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The Bonehunters and Steven Erikson posted 15 Apr 2006, 17:04 by Gregor Lux, Candidate

Well, I've just picked up the Bonehunters at my local Chapters and I was wondering if anybody has read it yet and what are your views. I won't get to this until I finish my reread of TWP and TTT ( I need to in order to keep up with all the amazing posts by Warrior Poet and EE). Anyway, I'm hoping Bonehunters will be good as I think this will be a make or break point in the series for me. I thought Deadhouse Gates and Memopries of Ice were fantastic but the novels since only so-so. It seems as Erikson has progressed with the series the story has become more fantastical and confusing. I would rather have hoped that things would start making sense. To be honest I can't remember much of the main story arc now. view post


posted 16 Apr 2006, 11:04 by RedShift, Candidate

I enjoyed it; Erikson does not disappoint. I think there's a lot in there that you are pretty much only going to pick up if you've just read the rest of the series; I'd re-read most of it a couple of months ago and I still felt things going over my head. It begins a bit slowly, but it definitely grabs you when you get to Y'Ghatan. I will say no more :) If you're interested in trying to figure out what's going on, I suggest you take a gander at Erikson's forums http://www.malazanempire.com/forums/index.php view post


posted 16 Apr 2006, 15:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I thought it was still another week or so until it was released in Canada? I'll have to pick it up. BTW which Chapters in TO was it (just in case they messed up and put it out early :) )? I heard BH is amazing, I love the series and how the seperate story arcs weave together and overlap, it's great. view post


posted 17 Apr 2006, 00:04 by Gregor Lux, Candidate

I picked it up at my local Chapters in Ajax. They had about 10 copies. It's a pretty hefty book at about 900 pages. I'm looking forward to getting into it soon. Hopefully, things will start to fall into place and it features Mappo and Icarium - two of my favourite characters. view post


posted 17 Apr 2006, 02:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

:) Well everything's been in place for as I've been reading, just need to keep in mind that the only central theme is the Crippled God, there are actually three distinct main story arcs (The action on the continent that Darujistan is a part of, Seven Cities, and the Tiste Edur/Letherii) they just have considerable cross over in weaving the big picture. view post


posted 22 Apr 2006, 21:04 by DarkMatter, Peralogue

I liked it a lot, especially because lots of things I didn't really understand how they were connected was made clear to me. view post


posted 27 Apr 2006, 13:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I'm 3/4 of the way through Bonehunters now and wow, this book is amazing. I think it may very well be one of the most interesting in the series so far. I love the way Erickson reveals crucial world information in an almost off hand way and the characters as always are most impressive. This book is also really long, not sure on the page count difference with some of the others in the series because I had to buy the TPB and all my others are Mass Market but I'm definitly enjoying it. I don't want it to end! view post


posted 28 Apr 2006, 10:04 by Curethan, Didact

Wzzzt. Just got me a copy so I prolly won't sleep much next couple o daze. Goddamn tho, usually I have excellent recall of any thing I've read and enjoyed, but I seriously think I'm gonna have to go back and reread this whole freaking series. The combination of deliberate obfuscation, 937 locations, 2385 dimensions and 6371 major characters makes it really hard to keep track of stuff. You know what I'm talking about. I tell you, if I ever meet Mr Erikson, I will be sure to compliment the exquisite plotting and execution of such a mammoth epic and then I will kick him square in the nuts. :wink: view post


posted 29 Apr 2006, 00:04 by vedes amigo, Commoner

Well I must say the Bonehunters ruled. But I will point out that us true fans bought the hardcover from England back in February. So from a timelime stand point you really only need to read Deadhouse Gates to get a good grasp of events as things pick up with Leoman on his flight from Sha'iks last battle. Though you will not know the full character scheme if you haven't read Midnight Tides. And at this moment I solemnly declare 2006 the year of the barbarion. With TTT and Bonehunters, Cnaiur and Karsa Orlong truly come into their own. The fullness of their characters are finally revealed in Cnaiur's focused hatred and madness ("you act as though you live this life a second time!"), and Karsa's total belief in his dominance ("Witness"). I can't wait to see him square off with Icarium for real. Unfortunaltely in the crossover, we all know that Karsa eventually puts Cnaiur out of his misery with a well placed cuff. But again. Erikson amazes me with his minute attention to detail and his resolving of seemingly innocuous subplots at crucial moments that seem to hinge the whole world for a second. And in closing, Kalam, my buddy. what a sucky cover, but man I can't wait to see what happens after the ice melts. But I will be satisfied watching what Apsalar does until then. Now if I could just get her on a stage near me... ______________ "Loved by many, hated by all" - taken from cover page of "The Histories of Vedes Amigo" view post


posted 29 Apr 2006, 14:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I had considered ordering the hardcover, and came really close to ordering it on amazon.uk, but ultimately decided to wait because I didn't have time to read anything then :) And yea, the cover art was horrible for its depiction of kalam, he looked kind of like a black cherub with a knife.... We won't be seeing the Malazan Empire again for the rest of the series I don't think, I believe SE said the rest all take place outside of the Empire which should be interesting, especially since all my favourite characters seem to be headed for Lether. Now if we can see Gruntle and his Legion again that would really rock :) And I can't wait for ICE's Return of the Crimson Guard those guys are awesome. Hmmm Karsa vs. Cnaiur yea, Cnaiur wouldn't last too long. They both rely on size, power, and prowess. Cnaiur is a powerhouse among Scylvendi but Karsa is a powerhouse among Toblakai, like the Toblakai mentioned in BH who were like "a warren on to themselves." Plus he is bigger, stronger, faster and fights with an unbreakable stone sword that's almost as tall as he is :) I can imagine Cnaiur saying something about being the most violent of all men, Karsa telling him he talks to much, followed by "Witness" and Cnaiur being cut in half within seconds. :) view post


posted 30 Apr 2006, 07:04 by Curethan, Didact

Okay, I'm not really gunna kick anyone anywhere... :) 130 pages in an it's all coming back. As for ordering hardbacks, the postage costs bigtime down here! I got TTT that way, it only cost 3 times as much as waiting for the trade paperback. (hardbacks don't make it here at all unless you order them) Still it was worth it to get a decent read, I was surviving on Dostoevsky... Maybe we should wait'n see how Cnair is shaping up in AE (after he's got some Tekne bodywork) before we start pitting him against big-folk like Karsa, eh? Kicking a skin-spy one on one is at least as impressive as taking down a Soletaken... and just how big would your swazond be if you managed to take down Karsa? Maybe we could put them up to a debate instead - the topic could be "What is best in life?" view post


posted 01 May 2006, 07:05 by Primal, Peralogue

I don't why, but I couldn't get past the first few pages of the malazan; had just received from amazon too. Gave it away view post


posted 01 May 2006, 13:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Primal":1nauxbce]I don't why, but I couldn't get past the first few pages of the malazan; had just received from amazon too. Gave it away[/quote:1nauxbce] Talking about the first book? Gardens of the Moon. Should have stuck with it that first novel is notorious for being hard to get into and being a struggle for probably the first half. The idea for the series developed out of AD&D and then a GURPS campaign the novel was written and then re-written and published 10 years after the first draft. Even I had trouble for the first little bit but then all of sudden some things start to click and you have this "wow this is amazing" moment at about the half-way mark :) The rest of the books are brilliant. I finished BH a few days ago and wow... wish I could say more here :) I knew the rest of the books were basically going to be outside of the Malazan Empire which went from this cherished place to one you could care less about. Reaper's Gale, which should be out next year, looks like it will be awesome. view post


posted 02 May 2006, 06:05 by Curethan, Didact

First Erikson I read was Deadhouse Gates. I would recomend it as an entrance point for the series, as the action and cast is more tightly focused and the plot uses a lot of familiar conventions from old war movies, giving it better general appeal. view post


posted 21 May 2006, 04:05 by stormchaser, Candidate

FWIW, here's a review I wrote of The Bonehunters, written before I read any of the posts in this thread, or in the MBOF comparison thread: [quote:25tbs8l0]Book Review: [i:25tbs8l0]The Bonehunters[/i:25tbs8l0] by Steven Erikson Recapping the plot of the Malazan series so far would be pointless, as we are now at the sixth book and Erikson’s canvas has grown so broad, the cast of characters so large and diverse, the intricacies of the subplots so tangled up and incestuously mis-iterated, that any attempts at condensation must simply fail under their own weight. If you are buying this book, then presumably you’ve read at least one of the others and so you more or less know what you’re in for. For newcomers, I would definitely not recommend [i:25tbs8l0]Bonehunters[/i:25tbs8l0] as a starting point to The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Clearly, [i:25tbs8l0]Gardens of the Moon[/i:25tbs8l0] is the proper place to enter this fantastic maze. The Malazan Books have been justly hailed as a fantasy classic in the making. So how does this new one stand up in comparison to the previous books? Fairly well, I think, although the book takes a while to get going. The main problem is the sheer multiplicity of plots and characters. So much is going on, a good part of it seemingly unrelated to anything else, that one initially begins to worry that Erikson might have fallen prey to a touch of the dread “Jordan’s Syndrome” (AKA WasteOfTime disease). Not to worry! Things settle down eventually, and the pacing is always swift. About a third of the way in there’s a typical big Erikson set-piece battle, complete with special effects, and at some unspecified point after that, the narrative just... coalesces. Everything starts to gel, and before you know it the book has suddenly become unputdownable, and indeed the last part kept me up literally all night until I finished it. It’s kinda like one of those trick pictures, the ones you stare at and stare at before suddenly, presto, everything comes into focus. Once you achieve that moment of gestalt in [i:25tbs8l0]Bonehunters[/i:25tbs8l0], the huge number of characters and subplots ceases to be a liability and instead becomes something of a virtue. You care about them all, and you can’t wait to find out what happens next. Quite a bit does happen. High points include the aforementioned battle, which has some rather interesting unforeseen consequences. When it becomes apparent just who and what the Bonehunters of the title really are, you just want to jump up and shout: “Yes, of course! Yee-haw!” Few authors ever manage to provide such moments, yet Erikson seems to be able to do it routinely. While the previous book [i:25tbs8l0]Midnight Tides[/i:25tbs8l0] seemed relatively unrelated to the rest of the series, it is here shown to be absolutely essential, as we stumble upon the Tiste Edur/Lether imperial army attacking a remote part of the Seven Cities subcontinent - and that’s not the only far-flung place they’re attacking. Eventually the main action shifts to Malaz City, as Adjunct Tavore and the Fourteenth are recalled home, only to find that rot has set in at the very heart of the Malazan empire. I won’t reveal the ending, but as usual there are unforeseen plot twists and casual revelations of great import. Old friends die, new friends are introduced, and in this book you will finally hear Fiddler actually pick up his instrument and play! Plenty of goodies for longtime fans of the series. At first glance Erikson would seem to be juggling way too many hot irons in the fire, to mix a couple of appropriate metaphors - but it’s very hard not to be impressed with the results. Here there be dragons, gods, elder gods, ascendants, mortals and immortals both human and inhuman... Action across several continents and various realms, sub-realms, warrens, and elder holds... Magic wielded by a stunningly varied assortment of sorcerers, shamans, priests, high mages, wax-witches and shape-shifters... Across a landscape filled with pocket wars, holy cities, strange cults, savage tribes, and mysterious ruins of vanished elder races, always ruins, everywhere you turn... Inevitably inhabited by demons, monsters, and ghosts of every sort... Kept at bay by more kinds of magic than you can shake a stick at... And all of this is kept grounded by a focus on the ordinary grunts, fighting the good fight and grumbling about their officers. What’s not to like? The way Erikson keeps it all in motion is nothing short of masterful. Taken as a whole, The Malazan Book of the Fallen is just breathtaking. This is easily the most interesting - and in my mind the very best - ongoing series in fantasy today, and yes I am including Martin’s ASOIAF and Bakker’s PON. The level of innovation in Erikson’s saga is just astounding (any debt to Glen Cook’s Black Company books has long since been repaid, with interest). After six books the series still feels fresh, and the writing remains of the very highest order. Erikson never lets you down. If literature were heroin, then this is the pure shit. Raw, uncut, and highly addicting... I could read this stuff forever.[/quote:25tbs8l0] view post


posted 22 May 2006, 02:05 by Brahm_K, Candidate

I got the Bonehunters a week before it came out here in Montreal and finished it in four days. I completely loved it; Y'Ghatan was simply incredible. My only complaint would be the climax; too many characters acting out of character, not to mention that it just got a little ridiculous that... SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!! Kalam is able to take on about 200 Claws and win, until the very end, wherein he doesn't even die due to a literal deus ex machina. Erikson needs to start being more realistic with these things. END SPOILER Besides that, TBH is probably my third favourite in the series. I liked how it wasn't as standalone as the past 5 have been, even if Erikson did go to the other extreme and end it a bit too abruptly. Can't wait for Reaper's Gale, which really looks to be, based on the ending of TBH, the most interesting of the series thus far. view post


posted 22 May 2006, 13:05 by Murrin, Peralogue

[quote="Brahm_K":39cs0liy]...it just got a little ridiculous that... SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!! Kalam is able to take on about 200 Claws and win, until the very end, wherein he doesn't even die due to a literal deus ex machina. Erikson needs to start being more realistic with these things. END SPOILER[/quote:39cs0liy] SPOILERS: To be fair, he actually only fought and killed forty or fifty, some with the help of T'amber, and all of them unable to use their usual sorcery to sneak up on him because of Tavore's sword. Apsalar, on the other hand, killed about 300 on her own, but then, she's Ascendant. view post


posted 22 May 2006, 16:05 by Brahm_K, Candidate

[quote="Murrin":31iexx7o][quote="Brahm_K":31iexx7o]...it just got a little ridiculous that... SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!! Kalam is able to take on about 200 Claws and win, until the very end, wherein he doesn't even die due to a literal deus ex machina. Erikson needs to start being more realistic with these things. END SPOILER[/quote:31iexx7o] SPOILERS: To be fair, he actually only fought and killed forty or fifty, some with the help of T'amber, and all of them unable to use their usual sorcery to sneak up on him because of Tavore's sword. Apsalar, on the other hand, killed about 300 on her own, but then, she's Ascendant.[/quote:31iexx7o] SPOILERS: Ya, that Apsalar thing was pushing it too, but she is Ascended, so I was able to give the benefit of the doubt (a bit). However, Kalam, without use of magic or anything killing 50 men? Its just too much. Maybe I would be more accepting of it if he hadn't ended it with that whole Azath thing... That just really pissed me off. view post


posted 23 May 2006, 12:05 by Curethan, Didact

Well, there was a fair bit of divine intervention and ascendants and whatnot going on all over the shop in that last bit, not surprising that so many people got killed. The amount of claws that Kalam has killed throughout the series, I reckon half of those would've been just out of assasin school as it were. And wtf was the story with Oppon? I just didn't get that. Erikson's plotting is tight, but his writing can get a bit confusing to me. And if you are looking for realism, look elsewhere .... these are D&D characters for crying out loud - Kalam would be, what, level 8 zillion? Interesting aside; I lent Gardens of the Moon to one of my friends who isn't really into fantasy as a rule - he gave it away after about 100 pages and said, "It just seems like some dude writing about his D&D campaign or something..." without any idea that that's where the setting/story came from. Ha! view post


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