Scott Hitchcock's Reviews > Return of the Crimson Guard

Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont
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really liked it
bookshelves: grimdark, malazan
Read 2 times. Last read February 16, 2019 to February 26, 2019.

Re-read.

Even more than the first time around the first two parts of this book were informative but a little bit slow and boring. The last part however was perhaps even better on re-read. That last part is the best section of any of the Empire books in my opinion and we see the promise later fulfilled in Path to Ascendancy as ICE grows as a writer.

His brilliant imagery really made a few of the scenes. I found myself comparing him to SE less but I still have to wonder how much better it would have been had SE written this series.

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The first half of this books was mediocre at best and has me wishing SE was telling the tale not ICE. There were a few moments in particular where SE would have had us weeping but ICE left me wanting. It is so hard not to compare the two.

Then the second half of the book there was almost complete redemption. Over 200 pages were an epic convergence to rival SE. There were two head scratching almost anti-climatic moments though (view spoiler) where I thought how can you possible let that happen this way? Overall the second half was a cannot put it down event.

If you've only read Book of the Fallen it is very much worth reading this series as well. You just can't linger on SE vs ICE for too long.
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Reading Progress

April 27, 2016 – Shelved
April 27, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 27, 2016 – Shelved as: grimdark
April 27, 2016 – Shelved as: malazan
August 13, 2016 – Shelved as: will-continue
November 4, 2016 – Shelved as: scheduled
November 8, 2016 – Started Reading
November 11, 2016 –
page 100
13.66%
November 12, 2016 –
page 175
23.91%
November 14, 2016 –
page 250
34.15%
November 19, 2016 –
page 365
49.86%
November 21, 2016 –
page 450
61.48%
November 22, 2016 –
page 525
71.72%
November 23, 2016 –
page 610
83.33%
November 24, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 16, 2019 – Started Reading
February 17, 2019 –
page 110
15.03%
February 19, 2019 –
page 200
27.32%
February 21, 2019 –
page 300
40.98%
February 23, 2019 –
page 400
54.64%
February 24, 2019 –
page 500
68.31%
February 25, 2019 –
page 632
86.34%
February 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Yeah I can't believe they killed off two important characters like that and in the SIDE series too. How the hell is Toll the Hounds (haven't read it yet) going to deal with that?


Seán I remember on the first read of the series that I regretted reading this as it really slowed me down. I'm looking forward to picking it up on a re-read though as I definitely feel like I'll appreciate it more.


Scott  Hitchcock Gayle wrote: "Yeah I can't believe they killed off two important characters like that and in the SIDE series too. How the hell is Toll the Hounds (haven't read it yet) going to deal with that?"

I think that's what makes it great. You just never know. Wait until you do read TtH and discover who's next. :)


Scott  Hitchcock Seán wrote: "I remember on the first read of the series that I regretted reading this as it really slowed me down. I'm looking forward to picking it up on a re-read though as I definitely feel like I'll appreci..."

There's so much back information you get for the main series it's definitely worth it. I can't imagine reading Path to Ascendency without having read Empire.


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