Any attempt to encapsulate the plot of a book set in the joint Steven Erikson/Ian C. Esslemont world of Malaz is a venture inherently more detailed than can be delivered in a thousand work blog post. Stonewielder by Esslemont is no exception to this. A sprawling narrative that spans a continent, the novel neither lacks in scope nor quantity of characters.
The world building that has spanned Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen, several novellas, the new Kharkanas trilogy and Esslemont’s own narrative strain stretching into his third book remains the strength of the book. Featuring the island of Fist and the Stormwall of Korel, Esslemont explores a portion of the universe largely untouched by previous novels. The legendary Stormwall gets special attention early in the novel and the author gives special care to the wall’s description. It’s a unique feature with an interesting back story. It features, as in other works, the unusual background in archeology that the author brings to his writing. It’s clearly a reason why the world building is so strong and the setting so vivid. Continue reading