The Bonehunters is the sixth volume in Steven Erikson’s epic fantasy series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Highly recommended.
As the sixth volume, it truly does occupy a crucial pivot point in the series. Many things from the first five volumes reach a climax and the ground for many events in the rest of the series is richly sown. The book provides endings and beginnings and is rich with action. It is a large book but so much is packed into it that it could really occupy the entirety of lesser series. As such, it is one of my favorite books in the series. It isn’t really possible to talk about much of this without spoilers, so proceed after this at your own risk:
There are three truly epic scenes in the book (as well as any number of small touches). In this volume we see the Bonehunters march across the Seven Cities continent almost to be consumed in the fiery end of the Siege of Y’Ghatan. Then, we have the plague and the death of the goddess of disease, Poliel, as Paran Tavore gains control of The Host. Finally, The 14th returns to Malaz and in a shattering “Night of Knives” the 14th becomes the Bonehunters in truth and becomes Tavores in heart.
As always, Erikson wrties thes climatic scenes with breathtaking vigor and detail. But, also as always, he makes you care about the little details. You feel for a character who has only been on the page for a brief moment as well as the trials of the characters we’ve been following throughout the series. As a lonely fiddle dirge turns to anger, we see Apsalar unleashed and the Claw destroyed. Cotillion wept.