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

bonehunters (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Bonehunters
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #6
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 804
Format: Digital Edition




Adjunct Tavore Paran continues her pursuit of Leoman of the Flails and the rebels of the Shai’k rebellion. Leoman makes a last stand at Yghatan and in the process of burning the city down as a trap also unleases a Fire Elemental, which kills all of his followers and about 1/3 of the Malazan army. The survivors march for the coast where they are picked up by Admiral Nok and begin making the journey back to Malaz City. They meet up with the Grey Shields who wield incredible magic and have huge boats. They have a run-in with the newly expanding Letheri/Edur empire and scare the crap out of them with a show of magic. Once back at Malaz it is evident that Mallick Rell and Korbolo Dom have been plotting, as they are now heroes and Coltaine’s memory is that of a traitor. All Wickans are now under threat of pogrom. The Adjunct is told by the Empress to hand over the Wickans and control of the Bonehunters (the malazan army) and the Grey Shields. The citizens of Malaz attack the Bonehunters and the Greyshields, stirred up by agents of Mallick Rell. The Adjunct returns to her ship with the help of Kalam and her lover but wades through a veritable sea of blood to do so.

Karsa Orlong is captured by the Edur as a “Champion” so that he may face Rulad Sengir, the Edur emperor.

Icarium is separated from Mappo Trell and a new companion is given him. It turns out all the companions are part of the Nameless, a group that wants to use Icarium’s rages as a weapon. Mappo betrayed the Nameless by being Icarium’s friend instead of pointing him in the direction the Nameless wanted him to go. Icarium and his new companion are also captured by the Edur. They are used in a skirmish against Shadowthrone and it ends with Icarium, unconscious, going through a portal to the Lether/Edur empire.

Ganos Paran, as Master of the Deck, faces down Poliel and chooses sides in the war of the gods. He ends up becoming High Fist of another Malazan army after all its officers are struck down by plague, including Dujek Onearm.

And there are at least 5-10 other smaller plot threads running through out as well.


My Thoughts:

There is a lot going on in this book. And to be honest, that is the only thing that stopped me from dropping this a 1/2star. Because here is where the Existential Moralizing really begins. There were a couple of places where characters would talk back and forth for pages and the problem is that I couldn’t skip any of it because Erikson will throw in a line or two about some revelation or other plotline that is really nice to know. You know those Christian books where you get preached at instead of being told a story? Well, Erikson does that here with his own brand of suicide inducing despair filled philosophy. It’s done in really bad taste, as I felt like I was having a razorblade shoved down my throat.

I feel like I used up half my words for this review just typing out the synopsis. Also, for all my complaining about the philosphizing, there is a really good story packed between it all.

I always wondered why Surly/Laseen/Empress let things go downhill so fast and after reading the two Path to Ascendacy books, it’s very obvious that she is afraid of “Hero’s” capturing the people’s attention. To the point that she allows someone like Mallick Rell and Korbolo Dom to advise her, as they are despised by the people. She was skilled enough to run things for awhile but in this book we see her pretty much throwing it all away and no real explanation is given. It is intriguing.

I think that is all I have to say really. You can’t jump into the series with this book and it doesn’t wrap anything up and it is so big, that I feel like throwing up my hands and saying “read it yourself, if you dare” to get all the plot threads. Heck, we’re teased with a possible invasion of short-tailed K’Chain Che’malle and 12!!!! moonspawns. Look how powerfully Anomander Rake used just one, I can only imagine the chaos and destruction 12 might cause. That is just one of a myriad of topics I didn’t even bother to really think about for this review. Trying to cover everything is impossible and it leaves huge amounts of room for re-reading, as your focus will be different each time.






29 thoughts on “The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen #6) ★★★★☆

    1. From what I remember of my initial read through, books 8-10 are really going to be the tough ones. It also didn’t help that I was reading these almost right in a row 😦
      So maybe some space between will make all the difference!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 12 moon spawns. It was a relatively small scene and even the follow up scene where some of the characters sneak on board one to get some info is pretty unassuming. It’s the type of thing that would be easy to pass over in the midst of all the other bigger plot lines 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was a series that I really wanted to get into but unfortunately after the first book, I just didn’t have the interest it was going to take. It did make me realize how much I love character driven books more than plot driven. So at least it taught me something about myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a LOT of female fantasy authors. And there are a quite a few really good ones too.

      The issue for me is that most of the female authors write for a female audience and such things as either ultra-emotional love stories or kickass warrior women with a chip on their shoulder hold no attraction for me. That is a very broad generalization, and while there certainly are exceptions, I find I am happier avoiding most modern female authors.

      Some exceptions, for me, are:
      Patricia McKillip
      Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter (mystery)
      Andre Norton
      Patricia Wrede
      Linda Nagata (scifi)
      These are the most listed in my recent 100’ish books.

      So to be objective, or trying to be, it’s more about what appeals than quality. My experience has shown me that I have a much higher percentage of enjoying a book if it’s written by a man.

      To get a good list of female fantasy authors, you’d do better to ask someone else 🙂 Especially anything from 2000 and on.

      Hope that helps.


            1. I tried her Farseer trilogy, and barely made it through the first book, Assassin’s Apprentice. That was only 3 years ago too, so my tastes won’t have changed enough for me to give her another try…

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I only marginally enjoyed Farseer, but it was worth it to read Liveship Traders. If you’re ever interested in giving her another try, I would start there. One of my all time favorites. I imagine you really enjoying it. You’ll be fine reading Liveship w/o having finished Farseer.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoy re-reads because it allows me to see the book in a fuller light. Since I already know what’s happening, I can focus on details I missed the first time around.

      And that synopsis was as short as I could make it so my future self would know what the book was actually about 😀


  2. I bought this book 4 years ago becuase of the cover and the name, not knowing it was part of a huge series🙈. Luckly not read it yet, as i am trying to get to the bottom of my Warhammer pile…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is your cover the same as this one? or a different one?

      And it’s a good thing you didn’t dive right in. You would have been SO lost 😀
      This series is bad enough at being so big without trying to start at book 6…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even if having a razor shoved down the throat don’t sound like a lot of fun, this still continues to sound so complex and epic.

    Something about the cover had me thinking of Santa, his sleigh, and his reindeers being ran off course o.O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it would like if Lucy and Susan from the “Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” sat down after Aslan’s sacrifice and had a talk about Substitutionary Sacrifice and how it changes the whole outlook of a person’s thinking from internal to external. Followed by 2 pages of something written by Lewis the theologian instead of Lewis the storyteller.

      That’s what his non-fiction is for! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s