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Malazan Empire Books In Order

Publication Order of Malazan Empire Books

Night of Knives (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Return of the Crimson Guard (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stonewielder (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Orb, Sceptre, Throne (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood and Bone (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Assail (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Malazan Empire - Path to Ascendancy Books

Dancer's Lament (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Canadian novelist Ian C. Esslemont has been writing this particular franchise for some time now to much acclaim, both critically as well as commercially, as it takes place in a world of high fantasy filled with magic and warriors. Started as the backdrop to his famous and highly-regarded role-playing games, something which was begun in the 1980s, it’s become a popular franchise in its own right comprised of multiple series running for over seventeen volumes so far and counting. With the author Steven Erikson, he has a long-standing writing partnership for much of this franchise overall that they’ve maintained for some time now to great effect.

Both the authors Ian Cameron Esslemont and Steven Erikson come from Canada and both have a long-standing interest in the fantasy genre. They also both have their training in archaeology, a profession which they worked in previously, and this clearly shows in how they’ve laid out their world and its history. With its extensive background and research it’s highly detailed allowing the reader to immerse themselves into the action to an even greater degree than many other similar franchises of its kind.

In regards to the world itself that they’ve created together there are a number of different strands and elements brought together in each of the books. Bringing returning characters back each time they’ve set-up a living and breathing universe that, whilst they’re presented in self-contained novels that provide resolutions in of themselves, are part of this world as a whole. Not only that, but Esslemont has also gone on to build another subsequent series titled ‘Path to Ascendancy’ which acts as a prequel to the first, further establishing the original world which they’ve built for themselves. This is also established through the Kharkanas Trilogy, another prequel series that was also written by Esslemont as well.

Night of Knives

Originally published on the first of September, 2004, this was to first in the Malazan Empire series of novels working as a prequel to the original series. Continuing in much the same vein as before, it carries on in the world of Malazan, further developing it and building upon its themes and back-story. It also manages to bring in new characters who also work to better establish this world overall as well, creating a more intricate universe for the franchise as a whole.

Featuring the characters Temper and Kiska, it tells the story from both their perspectives following the action throughout with them both. Working as a serviceman for the Malazan Empire, Temper is an elite from the old school, but he has yet to be credited by his peers in the service. Then there’s Kiska, a spy and youth urchin with a dormant talent for magic residing deep within her, as she sneaks about her past being a mystery. A tiny island along with the city of Malaz leads to a small and sleepy seaside port, but trouble is afoot when the Shadow Moon comes round once in a generation leading to scores of demon hounds ravaging the lands. Not only that, but a returning Emperor Kellanved thought to be long lost, threatens the fate of the entire world and everyone residing within it. How will the prevent the demon hounds from running amok? Can they stay alive long enough to find out? What will occur on the Night of Knives?

Return of the Crimson Guard

Making up the second installment in the Malazan Empire series of books, this carries on from the first with it initially being published on the 11th of September, 2008, through Bantam Press. Carrying on from where the last left off, this continues the prequel series, once again developing the world of Malazan even further for its now many readers. This time looking at the Crimson Guard once more, it works to build upon what came before in both style and tone, as well as themes and characters.

Covering elements from the previous series it seeks to fill in gaps from the history beforehand, providing more back-story, along with reintroducing characters from before. It also brings back the Crimson Guard, now a firm staple of the franchise overall, having come back on multiple occasions, with it being a set element. Vowing to oppose the Empire at whatever cost, the Crimson Guard this time, as the swordsman protagonist ‘Traveller’ takes on a number of enemies with the help of his companion Ereko. Whilst the Ascendants ruling over all look to profit wherever possible with all sides engaged in a bitter civil war, as Empress Laseen aims to bring out any survivors for eliminating. Will they defeat their enemies? Can there ever be an end to the war? What will become of the return of the Crimson Guard?

The Malazan Empire Series

Originally conceived of as a role-playing game using the GURPS system, it came to fruition in the early eighties, allowing readers to explore the world for themselves. Over time though this developed more and more, enabling the reader to immerse themselves even further, whilst also building upon the back-story as well. It was this back-story that allowed them to move forwards and begin the Malazan Book of the Fallen series itself, with the first title coming out in 1999, which was then followed by the Malazan Empire series that started in 2007.

Getting together to first write the series, both Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont are credited with creating and developing this franchise. There is also the Kharkanas Trilogy which Esslemont created as a prequel set of books, along with the Path to Ascendancy, which he is also currently producing as a prequel trilogy. It is this sense of history that has given the overall franchise its backbone as a whole. Creating a world of such magnitude is something many writers of his ilk hope to achieve, and it is a testament to his skills as a writer that he manages to pull it off. Setting up not only a world, but the characters within, he also at one time attempted to get a screenplay made out of it, which unfortunately didn’t sell. Working best on the page though, it is still a franchise that many readers world-wide have come to appreciate over the years, something which shall continue for many years to follow.

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