Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blood and Bone by Ian c. Esslemont

I’m conflicted in writing this.  In some ways it was one of the better fantasy I have read.  In other ways it was one of the more confusing books I have encountered.  A quest of sorts is taken by myriad groups for differing reasons.   The book follows the parallel quests.   I have to assume that anyone who read the books in the series that preceded this might have a clue as to each group and their goals.  Sadly I was pretty clueless about the overall plot. 

The book abounded with interesting characters and groups.  The Crimson Guard, the Thaumaturgs and the Malazans are just a few of the groups in the story.   A presumed dead, in this book that presumption is premature, king, elder gods, younger gods, shape stuck shape shifters and blood thirsty vagabond priests  compete with nomadic horsemen and water sprites to provide color and aroma to the story. 

If I had the book digitally, I think I would have searched out each quest and their pages and combined the resultant pages into short stories for each group.  I think it might have been easier to follow that way.  

My conflict seems to center on the fact that the author writes compelling prose but the structure, to me, is confusing.   I refer again to previous books and the thought that perhaps if I had read them, my confusion would abate.

Overall I enjoyed the book but I would highly recommend reading the books that preceded it so you have some idea who all these people are. 

I recommend the book.   

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This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.


  1. Yeah, the Malazan books aren't exactly stand-alone light reading. There's a LOT going on that you need to be following, but it's worth the effort.

    1. Bob, thanks for the comment. You often wonder if your posts are simply the trees dropping in the empty forest, nice to know someone is reading them.

      I'm guessing my problem(one of many,many) was starting with the second book. Generally I try and read series from book one. When you get a request for a review, a few publicists realize that their book will probably get a better review if you have the back story. When I was asked to review a Bledsoe book, they sent me the whole series. They got excellent recommendations for all of the books, not because they sent the whole series but because the books deserved good reviews and the series made more sense read sequentially.

      I did enjoy this book but really felt that I was in the wind for a back story.

      Again, thanks for the comment!