Orb Sceptre Throne
Ian C. Esslemont
Tor, May 22 2012, $18.99
Darujhistan lies on a dry plain in the southern region of the Genabackis continent. Many people believe that the arid land outside the city contains hidden treasure for those bold (or perhaps foolish) enough to look.
The Scholar Ebbin is conducting research into the legendary Imperial Age of Darujhistan, seeking proof of his hypothesis amidst the barren wasteland. At the same time the Darujhistani leaders ingeniously influence hostilities between their nearby neighbors, the Moranth and Seguleh. While the Darujhistan rulers deploy their devious ruse, Ebbin finds an artifact that could shake the balance of power still somewhat teetering after the Malazan failed invasion. Others bloodily also seek the Moon Spawn’s treasures while the Queen of Dreams’ ancient prophecy has begun to Claw its way into existence.
The latest Ian C. Esslemont’s Malazan Empire entry (see Stonewielder and The Return of the Crimson Guard) is an exciting fantasy with several subplots (besides those described above) that eventually merge together into an exhilarating but somewhat convoluted climax. With a sold cast, readers of the saga including fans of Steve Erickson will appreciate Orb Sceptre Throne; while newcomers will be lost in the Genabackis even with maps of the southern portion of the landmass (but lacking where events occur elsewhere on the continent) and Darujhistan.