Return Of The Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Trade in Yours
For a 1.36 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Return Of The Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Return Of The Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire 2) [Hardcover]

Ian Cameron Esslemont
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.31  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.79  
Unknown Binding --  
Trade In this Item for up to 1.36
Trade in Return Of The Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire 2) for an gift card of up to 1.36, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

11 Sep 2008 Malazan Empire 2
The return of the mercenary company the Crimson Guard could not have come at a worse time for the Malazan Empire. Drained by constant warfare, betrayals and rivalries, many see the grip of Empress Laseen weakening. Conquered kingdoms and principalities test their old independence. Into this fermenting civil war on Quon Tali – the Empire’s homeland – comes the Guard, and the ingrained memory of their vow of undying opposition to the existence of the Empire. Yet rivalries and betrayals plague the Guard as well - elements of its elite, the Avowed, scheme to open paths to even greater power. Ancient, powerful entities, Ascendants, also seek to exploit all sides to further their own arcane ends. Meanwhile, a swordsman called Traveller, and his companion Ereko, move from one strange encounter to another on a mysterious path that will lead the swordsman to a confrontation from which none have ever returned. As the Crimson Guard gathers itself for its assault on the empire, the empress faces more immediate threats. Feeding her wars has bled dry provincial garrisons across Quon Tali and now regional nationalists see their chanceo break free. Behind their insurrections stand the veteran commanders of Laseen’s predecessor, Emperor Kellanved. These powerful generals and mages, the "Old Hands," have lost patience with what they see as Laseen’s mismanagement and have chosen one of their own to replace her. Yet there are hints that Laseen may be using the uprisings to draw out and finally eliminate these last irksome survivors of her predecessor’s rule...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; Collector's ed edition (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593058097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593058091
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Everything you expect of a Malazan story, being both epic and relevant... nail-biting and anything but obvious SFFWORLD The Malazan franchise is fighting fit in the hands of its co-creator SFX magazine

Book Description

The epic new fantasy from Steven Erikson's friend and co-creator of the world of Malaz.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Malazan novel for a good few years. 19 Sep 2008
2008 is proving to be something of a bumper year for fans of the Malazan universe. Steven Erikson's eighth novel in the setting, Toll the Hounds, was published back in June and the first novel in the series, Gardens of the Moon, has seen two reprintings this year. The first was as a new, wallet-friendly budget edition from Bantam designed to entice new readers to the series, whilst Subterranean Press are about to release a new, limited edition beautifully illustrated by the mighty Michael Kormack. And to top it all off, Ian Cameron Esslemont, the co-creator of the Malazan world, has had his second novel published.

Return of the Crimson Guard starts shortly after the events of Erikson's sixth book, The Bonehunters. The Malazan Empire is in trouble. Whilst the Genabackan campaign has ended in peaceful negotiations with Anomander Rake's Tiste Andii and the remaining free cities, the Seven Cities theatre has turned into a bloodbath. The rebellion known as the Whirlwind has been crushed only at a truly staggering cost, whilst the subcontinent has been devastated by plague. The two most disgraced officers of that campaign, Mallick Rel and Korbolo Dom, have somehow come up smelling of roses and risen to high office within the Empire. They have turned the blame for that campaign on the Wickans, and now Malazan settlers desperate for new land are embarking on a pogrom of the Wickan homelands. Elsewhere, the near-annihilation of the elite imperial assassin-mages, the Claw, in the battle for Malaz City has seen Empress Laseen's position weakened and long-quiescent nationalist movements across Quon Tali, the Empire's heartland, have awoken with a passion.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to the Book of the Fallen 24 Sep 2008
A while back, during a lull in Erikson's Book of the Fallen release cycle, Esslemont's Night of Knives: A Novel of the Malazan Empire came out, and I, keen to get some further Malazan word nourishment, snapped up the hardback off Amazon. Unfortunately it was somewhat disappointing and I was left worrying that perhaps Esslemont would not add to this rich world that he and Erikson co-created as much as I (and I'm sure you) were hoping.

I saw this tome with a reduced price while browsing a local bookshop and, as nothing else had taken my fancy (as well as its rather more promising size and the lure of the Crimson Guard in the title) thought 'why not?' and decided to give him another go. Why do I mention this? Because I am now very glad I did! If like me you were sitting on the fence about this I can heartily recommend that you do the same, I'm certain you won't regret it.

The only people I'm assuming are reading this review are those who've already read Erikson's stuff (if you haven't then you really should before getting started on this one (you've got a treat in store!)) so to you: RotCG picks up where Erikson left off (figuratively speaking) and tells the story (unsurprisingly) of the Crimson Guard, who've only made cameo appearances in Erikson's stuff so far, and their return to Unta to take their long-awaited revenge on the Malazan empire. I won't spoil any of the plot points here, but if you were wanting to hear more about Skinner, Iron Bars, Cowl et al then you won't be disappointed. There's also the usual cast of marines, sappers, mages and all the rest you'll know and love including (but still not enough!) some appearances by various Seguleh as well...
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crimson Skies at dawn 16 Oct 2008
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
After being a bit disappointed with Esslemont's first offering I was, to be honest, leaving this tale in my reading pile for a bit until I had not much else to chose from as I was a bit unhappy with his first offering. However I was surprised when I finally picked it up as within the pages Ian's writing style along with character development not only improved but also allowed the reader to experience a new dimension to the Malazan world (made famous by Steven Erikson.) A cracking offering and one that has left me wondering about what I can expect from his next offering when his writing has improved so much from the last instalment. A tale of combat and daring do as the Crimson Guard carve themselves a slice of the Malazan world leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and a book that is an ideal companion to the more established series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Significant! 21 Sep 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Basics first. This is part of a long running series, if you've not read any Malazan novels, go start with Gardens of the Moon & get ready for a treat. This book is set just before Toll the Hounds.

This is quite a mixed book. It takes a while to get going - like most of the series and there are some dead ends (or clumsy settings up of the next book) some confusing sections and some hard to explain events (eg how did X pop up there & where'd he go), with the odd section not matching previous books (eg the Osserc bit) which is annoying. On the other hand there are some terrific battles, and some *really* important events for the series as a whole. Without giving too much away: we finally meet Skinner, Cowl, Urko, Choss, Toc the Elder and more. There are fights between Traveller and Skinner, Traveller and Khalor, Laseen and Cowl, Iron Bars and a Seglueh, Tayschern and a new High Mage, and some huge set piece army v's army with lots of magery - which made for some very gripping sections.

Compared to Erikson's novels there is less philosophy, with a more action oriented approach. The book also feels a little more stereotyped (girl discovers she is a princess sets off to recover destiny with faithful servant, heroes super hard to kill especially by the cannon fodder) It does however feel like a big step up from Night of Knives, and by the end of the book the world has changed significantly so its worth reading this before Erikson's next.

So despite problems, there are some real payoffs from reading the book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the series. & the series to anyone who likes epic fantasy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A steady improvement
Esslemont finds his feet in this second book in the series. A large cast of characters contends for rulership of the Malazan empire; like Erickson's books this work is epic in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by M B Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This book is pretty good, definitely worth a read. Explains many things about the Crimson Guard and also important events that occur in the Malazan empire that isn't explained in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Elmin
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
Another wonderfully crafted extract from the world of the malazan empire. Esslemont is every bit as talented as Cameron. Brilliant.
Published 7 months ago by Craig
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
In many ways not as good a writer as Erikson but a good plot and still very entertaining. If you like MBotF you should read this.
Published 9 months ago by James
4.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the Malazan story.
If. like me you have read all of the Stephen Erikson books inculding Forge of Darkness then you are probably looking for something to continue the story. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this
Another excellent Malazan novel from ICE, this one starts off slow as the story line is set but the second half of the book is excellent climaxing in a stunning battle between the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by paul nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars True escape
Like all the Malazan books before it, this book has managed to take me away to another life, another reality. Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Millar
4.0 out of 5 stars Esslemont is a master of epic fantasy
Having never read Erikson, I decided to start with Esslemont. My review of "Night of Knives" acknowledged that a lack of knowledge about the Malazan Empire made the going tough, as... Read more
Published 18 months ago by travelswithadiplomat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel to a good first book
Like in Knight of Knives it takes a while to adjust to all the new main characters. Esslemont is definitely at a disadvantage compared to Erikson because he has to fill all the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by hallo-leute
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever More Epic
Esslemont's first book was a relatively low-key affair by the standards of the Malazan universe; fairly restricted in location and timeframe, it gave the impression of a new writer... Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by David Ford
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Is there any way to review the book? 3 17 Aug 2008
See all discussions...  
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions

Look for similar items by category