The Bonehunters is the sixth novel the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series. It was first published in the UK and Canada on March 1, 2006 and in the US in September 2007.
The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha'ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y'Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to this ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire's greatest champion Dassem Ultor was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. A place of foreboding, its smell is of death.
But elsewhere, agents of a far greater conflict have made their opening moves.
The Crippled God has been granted a place in the pantheon, a schism threatens and sides must be chosen. Whatever each god decides, the ground-rules have changed, irrevocably, terrifyingly and the first blood spilled will be in the mortal world.
A world in which a host of characters, familiar and new, including Heboric Ghost Hands, the possessed Apsalar, Cutter, once a thief now a killer, the warrior Karsa Orlong and the two ancient wanderers Icarium and Mappo--each searching for such a fate as they might fashion with their own hands, guided by their own will. If only the gods would leave them alone. But now that knives have been unsheathed, the gods are disinclined to be kind. There shall be war, war in the heavens. And, the prize? Nothing less than existence itself...
Here is the stunning new chapter in Steven Erikson's magnificent Malazan Book of the Fallen--hailed as an epic of the imagination and acknowledged as a fantasy classic in the making.
To Courtney Welch.
Keep the music coming, friend.
Plot Summary Edit
|The Thousand-Fingered God|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Beneath This Name|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Shadows of the King|
|Chapter 12||Chapter 13|
|Chapter 14||Chapter 15|
|Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20|
|Chapter 21||Chapter 22|
|Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
The Bonehunters begins in the year 1164, of Burn's Sleep, in Kartool, twenty-four days after the execution of Sha'ik. Banaschar arrives from Malaz Island and sends a note via a messenger to Sergeant Hellian. He instructs her guard contingent to break into the Temple of D'rek, where they find "splashes of blood on the walls, fragments of meat scattered on the tiles, and pools of bile, blood and faeces." Banaschar has disappeared, none of the guards can remember what he looks like, and Hellian predicts that they will be reassigned somewhere else, most likely dangerous.
A group of twelve Nameless Ones surround the barrow of Dejim Nebrahl. Each of the twelve calls a Warren to release Dejim Nebrahl from where the T'lan Imass Bonecasters bound him. Sister Spite calls on Starvald Demelain to release Dejim, and then shifts into a her dragon form and escapes. Dejim eats the other eleven Nameless Ones. Taralack Veed sees Sister Spite escape and prepares to track Dejim Nebrahl.
A group of five T'lan Imass approach a very small, run down community nominally headed by Barathol Meckar, who is nearly blind. He tells two of the villagers to retrieve his armor and weapons, which he puts on, after which the T'lan Imass approach.
Book One: The Thousand-Fingered God Edit
Chapter 1 Edit
An unnamed woman enters Ehrlitan via the east gate. After entering a tavern, the tavern keeper questions whether she is attached to Dujek's army, to which she answers "I belong to no army." She gets drunk, and goes upstairs to go to sleep.
Leoman of the Flails has been cursing the Holy Book of Dryjhna for hours, muttering to himself, but the wind makes it so only Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas can hear. Corabb becomes so exhausted by the tirade that he falls back to ride with the rest of Leoman's army, which is fleeing the Malazan army commanded by Tavore. Corabb thinks about the state of Seven Cities (citizens turning each other in as criminals), and eventually realizes that without his commander, he would be lost. Seconds later, Leoman gestures for Corabb, and asks him where they are.
Samar Dev is lying in the shade of her wagon tormenting ants on an unused road through the Ugarat Odhan, thinking she is dying. Karsa Orlong rides up on Havok, dismounts, and converses with her. She admits that she kicked a wheel of the wagon after it broke down, and in doing so, broke her foot. When Karsa helps her stand so she can get on Havok, she glances behind the horse and sees the heads of two of the Deragoth attached to the other end of the rope that leads from Karsa's hand. Karsa tells Samar that he wants to enter Ugarat beneath notice.
The unnamed woman (now known to be Apsalar) in the tavern awakens, and "[weeps] for the man she had abandoned". She tells herself that she is not worth the overwhelming gift of love. She realizes that Cotillion understood that she could not allow Crokus (now Cutter) to love her. Apsalar goes down to the stairs to eat, and is approached by two Pardu women, who tell her that a group of Gral men want her to dance for them. She replies that they really don't because she is a Shadow dancer. Later, Apsalar leaves the tavern, enters an shadowed alley, which is a small portion of the warren of Shadow, and disappears. She is followed by the two Pardu women, who now cannot see her. One comments that they need to inform their new master that "She truly walks the shadows." Apsalar continues in the Shadow Realm, noticing that Cotillion's memories do not know of this manifestation of the Warren. On her way to the center of Ehrlitan, she encounters two corpses in shackles, and upon stopping to investigate, a pair of shades rise from the bodies and speak to her in Tiste Andii. Apsalar is surprised that she understands them and that she is being warned off from stealing the bodies. The shades are Curdle and Telorast, who admit that they encountered the "new" master of the House of Shadow, as well as the Hounds of Shadow, and Edgewalker, among others. Apsalar tells them that she will escort them to a gate, and walks away.
Leoman of the Flails's command arrives at a well. Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas thinks to himself that if not for Leoman, he would have long ago deserted the rebels. Corabb pulls out some food, and eats, while Leoman questions the purpose of his own command. Corabb says that Leoman is destined to carry the Holy Book of Dryjhna, and that Dryjhna is more than just the dead Whirlwind Goddess, that she is as much a time as anything else. Corabb believes that Leoman's command is the Apocalypse, and that they are desined to show the world the truth of that. The conversation swiftly becomes nonsense, as the "food" Corabb ate was a dead toad. He walks off thinking that the encampment contains a host of oversized vultures.
Karsa Orlong and Samar Dev enter Ugarat, but are told that they cannot bring the two heads into the city. Karsa responds by throwing one of the guards into a cart, knocking him unconscious. The other guard runs to get reinforcements. Karsa and Samar start towards a inn, and Samar warns the growing crowd off from following by threatening them with a curse. When the guards and their captain catch up to Karsa and Samar, Samar claims that Karsa is a spirit, and that the heads are trophies. When the captain asks Karsa if Samar is telling the truth, he tells them that he was Sha'ik's bodyguard, that the rebellion has broken, that the Malazans have retaken cities, and in response to the guard captain saying that Leoman still is alive and has vowed to fight on, that Leoman ridees his own path, and not to put faith in him.
Apsalar, Telorast, and Curdle stand in front of a gate, conversing. The shades ask Apsalar her name, but when she tells them, Curdle shrieks "She's dead! I knew you were a ghost!". Telorast corrects Curdle by saying that the real Apsalar was Imass. Apsalar announces over Telorasts and Curdle's conversation (which has gone on a sharp tangent) that the gate leads to Jen'rahb, but Telorast and Curdle could end up in Hood's Realm. Curdle starts proclaiming how powerful they were when alive; Apsalar, being frusterated, walks through the gate, followed closely by Telorast and Curdle. Apsalar ends up having to threaten them with informing Cotillion that they have escaped to make them stay so she can complete what she came to Jen'rahb to do. As she walks, Apsalar considers the shades and her surroundings. All of the permanent features of the Shadow Realm are covered in unbreakable chains, and there were bodies shackled to the chains. Apsalar enters the temple, her destination. She smells blood, and finds a body on the ground: Mebra, her target. She sees a movement, and ducks as a throwing star flashes over her. She stands to see a veiled Semk man, with white tattooes covering the dark skin around his eyes. He attacks, and Apsalar kills the man. She cuts his clothing off, to discover that he is covered in the tattooed script, the language of the First Empire. She rolls him over to find that the Semk's right shoulder, where his name was once been, was covered in a dark rectangle. He was a priest of the Nameless Ones.
Now alone, Curdle asks Telorast if they are going to stay with Apsalar, to which Telorast reponds that Edgewalker will be unhappy with them if they don't. She says, "Until we can find a way to get out of this mess." Curdle asks if she means cheat them all. Telorast says yes, and Curdle says, "Good. Because I want my throne back."
Chapter 2 Edit
Chapter 3 Edit
Chapter 4 Edit
Chapter 5 Edit
Chapter 6 Edit
Book Two: Beneath This Name Edit
Book Three: Shadows of the King Edit
Book Four: The Bonehunters Edit