The Night of Knives

Night of the Long Knives
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And finally, extraordinary thanks to Peter Crowther for taking a chance on an unknown. Within the space of a couple of days, an imperial warship as well as a message cutter dock in Malaz Harbour.

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The disembarkation of various secretive passengers is independently observed by the veteran Temper and by the young girl Kiska. The former is concerned that the Claw coming off the first ship are possibly after him and he recalls events from the past, when he served alongside Dassem and saw the workings of the Claw close-up, however, a first encounter passes without incidence.

The latter is hoping that entering imperial service will be her ticket off the island, however she recalls how the Claw agent she met from the first ship treated her with something bordering on disdain. Temper is told by a local that the night to come is one of the Shadow Moon , when damned souls escape and new ones get caught. Returning to his lodgings, he finds the common room of the Inn filled with strangers, an ex- Bridgeburner amongst them.

Kiska meanwhile is trailing a man who is following the passenger and his guards who came off the message cutter. The fisherman Toben sails out into the Strait of Storms and puts himself between the oncoming storm and Malaz Isle , keeping its ferocity away from the island with the help of an ancient chant. The trail Kiska is following eventually leads her to an abandoned manor where she comes across an apparent murder. After the killer has left, she examines the body and screams in horror when it suddenly grabs her. She ends up in an unknown realm where the apparent murder victim Oleg gives her a message for the passenger from the boat.

Upon returning she is nearly strangled by the killer but saved by the shade of the dead man. Temper in the meantime finds out that his friend Corinn knows who he really is. She can't prevent him being apprehended by the Bridgeburner from the common room even though she is part of the forty odd men and women around the man. They hear howls of huge dogs and what sounds like the death cries of the two guards left outside. Eventually there is a confrontation which sees the other four killed by Temper and Trenech.

Stormriders are attacking Toben in his boat out in the Straights but their ice-lances and icebergs melt before reaching him. Kiska is pulled into the Shadow Realm again and meets Edgewalker. He advises her to flee to Obo's Tower to escape the Hound of Shadow. Kiska and Obo don't get on and he refuses her entry but tells her that the Hound has gone.

Returned to the real world, Kiska heads to her aunt Agayla 's Shop and recalls her various encounters. Agayla gives Kiska some background information about the current political situation and why it is leading to a convergence that night. Kiska persuades Agayla to let her go back out into the night and her aunt gives her a message for the man she is following. Temper goes to Seal , an ex-army healer, from whom he borrows some armour as well as retrieving his own distinctive helmet which he has stored in Seal's house.

Kiska has found the passenger from the boat again but is kidnapped by the mercenaries under Ash , the ex-Bridgeburner. She escapes after witnessing many of the mercenaries getting killed by a Hound. Temper also meets Edgewalker. Upon his return he is set upon by a Hound and puts up a heroic fight but eventually loses consciousness due to his many wounds. Following a secret path up to Mock's Hold, Kiska is apprehended by Hattar , the bodyguard of the passenger from the boat whom she has been trying to find. Being told she has a message, the man, Artan, appears.

She gives him Agayla's scroll as well as Oleg's message that he believes that Kellanved and Dancer will attempt to enter the Deadhouse that night. They refuse to take her along and leave her tied up but she soon manages to free herself and follow them to the Hold. The Stormriders use a ruse to overcome Toben.

Agayla and Obo meet on the southern shore to discuss the threat posed by the riders. Agayla tells Obo that she has sent for help. He remembers how Dassem was wounded and how most of his fellow bodyguards died because their regular army support failed to arrive in time. He also recalls his own fight against the champion then regains consciousness. He has been saved from the Hound by Shadow cultists. They ask for his help but he declines and they part ways amicably. Temper again thinks of the past, recalling how he and Ferrule fought the Claws detaining them, how they managed to escape with Dassem, then parted ways weeks later and how the official version is that all three of them died at Y'Ghatan.

Kiska has entered the hold and comes across bodies of mercenaries and Claw everywhere. She eventually finds Artan and Hettar. The three observe a warrior, whom Kiska saw besting a Claw earlier, negotiate with a cultist. The warrior departs, taking with him the mercenary mage whose body materialises out of thin air and the cultist turns towards the doorway of the hidden observers.

Temper, the warrior, meanwhile is taking Corinn to be looked after by the gatekeeper Lubben whilst he fulfills his side of the deal he made with the cultist, Dancer. Dancer greets Artan, who turns out to be the High Mage Tayschrenn , and warns him not to go upstairs until the conflict is ended, then disappears. They hear sounds of fighting and an enraged scream from a female voice. Venturing upstairs they find the lightly wounded Surly being tended by Possum and dead Claw everywhere, especially near some broken balcony doors.

The Mercenary leader Ash is amongst the dead in the room and Kellanved and Dancer are presumed dead, having jumped off the balcony. Tayschrenn orders Hattar and Kiska back downstairs where they fall asleep. The man was an artist at murder.

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In fact, so subtle was he that many had forgotten that Kellanved had a partner. The worst kind of killer: And the slippery bastard was supposed to be dead, too. Surly and her Claws and Tayschrenn were a treat. Who would know Tayschrenn could be an interesting character, with a different side to him. Esslemont should try and write horror I would read it. I could almost feel that mist and fog, and hear the howling of the hounds. I liked The Fisherman's scenes and his wife. Temper frowned at the old relic; the winds were calm this evening.

I'll confirm it for myself At least he was in no danger of falling asleep, what with half his body yammering its pain at him. Temper eyed it — the damn thing appeared frozen athwart the wind. Down below, the bay glimmered calmly. The Strait seemed to be holding its breath. Heard more guessed but not witnessed.

All there, and still a mystery. The subtle throb of the surf shuddered through the rock. Dust falling and the stones losing heat to the night brought ticks and trickled motes from the walls. Then she heard it. A distinct tap and faint shush — tap-shush, tap-shush — crossing the ceiling, side to side. The soundless impact drove Kiska down into her chair and popped her eardrums.

The candles snuffed out.

Metal rang from the stones above. A thumping and clatter as of bodies falling. A shout — a wordless roar of rage — that faded into silence. In the charged calm that followed, she barely breathed. What I liked a little less: He makes you work for it, and I love a challenge and the layers. Esslemont basically doesn't make scratch your head, he is more straightforward with his writing. This is not a bad thing, and someone else may prefer this style. They were described so grandly Am I reading Harry Potter?

The wands almost ruined them for me. Nice save in the epilogue, and I hope I hear of no wands in this books anymore. They are so anticlimactic after all those great magic battles described in some of Ericson's books. I love my wands where they belong What to say about Kiska. I get it she is a teenager, and so she acts accordingly. In that sense of a no-sense teenager she was well written. She doesn't really know what she want's besides getting as far away from the forgotten place Malaz Isle has become , she is stubborn, reckless and doesn't know when and with whom to hold her tongue, be it a ghost, a great powerful mage or a creature from the Shadow Realm Somehow they don't mix in my opinion, and that has made it a bumpy ride.

I thought to rate it 3 stars, but after thinking about it a few days I'll up it to 3. The frost that silences.

Night of Knives

View all 6 comments. Going into this book I tried to clear my mind of any expectations. The reason being a lot of the reviews by other Book of the Fallen lovers were so varied. The prologue was excellent and has that foreboding tone but is not the epic overtone that Erikson has in some of his works.

Really Erikson is the king of the prologue in my opinion so NOK being good spoke well for this start. Moving into the start of the book, and really throughout, I struggled with Esslemont's sentence structure. I'm hardly Going into this book I tried to clear my mind of any expectations. I'm hardly an English lit major but generally you pick up an author's cadence and once you have it figured out most stories flow from that point.

His continued to be awkward and lacked Erikson's elegance. For better or worse there's no way to avoid the comparisons. The story itself I really enjoyed. Still if you're looking for this to be Deadhouse Gates or Memories of Ice it isn't. It lacks that epic scale. But it's not meant to be either. Everything takes place in one earth shattering night. I loved guessing at who characters really were. I loved learning more about characters who aren't the main focus of the main series but are still important. This book read more like an action, horror and war story all at once.

The action was mostly fast and furious and I enjoyed it. I do wish there was more direct access to Dancer and Kellanved but the author went for more cloak and dagger action seen through the eyes of two characters on the peripheral edge of events and really it worked so I won't quibble. If you love the main series you need to read this but don't think of it as the main series. The gaps it fills are invaluable and enjoyable.

Feb 25, Gavin rated it really liked it Shelves: I thought this was a worthy addition to the Malazan world. Esselmont's writing style is a bit different to Erikson's but his story did retain the feel of a Malazan book. The plot was suitably entertaining and complex and Esselmont also did a great job with the characters, both the new and familiar ones. The whole story took place in one city over the course of a single night. The city was Malaz City. Once it was the heart of the Imperial Malazan Empire but in the present day it is little more th I thought this was a worthy addition to the Malazan world.

Once it was the heart of the Imperial Malazan Empire but in the present day it is little more than a backwater. The night of the Shadow Moon. A night where worlds and realms converge. Also a night that will see the prophesied Return. Many expect the long absent Emperor Kellenved to return for his throne. Surly, the Imperial Regent, means to see that never occurs. Theirs is not the only battle that will take place on this night of magic as a Convergence draws in all sorts of powerful creatures to the city. The story was mainly told from the POV of two new characters.

Kiska, a young would be spy who is determined to prove she deserves a place in the Imperial Army. Temper, a world weary war veteran. Once Temper served under the First Sword, but now he is keeping his head down and just trying to escape the notice of the Claw. We got a few others POV's and all served to give the story more depth. I liked the story.

Citation Information

The Night of the Long Knives or the Röhm Purge, also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri) was a purge that took place in Nazi. Night of Knives is the first novel of the Novels of the Malazan Empire series by Canadian author Ian Esslemont, set after the prologue, but before the main body .

It really did have the feel of Malazan story even if it did lack the witty dialogue that makes reading Erikson's books so much fun. I liked both Kiska and Temper. They were complete opposites but both were likeable and easy to root for. It was great to get a glimpse of the moment that Surly became Empress Laseen and to see both Dancer and Kellenved spin their own plots and seize another sort of power.

We got to meet the usual cool assortment of memorable human and non-human characters and I'm hoping we meet some again! This was a good story that fell only slightly short of being as good as Erikson's own contributions to the Malazan world. All in all I was happy and impressed by Esselmont's first book and look forward to reading more of his books with the knowledge that he is a capable contributor to this great series. This was narrated by Jonathan Banks. He had large boots to fill as I think both Page and Lister were excellent in narrating Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, but I thought he did a decent job with the audio of this one.

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View or edit your browsing history. It's messy, but I love it that way. Sponsored Products are advertisements for products sold by merchants on Amazon. That does not mean, however, that it is any less impressive. Feb 25, Gavin rated it really liked it Shelves: Both of these characters were just 'okay' characters in my opinion and so even though the boo So this is the first book I've read by Ian Esslemont and it kind of acts as a prequel book for the Malazan book of the Fallen Series by Erikson. Subscribe to this thread Receive notification by email when a new comment is added.

Dec 04, Stefan Bach rated it it was ok. It is my opinion that long lasting debate when a person should read this book is finally coming to an end. That is, if you have already started Malazan journey with Path to Ascendancy series. Which I highly recommend for people to do.

Now, the main argument why readers are recommending that this book should be read in-between Bonehunters and Toll the Houn It is my opinion that long lasting debate when a person should read this book is finally coming to an end. Now, the main argument why readers are recommending that this book should be read in-between Bonehunters and Toll the Hounds, which are books 6 and 8, is to make sure you have avoided major spoilers.

Even though, the story of this book is chronologically happening before first book of the MBotF series. Night of Knives should work as a great introduction to the main series, while also serving as a continuation of the prequels. Which means it should be a connecting bridge between the two. As for my impression of the novel: Although I had a lot of fun following two major POV characters — Kiska, desperate wannabe participant in any major plot out there in the world, be that as a spy, informant, thief, assassin or basically anything to make her life not just thrilling but also significant; and Temper, grizzly, retired Malazan veteran, troubled with nightmares of his past and not being able to find his place in future that Empire is set to provide for him — story itself and how the world works in it, are confusing at times.

The first few times I did a Malazan reread, I stuck with Erikson, thinking that the books by Esslemont were unnecessary. Plus, it felt a bit mean to be picking up a book, that someone has worked hard to produce, and being completely certain that it would be an average read, or worse. Though I suppose the fact that I consider me Erikson to be best there is in fantasy writing means everybody comes worse off in comparison. It's a relatively short book, and easy to read. It only took me half a day. And no, Esslemont isn't Erikson I'm pretty sure he's sick of people pointing this out. Of course I was aware that there would be differences in style, but the fact that Esslemont explains things was a serious shock to the system.

There would be a comment about something mysterious like the Shadow Moon or the Return, and i'd stop reading, tip my head back, close my eyes and try to remember if it had come up before in this book, or in Erikson's. What connections could be made? What could it be? What does it mean? Maybe the TOR reread will pick up something I didn't. Once i'd thought it through, i'd return to the book. Are you telling me what's going on? Now, I realise it is a bizarre situation when a reader is complaining about their questions being answered.

But it's precisely what I like about Erikson's work- I use it as a kind of brain training exercise. Yet for all that, I enjoyed the book. There were some great characters. Temper reads very much like the quintessential Malazan soldier so vital to this world, and he made a welcome break from Kiska's teen angst. The representations of characters already well known from Erikson were handled well, they were part of the action but still retained mystery. While I didn't love it, it was good enough to make me read the next.

Hardly an enthusiastic review, I know, but I see the potential for improvement. And next time, I'll know better what to expect. Sep 14, Lee rated it really liked it Shelves: As a re-read I am changing my original rating for this and giving it an extra star. On my first read of these, I had just finished reading Malazan Book of the Fallen for the first time and was amazed by Eriksons story telling. I constantly compared ICE to SE and whilst it is fair to compare the way they tell the story, you have to allow them to be different in writing style. They are two different blokes after all.

So 2 years after my second read of MbotF I am absolutely loving being back on the As a re-read I am changing my original rating for this and giving it an extra star. So 2 years after my second read of MbotF I am absolutely loving being back on the Isle of Malaz and seeing those names that are big part of my fondest reading memories.

Night of Knives

Yes, it is a short book. Yes, it isn't as good as it could have been, but it is his first book and plenty of people complain about Gardens of the Moon. So the extra star is all about me loving being back in Malazan: Fener's hairy balls, its great to back! Jan 02, Zayne rated it really liked it. After my second read, I decided to bump it up a star.

It still didn't impress me, but I did like it more this time around. I still think that it reads like a Forgotten Realms book, but a better written one. Not to say that Esslemont's writing was flawless because it wasn't. At times, it was the structure was awkward and just didn't flow right. There were two main povs: A veteran of the Malazan army named Temper and a wannabe assassin named Kiska.

Temper's pov was great. His sections especially After my second read, I decided to bump it up a star. His sections especially the flashbacks to his solider days were fun and engaging with lots of combat and mystery. Kiska on the other hand was a very meh pov. The first read through I didn't like her one bit.

I just wanted to get her sections over with and go back to temper. This second time, I still didn't like her, but I disliked her less. I took time to read her pov sections and try to understand her. She gets caught up in events way over her head. Because her life is just boring. The first read through, I thought "Really?

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An adventure would be fun after a dull life. Kellanved and Dancer were there a bit, but more as a side characters. Even though the night this book revolved around was their most important night, Esslemont only teased us with their presence. The story was only told by Temper and Kiska. We saw the night through people unfamiliar with the events which lead to some interesting mysteries.

I still would have liked to see more of Kellanved and Dancer though. I really enjoyed this book the second time around. I was able to catch more thanks to the Malazan Fallen Group read Sorry I didn't keep up with the group read guys. University classes and job interviews were sucking the life out of me and I guess because I didn't expect Erikson or Rothfuss-level writing, I wasn't so disappointed. I do hear that Esslemont's writing gets better so I look forward to that, and I can't wait to read more Malazan. I loved being back in this world.

Jul 03, Jenna Kathleen rated it really liked it Shelves: I had no expectations seems to be a trend for me these days from this installment of the Malazan series as it was the first ICE book I read and there are mixed reviews among my friends with 3 stars being the most common rating, but I really liked it. No, it's not on the same epic scale as the main series, but it's not supposed to be. Temper was a character who took awhile to grow on me, but I enjoyed his story and it was it interesting to see two vastly different POVs as he is an old veteran a I had no expectations seems to be a trend for me these days from this installment of the Malazan series as it was the first ICE book I read and there are mixed reviews among my friends with 3 stars being the most common rating, but I really liked it.

Temper was a character who took awhile to grow on me, but I enjoyed his story and it was it interesting to see two vastly different POVs as he is an old veteran and Kiska is a young Kiska had a fantastic story. Right from the beginning, meddling in the Warren of Shadow, I knew she would just be sticking her nose everywhere she shouldn't. Of course, she just had to get herself involved with view spoiler [Tayschrenn, Surly, Dancer and Kellanved hide spoiler ].

Artan's identity wasn't all too surprising along with most of the plot reveals, but the action was well-paced and it was refreshing to have a major Malazan story in such a compact book. The two POVs with the occasional POV from the fisherman was a format that was well suited to the story and set Esslemont apart from Erikson as an author writing in the same universe. As a note, it should be said that I am fascinated by the backstory of the Malazan throne and the Shadowthrone. Seeing the history of such a well-developed world from a different perspective was just so cool and like I always say after reading something Malazan: I didn't believe this world could get bigger, but it just did.

Fans of Steven Erikson. As anyone who's looked at my "Read" bookshelf will be aware, I really, really like Steven Erikson's Malazan series. I've had his collaborator's book on my shelf for a long time unread because I was afraid of disappointment. I'm happy to say that I wasn't. I wish we had half-stars or more stars to rate these books because this one is really a 3. Esslemont doesn't write with the easy confidence or skill that Erikson exhibits but he does write well; and unlike Erikson in his As anyone who's looked at my "Read" bookshelf will be aware, I really, really like Steven Erikson's Malazan series.

Esslemont doesn't write with the easy confidence or skill that Erikson exhibits but he does write well; and unlike Erikson in his one arguable fault he writes concisely -- Night of Knives comes in at less than pages in the UK edition I have, and it's fairly large type. The most interesting character, in my opinion, was Temper but considering the ending I don't know if we'll be seeing more of him. Hopefully, Esslemont will find a compelling character s to anchor future volumes. View all 9 comments. As much as Kellanved and Dancer intrigue me, this is a prequel that didn't work for me.

I was quite bored throughout the entire book, which thankfully is short. It also did not help that one of the two POVs in this book annoyed me. Temper is definitely the more interesting half of the book, especially with his backstory being connected to Dassem Ultor. As for Kiska, the annoying cocky young woman who is determined to prove herself, who then landed herself into trouble time and time ag 2.

As for Kiska, the annoying cocky young woman who is determined to prove herself, who then landed herself into trouble time and time again for not listening, I was not impressed. Esslemont's prose is straight-forward compared to Erikson's more poetic, contemplative style. I noticed that the later Malazan Empire books are better rated so hopefully it gets better from here as I do enjoy geeking out in this world. So this is the first book I've read by Ian Esslemont and it kind of acts as a prequel book for the Malazan book of the Fallen Series by Erikson.

There were a few problems I had with the book, but overall I still liked the hints and messages which we were given in terms of adding to the Malazan books and world. This story focuses on two main characters, a young lady called Kiska, and a man called Temper. Both of these characters were just 'okay' characters in my opinion and so even though the boo So this is the first book I've read by Ian Esslemont and it kind of acts as a prequel book for the Malazan book of the Fallen Series by Erikson.

Both of these characters were just 'okay' characters in my opinion and so even though the book felt faster-paced and more full of action I wasn't as connected as I would have been had it been another Malazan character I already knew. This story focuses in on a single night of blood, betrayal and chaos which involves ascension, murder, slaughter and warrens of magic. There's action, suspense and character development, all good things, but somehow this still feels clunky as a read. I am going to give Esslemont the benefit of the doubt and assum that becuase this is his debut book it will take him time to develop.

I feel like some scenes were more rushed than I'd have liked whilst others that should have been gripping were more dull or slower paced for me. All the above negatives still don't make this a bad book and as a standalone single book it may well have been a good read. The major issue from my pov was that whilst I enjoyed that we're still in the Malazan world and we are gaining new insight into some of the characters and plot threads already laid out by Erikson, it's just not up to the quality of Erikson's first book. This is a lot shorter, it's a very different vibe, and therefore it really is only worth reading from a 'fleshing out the story' point of view.

It gives cool ideas and insight, but it's a little tedious in places, whilst being intriguing in others. Overall I would say that this is a bit of a mixed bag. I didn't hate it or even strongly dislike it when I was reading it, but it was a hard one for me to find the motivation to pick up. I enjoyed moments, and I had issues with elements, all of this combines together to mean that this can only be a 2. Middle of the read, dead centre with just an ok-ish rating. Nothing too fancy or special, nothing particularly mind-blowing or terrifying, just an add on to the story which was, at times, interesting.

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I'd love to hear if you've read the two series and if so how you'd compare Erikson to Esslemont. For me, currently, they're very different writers and cearly Erikson got a big head start as an author so it's understandable that Esslemont's book wouldn't necessarily be up to parr, but equally I have heard that Esslemont gets a lot better as he goes too. Let me know what you thought: View all 4 comments. I came into this book with certain expectations. I thought that the writing would be shoddy and the characterizations poor.

I thought the book would mostly be fun because it shed new light on things that were left mysterious in the Erikson series. I thought I was finally going to understand what was going on with Kellanved and Dancer on the night when they became Shadowthrone and Cotillion. But this is a Malazan book, and it thus thumbed its nose at all my expectations. First, I thought the writi I came into this book with certain expectations. First, I thought the writing was surprisingly tight and well-paced.

I liked the two main characters very much: Temper is a surprising badass, and in other circumstances, I expect he would be a shield anvil. That's definitely the function he seems to perform here, but if he is shield anvil, its very unclear for what God. Kiska is a young rogue, anxious to prove herself.

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As a result, she continually sinks herself into stuff that is way out of her depth. And yet, she has surprising resiliency and ends up winning the grudging respect of Tayschrenn, which is no small feat. It seems she is a natural adept at magic, but has neither the patience nor discipline to actually master or control her talent. The real surprise here is that both of these story arcs end up with surprisingly upbeat endings, a real oddity for a Malazan book. The secondary characters feature a number of people that appear in the Books of the Fallen: I may be missing some. I loved the backstory with Dassem and Temper.

It goes a long way further to convincing me that whatever end befell Surly, it probably could not have been bad enough for my taste. I almost wish that Kalam had followed through further in his efforts to assassinate her. I also had a somewhat better, but still sketchy, understanding of Edgewalker. The revelation, however, was Tayschrenn. Esslemont did a great job portraying him, and he seemed to me to be a much more complex figure than I gave him credit for in the Erikson books.

His actions here strike me as being totally consistent with what happened in the siege at Pale. He simultaneously tries to do good, to stand aloof, and to advance his own interests, while posing something of a check to the Emperor's power whether Kellanved or Laseen. That's a tough tightrope to walk. With this book, Esslemont managed to make him one of my favorite characters in the Malazan world, and that's a pretty good testament to how strong this book is, because I strongly disliked him before. As for Kellanved and Dancer, the main events of their ascendancy happen off camera.

Spoilers coming in this paragraph. We get to hear what passes for their assassination by Surly. It involves a long fall out of a tower onto the rocks. But we don't see it, and we don't know what, if anything, passed between Kellanved and Surly, except that it ultimately involved some Otateral dust and Dancer killing about a dozen of the Claw. Then we see them passing into the back door of the Deadhouse, but we don't see how they then ascend.

Spoilers continuing in this paragraph What's cooler here is the hint of the depth of Kellanved's plan. He's let Surly become regent and disappeared, knowing that Surly would betray him by setting a trap. He also seems to have known that Surly would outlaw magery on Malaz Island, this disturbing a delicate balance of power. On this night of Convergence, he planned to re-arrive on Malaz, knowing that a Jaghut imprisoned in an Azath house would try to take advantage of the shifting magical forces to manage his escape.

This escape would be so dangerous that the strong magicians would all have to focus on preventing it, thus ignoring his and Dancer's plan to enter House Shadow and usurp the empty throne. There are even hints that he is somehow behind Temper and Corinn's presence on the island. This is a small scale example of the kind of far-reaching plan that he puts into effect in The Books of the Fallen. Ironically, it also bears a strong resemblance to Surly's plan in Gardens of the Moon, where she has her adjunct set free Raest, a Jaghut tyrant, so that Rake will have to fight him and thus weaken himself.

Spoilers are over now. Despite being short, and having an upbeat ending, this book felt very much like a Malazan book. Esslemont's writing is more direct, and he seems to play fewer games with the reader than Erikson. He definitely spends less time delving into philosophical motives.

I am almost tempted to think that this book would be a better introduction to the Malazan world than Gardens of the Moon. But, as for that, I really can't say. I already understood quite a bit of how things work in this world, and it's tough for me to judge how lost a newbie would be if they started on this book.