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Today, Tor.com launched the epic fantasy re-read of the novels by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont’s in their co-created Malazan Empire world. Modeled after Leigh Butler’s fabulous Wheel of Time re-read, capable bloggers and fantasy critics Bill Capossere and Amanda Rutter (FantasyLiterature.com) will reintroduce Whiskeyjack, Anomander Rake, Quick Ben, Kalam Mekhar, Fiddler, Iskaral Pust, and all the other great characters from this dark and complex fantasy world, a few chapters at a time. And with the completion of each book in the re-read, Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont will weigh in with their reactions to the posts, comments, ideas, and theories of the fans and bloggers.
Ian C. Esslemont’s Return of the Crimson Guard, set in the same universe as Malazan co-creator Steven Erikson’s New York Times bestselling series, receives hearty praise in a starred review in the current issue of PW:
“In a long, bloody, explosive-filled battle to end all battles, Esslemont handily outdoes series cocreator Steven Erikson, evoking the gore and grit of the battlefield while cannily expanding the labyrinthine Malazan world.”
Full review below:
Return of the Crimson Guard Ian C. Esslemont. Tor, $27 (720p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2370-5; $17.99 paper ISBN 978-0-7653-2372-9
Nearly 100 years ago, the Crimson Guard vowed they would not die until they destroyed the Malazan Empire. In this riveting sequel to 2009’s Night of Knives, the time has come for that vow to be fulfilled. The empire has been stretched too far, too thin. Empress Laseen is boxed up in Unta, the imperial capital, while the conquered and the conquerors clash on the Seti Plains. At last the call comes for the Crimson Guard to re-form and add their undying forces to the melee. In a long, bloody, explosive-filled battle to end all battles, Esslemont handily outdoes series cocreator Steven Erikson, evoking the gore and grit of the battlefield while cannily expanding the labyrinthine Malazan world and untangling the wickedly intertwined stories just enough to keep readers from feeling lost. (Apr.)
In their March 2, 2009 issue, Publishers Weekly awards Ian C. Esslemont’s Night of Knives a starred review, praising the book as a worthy debut from the co-creator of Steven Erikson’s extraordinary Malazan Empire:
“Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series only hints at the empire’s distant history, which Esslemont, cocreator of the original world, explores in this dark, powerful novel…Esslemont nails the feel and flavor of Erickson’s books and brings the historical characters to life with a dexterity that will win over even the most skeptical fans.”
The full review:
Night of Knives: A Novel of the Malazan Empire
Ian C. Esslemont.
Tor, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2369-9;
$14.95 paper ISBN 978-0-7653-2371-2
Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series only hints at the empire’s distant history, which Esslemont, cocreator of the original world, explores in this dark, powerful novel (first published in the U.K. in 2004) and its planned sequels. On a Shadow Moon night on the Isle of Malaz, dead souls rise and demonlike hounds attack any who dare to leave their homes. Knowing that Emperor Kellanved is prophesied to use the Shadow Moon for his own ends, the emperor’s enemies gather on the small island for their own nefarious purposes, starting a plot that spirals into bloody violence. Esslemont nails the feel and flavor of Erickson’s books and brings the historical characters to life with a dexterity that will win over even the most skeptical fans. (May)