Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book re-read: "Return of the Crimson Guard" by Ian C. Esslemont

Once again I am late with my posting. I already finished "Stonewielder", but only now I am writing about my experience of second-time reading "Return of the Crimson Guard".

As with "Night of Knives", this time the book was better. And since the book was very good initially, I am happy to say that I enjoyed it immensely. RotCG is much more serious book than NoK - around 1000 pages long, with enormous cast and quite epic. The book was very expected by the fans because it finally put in focus the Crimson Guard, who has been touched quite often by Erikson, but never explored deeply. Esslemont does a great job with it, revealing a lot, but also creating many teasers - a lot of things are left hidden. Another thing that Esslemont pulled off was satisfactory but not happy ending. The book has a nicely wrapped ending, but if you look closely, the most despised character in whole setting has made an advance. Book contains some great action scenes, especially toward end, where we have several cascading battles.

Another thing that was done nicely was typical Malazan concept of grey characters- neither good nor bad. In this book, contrary to NoK, Esslemont invented a lot of his own character, while only few were borrowed from Erikson. As in first reading, my favorite character was Sergeant Jumpy. Oh, yeah, humor was done on completely different level than in NoK.

So, my second reading of "Return of the Crimson Guard" only strengthened my opinion of it as an obligatory book for all Malazan fans.

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