|Submitted by Steven Shenton |
(Sep 20, 2006)
The 6th book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series had a lot to live up to. The awe inspiring single mindedness and determination of Karsa, the mystery and fear surrounding Icarium, the wry humour and genius of Bugg and Tehol Beddict and the cunning of Quick Ben all set the standard. "The Bonehunters" sets a new one. Erikson has created an explosive novel. With a return to the more familiar ground of the Seven Cities the old favourites come crawling out of the woodwork. Fiddler, Kalam and Quick Ben are their usual witty and often scary selves, Ganoes Paran rises to his role as the Master of the Deck. Iskaral Pust is still muttering to himself, never letting the reader know his mind. Karsa's momentum carries him into the midst of the action where he belongs. Despite these characters being more than enough to satisfy the average fantasy fan new ones arise and without giving anything away they just keep getting better. Smiles, Bottle and Koryk are brilliant characters all possessing that unique Erikson touch. Still more is explained and things that happened all the way from the first book come into focus and take on new and clearer meanings. However the cinematic battles and epic events that take place in this book leave plenty of questions in their wake. Erikson manages to blur the lines between right and wrong in very interesting ways, the characters are realistically messy and the world is layered with history and the reader gains a sense of the true complex nature of events. The interwoven strands of narrative and the multitude of characters makes reading this book a satisfying challenge, but anyone who has come this far will know that. In the end you are left as exhilirated and exhausted as the characters, but tingling with dread at the dire events that are foreshadowed. All I really have to say is, "My name is Steven and I'm an Erikson addict."