac in fiction.
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on 13 January 2015
pretty good. not the best in the series
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