Stonewielder – Ian C. Esslemont – Cover + Prologue

Official release is: 25th November 2010

The prologue is at Malazan forums.

Whoever picks the cover for Esslemont books must be fond of boats. The cover is “ok” but otherwise unimpressive (reads as: generic, relatively anonymous).

EDIT: I read the prologue even if I’m far from the position of the book in the series. Safely, since there’s not spoilery stuff. I liked it enough but I still see the shadows of what I criticized in my review of “Night of Knives”. The first potential problem is that the characters do too many flourishes and exaggeration (the portrayal of just standard-types), and when you try to draw from real themes exaggeration is the worst enemy of truth. The other problem is that again the story is built solely by what surfaces. Lacking subtlety and real depth. For example the arrival of the priest, the description of the occupation, the plan for recruiting. All ideas ripe for development, yet they seem to be played plainly and obviously. Too much polish, lack of conflict, lack of complexity. Characters playing their roles instead of coming out as real persons. Same for the second scene, that seems so biblical that one wonders why it should deserve to be remade (people climb the sacred mountain to go speak with their goddess). Goddess donates magically-heated chest to the population that keeps cold Stormriders away. We’ve seen this already in the first book and it was a concept that lead nowhere and meant basically nothing. Hopefully this time things play more unpredictably. Seems like a soup of stories I already know but without a novelty perspective, nothing new added or cleverly played.

Also, nitpicking, before the tsunami shouldn’t the boat get sucked seaward as water recedes before rising and rushing in? The process is described, the water level goes down, yet there seem no currents affecting the boat.

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