Night of Knives
Ian C. Esslemont
Tor, May 2009, $25.95 (hardcover); $14.95 (trade)
ISBN: 0765323699 (hardcover); 0765323710 (trade)
Every generation the isle of Malaz suffers from the convergence of the Shadow Moon when the real world becomes a shadow to other realities and these other realities come as shadows to Malaz. Rumors fly that this time will include the unique returns of Malazan Emperor Kellanved and his master assassin Dancer; neither has been seen in ages. Surly the Mistress of the Imperial Assassin the Claw ruled over the empire and is not taking any chances of losing her power so has traveled to the island to insure Kellanved and Dancer do not return.
As the moon rises, islanders stay in doors hoping to remain safe from the evil invaders, demon-hounds, walking dead and even more dreaded others things. Wanting to leave Malaz, Kiska feels joining the Imperial Forces is her only exit; battle tested veteran Temper hides from his past with a new identity on Malaz. Neither believed in the myths, but soon both become embroiled in the encroaching malevolence when a corpse asks Kiska to deliver a message as the ancient power of the Shadow Moon has arisen.
Ian C. Esslemont collaborated with Steven Erikson to create the multiple cultures of the Malazan World (see Mr. Erikson’s Book of the Fallen saga). In NIGHT OF KNIVES, he extrapolates on the prologue to Mr. Erikson’s the Gardens of the Moon to create a rich history that in the Book of the Fallen becomes mythical history. Fans of Malazan will be stunned with this super dark fantasy as Mr. Esslemont stays true to the essence of the latter years’ saga while providing a terrific tale.