Friday, February 24, 2012

Book re-read: "Stonewielder" by Ian C. Esslemont

So, I finished the last book of this re-read (a week ago, to be sincere) before starting with "Orb Sceptre Throne".

Contrary with "Night of Knives" and "Return of the Crimson Guard", and to my first read of "Stonewielder", this time I found it not as good as first time and not as good as its prequel. SW continues some time (a few years, I think, although time-line is somewhat blurry I must say) after RotCG. I involves few characters from it (Greymane, Kyle, Fist Rilish, etc.), but mostly introduces a new set of characters (although not as large as in RotCG). But more importantly, it expands the setting with further exploring of Fist subcontinent, which was only referred to until this book. So bunch of new characters are from here, but also new historical setting and trivia (which was one of high-light of this whole franchise). Typically, it involves many independent POVs and plots which all clash at the end.

I said that book is not as good as RotCG and that I didn't like it as much as first time I read it, but the difference if very small. Even though it is not on the same level as Erikson's works, this third Esslemont's book provides a good continuation of story. It lacks the depth and grandness of Erikson, but it has good enough humor and intense plot. Characters are almost as good as Erikson's, although there is no so many internal monologs and trains of thought that fans learned to like. Esslemont places more focus on story and action, but this is not a bad thing - book is easier to follow and enjoy.

To put it short, "Stonewielder" is one of poorest book in Malazan series, but it is still good enough for most fans to enjoy, providing they don't get their expectations too high.

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