Book Review 2007 #52: The Bonehunters

The Bonehunters is sixth in the Malazan novels by Steven Erikson.


Unlike book five, Midnight Tides, which could and did stand alone, The Bonehunters once again relies on previous knowledge of previous novels. The novel mainly follows characters in and around the continent of Seven Cities, and it follows the events in book four, House of Chains.
Summarizing the plot is difficult for those who are new to the series. Suffice it to say that the events of book Five, with the Letherii and the Tiste Edur, now start to collide with the restof the world, as Tiste Edur fleets and soldiers start to come in conflict with the Malazans.
We get to see Ganoes Paran, master of the Deck of Dragons, come to Seven Cities and take a new position of power. A horrifying, apocalyptic siege of a city on that continent, too, is a major set piece. Several characters, as is Erikson’s wont, are lost, or seemingly lost, in the conflicts in this very long book.
And the book brings us in its climax to the heart of the Malazan Empire, and a very long dark night on the streets of Malaz City.
Many of the virtues of Erikson are in evidence here, although I think the book, at 1200 pages in a PB edition, does run somewhat long. Still, for those who have read the previous five books, this book does continue the story. Plot does happen, characters do evolve and grow, and things happen in this world. Sometimes very dark things.
I eagerly await book seven.