Kellanved's Reach (E–pub READ) ¹ Ian C. Esslemont
ARC received from the publisher Random House UK in exchange for an honest reviewKellanved s Reach was a great continuation to the story behind the rise of Kellanved and Dancer and the beginnings of the Malazan Empire Judging from the direction of the narrative I strongly doubt that this would be the end of the series which was marketed initially as a trilogy Compared to the previous books the number of character POVs in the third book had than doubled There were multiple storylines told from the perspective of all the different warring city states within the continent of uon Tali Arising from these were several new characters being introduced While most of these individuals will have significant roles in the later Malazan books their respective subplots at in this book seemed largely detached from the main story There was one character whose nickname was et to be known by the end of the book and it made me want to tear my hair out I was certain that he s a prominent person in the later books but his character development at this stage did not provide sufficient clues What I loved most about the two previous books was that it focussed on our two major characters The development of their partnership and friendship and their interaction with one another were always a great delight to read In this third book however their story probably took up at most a uarter of the book if not less The length of the books in this series so far have been relatively short by Malazan standards Given this some compromise will be reuired when it comes to handling a broader range of subplots and a larger cast of characters The ambitious scope in Kellanved s Reach resulted in a narrative which I felt was too rushed in placesDespite all that I still enjoyed reading Kellanved s Reach simply because I loved the worldbuilding in Malazan And there was also the excitement of discovering what happened before all the incidences or events some earthshattering and some seemingly benign which would cumulatively lead to what we ve known and seen in the Malazan Book of the Fallen and Malazan Empire Truth be told I haven t finished the Empire books because I was not particularly enthralled by Esslemont s writing there However reading this preuel series had sufficiently rekindled my interest to read the rest of his booksThe ending had the flavour of the usual epic Malazan climax but it was also where it suffered the most from the shorter length of the novel I would really truly loved to have a much longer chapter of the climactic seuence with all the anticipation built up from the deadly assault of the mage cadre and the unleashing of elder powers The last section of the book then served to wrap up some of the loose ends of the various new characters Without any doubt it opened up the possibility of preuel stories coming our way Not that I have no complaints if there are If Esslemont keeps up with his current writing style to continue treating Malazan fans with and books I will keep on reading And I definitely wouldn t mind if these books are a tad longer You can pre order this book from UK Book Depository Free shipping worldwide You can also find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions 25 stars Weak What a letdown At least 50% or of the book is about the origin stories of Crimson Guard characters that I care nothing about The parts with Kellenved and Dancer were great and I enjoyed those but the rest was just weak And this isn t really a spoiler I don t think but Dancer and Kellenved don t ascend by the end of the book I feel a bit cheated So Ian C Esslemont why can t ou write 1000 pages books this is not enough too good to be this short give room to all these characters to developed and for the plots to come to completion Other than that this was another great dive in the Malazan world with extra winks to some of the characters names and origines Right I m going to start with some opinions they re intrinsically linked and maybe slightly controversial but that s ok because I m "up for an argument or two So don t read these books before Erikson s Malazan Book of the "for an argument or two So don t read these books before Erikson s Malazan Book of the and if ou don t have a passion for that series and the big name characters in it that borders on an unhealthy obsession don t bother with them at all Every part of what makes these preuels worth reading is the chance to experience what comes before seeing where characters come from how they meet the way they get their namesnicknames what they re like before or as they become legend There s a thrill in reading hints about who someone is and guessing or knowing the answer before it s given There s trepidation in registering the fractures that are going to crack wide enough to shatter worlds shake the gods swallow armies and end lives on an uncountable scale There are meaningful layered conversations that can only be understood in reference to what comes afterwards and there are silly jokes that work in the same way The seeds of destruction are laid out before the reader here and we know they end For fans it s hard to resist As for the plot that surrounds it all it s light and often fun but limited in what it achieves It s easy enough that it feels like it should be an entry point to a series which some might see as overly complicated or unapproachable
HOWEVER It Is Not it is not see above for details The hill I m going to die on start with Gardens of the Moon or just read something else Bird Habitats in Britain you enjoyEven though this is still described everywhere as far as I can see as a trilogy Kellanved s Reach doesn t feel like the end of anything Whether that means books in the Path to Ascendancy or the arbitrary creation of another series title to cover what comes next who knows but there s still so much ground to cover There was certainly a hell of a lot of time spent on introducing new characters if there s not going to be from them soon It was problematic for this instalment in any case taking away the focus from Kellanved and Dancer They are the glue that held together Dancer s Lament and Deadhouse Landing after all it is predominantly their path to Ascendancy that we re supposed to be following They fade in and out of the picture in this book see what I did with a bucket load of new characters taking their place Obviously many of those were cracking additions but honestly the structure couldn t take the weight And this is the essential problem with Esslemont s writing and the relative shortness of his books neither allow for the necessary depth Everything just that bit too clunky and repetitive I m not sure how many times we re reminded that Dancer makes sure to take his trusty length of ropeyes we get it Once is enough It s part of a general lack of consistency some things said again and again others rushed through The ending seemed like it was going to be a proper Malazan style climax thenwasn t So not only is there not enough time to do each of the storylines properly the time spent on each isn The incessant war between the bickering city states of uon Tali rages So engrossed are the warring lords and princes in their own petty feuds that few notice that an upstart mage from Dal Hon has gained control of the southern seas But some powers are alarmedAnd in the meantime as Purge and Tali indulge in what seems like a their never ending game of war a mercenary caught up in the fight between the two states suddenly refuses to play along and causes all sorts of chaos Simultaneously a pair of escapees fr. Always utilised that well This is particularly evident in the later part of this instalment jumping from one thing to the next and barely managing to get the highlights down There s no emotion here save that we carry with us and it s kinda shoddy for the author to rely on that All this sounds like I didn t much enjoy the book which I did but it worries me that things are already starting to slide The first two books were unabashed fun this one tries to do too much with too little and doesn t hit the mark I hope whatever comes next picks that energy back up because otherwise the impact of all the hugely important stuff just around the corner is going to be non existent It s genuinely going to be sadder to read it like that than it it would be to not have it at all Here s hoping thenARC via Netgalley Book 1 5Book 2 5Book 3 375Just when I thought ICE had it all worked outThe problem isou have dozens of legendary characters and ou try to wrap things up in a 350 page book If I could describe this book in one word it would be smattering A smattering of Heboric a smattering of Blues Skinner Dassem Shimmer Surly Urko Catheron TCG Silk Greymane Dujek Whiskeyjack ToolWTF These are characters who could have their own books I understand he wanted this as a compliment to Empire and to set up those events but he needed to think BotF as well If the first book was Dancer s and the second was an ensemble of the main ol The enigmatic sorcerer Kellanved has seized control of Malaz Island His cohort and ally Surly plots the conuest of her homeland the Napan Isles Meanwhile the mainland of uon Tali is wracked by war and civil war Purge and Tali are locked in incessant conflict in the west whilst to the east the Bloorian League is trying to crush the city of Gris Conflict stalks the world but great changes are coming in the warrens as well as Kellanved seeks the Throne of Shadow and also the First Throne of the T lan Imass the Army of Dust and BoneKellanved s Reach is the third novel in Ian Esslemont s Path to Ascendancy series which acts as a preuel to both the Malazan Book of the Fallen seuence by Steven Erikson and Esslemont s own earlier Malazan Empire series Following on from Dancer s Lament and Deadhouse Landing this book continues the story of Kellanved and Dancer the founders of the Malazan EmpireThe events described in this trilogy and in this single novel especially are vast epic and the stuff of myth Kellanved s seizure of the First Throne his alliance with the T lan Imass and the military campaigns which saw the Malazan Empire start coming together have been referenced in hushed tones throughout the sixteen novels of both of Erikson and Esslemont s original series so to see those events first hand is thrilling Or rather it should beIf one word comes to mind when reading Kellanved s Reach it is rushed The book is only 330 pages long barely a third as long as some of Erikson s books and Esslemont tries to fit into this modest page count no less than five major military campaigns a major subplot with Kellanved and Dancer exploring the Shadow Realm and the stories of numerous POV characters There simply isn t enough room to do this justice and as a result we end up bouncing back and forth between characters and stories like a pinball machine Massive major events like the nascent empire s capture of the strategically vital city of Cawn take place in sentences let along paragraphs and the epic final battle which ends with Kellanved s crowning feels perfunctory at bestThis is a shame because the improvement in Esslemont s writing and character voice which has been building since Dancer s Lament continues apace here The early chapters which relax a little to focus on the military campaigns on opposite coasts of the continent are well written and excellent and it s fun to see future important characters like Greymane and Skinner arise from the masses to start their own steps down the road to destiny But around the halfway mark the pace accelerates and suddenly major plot events are whizzing by like they ve been shot out of a machine gunThere s still much to enjoy here of course even if the later chapters of the #book do start feeling like a plot summary than a novel I suspect it will be even frustrating as if as #do start feeling like a plot summary than a novel I suspect it will be even frustrating as if as possible books in this series follow Path to Ascendancy was contracted for three books but the series has sold extremely well so it may be extended There s plenty of scope if so the book ends with Kellanved crowned but only a very small part of uon Tali under his control and it d be interesting to fill the gaps in between this book and Night of Knives set roughly 100 ears later where Kellanved s plans are finally fully realisedKellanved s Reach is a reasonably solid addition to the Malazan mythos with some genuinely exciting myth making moments It also feels like the novel should have been either twice as long as it is or its events should have been split over two books As it stands the brake neck pacing means that the emotional
resonance and dramatic power of some long awaited scenes are diluted The book is available in the UK and dramatic power of some long awaited scenes are diluted The book is available in the UK and next month in the USA The elders were powerful and dreadful it was a blessing their days were over Only a fool or an insane power craving He shook his head once again this time in exasperation Ah I received an advanced review copy of Kellanved s Reach in exchange for an honest review I would like to thank Ian C Esselmont and TransworldBooks Penguin Books UK Before I start the review proper I will uickly state that I am uite lucky as a reviewer because of some of the books I get to read early Ever so often a book arrives on our doorstep and everything else ceases to exist until a certain novel has been completed This was one such occasion I was deep through Mark Lawrence s Holy Sister and John Gwynne s A Time of Blood by far two of my favourite authors but the works of Erikson and Esslemont and the world they ve created is incomparable and the pinnacle of not just fantasy but current literature in general I had to drop everything and start "this immediately Originally touted as being a trilogy I can safely say that the way this book ends we "immediately Originally touted as being a trilogy I can safely say that the way this book ends we have a lot in store in this preuel series but I ll come back to that shortly Kellanved now the ruler of Malaz with his friend the dexterous and handily swift assassin Dancer continue the shadowy Mage s conuest for utter world domination Kellanved found a flint spearhead at the end of Deadhouse Landing and believes it is the key to unlock an elder mystery and obtain and perhaps even control an overwhelming ancient power that could tip the balance in his favour to aid his plan even though nobody is truly aware of what he wants to accomplish Not even Dancer I would say 25% of the narrative follows the exploits of my favourite fantasy duo but like all Malazan books ou cannot rest on Riders of the Sea your laurels with whatou already know About another 100 new characte. Om Castle Gris make their way across this ravaged landscape of flame and butchery Their intention to seek out the legendary Crimson Guard And then there's Kellanved who could not care less about any of this petty politicking or strategy or war Something other and altogether mysterious has caught his attention and he together with a reluctant and decidedly sceptical Dancer traverse continents and journey through the Realms in pursuit But this ancient mystery that has so captivated Kellanved is neither esoter. Rs are introduced As if there weren t already enough in this behemothic but amazing fantasy experience For anyone who has and if Jewish Women Speak About Jewish Matters you haven t I recommendou do read the main series before Friends Forever: Everything Changes (Friends Forever) you ll be happy that many of the series superstars and most important players are featured and and are introduced The main body of the force was some thirty Malazan fighters hand picked and led by Dassem and including their early recruit Dujek and his shadow Jack Tasyschrenn stood with DancerSpoiler So many great moments I ve really been waiting for are revealed here Such as how Whiskeyjack earned his name how Greymane joined the Malazan Empire and why Shimmer is such a bad ass Apart from Dancer and Kellanved s story it seems war is waging everywhere and we witness events from both sides of multiple battles that are happening concurrently Typical to Malazan generally there are no black or white good or bad guys during point of view perspectives soou feel for the players on both sides To begin with it was confusing as to who had an allegiance with who and what their reuired end game was and what their objectives were At about 30% it all clicked and then it seemed to flow expertly After reading 60% of this book and reading some stunning set pieces in my opinion up there with some of the best in the overall Malazan canon I couldn t put this book down and I couldn t see this book getting less than a 910 Dancer s Lament had 3 point of view perspectives Silk Iko and Dancer This new entry has approximately 15 As previously hinted at with unfamiliar character perspectives it takes a few of their passages to work out where they fit on the board of the greater game but all will come clear I don t think there was a single perspective I didn t enjoy These included Dancer s friend and blind bird lady Ullara who is wandering without knowing what fate has in store Gregor and his mage accomplice who cannot be hit who both wish to join the Crimson Guard and war commander Orjin who really doesn t know his place in this waring world at the moment but just knows he can aid somehow We see brief but excellent snippets of The Crimson Guard hierarchy before K azz D Avore was commander and seeing his character at this stage was really interesting Warning I made the typical newbie mistake There was a new character who I wasn t familiar with who seemed like a stunning creation so I Googled his name and was told who he d become and what his alias is and that he s very important in later novels Do not make the same mistake On many forums there are often heated debates of the best way to start the Malazan series to get the best experience I personally think there are 5 ways to start but that s an unpopular view After reading this the image of Ouroboros came to my mind If The TV Writer's Workbook: A Creative Approach To Television Scripts you start with the Path of Ascendancy series then Gardens of the Moon won t be so difficult However ifou don t read the main series first then ou ll miss the amazing reveals and air fist bump moments which I m sad to admit happened a lot whilst I was reading this book so made me look like a lunatic to my housemateSo why didn t it get five stars It was doing everything perfectly until the ending There is nothing wrong with what actually happens at the climax but it seemed a bit muddled and out of order for me There is a stunning set piece the typical BOOM wow that was amazing Malazan finale experience Then it spent about 6% of the book wrapping other characters arcs off I must admit these chapters were done well but it completely disjointed the pacing and experience It was almost as if we d had the finale and Esslemont was just tidying up a few threads before moving on It
Might Be My Personal be my personal but I enjoy the explosive climatic culmination to be the final segment in a novel and that I then will not be able to stop thinking about it for weeks This is perhaps just personal taste though To conclude the works of Malazan 25 stellineIan Ian perch sei inciampato su uesto libro Sembravi uno scrittore cos cresciutello nei tuoi ultimi lavori Ma cosa ti saltato in testa Troppe storyline troppi personaggi tutti insieme tutto concentrato a malapena accennato ogni cosa si risolve in maniera sbrigativa insoddisfacente Non sono riuscito a gustarmi nulla Eravamo partiti bene con i due libri precedenti ma la Path to Ascendancy ha accelerato troppo ed finita in testacoda Che botta 25 starsHm This was a weird one I feel like I m one of the few Malazan fans who feel a bit meh about the Path to Ascendancy seriesMy criticism of this might seem contradictory This book follows a lot of different characters and there were uite a few I did not really care about and whose storylines I found boringThe thing is the book felt too short to me Huh she found it too short but boring I feel like the characters and storylines did not have enough room to develop The book often felt rushed and key elements happened way too uickly for my liking This made it hard to really connect to and care for the characters This book could have easily been twice as longAlso I feel like this book was targeted at readers who have read both MBotF and the Malazan Empire series I have not read the latter and I buddy read this with some of the Malazan enthusiasts at Fantasy Buddy Reads They picked up a lot of things I did not and I think this diminished my reading enjoymentAs for the writing I can t say that Esslemont s writing is bad in this one but there is something about it that does not work for me I can t put my finger on it thoughThere were some great moments and scenes I really enjoyed where I felt the fascination for this world but unfortunately those were muddied by a lot of rushed scenes I wish "the book had focused on those storylines I enjoyed and had "book had focused on those storylines I enjoyed and had time developing themThe rest of the seriesDancer s Lament 25 starsDeadhouse Landing 3 5 4 stars Better than a 3 star so I m rounding up et not of the same high caliber of books 1 and 2 in this Path to Ascendancy Lots of players of the Big Game that is the MBOTF assume their roles in this one and learning much of what lies behind many of them is uite fun and very interesting Most interesting is the luck that seems to propel much of it luck for a particular emperor that is Dancer is my favorite character and the reputation he gaineddelivered in the MBOTF is bolstered here as it has been throughout this series On the other hand while I enjoy Kellanved and love their team up and despite his obvious skills and dexterous schemes Shadowthrone seems somewhat lessened in this book a bit of tarnish dulling his shine I m thankful Dancer remains true saddened at this lesser turn in Kellanved Outside this there s lots of bloodshed a lot of character manuevering some nice tactics even better magicks and a few good lines It s difficult for any author to sustain nigh perfection and after the first 2 books a let down was to be expected Definitely glad to have returned to Malaz and this duo though. Ic nor ephemeral No it is of an altogether darker and dangerous hue It involves the Elder races themselves and specifically certainly alarmingly the semi mythic and universally dreaded Army of Dust and BoneSurely no one in their right mind would be so foolish as to embark on a journey from which none have returned Well no one except Kellanved that is Returning to the turbulent early history of what would become the Malazan Empire here is the third awesome chapter in Ian C Esslemont's new epic fantasy seuenc.