Return of the Crimson Guard – Reviews & Interviews

One downside of reading Steven Erikson is that I don’t have anymore the excitement and curiosity of what to read next, as I have a (growing) pile of books still to read and I know it’s better that I don’t let pass time between each to not risk getting lost and enjoy all the details and layers.

This means that I wait eagerly for all new Malazan things. I wish a review for “Toll the Hounds” would come soon to give me at least an idea about where it sits in the series (from quality point of view), but no review on the horizon. In the meantime we got more infos about Esslemont’s second book, whose wonderful cover is on the left, but just for the expensive collector edition.

There’s an interview with the author discussing some interesting things, but that I had to skip here and there to avoid spoilers. It also gives more details about the correct reading order:

The events occur just before Steve’s Toll the Hounds and relatively soon after The Bonhunters. Unforunately, due to timing, Steve’s Toll comes out just before Return – rather than the reverse. It would be better had Return preceeded Toll, but that’s just how things turned out given my coming into all this later than we both had wanted originally.

And something about the next book planned:

The third novel deals with the over-reach of the Malazan occupation of Korel lands to the south of Quon. After internal reordering the empire turns its attention, and resources, to this drain on its treasure and blood. Currently I’m just getting into it – the writing is slow in that I’m trying to learn from my experiences with both prior novels and adjust accordingly (fan feedback helps here!).

This left me doubtful. He wrote ROTCG for at least two years, and it was already completed in an early form even before “Gardens of the Moon” was published (so very long ago). So the next book will likely arrive for 2010 or later. And by that year Erikson should be done on his own side. In previous interviews Esslemont said he had a plan of five novels in the Malazan world:

1) Night of Kinves – About Dancer and Kallanved’s assassination
2) Return of The Crimson Guard – About the invasion of the Crimson Guard to Quon Tali
3) Stonewielder (working title) – About the Korel campaigns
4) ? – About a return to Darujhistan
5) ? – The epilogue to Erikson’s last book

And he also said that the fifth book may even split in two… In order for this to work Esslemont should start working on the fifth volume as close as possible to Erikson’s last. So what will happen to everything in between? Maybe the return to Darujhistan was integrated with “Toll the Hounds”?

Sure is that the Malazan project is truly massive. With the downside that the authors may feel bored or demotivated and not complete it. Let’s hope the enthusiasm sticks.

Finally, about ROTCG we’ve got two reviews. One from Pat, the other from Dancer on the forums.

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