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Assail: A Novel of the Malazan Empire

Assail: A Novel of the Malazan Empire [Kindle Edition]

Ian C Esslemont
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

The sixth epic fantasy novel from the co-creator - with Steven Erikson - of this brilliantly imagined world and the final chapter in the epic, awesome story of the Malazan Empire!

Product Description

Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region’s north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor’s tavern and now adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. And all they have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait - hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword - and should you make it, beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history’s very beginnings.

Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers that Shimmer, second in command, feels should not be sought. Also heading north, as part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. With him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and cannot remember his past and yet commands far more power than he really should. It is also rumoured that a warrior, bearer of a sword that slays gods and who once fought for the Malazans, is also journeying that way. But far to the south, a woman patiently guards the shore. She awaits both allies and enemies. She is Silverfox, newly incarnate Summoner of the undying army of the T’lan Imass, and she will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, Assail brings the epic story of the Empire of Malaz to a thrilling close.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2142 KB
  • Print Length: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (14 Aug 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593064488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593064481
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,114 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The build up to what was Assail... 9 Sep 2014
After years getting little glimpses about Assail, hearing about this mythical place where so many had struggled, whether the crimson guard, the T'lan Imass etc we finally came to the book written about the continent.

There were so many issues with this book, yet again the gloom that is now prevalent within this series continued, the books can only be defined as very dark at this juncture. This did not necessarily put me off, but as others have said and similarly to the last in Erikson's series, many of the characters or groups are not what they were. The crimson guard do and show pretty much nothing, The Malazan's seemed a side project, The Icebloods were interesting, but bland. Unfortunately this became my overall view on the book, it was bland and I stopped caring.

Where have the heart warming, exciting, sad, funny, joyful moments which characterized the Malazan world gone? There were certainly missing in this book.

My final complaint is the ending, what a load of rubbish, so many powers bowing to others and bringing back a well loved character to be a shadow of himself......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 26 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an avid reader of all things Malazan, and one who is longingly waiting for Fall of light, I have grown to appreciate the differences in writing between Erikson and Esslemont. Like many other readers, I at first found the latter a little too straightforward, without the subtle depth of both observation and conversation that one finds in Eriksons books. However, I also find that Esslemonts way of writting is much easier to get into. It doesnt require nearly as much of the reader in order to grasp the whole of the story. In Assail almost of the chapters are divided into short sequences and because of this, each characters storyarc is easy to return to, and doesnt require any setup to move along nicely.

Many readers might find it hard to read in depth about peripheral, yet pivotal, characters from the Malazan book of the fallen, who are main characters in Esslemonts stories. Mainly because we all get so invested in the books, and carry our own pretty significantly shaped ideas about who and what each character is. When Fisher (the bard) is suddenly just another character, and doesnt read exactly like we imagined it can be difficult to absorb and go along with. - I firmly believe that in order to really appreciate Esslemont you have to allow him the freedom to write his characters as he sees them, and go along on that journey. It is amazing enough that two authors share such a fantastic world, let alone write narratives that can co-exist, where characters visit in both storylines. But one needs to accept that this is what these books do in order to tell the fullest story of this world.

Therefor, if you can let go of your own impressions from previous books in the Malazan world, and go along on Esslemonts tales with an open mind, you will probably enjoy the books immensely.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate ending for a meandering series. 2 Sep 2014
By Puffin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read all these novels and also the "main" series by Erikson, the differences in style are interesting: Esslemont has a more approachable, reader-friendly style, but Erikson at his best is considerably better in terms of vividness. This whole series of six books has struggled to get away from being a sort of (disjointed) addendum/"tying up" exercise to the main 10-book series, and hasn't really done so. There's a climax of a sort, which is interesting, but just a little bit of damp squib for a series of 6 or 16 books, and although the getting there in this book was readable, it wasn't often thrilling or exciting. The reader might well wonder why 6 books were necessary: All through these books there are sub-plots and minor characters who appear, have an interesting scene or two, then are never heard from again: the reader might easily assume some of these are padding. What happened to Kiska, for instance? I was looking forward to more of her story.

I decided a couple of books ago in this series that Assail would probably be my last Malazan book, unless it were excellent as in parts of the first few books in Erikson's sequence, or (arguably) ICE's Return of the Crimson Guard. It isn't; being merely adequate, thus I have decided not to buy any more Malazan books. They just aren't getting any better, and I don't want to spoil the memories of the best sequences.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pocket Army. Pocket Novel. 27 Nov 2014
By Liam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reasonable finish to the Esslemont part of the Malazan world. Definitely a big improvement on a few of the other novels in this series (OST I'm look at you).

More action, more reveals, some good new areas of the world.

On the downside, everything did seem a bit... small. The battles were small, the numbers of people small, the reasons for the supposed flood of people quite small, the hundreds of thousands of Tlan Imass are knocked down to about 12. This is something Esslemont has struggled with in the past - he seems to lack the courage to really tackle the big events. SPOILER - Even the finale is basically just a chat.

Finally he has this weird issue with repeating certain words. In Blood and Bone it was "Cyclopean". Every building or ruin was described as cyclopean, which is acceptable once or twice in a world where there isnt a legend concerning the Cyclops, but he must have used it about 15 times.

In this novel is "pocket army". Not even about just one army. From memory he calls 2 or 3 armies "pocket armies" and might even venture a "pocket navy" at once point. I dont know why this grates on me, but it does...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another epic in the Malazan world
As always a fantastic read. I'm not sure it's quite as good as some of the earlier Esslemont books, but a compelling read. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Lews Therin
2.0 out of 5 stars Last and Least
I have read all the Malazan series more than once: the stories, and characterisation continue to grip, and until now, Esslemont has carried the flag well. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Logos
3.0 out of 5 stars A sad end to a promising story arc
A sad end to a promising story arc. Esslemont previously managed the epic of the malazan universe without the pomposity of Eriksens's "noble savage" nonsense. Read more
Published 2 months ago by scott
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant ending
This tidies things up really well good to see the humour of Malazan Marines once again even if it was fleeting.
Published 2 months ago by IJC
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not the best.
A bit of a disappointment.

The climax of the book is a joke, hundreds of pages of build up, and bang it's over. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Iain Young
5.0 out of 5 stars and I have enjoyed every one of Esslemonts novels so far
I am a fan of the series, and I have enjoyed every one of Esslemonts novels so far. This was no different. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Postie
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick with Erikson!!
Whilst the various character story lines all ending up at the same place (oops sorry minor spoiler) was a nice touch the whole thing seemed a little rushed, and also rather short. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. E. S. Downing
5.0 out of 5 stars another brilliant entry in this fantastic series
Whenever I pick up a book from this author and mr Ericsson I have very high expectations, I have loved this world they have created since I picked up gardens of the moon and this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by D Tailor
4.0 out of 5 stars Firstly let me say that I love the series
Firstly let me say that I love the series; two writers is a clever idea and obviously together they reduce the age old problem of unreasonable delays between books. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gerald Emmons
1.0 out of 5 stars Nooo...
Well, ICE managed to totally emasculate Dassem Ultor in a previous (forgotten) book. And he does it again this time, totally ruining another character, for no reason, utterly... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. J. Gilchrist
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