Friday, 7 December 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: Blood and Bone - Ian C Esslemont

Release Date: 22/11/12


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 another expedition in a bid to tame the neighbouring 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 who 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 from that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers launch their invasion of this 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 men call the Grey Ghost. This warrior leads these tribes on a raid unlike any 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? Could it be the goddess herself...


I’ve been a huge fan of the Malazan world since I was introduced to it by Stephen Erikson’s epic Book of the Fallen series. But in addition to this the world was co-developed by Ian C Esslemont who has brought his own take on the events that shaped it with his own series. Whilst originally I wasn’t as enamoured as I had been with Stephen’s each subsequent tale has built upon the success and lessons learned from the former, so much so that for me, each book is superior to the last.

Here we have great prose, a wonderful sense of pace and when backed with a story that has a huge arc where nothing is what it seems or what the casts life expectancy is going to be. Wrap that all up with some magical sleight of hand and all in the reader is in for a treat.

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