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Blood and Bone by Ian C. Esslemont


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33 replies to this topic

#1 Jussi

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:35 AM

Blood and Bone, book five in Esslemont's "The Malazan Empire" series, will be published in the UK in November. Now we have first synopsis:

In the western sky the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted yet another expedition to tame the neighboring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit-realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity whom some name the Queen of Witches, and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata. Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs -- but it was the voices out of that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers mount an invasion of the neighboring jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission.

To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail whom his men call, the Grey Ghost. This warleader takes the tribes on a raid like none other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands. While word comes to K'azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer... none other than Ardata herself.


It looks like the Canadian release date is December 25th. There isn't any information about the US publication.

#2 Jussi

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:49 PM

Here is the cover art:

http://rha.chookdigi...81409043379.jpg

#3 Billy Quizboy

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:57 PM

I somehow knew exactly what that cover would look like before I viewed it.

#4 wolverine

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

I have read all of Erikson's Malazan books up through Toll the Hounds. I am still trying to decide whether to ever read Esselmont or go on to Dust of Dreams.

#5 Zach H

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:06 PM

I liked City in the Jungle as a title a lot better. As for the art, I'll just say that the only really good Malazan cover art I've seen is from Edward Miller, and it's a shame those were limited to special editions or something like that.

#6 Billy Quizboy

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:46 PM

I liked most of Lockwoods art. (Bonehunters...not so much). I'm just sick of "Guy in Armor in Profile looking at something so I don't have to draw his face". There's 100s of them. You can't even tell books apart at the B&N anymore.

#7 Werthead

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:29 AM

The cover art for Blood and Bone is a slightly-photoshopped image of Angkor Wat, it turns out.

Appallingly lazy. I'm hoping this is only the working cover art and the final version will be different.

#8 WrathOfTinyKittens

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:24 PM

Is this the final book in his Malazan arc?

#9 kcf

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:01 AM

Is this the final book in his Malazan arc?


No - there is one more after this. Set in Assail.

#10 Werthead

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

Just picked up my copy (it's out now in the UK) although it'll be a few days before I can really get into it. The map is a bit bare-bones but interesting: Jacuruku appears to be a small island-continent, though its true size is impossible to guess as there's nothing else on the map to compare it to. As for location, the map places it west of Stratem and south-west of Korel, possibly south or south-west of Quon Tali (the 'Ocean of Storms' in which Malaz Island lays is marked on the map to the north-east of Jacuruku). The White Spires Ocean which lies west of Stratem and east of Kolanse (in Lether) is shown running south of Jacuruku.

#11 polishgenius

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:19 PM

Well, I read this and liked it a lot. Although it very clearly still has Malazan bones, it's a weird one, tonally fairly unlike any previous one (Toll the Hounds being the closest except this is much less frustrating, managing to knit things together much better). All feverish atmosphere and dreamlogic.
I'm also once again impressed with ICE's deft touch with character. In particular
Spoiler


It did have its letdowns though, the major one being (spoilers for the very end)
Spoiler



Overall a worthwhile entry though,

#12 Overactive Imagination

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

I have read all of Erikson's Malazan books up through Toll the Hounds. I am still trying to decide whether to ever read Esselmont or go on to Dust of Dreams.

Since you've already gotten up to DoD, just finish Erikson's stuff first. Then read Esslemont's stuff in order.

#13 polishgenius

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

Since you've already gotten up to DoD, just finish Erikson's stuff first. Then read Esslemont's stuff in order.


Nah, I'm pretty sure DoD/tCG spoils aspects of Return of the Crimson Guard at least (though I'm not sure if TtH did that too). I'd say read RotCG at least first anyway, and perhaps Stoneweilder as well.

#14 Calibandar

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

I've been reading some early chapters in the store. Mixed feelings, but it certainly has a larger appeal to me than any Esslemont before.
This is due to the exotic new setting, which is really nice. I like the chapters with Saeng and her stone soldier brother Hanu. I also like anything to do with Himlatan and the creatures and spirits that reside there. I have not read much about the Thaumaturgs, but I hope they are interesting as well.

I say that because as usual, I dislike reading anything from the Avowed and Disavowed characters, such a disappointment. Also the Malazan mages Murk and Sour, not my thing, and that too is unsurprising as I usually dislike any and all Malazon soldiers/mage type of stock characters that Erikson and Esslemont have so many of.

So yeah, in doubt at this moment as to whether or not to buy. I did read there is supposed to be some great confrontations at the end, and supposedly the exotic setting and it's characters are given a lot of attention.

#15 Larry.

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:46 AM

Just finished writing my review of it. Some might not like some of the references I made to specific characters (I did specify a bit of two characters' motivations), but for those who don't mind that, the review might be of interest to them. For those who only want general impressions, I thought it was Esslemont's best novel, as he developed setting, characterization, and theme much better than in most of his previous novels.

#16 Werthead

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

Blood and Bone by Ian Cameron Esslemont

Jacuruku: an island-continent located south-west of Quon Tali and west of Stratem. Separated from the rest of the world by large ice floes, Jacuruku has long existed in isolation. The peoples of western Jacuruku lie under the dominion of the Thaumaturgs, mages of tremendous power, whilst the eastern half of the continent is dominated by the jungle of Himatan, domain of the goddess Ardata.


Now the Thaumaturgs have launched an invasion of Himatan, determined to find the fabled city of Jakal Viharn. But even as their army drives deep into the jungle, so their homelands come under threat from the desert tribes of the far south, now united into a formidable army by an invading foreigner...who may not be as foreign as he first appears. Also newly arrived in Jacuruku are the Crimson Guard, summoned to bring to justice their renegade warrior Skinner and those sworn to his service. For K'azz D'Avore and his Avowed, this is an opportunity to heal a painful schism...but at a cost.

Blood and Bone is Ian Cameron Esslemont's fifth novel, taking us to the hitherto unexplored (but oft-mentioned) continent of Jacuruku. The setting is the key to the novel, with the reader soon feeling the humidity and discomfort of the jungle terrain. It's actually rather unusual for geography to be so integral to a Malazan novel (normally it's incidental), and it's a new approach that Esslemont handles well.

In terms of character, the book has a substantial cast taking in Jacuruku natives, Thaumaturgs, demigods, Malazan mercenaries and Crimon Guardsmen. Esslemont takes the time to establish story arcs which are contained within this one novel (such as Saeng's journey) as well as furthering long-running storylines established in earlier books, such the Crimson Guard looking for a new purposes in the aftermath of the Quon Civil War. There's also some excellent use of the established backstory (Jacuruku was once the site of Kallor's empire, the one whose destruction resulted in the Fall of the Crippled God) to drive forward the storyline. Unusually for a Malazan novel, I felt I had a pretty good handle on what was going on throughout. Newcomers might be tempted to jump aboard due to the main storylines being more or less self-contained in this book, but will likely be lost by references to past and simultaneous events (the novel takes place simultaneously alongside Stonewielder, Orb Sceptre Throne and The Crippled God).

Esslemont's prose is readable and compelling (and more accomplished in this novel than ever before), but a little lacking in artistry compared to Erikson's. However, it's also far more concise and approachable. Esslemont handles his large cast and his complex, multi-layered plot quite successfully. In fact, Blood and Bone just about nudges it as his best book to date.

Blood and Bone (****½) is available now in the UK and will be published in May 2013 in the USA.



#17 pat5150

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

For me, it was the opposite. I felt it was by far the weakest Malazan offering thus far and a major disappointment. . .

Just posted my review on the Hotlist. . . I'm not looking forward to the Assail book as much as I used to, what with ICE coming up with back-to-back subpar Malazan installments. . . /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' />

Patrick

#18 Calibandar

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

There is a link to the next Esslemont book up on Amazon UK now.

The title is still tbd, but the book is scheduled for Nov. 7.

http://www.amazon.co...2859662&sr=1-10

#19 Ayx

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:19 AM

Frack, me, its a Kallor book? I have read last 3 of Erikson's Malazan books hoping for more Kallor, was disappointed.. BTW if you thought Toll The Hounds was boring and dragged on, next books are even more so :-(

Anyway, I'm ordering this straight from UK Amazon!

#20 polishgenius

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:26 AM

There is a link to the next Esslemont book up on Amazon UK now.

The title is still tbd, but the book is scheduled for Nov. 7.

http://www.amazon.co...2859662&sr=1-10


City in the Jungle was the original title for Blood and Bone, it's not the next novel. Amazon obviously forgot to take down this placeholder when Blood and Bone was confirmed.