[Book] Orb, Sceptre, Throne - Ian. C. Esslemonth

So, I LOVE this series, but Mr. Esslemont must be the most schizophrenic author ever. Half his books are pure rubbish, the other half is simply brilliant.

Night of Knives was mediocre - not bad for a first one, but nothing special if it wasnt for the setting.
Return of the Crimson guard was awesome. I love this book - I also strongly suspect that Steven Erikson wrote it, and they just put Esslemonts name on it instead for some obscure reason.
Stonewielder was a mess - poorly written, poor pacing, and it really doesnt make much sense.

Orb, Sceptre, Throne though, is very very good. Its a great read, very interesting story, great pacing and strong characters. All hallmarks of Steven Erikson as well.

Am I the only one with this nagging suspicion?

Anyways - if you enjoy the Malazan world, this is very much worth it.

Oh - incidentially, can anyone tell me about Forge of Darkness as well if its a good read? I read its set back in the days of Tiste Andii where the Queen of Darkness ruled? I hated those parts of the series, so I was kinda wondering how the new one is?

This thread ought to be in the books subforum. As for Forge of Darkness, it has lots of revelations about the Tiste, but is quite boring at most times. I’ll read them all regardless, but I really have no expectations anymore out of the two authors to return to the greatness of the main Malazan books.

dammit - sorry! I’ll request a move!

Esslemont is more polarizing than even Erikson. It’s just weird.

For example: http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.it/2013/01/blood-and-bone.html

Pat says that “Blood and Bone” is a total disaster while “Stonewielder” was great (and that OST wasn’t as good).

While in two other cases, “Blood and Bone” is the best book Esslemont wrote:

I’m almost done with Forge of Darkness and it’s his best work of those I’ve read, in this order:
Forge of Darkness
House of Chains
Memories of Ice
Deadhouse Gates
Midnight Tides
Gardens of the Moon

Don’t let the focus on the Tiste discourage you. These are different Tiste, and it’s also full of Jaghut, Azathanai, Jheleck and other stuff. There’s Gothos and Hood. There’s Caladan Brood. It’s a big party. Not much action, maybe, but it’s soaked in myth and big revelations.

Best writing that Erikson accomplished. Though it’s also quite dense on introspection, which can be a turn off for some.

I’d have to agree that Orb, Scepter, Throne was Esselmont’s weakest for me as well, while Stonewielder was probably my favorite of the 4 I’ve read of his. Still have yet to read Blood and Bone to know how it will fare.

I’m working my way through Forge of Darkness right now and quite enjoying it. It’s got a bit of Erikson’s meandering and such I know that HRose loves, but it does have some good characters, the origins of the Tistii races, and you get to see the big puffed up Ascendents of the Malazan series actually act in such a way before they were tearing up worlds and flying around in floating rock castles.

I think so far that Toll the Hounds and Reapers Gale is my favorite Erikson although I do agree House of Chains is very good as well. Who can’t love Trull Sengar and Karso Orlong?

But thanks guys, for the Forge recommendation. I need to pick that up as well. Also, I didn’t even know that Blood and Bone was out as well!

And Nixon, its amazing how differently people perceive books - I’ve tried to read stonewielder twice, and neither time it was particulary engaging, and I thought it was very poorly written.