14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A great addition to the Book of the Fallen,
This review is from: Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) (Hardcover)
A while back, during a lull in Erikson's Book of the Fallen release cycle, Esslemont's Night of Knives: A Novel of the Malazan Empire came out, and I, keen to get some further Malazan word nourishment, snapped up the hardback off Amazon. Unfortunately it was somewhat disappointing and I was left worrying that perhaps Esslemont would not add to this rich world that he and Erikson co-created as much as I (and I'm sure you) were hoping.
I saw this tome with a reduced price while browsing a local bookshop and, as nothing else had taken my fancy (as well as its rather more promising size and the lure of the Crimson Guard in the title) thought 'why not?' and decided to give him another go. Why do I mention this? Because I am now very glad I did! If like me you were sitting on the fence about this I can heartily recommend that you do the same, I'm certain you won't regret it.
The only people I'm assuming are reading this review are those who've already read Erikson's stuff (if you haven't then you really should before getting started on this one (you've got a treat in store!)) so to you: RotCG picks up where Erikson left off (figuratively speaking) and tells the story (unsurprisingly) of the Crimson Guard, who've only made cameo appearances in Erikson's stuff so far, and their return to Unta to take their long-awaited revenge on the Malazan empire. I won't spoil any of the plot points here, but if you were wanting to hear more about Skinner, Iron Bars, Cowl et al then you won't be disappointed. There's also the usual cast of marines, sappers, mages and all the rest you'll know and love including (but still not enough!) some appearances by various Seguleh as well... Although this doesn't come under the 'Book of the Fallen', regardless, it is set in that world and contains important happenings that Erikson will of course have to factor in his future stuff too - as such it's not to be missed by any fans of the series! The writing is certainly more direct and accessible than some of Erikson's more recent stuff has been at times, and in my eyes that was no bad thing.
In summary: a great read, fine addition to the series and mustn't be missed by any Malazan aficionados. I'm already looking forward to his next one!