Quick ‘n Dirty: Steven Erikson – The Bonehunters

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

stevenerikson-thebonehuntersThe Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y’Ghatan under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to the ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire’s greatest champion was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. It is a place of foreboding, its smell is of death.

Yet this is but a sideshow. Agents of a far greater conflict have made their opening moves. The Crippled God has been granted a place in the pantheon and a schism threatens. Sides must be chosen. But whatever each god decides, the rules have changed – irrevocably, terrifyingly – and the first blood to be drawn will be in the mortal world…

The Bonehunters is the stunning sixth novel in the Book of the Malazan Fallen series. After the side trip that was Midnight Tides, it was a pleasure to return to the Malazans and some old friends. Meeting the Bonehunters was fantastic and following them along in their coming into their own and to see the myth being born was fascinating.

Thus far Erikson has always had his story lines converge to a giant climax near the end of the book. Not so in The Bonehunters; here we get a huge battle in an epic chapter spanning over 120 pages at about a third of the book in and then another climactic scene near the end of the book. Even after the huge relief of tension after that first battle, the book never loses steam and the story remains gripping.

I completely adored The Bonehunters and it may have been my favourite Malazan book so far. I read it as part of the Malazan Reread over at Tor.com. Unfortunately, I had to drop out after the first chapter of the next book as I just couldn’t combine the reading with the reading I for the blog and with another baby added into the mix. I do intend to go back and catch up one day though. Meanwhile, if you want some really insightful stuff on The Bonehunters go check out the reread. Or if you want some more in-depth reviews of the book, please look at the reviews posted on Nethspace, Yet There Are Statues, and Fantasy Book Review.


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