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Night of Knives: A Novel of the Malazan Empire (Novels of the Malazan Empire) Paperback – May 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Novels of the Malazan Empire (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323712
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Steven Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series only hints at the empire's distant history, which Esslemont, cocreator of the original world, explores in this dark, powerful novel (first published in the U.K. in 2004) and its planned sequels. On a Shadow Moon night on the Isle of Malaz, dead souls rise and demonlike hounds attack any who dare to leave their homes. Knowing that Emperor Kellanved is prophesied to use the Shadow Moon for his own ends, the emperor's enemies gather on the small island for their own nefarious purposes, starting a plot that spirals into bloody violence. Esslemont nails the feel and flavor of Erickson's books and brings the historical characters to life with a dexterity that will win over even the most skeptical fans. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Esslemont nails the feel and flavor of Erickson’s books and brings the historical characters to life with a dexterity that will win over even the most skeptical fans."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Enticing introduction to the Malazan series."--Library Journal

Night of Knives marked the first installment of the shared world we had both envisioned.”—Steven Erikson


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Customer Reviews

The dialogue was really very poor at times.
Robert Gamble
The entire course of this book occurs during one night which I find is an interesting idea that was well written but this story is much shorter than an Erikson novel.
Jason L. Dement
Anyone who has enjoyed the previous books will want to read the newest edition of this series.
R. Nicholson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. Schroeder on August 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Night of Knives is the first addition to the Malazan series by Ian C. Esslemont (ICE). The fantasy world featured in the Malazan Book of the Fallen was co-created by ICE and Steven Erikson, who has published 7 full-length novels and 3 novellas set in the world.

I loved Steven Erikson's works and was worried to see the world in the hands of another author. However, ICE did not let me down. Night of Knives features all the epic fantasy storytelling action that I've come to expect in a Malazan novel. He has shown the potential to write a series just as grand and Erikson's.

The story takes place before the action of all the other novels. The story is told mostly through the perspective of two characters: Temper, a retired veteran of many campaigns, and Kiska and young female talent with aspirations for greatness. Many characters from Erikson's works are featured and we get to learn more about there background. Dassem Ultor, Surly, Topper, The Claw, The Talon, Tayschrenn, Kellanved , Dancer, Edgewalker all show up. We also get to meet some new Bridgeburners! The events all unfold over a 24 hr period, the night of the Shadow Moon when it is rumored that Emperor Kellanved and his lieutenant Dancer will return after years of traveling the world. A proposition not everyone is thrilled about.

This book is a must read for any fan of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Though I recommend not reading this until after completing all of Erikson's current novels. It will spoil some plot points and reveals in Erikson's stories.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By B. McCarthy on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Ian C Esslemont's first entry in the world he shares with Erikson. It's a different style, more expository, wonderfully describes and realizes the setting of Malaz City, and follows two characters instead of...well, a bunch. He makes the world seen in Erikson's works his own, which makes sense since he did cocreate it.

However, it simply isn't of the same quality. It's nice that the events take place over the course of one night instead of an extended period time, as this adds a degree of action and suspense to the story. And it elaborates upon how Kellanved and Dancer ascended, something hardcore fans of the series such as myself can appreciate.

But both of these aspects of Night of Knives, it's strongest positives, also contribute to it's strongest negatives. Because of the confines of the story's timeline and setting (one night, one city) it is much less complex than Erikson's works, and is at times a bit too simplistic. Someone expecting a story of the same depth and quality will be very disappointed.

Second, the plot is good, but not great. It zooms along and has an exciting climax, but the major event of this book is the ascending of Kellanved and Dancer...and yet we hardly ever see them except for two times each, and don't receive any development or insight into their characters whatsoever. There is still plenty for Mala-fans to enjoy, such as some great moments with Tayschrenn and Dassemer Ultor, but not as much as they might hope. I read this after Memories of Ice and understood everything that was going on. Still, as a standalone fantasy, it really doesn't have that much to offer, as fans unfamiliar with the Malazan Empire and the importance of the events they are reading about will probably just be bored and confused.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Schroeder on August 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Night of Knives is the first addition to the Malazan series by Ian C. Esslemont (ICE). The fantasy world featured in the Malazan Book of the Fallen was co-created by ICE and Steven Erikson, who has published 7 full-length novels and 3 novellas set in the world.

I loved Steven Erikson's works and was worried to see the world in the hands of another author. However, ICE did not let me down. Night of Knives features all the epic fantasy storytelling action that I've come to expect in a Malazan novel. He has shown the potential to write a series just as grand and Erikson's.

The story takes place before the action of all the other novels. The story is told mostly through the perspective of two characters: Temper, a retired veteran of many campaigns, and Kiska and young female talent with aspirations for greatness. Many characters from Erikson's works are featured and we get to learn more about there background. Dassem Ultor, Surly, Topper, The Claw, The Talon, Tayschrenn, Kellanved , Dancer, Edgewalker all show up. We also get to meet some new Bridgeburners! The events all unfold over a 24 hr period, the night of the Shadow Moon when it is rumored that Emperor Kellanved and his lieutenant Dancer will return after years of traveling the world. A proposition not everyone is thrilled about.

This book is a must read for any fan of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Though I recommend not reading this until after completing all of Erikson's current novels. It will spoil some plot points and reveals in Erikson's stories.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Nicholson on September 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Another interesting Malazan story! This novel takes place in the city of Malaz; the time frame is in the early days of the ascent of the Malazan empire.

This novel is extremely well written, captivating and well paced. Like Erikson, Esslemont has that intangible skill with prose that draws you into the tale, almost making you feel like your right there. I had difficultly putting this book down...it just got better and better.

There is also an excellent map of Malaz City that helps sort out some of the geographic twists and turns that occur in the telling of this tale.

And finally...I find it hard to believe that another writer could pen a Malazan tale as well as the original author, but it has actually happened. This is a wonderful addition to the ongoing story of Erikson's Malazan Empire. Anyone who has enjoyed the previous books will want to read the newest edition of this series. 5 Stars. (more if I could)

R.Nicholson

P.S.

Apparently Erikson and Esslemont are 'co-founders' of the Malazan world, and both have agreed to and have welcomed each others contributions.
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