Stonewielder –

Reread Pretty much the same thoughts as the first time There s still some things about the story that bother me but overall well done Original In book three of this epic ICE s prose has grown stronger The story much less scattered than the first half of RotCG and the structure so much better than NOK The convergence at the end was really good but not as good as the first two books or many of SE s The tale did set the scene for the second half of the series quite well leaving lots of loose ends. Second read I m rereading the Malazan Empire books as a prelude to starting the Path to Ascendancy series I m hoping that by reading them successively, I ll get a better idea of what ties this series together, and I m refamiliarizing myself with my beloved world of Malaz I still stand by the review below but I enjoyed this read a bit I might not have been as harsh if reading this for the first time.The writing remains clunky and there are too many uninvolving characters Erikson has a knack for creating interesting actors in his books like Whiskeyjack, Tattersail, Trull, Sorry and Tavore Tavore above all that Esslemont doesn t quite manage.A tepid 3 stars for this third installment in The Malazan Empire series, and that because I m hopelessly enspelled by the Imperial Warren It s not that Esslemont is a bad writer in the right context, he s quite readable it s that the sprawling, multi POV format that the series has taken doesn t play up to his strengths.The series has lost its focus A problem that, in hindsight, was becoming apparent in Return of The Crimson Guard There, however, the story could revolve around the civil war and the return of the Guard, and the characters were interesting In Stonewielder, we shift the story to Korel and the second Malazan invasion The most interesting characters from RotCG get short shrift e.g., Kyle, Rillish and Greymane , and we meet an entirely new cast, none of whom were unique or particularly interesting IMO e.g., Suth, Ivanr and Bakune The lack of focus also contributed to a lack of energy The story dragged in too many places I would shift restlessly unconscionably disturbing the cats napping in my lap , hoping that this section didn t go on for too many pages And I kept getting dragged out of the story by the inelegant prose.Night of Knives is still the best novel in the series There, Esslemont focused on two people Kiska and Temper and his talent was shown to better effect because he could take the time to develop his characters and their stories.I feel bad that I can t highlight anything particularly good about the book I can only recommend it to Malazan geeks like myself if you re not a fan of the series, there s better SF out there to spend your days with I feel like a Bridgeburner Erikson is Kellanved, the first Emperor Esslemont is Laseen, his successor and assassin who s trying to destroy the legion without driving them to open rebellion Like the Bridgeburners I m trying to remain loyal to the Throne but it s hard so very, very hard. Burdens willingly taken on come to define the bearer Stone me This has proven to be rather unwieldy Unwieldy, clumsy and cumbersome In fact, reading the last two chapters was like hitting a stone wall Repeatedly.The previous novel of the Malazan Empire proved that Mr Esslemont has considerable skill in creating and controlling very intricate stories Similarly to the Return of the Crimson Guard, Stonewielder sports a whole crowd of protagonists scattered across many seemingly unrelated threads And while the author managed to keep everything in check, it was a near miss, not only because of the sheer number of individual stories, but also because some of them were hardly unique, as in memorable, necessary and bringing something substantial to the tale Bakune, Assessor of Bainith, a walking oxymoron honest lawyer and simultaneously a wrong man in a wrong place investigating weird murders against the interest of local coterie Kyle and Greymane, though for the most part of the book we observe those through the eyes of other characters, most notably Devaleth, a mage of Ruse I wish I could write something here, but a tattered sail has a pronounced personality , and Suth who is just um, Suth Or whatever name you give to an archetypical trooper in the Malazan army Rillish Jal Keth, an Untan noble and a friend of the Wiccans who thought himself retired, finds himself in the imperial service again Lazar, Shell, Fingers, and Blues, a Crimson Guard commando on a desperate mission tempted to say suicidal remember they can t die so Mr Esslemont can exercise his cruel streak Speaking of cruelty, there is also one Uss , a mage without access to his warren forced to find alternative arteries of power We also get to see the life on Stormwall in Korel yay but if you hoped to see of Iron Bars, abandon your hope Instead, Corlo another member of the Crimson Guard will be our eyes there Additionally, glimpses from the Lord Protector Hiam, and other of the Korelri Stormguard Master Engineer Stimmis as we witness the struggle against the Stormriders Ivanr, the famous champion of Toblakai heritage who decided to abandon war and become a pacifist gardener you can imagine how well it went By the way, if you think this theme is interesting you should read Pacifism by the charming professor Martin, who wrote this book and indeed become an academic because he had to prepare a defence for himself at the court when as a young man he refused to go to war for religious reasons Woe is me, Kiska returns and is sent on a mission with a not so mysterious for an attentive reader henchman and even less mysterious mad priest of Shadow I beg you, the moment the word giggled was employed, his identity became painfully obvious We have whole passages of rumination on how the gal matured and outgrew the small island she s been born on and then, as if these assurances veiled apologies for the Night of Knives didn t happen, she continues to be the very same idiotic and insecure creature hoping that by pretending a mysterious figure, her companions will take her seriously These are the main ones there are also other minor POVs and appearances, some curious some bizarre Of those singled out above, the last two were particularly painful for me, and that was when the plot actually kicked in and started to roll.And may, Mr Esslemont really needed the time to get these swinging Three chapters in and these POVs felt like separate stories just conveniently cut into salami slices and randomly mixed with each other for no apparent reason whatsoever Moreover, this slow coming together is further weakened by the fact that they run parallel than towards a convergence Indeed, for me there was no convergence per se rather what happens in the finale is akin to simultaneous micro bursts that to some extent coincide and overlap with each other But this is far away from the orchestrated to the smallest detail perfection of Mr Erikson s culmination points As if this was not enough, Mr Esselmont discovers that religion is a problem how progressive of him so you have the usual exposition of arguments against zealotry and some not very sophisticated observations on how what is true does not matter as much as what people believe to be the truth Oh, and a case against special flakes this I applauded in favour of the ordinary who are asked to step in and to the extraordinary Put your gloves on, because the clawed hands are still present as are the tricks straight from an online course of creative writing no, I have not taken one, I am making an uninformed guess Like statingAfter all, what could possibly be waiting for them here, in the middle of nowhereWhenever you put something like that granted, the ellipsis is missing so the ultimate kitsch has been avoided you just know its the holy shit itself waiting In general, I had the feeling of being back in square one that would be the first instalment in the series, ouch , which was a considerable setback after the previous book which was such an improvement, both conceptually and technically The last two chapters were particularly painful to read, and then, even though I persevered, there was no ultimate prize The whole Overlord gig left sour and curdled like milk after the expiry date, with only cursory explanations why was the guy always so chilled and nothing beyond obvious revealed about the Lady There was even no meaningful death I could despair about I am definitely marking this book with a black stone Also in the series 1 Night of Knives 2 Return of the Crimson Guard 4 Orb Sceptre Throne5 Blood and Bone6 Assail Night of Knives was poor but Return of the Crimson Guard was a vast improvement whilst still lacking in a few areas Stonewielder, the third addition in Ian C Esslemont s series of Malazan books, is a much complete package than its two predecessors Set on the much referred to continent of Korel or Lands of the Fist as seems to be the proper title, the book continues storylines left unresolved in Return of the Crimson Guard whilst also setting up a new plot centred on the Stormwall and the imminent arrival of the demonesque Stormriders From book two there is ex Crimson Guard Kyle and disgraced ex Malazan commander Greymane both trying to find a new purpose after the fallout of the Battle of the Plains Fortunately the wait isn t too long as they find themselves headed for Korel where destiny awaits Kiska also returns and journeys into the Shadow Realm to find the disappeared mage Tayschrenn.The main plot, where the inevitable convergence takes place, is in and around the legendary Stormwall first and last proper line of defence against the Stormriders who season after season attack Korel in an attempt to reclaim the land from the Lady s grasp The Lady being the Goddess the people of Korel worship.The Malazan world is my favourite fantasy creation I just love how the whole thing is set up From the deities to the magic system and the epic characters to the different continents it all just clicks together so well I can forgive I.C.E for Night of Knives because it was the first release and even Gardens of the Moon was a little ragged round the edges Thankfully he found his footing with Crimson Guard, which I consider a proper Malazan book, and now there is Stonewielder which announces its brilliance from Page 1 and doesn t stop its literary masterclass until the last words of the epilogue To explore the places and names only referred to in Erikson s series is awesome and if you want to talk about shared Cinematic Universes in books then the Malazan world is the answerWhen you do not recognize the wrongs of the past, the future takes its revenge Author forgotten Where to start with this book I actually began to read this way back in January and have only just finished it up now I think, for me, this is an exceptionally long time to be reading one book, despite that it s long Partially this is due to the fact that I have had a lot of uni work on the go recently and as this book was not a buddy read or a book I was really into for ages, it wasn t my focus The main issue I had with this is that it s kind of boring a lot of the time, and although there are some solidly exciting moments, they are SO few and far between This storyline feels a little disjointed at many points and I found myself getting quite bored by the battle focus of the main plotline As with most Esslemont books I just feel like his style of writing pales in comparison to the standard that Erikson has set, and in this book we see some crossover characters who I felt weren t up to their original standard in the Erikson books sadly The battle focused storyline involves characters like Bars, Ussu, Greymane, Kyle, Suth, Develeth and I honestly didn t really care for most of the character except Greymane, Bars and Develeth becuase those three actually kept my attention when I read their sections The others just didn t work for me as fun, interesting or even thought provoking stories, I just wanted their parts to be shortened to the raw essentials.The other storyline, which definitely feels a lot less joined to the battle storyline was that of Kiska Kiska is a returning character and she s travelling through some pretty grim and dark places for most of this story Her plot doesn t really feel integrated into the rest of the book, but she was a character who I always found interesting and although her story felt tacked on I felt that it was needed to relieve some of the boredom I felt at some of the other sections.We also again get mention of the Lady and Crippled Fallen God here These are very powerful and influential figures who have unceasing hold on many citizens within this story I definitely felt that we should have got a bit insight into the lady and her origins and how she came to power, becuase some of the story didn t fully convince me But maybe that was just me.On the whole I think this is one of the better Esslemont s, but it s still far from being a book I can say I like It s okay, it has some good moments, but it really is just so draggy at times and I just felt myself becoming less connected to the characters as we went on I have to say I am so happy there s only one Esslemont book to read before I can return to Erikson and finish up the Erikson series, unless the next book is mind blowing then I won t be picking up any Esslemont after that Sadly, we just don t gel 2.5 s 3.75 starsWhile I didn t like this one as much as Return of the Crimson Guard, I do think that ICE s writing style only continues to improve with each book He s not at the level of Steven Erikson but he definitely demonstrates that he can write a good and entertaining story And that s exactly what this book is good and entertaining My issue stems from the fact that I just could never get truly invested in the crop of characters, most of them new, that show up in this installment And the two characters that I was most looking forward to reading about, one of them specifically referred to in the title, were hardly in it Still, I m glad I read it since it does present some significant events in the overall scheme of things. A Breathtaking Addition To The History Of Malaz The New Epic Fantasy From The Co Creator Of This Extraordinary Imagined WorldGreymane Believed He D Outrun His Past With His School For Swordsmanship In Falar, He Was Looking Forward To A Quiet Life, Although His Colleague Kyle Wasn T As Enamoured With Things Outside The Mercenary Company, The Crimson GuardHowever, It Seems It Is Not So Easy For An Ex Fist Of The Malazan Empire To Disappear, Especially One Under Sentence Of Death From That Same Empire For There Is A New Emperor On The Throne Of Malaz, And He Is Dwelling On The Ignominy That Is The Empire S Failed Invasion Of The Korel Subcontinent In The Vaults Beneath Unta, The Imperial Capital, Lie The Answers To That Disaster And Out Of This Buried History Surfaces The Name Stonewielder In Korel, Lord Protector Hiam, Commander Of The Stormguard, Faces The Potential Annihilation Of All That He Holds Dear With Few Remaining Men And A Crumbling Stone Wall That Has Seen Better Days, He Confronts An Ancient Enemy The Sea Borne Stormriders Have Returned Religious War Also Threatens These Lands The Cult Of The Blessed Lady, Which Had Stood Firm Against The Riders For Millennia, Now Seeks To Eradicate Its Rivals And As Chaos Looms, A Local Magistrate Investigating A Series Of Murders Suddenly Finds Himself At The Heart Of A Far Ancient And Terrifying Crime One That Has Tainted An Entire Land I felt like i read this book way faster than expected As expected, the Malazan books always deliver, and this was no exception Stonewielder takes place in the lands of Korel, a place that we know very few, only that it was partially destroyed thousands of years ago, when the Crippled God fell from the sky, and that it is a harsh land, constantly attacked by the Stormriders, and the only thing holding them back is the Stormguard, the guardians of the Stormwall.The book follows a Malazan fleet, commanded by Greymane and Nok himslef, to conquer and subdue the renegade Malazan army that went there several years ago.On the other hand, it also follows several Crimson Guardsmen, who go to Korel to save some of their brethren.A great entry on the saga, i really liked seeing some known faces coming back, and getting to know of several legends from the Malazan Universe that, up to this point, had been a mystery.A book filled with action, interesting new characters, development of some old characters that made an appearance, an interesting and brutal enemy all the necessary ingredients for a great Malazan book. Why not 5 stars, you ask There are three reasons The first is Ivanr What was the point An unnecessary character whose story doesn t link in any way to the main story As a background story it could have been done better.The second reason is what I started referring to as Kiska in the mist a la David Lynch Again, I got the feeling that this character was added unnecessarily All those she encounters along the way were also quite forced on the story Perhaps this is relevant for the next book in the series, but in this one, her journey felt redundant.Lastly, I was disappointed with the ending The book was developing so well up to the last 50 pages or so and then it all went downhill with a Scooby Doo ending.Now, the good part everything else The book itself was amazing, the stories of the main characters and the world described are superb I couldn t put the book down It is very fast paced and there are plenty twists and turns that are surprising and exciting and interesting.I strongly recommend this book and will continue reading the next installment in the series. Rese a general de Malaz el libro de los ca dos en mi blog MOTHERFUCKING GREYMANE Simplemente genial Regresar al universo de Malaz despu s de casi un a o y medio fue algo maravilloso tem a no recordar muchas cosas despu s de tanto tiempo, pero fue como volver a encontrarme con viejos conocidos Stonewielder Empu apiedras, en la edici n traducida es el d cimo tercer libro de Malaz que leo y lo disfrut tanto o m s que los anteriores El universo creado por Steven Erikson e Ian C Esslemont es impresionante y tan enorme que 10 libros no fueron suficientes para abarcar todo.Los libros de Esslemont complementan la saga del Libro de los Ca dos porque en ellos aparecen un mont n de personajes y eventos que son mencionados a la pasada en los libros escritos por Erikson concretamente, Stonewielder est ambientado en el continente de Korel y trata en profundidad todo el tema de los Stormriders unos jinetes del fondo del mar que no se sabe bien del todo qu carajo son y del legendario grupo de guardias que los combate Tambi n retoma muchas tramas de libros anteriores como la de la Guardia Carmes e incluso una trama que comenz en el libro 6 de Erikson si mal no recuerdo y que Esslemont contin a en este arco argumental.Esto ltimo es otro gran plus que tienen estos libros ver c mo los personajes saltan de una saga a otra y c mo ambos autores se prestan personajes entre s , es como que le da una mayor sensaci n de cohesi n a todo el universo de Malaz.Por lo dem s, es el t pico libro de Malaz al comienzo no tenemos m s que diferentes tramas que parecen sumamente desconectadas una de la otra, pero a medida que avanza el libro convergen y dan lugar a momentos realmente espectaculares, en los que se enfrentan ej rcitos, seres ancestrales, hechiceros y dioses.Lo bueno es que Esslemont presenta todas las partes del conflicto y te da a entender que incluso quienes son considerados malos tienen fundamentos para actuar de la forma en la que lo hacen Tanto Esslemnot como Erikson son arque logos y antrop logos, y esto se nota mucho en la riqueza de las diferentes culturas que aparecen en sus libros todos tienen sus tradiciones, costumbres y diferentes formas de venerar a los dioses.En pocas palabras, Stonewielder es una excelente continuaci n de esta enorme saga de 16 libros Lamentablemente es imposible no comparar a Esslemont con Erikson considero que si bien los libros de este arco argumental tienen todos los ingredientes que hacen de Malaz una saga nica batallas impresionantes, culturas complejas, seres ancestrales muy originales, etc es como que todav a a Esslemont le falta soltarse y encontrar su propia voz De todas formas se nota mucho la evoluci n de este autor si lo comparamos con sus dos libros anteriores A pesar de los diferentes ordenes de lectura que puedan encontrar en internet y ac en Goodreads, me parece mejor leer los 10 libros de Erikson primero y dejar estos 6 de Esslemont para el final, ya que requiere un conocimiento previo de diferentes eventos, del sistema de magia y razas que aparecen en ellos.La saga de Malaz es de mis favoritas y la recomiendo totalmente, espero que se animen a leerla y, si precisan ayuda o no entienden algo, no duden en preguntarme adem s ninguno de mis contactos de Goodreads la ha le do y quiero tener con qui n comentarla xD No se asusten por la cantidad de libros y por algunos comentarios que dicen que es extremadamente dif cil e incomprensible Es obvio que es una lectura compleja y requiere cierto trabajo por parte del lector, pero les puedo asegurar que una vez que le agarren el gusto a estos libros, van a querer averiguar todo sobre ellos Yo voy 13 libros y no dejo de sorprenderme Si les interesa saber m s acerca de esta saga, pueden visitar el link de mi blog que les dej m s arriba en el que comento los aspectos generales de estos libros.