Review: Dancer’s Lament, Ian C. Esslemont

Rating: 5 out of 5

I enjoyed this. I read the Malazan Book of the Fallen a fair time ago now, but the two characters in the centre of that narrative were never given their fair due in its backstory. This trilogy definitely rectifies this, starting the reader out well before the events of the later books.

The scope is massive, as ever in the Esslemon–Erikson world, but the characters are enjoyable—Dorin with his attempts to follow an honourable pathway and Wu with his insane plans of doing *something*—and a pleasure to read in general.

So, the reader follows Wu and Dorin through their adventures in a besieged city. Two others are drafted in from the defense and offense of the city, primarily to make the siege more relevant to the reader. As ever in such a large story, some of these characters will be old friends while others might be introduced for the first time. The way the author builds up, however, means that anyone who does get a point-of-view in this book will become that much closer to the reader.

I took this up because I’d previously read related books; but it’s also a good starting point if one was interested in that world.

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