- Series: Novels of the Malazan Empire (Book 4)
- Hardcover: 608 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (May 22, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765329964
- ISBN-13: 978-0765329967
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 94 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Orb Sceptre Throne: A Novel of the Malazan Empire (Novels of the Malazan Empire) Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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Darujhistan, city of dreams, city of blue flames, is peaceful at last; its citizens free to return to politicking, bickering, trading and, above all, enjoying the good things in life. Yet there are those who will not allow the past to remain buried. A scholar digging in the plains stumbles across an ancient sealed vault. The merchant Humble Measure schemes to drive out the remaining Malazan invaders. And the surviving agents of a long-lost power are stirring, for they sense change and so, opportunity. While, as ever at the centre of everything, a thief in a red waistcoat and of rotund proportions walks the streets, juggling in one hand custard pastries, and in the other the fate of the city itself.
Far to the south, fragments of the titanic Moon's Spawn have crashed into the Rivan Sea creating a series of isles...and a fortune hunter's dream. A Malazan veteran calling himself 'Red' ventures out to try his luckâand perhaps say goodbye to old friends. But there he finds far more than he'd bargained for as the rush to claim the Spawn's treasures descends into a mad scramble of chaos and bloodshed. For powers from across the world have gathered here, searching for the legendary Throne of Night. The impact of these events are far reaching, it seems. On an unremarkable island off the coast of Genabackis, a people who had turned their backs upon all such strivings now lift their masked faces towards the mainland and recall the ancient prophesy of a return.
And what about the ex-Claw of the Malazan Empire who now walks the uttermost edge of creation? His missionâthe success or failure of which the Queen of Dreams saw long agoâis destined to shape far more than anyone could have ever imagined.
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OST takes place after the events in Toll the Hounds, and explores the aftermath those events caused in the City of Blue Flame, Darujhistan. It answers a lot of questions that I had while reading Toll. Even some questions that I'd forgotten I had were brought to light and expanded upon, which was nice and is sort of what ICE has been doing this entire series. In true Malazan fashion however, questions remain.
As is always the case on my return visits to this world, it was nice to see some familiar faces. The Krul's Bar Bridgeburners, Kruppe, Rallick Nom, Traveller, Caladan Brood, Torvald Nom, Kiska, Leff and Scorch (two of my favorites), and a host of new characters as well. On occasion I think that ICE can't quite keep up with the precedent Erikson has set with some of these characters (Kruppe comes to mind), but nevertheless it is fun to read about them.
Like Stonewielder there were some sections of the story that I enjoyed quite a bit (the Seguleh/Moranth plot line for example), and others that sort of just fell flat. I maintain the opinion that ICE would benefit from cutting his viewpoint character down. By a lot. He switches POV so often that things can end up feeling rushed or sloppy. Not always. Sometimes he does have some very compelling moments in which he flips from one viewpoint to another (the charge comes to mind, readers will know). But nonetheless, I think his stories would benefit from a more focused view. I also still feel the need to comment on ICE's need for another round of editing/proofreading. This is something I've mentioned before in a review of one of these books, and the problem is back in force with OST. I'm not sure if it is unique to the Kindle edition (I don't see why it would be) or what, but there are too many instances of missing words or spelling/grammatical errors. A few here and there is okay, and not very surprising, but there were enough here to make me notice. And that shouldn't happen.
Complaints aside, Orb Sceptre Throne is a fun story in the Malazan series, ending in a convergence worthy of the name. The Seguleh story was by far my favorite, and I'm really hoping to read more about that in the final two books.
If you're new to the Malazan books, you owe yourself to go back and start with number one and take the roller coaster ride like everyone else. I say that because this is one book that it helps to have some background on. Esslemont has a challenging time juggling not only existing characters, but also adding new ones. Some new ones are better than others, and some storylines are stronger than others. However, overall the book is entertaining in it's totality. Most Malazan books have multiple stories going on, usually with a coherent theme that may come together in the end (or set up the story for that in the next novel). I didn't get quite the same feel in this one, though again, the book is entertaining. The series reads like few others on the market. It takes getting used to, but once you are in the universe, you will find other fantasy books pale and become much to simple. Just do youself a favor and read it, then you can pick each book apart as you will, but without disliking the series at all.
I enjoyed the unveiling of many ideas from previous novels, and the first real explanation of the Seguleh.
My biggest problem with the book was a sudden, inexcusable lack of editing at the end. Nearly every chapter through the book's final quarter seemed to include jarring mistakes with misspellings or omissions. I'm usually not a stickler for grammatical mistakes but it actually became distracting.
I loved that OST was about Darujhistan (my favorite location in the series). I loved learning more about the Seguleh, and the Moranth I loved getting to see inside Moon's Spawn. It was nice to see Dassem and Brood again - even if it was only briefly.
I agree with many of the complaints that people have had about the book - especially about the ending being rushed. I feel like Caladan Brook was on the sidelines the entire book - I would have liked to see more of him.
I also thought the ending involved the Tyrant and how he's brought down was a bit ridiculous.
Regardless of that, I really liked the book. Although it didn't have the emotional depth that SE's books have.
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The great thing about the Malazan Empire books is you get stories within stories.Read more