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The Bonehunters (The Malazan Book of the Fallen #6)

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  13,468 ratings  ·  330 reviews
The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha'ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y'Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to this ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire's greatest champion Dassem Ultor was slain and a tide of Mala ...more
ebook, 800 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Duffy Pratt
10/10/11 - This series keeps getting better. This book doesn't work as a standalone novel, but that's not too surprising in a book for number six in an ongoing saga. Rather, this one felt to me like two novels in one. First, there is the baptism by fire of the Bonehunters. And then second, there is the Return of the 14th Army to Malaz Island. Both of these sections stand up with anything already in the series.

GRR Martin got famous by killing off a beloved character. He did it once, and since th
David Sven
I could again go into great length about how Erikson brings his world to life in deep and detailed world building, or how the reread of each of the Malazan books is a vastly superior experience to the initial read given the density of information that is missed on round one – but it gets a little repetitive after book six as far as reviews go and if you have got this far you are probably already in love with the series anyway. So I’ll try and stick to some of the basics of plot and theme for tho ...more
Lori (Hellian)
It's useless. I keep intending to take a break between these and read something else that I've been eagerly anticipating, but the fact of the matter is I'm addicted to this series. And it's all I want to read. So why deny myself?

Finally finished! I haven't had much reading time this whole past month, and I have been so so frustrated, because this is such a marvelous addition that continues to satisfy and feed my obsession with this series. Also, it does meander a bit in the middle so it's not as
It's really difficult to review a book that's this far into a series without spoiling anything but dammit, I'm going to try. The Bonehunters picks up where House of Chains left off. We meet back up with the Fourteenth Army under Adjunct Tavore's command, catch up with Karsa Orlong, and also spend some time with Ganoes Paran.

Steven Erikson still loves his duos. Karsa Orlong has a new friend in Samar Dev, a witch and scholar from Seven Cities. Samar Dev is one of the few new characters Erikson int
3.75 stars.

I almost dropped it to 3 stars, as there were lots of WTF moments and confusing drawn out parts. In truth, this book could have probably been half the length and been just as good (as long as it was the right half).

The Bonehunters were great. Paran, Kalam and Quick Ben, and Karsa Orlong. Oh, and I loved (view spoiler) Badass stuff.

When this book was good, it was fantastic. When not as good, it was like a big, long "
Executive Summary: This has been my favorite book of the series thus far. There are just a few minor things that prevent me from giving it a 5 star rating.

Full Review
The book probably introduces the fewest number of new characters. As we've passed the halfway point of the series, it appears that the majority of the very large ensemble cast has been introduced and the stage is finally set for the looming battle.

Sides are forming up, but just who is on which side still isn't clear. This book cont
Click, clack is the sound of the bones I've bound to my hair. Clack, click is the sound of the bones on my clothes. As I march in tune with my fellow Fallen, I hear Fiddler's song chime on the wind. With tears in my eyes I move forward through ever-changing warrens of grief and wonder and magic. I'll follow the Adjunct now, whereever she leads us, however the opposition, cause I'm one of hers now. A Bonehunter.

Oh, the things I've seen in the past months. I saw the soldiers from Genabackis united
Christopher H.
Well, we've officially turned the corner in this series--there is a dim light ahead that is the end of the tunnel. The pieces are all on the chess-board now, and 'The Game' has begun. The Bonehunters is Steven Erikson's sixth book in his multi-layered epic high fantasy series, "The Malazan Book of the Fallen." I've actually moved far beyond just recommending this series for folks who love fantasy fiction. This is a complex tale that breathes life into Erikson's fictional world; a world comprised ...more
Jun 05, 2008 uroš rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to every fan of Epic (with a capital E)
Shelves: fantasy
The review is originally available at Realms of Speculative Fiction

It took me the better part of the month to work -- yes, sometimes it really felt like a chore, but which ultimately paid off in the end -- my way through the sixth novel in the sprawling Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I found out that most of the things I’ve ascertained in my review of Midnight Tides (review) still hold true for its successor – The Bonehunters. Erikson is a genius epic fantasy writer, but alas, the series is
It would seem my ratings for this series will not show much improvement. As usual. when you open the book you find out that it has a huge number of new characters and a whole new plot which has little to do with what you were expecting.

This marks the return of the Bridgeburners or what's left of them. The book is too dull to read without them. There are a few good jokes here and there. Magic as usual is tragic. There are new houses and more mystery. The writing as always is very detailed.

The Crimson Fucker
War, assassins, treason, mages on crack, psychopathic alcoholics, maniac depressive gods, retarded magi, horny spirits from the past, and a stubborn mo fo warrior!! You name this book got it!!! Pure gold!!!
FANBOY NOTE: I give all of Erikson's books a "bonus star" of sorts just due to the immense nature of the thing he's pulling off. Thusly, this is more a five-star book but I still have to reserve that spot for classics like Deadhouse Gates or Memories of Ice. Yes, it's a dumb system but this series kind of demands stuff like that.

So thus far I've perceived three main threads of the story, broken up by the continents on which they take place (more or less); Genabackis, Seven Cities, and Lether. Th
Carl Black
It's going to be hard to write a review about book 6 without spoilers so I will just share my thoughts. This book mainly follows on from House of Chains and weaves in a few small characters from Midnight Tides. I found it to be one of the more complex ones of the series so far even though we only have a small amount of new characters or does it just seem that way after reading Midnight Tides? :)

This book is really about the 14th army (Tavore's) and their journey through Seven Cities leading to t
There’s a peculiar trend here: I’ve adored all the uneven books in the series, but all the even instalments have been an uphill battle. I felt completely out of my league in book 2; book 4 had too many story lines that didn’t interest me, and this one again just isn’t up to the level of the other books.
I have to add one thing though, because it probably didn’t help my experience either: I was half way into the book when I put it on hold because I left on holiday (and Erikson really doesn’t qual
It's official, I am hooked on this series. It took a while, but the massive depth of this world fascinates me, and the characters keep me coming back. I wouldn't even know where to start with an analytic review, so I'll just say that the effort put into reading these books and struggling to understand them is worth it.

In this book all the different factions and characters begin to converge, and the result is cataclysmic. On to the next book - must find out what happens next.
This story just keeps getting better. Now it seems that all the other books are converging, and lots of my favorite characters are running into each other. This was a nonstop read, although it is quite long and so I took my time. :)
I love this series! <3
oh also
and also
Awesome. :)
Can't wait for the next one!
I enjoyed Steven Erikson's The Bonehunters more than his last book in this series, Midnight Tides, but my problem with Midnight Tides is more about my expectations when reading a series than Erikson failing as a writer. I found Midnight Tides involving enough once I really got into it, but it felt like a huge digression from the events of the previous novels and Erikson choosing to talk about this part of Trull Sengar's history after he'd already been introduced in what appeared to be the future ...more

The theme of my limited review is commitment, so if anyone is uncomfortable with that, I recommend a review written by the TNT tag team over at Speculative Fiction who wrote a great one about the book. No commitment required.

At a bit over 1,200 pagers of densely packed script, it was a commitment to read The Bonehunters. In fact, since about book four, picking up an Erickson book has been about like agreeing to date exclusively. I have been reading a few other things on the side, but
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tiffany Shaw
Jun 13, 2007 Tiffany Shaw rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heroes and grunts
Erikson is my fantasy savior. I was beginning to think I would need to give up on the genre as a whole until I started reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Well-written fantasy? Surely not.

Never-the-less, the Bonehunters was a little disappointing. The first half was great, and I couldn't put it down. But a little over halfway through, everyone starts traveling, and things get boring. One of my favorite aspects of this series is Erikson's willingness to kill off characters that the rea
Okay, so it was bound to happen. My first less than five star review for a Malazan book. I can't even tell you what went wrong. It just seemed to be missing the wow factor of the ones I read before. This almost seemed like the first "filler" book. One part of the complete tale to get characters to where they need to be.
I enjoyed the return of characters that I missed from the last book. But even though I've been reading these straight through there were moments where I was lost. Should I know th
Alex Ristea
First book of the year, and wow! I've said it before, but I'll say it again: no other author can compare with Erikson's imagination and vivid imagery.

We return in this novel to familiar characters in the 14th army, and in the end it links up to Midnight Tides.

There were quite a few fast-paced scenes which Erikson handled excellently. The viewpoints jumped around every few paragraphs, making for a literary version of a Michael Bay film which presented a perfect juxtaposition of confusion, tensio
Amazing. I kept hearing that the Malazan Book of the Fallen series starts to go downhill, but I sure haven't found that to be the case. It was so good I don't know where to start. There was constant action and lots of great characters all in one book. Learning more about Quick Ben was great and I felt there was a decent amount of explanation in this installment. That doesn't rule out the fact that I was utterly confused on a number of occurrences.
Another epic read in the Malazan series. It had a few chunks where things got pretty slow but what do you expect from a 1200 page monster? Whatever slowness there was in this book was made up in the last 200 pages, which was pure awesome.

As always, I need a break until the next Malazan book so my mind can catch up.
La Espada en la Tinta
La Factoría de Ideas prosigue imparable en su propósito de editar los diez volúmenes que componen la línea central del universo de “Malaz: el libro de los caídos”. En el mes de febrero ha llegado a librerías su sexta entrega, Los cazahuesos”. La historia arranca en Siete Ciudades, terreno familiar otra vez después de la breve excursión a Lether del tomo anterior (Mareas de medianoche); el ejército Imperial al mando de la consejera Tavore ha acabado con la rebelión de Sha'ik y ahora debe barrer s ...more
Elizabeth Baxter
Well, what can I say? Seems every book of this series I read, I rave about. The Bonehunters is no exception. The story returns to Adjunct Tavore's army in Seven Cities, and tells of what happened following the crushing of Shaik's rebellion. The army chases Leoman of the Flails to the city of Y'Ghatan where they corner him. However, as you'd expect, not everything goes to plan. Through a series of catclysmic events, the Bonehunters are born - a replacement for the Bridgeburners who were killed of ...more
Series 6/30/08 - 9/10
The Malazan series is one of the better fantasy series I've read in a while. It's extremely densely plotted, in a very vast and detailed world. Each book takes a new jump that leaves you wondering. Sometimes the books can be a little tough to follow and the characters are not the most detailed, but I really enjoyed these books overall. I can't wait to reread and catch up with the newer books I haven't read yet.

For more info, check out:

Malazan on wikipedia
Malazan Site
The stories that are interwoven in each book of this epic series keep on flowing, and my appreciation grows apace. I have just ordered hardcover copies of each of the books... something I almost never do if I have the bought a paperback copy first... because, as with the Lord of the Rings, they deserve it. I'll be reading these books again. Several times.

And what about "The Bonehunters"? It is less of jewel than its predecessor, "Midnight Tides" and it does not build up to a crescendo as many of
One of the best Malazan books so far. This is the first book from the series which has a very gripping middle part. Finally no new races, places, characters in the beginning; it jumps right in the middle of action. My only minor complain: people still wander around the desert aimlessly (what is it about the holy desert Raraku that makes people do so?). Mercifully, it takes a small part of the book. My (fairly) major complain: one of the characters died an almost meaningless death almost being a ...more
One word can easily sum up my overall feelings for this book: wow. The Bonehunters grabbed me by the tonsils and whipped me around from the first to the very last page. Erikson’s world, which in the first books is almost incomprehensible in its span, is slowly beginning to converge. All the concepts, ideas, story lines, layers—all aspects of the story begin to meld together in this sixth book, and reading it was truly cathartic.

This volume of the Malazan Book of the Fallen brings together so man
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  • Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire, #2)
  • The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing, #3)
  • Soldiers Live (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #9)
  • An Autumn War (Long Price Quartet, #3)
Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist. His best-known work is the on-going series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.
More about Steven Erikson...

Other Books in the Series

The Malazan Book of the Fallen (10 books)
  • Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)
  • Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)
  • Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)
  • House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)
  • Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)
  • Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)
  • Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)
  • Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)
  • The Crippled God (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10)
Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2) Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3) House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4) Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)

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“There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one's own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come.

I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.”
“Show me a god that does not demand mortal suffering.
Show me a god that celebrates diversity, a celebration that embraces even non-believers, and is not threatened by them.
Show me a god that understands the meaning of peace. In life, not in death.”
More quotes…