Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire #2)
The return of the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard, could not have come at a worse time for a Malazan Empire exhausted by warfare and weakened by betrayals and rivalries. Indeed, there are those who wonder whether the Empress Laseen might not be losing her grip on power as she faces increasing unrest as conquered kingdoms and principalities sense freedom once more.
But! BUT! I love this world. ICE definitely succeeds in drawing us in to the poi...more
I realize some of those are moot with the inclusion of the others...but I was a kid. :)
This world is filled with the knarliest people doing the craziest things and I love it. Everyone (main characters that is) is either the best at wha...more
Return of the Crimson Gu...more
Style-wise: ICE is no SE (sorry to say it). His first book (Night of Knives) kept the POV limited and personal, which was a nice change from Erikson. This book has a much larger scale, in trying to keep all the balls moving, he adopts the Erikson-type transition between plot threads. Unfortunately, his imagery and language are...more
OK, improvements being noted, I have a couple complaints:
Names: This is a...more
So the old and bitter enemies of the Malazan Empire "The Crimson Guard" are regrouping after many years of absence. Bound and driven by an eternal vow to see the Malazan empire destroyed...more
It was great to read about Westeros and learn more of the world Martin created (FINALLY) in A Dance with Dragons, but you just can't top Erikson and Esslemont for sheer epic storytelling scale and character creation. I've never read authors that can make you care about a character in jus...more
I enjoyed Kyle, some people don't but I liked the young hero, that was way out of his element unlike some super human farmboy gets magical sword, and slays evil. Kyle does fit the first two elements, but he kinda doesn't know what to do, and is quickly swatted aside. Nait is a cool character, I liked the idea of the avowed and the internal squabbling, but Cowl and Skinner were disappointments to me, granted they are bad ass characters, but there very one dimensional. With Skinner...more
Esslemont's writing has improved from his first book, but I felt like he was aping Erikson's s...more
I have to say that Esslemont's second effort is a huge improvement over Night of Knives. Below are my pros and cons:
- Excellant battle sequences (individually and on a grand scale) that were just as gripping and exciting as the main Malazan books written by Erikson.
- Big improvement in characterization over Night of Knives, especially since Esslemont used characters already introduced by Erikson in this book.
- Good worldbuilding as usual.
- Plot worked well with...more
The characters arent quite of the same depth as some of those in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, but for those of us who want more from this universe it should work.
The way it parallels other stories is amazing, he blends humour, real human emotions and storytelling together beautifully for me. But I can see how real...more
As always, the battle scenes were my favorite. It's as if you are reading historical fiction. Tactics, strategy,...more
Had it come out earlier, before Erikson's series concluded, and had I read it in proper chronological order with regard to that part of the Malazan universe, before those final volumes, I would have been enthralled enough to love it utterly. As it was, I had to struggle to remember the relevance of some parts, though it was satisfying to figure them out. Some bits didn't work very well for me, others were every bit as satisfying as I wanted them to be, it had its m...more
The choice of the author not to explain fully the events and say explicitly who are the actors in some cases ends up being detrimental. As a technique, it's used in many other Malazan books effectively to add mystery and suspense, but...more
- Mallick Rel, Return of the Crimson Guard
After reading Night of Knives, this book was another great view into the Malazan Empire. I love the way the charact...more
For those of you who have read those other books but haven't read this one yet I highly recommend it. Although read Night of Knives first. Where I thought NoK felt like an add on or tie in book I could almost believe that this one fit right in with the Fallen books.
There are differences but I don't think I have read another author who comes closer to an...more
The frequent plot changes and head hopping within chapters did not flow smoothly. It was as if a random generator was used to decide what to write about next. Erikson employs this style as well, but is more effective at it. I believe Esslemont was too amb...more
A lot of othe...more
Ian C. Esslemont and Steven Erikson co-created the Malazan world in 1982 as a backdrop for role-playing games. In 1991 they collaborated on a feature film script set in the same world, entitled Gardens of the Moon. When the script did not sell, Erikson greatly expanded the story and turned it into a novel.