Malazan Empire

by 6 books in this series
#1 - Night Of Knives
#1 - Night Of Knives
This incredibly atmospheric and action - packed epic fantasy from million copy seller Ian C Esslemont is a must read for fans of Steven Erikson, David Gemmell and Brandon Sanderson.

"Visceral power...telling a story set largely over just one terrifying night, it pulverises you with an economy that is rare in fantasy" - SFX

"Fast paced enjoyable balance" - SFFworld
"A pleasing...entertaining romp" - DeathRay
"Absolutely outstanding" -- ***** Reader review
"Fast paced and a compelling read" -- ***** Reader review
"Brilliant. Couldn't put it down" -- ***** Reader review


Malaz gave a great empire its name, but now this island and its city amount to little more than a sleepy backwater.
Until this night.

Because this night there is to be a convergence, the once-in-a-generation appearance of a Shadow Moon - an occasion that threatens the good people of Malaz with demon hounds and other, darker things.

It is also prophesied that the Emperor Kellanved will return this night, and there are many who would prevent that happening at any cost. As factions within the Empire draw up battle lines, an ancient presence begins its all-out assault upon the island. Witnesses to these cataclysmic events include a thief called Kiska, and Temper, a war-weary veteran.

Although they do not know it, they each have a part to play in a confrontation that will determine not only the fate of Malaz City but also of the world beyond...
#2 - Return Of The Crimson Guard
#2 - Return Of The Crimson Guard
From the pen of million copy seller Ian C Esslemont comes this breath-taking, thrilling and captivating epic fantasy - a must read for fans of Steven Erikson, David Gemmell and Brandon Sanderson.

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
"A true Malazan tale to sink your teeth into" -- ***** Reader review
"Fast paced, truly involving, with characters who are not just realistic but who also seem to draw out the reader's empathy." -- ***** Reader review
"Complex and engaging" -- ***** Reader review
The return of the Crimson Guard could not have come at a worse time for an empire exhausted by warfare and weakened by betrayals and rivalries.

Into the seething cauldron of Quon Tali - the Malazan Empire's heartland - they march, and with their return comes the memory of their vow: undying opposition to the Empire. Yet, elements within the Guard's élite, the Avowed, have set their sights on far greater power.

As the Guard prepare to wage war, the Empress Laseen's generals and mages grow impatient at what they perceive as her mismanagement of the Empire.

Is she losing her grip on power or has she outwitted them all? Could she be using the uprisings to draw out and finally eliminate the last irksome survivors from the days of Kellanved, her illustrious predecessor?
#3 - Stonewielder
#3 - Stonewielder
A must-read epic fantasy for fans of Steven Erikson, David Gemmell and Brandon Sanderson, Stonewielder capitalises further on Esslemont's mastery of world-building and fantasy storytelling.

'Epic fiction at its finest' - SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER

'A gripping, bloat-free military fantasy which further illuminates and explores this intriguing world, and one of the strongest books in the series' -- ***** Reader review

'Words can not express how these books are!' -- ***** Reader review

'Simply you just will not want to put this one down. It builds and builds to a brilliant ending. Superb. -- ***** Reader review


Greymane believed he'd outrun his past
. He was adjusting well to life outside the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. However, it it is not so easy for an ex-Fist of the Malazan Empire to disappear, especially one under sentence of death from that same Empire.

For there is a new Emperor on the throne of Malaz and he is dwelling on the Empire's failed invasion of Korel. In the vaults beneath Unta, the Imperial capital, lie the answers to that disaster; out of this buried history surfaces the name Stonewielder.

In Korel, Lord Protector Hiam, commander of the Stormguard, faces the potential annihilation of all that he holds dear. With few remaining men and a crumbling stone wall that has seen better days, he confronts an ancient enemy: the sea-borne Stormriders have returned.

Stonewielder is an enthralling new chapter in the epic story of a brilliantly imagined world.

The Malazan Empire series continues in Orb Sceptre Throne...

#4 - Orb Sceptre Throne
#4 - Orb Sceptre Throne
The tumult of great powers colliding has passed and the city of Darujhistan and its citizens can at last get on with what matters: trading, bickering, politicking and enjoying all the good things in life. However, not all are ready to leave the past behind. A treasure hunter, digging amongst the burial grounds that surround the city, is about to uncover a hidden crypt. He will open the last of a series of sealed vaults - the one that no other dared touch - and, in so doing, set free something so terrifying that the knowledge of its internment may have been systematically wiped from all history.

Fortune hunters are also at work far to the south. When a fragment of Moon's Spawn, once the home of Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, crashed into the Rivan Sea it created a chain of small islands. Legends and rumours already surround them. The most potent of these is that here is hidden the Throne of Night, claimed by some to be the seat of Mother Dark herself. Either way, all who seek this ancient artefact - renegade mages, hardened mercenaries, even a Malazan army deserter - believe it will bestow unlimited power upon the eventual possessor. The stakes are high, greed is rife, betrayal inevitable, and murder and chaos lie in wait...
#5 - Blood and Bone
#5 - Blood and Bone
Fantastic world-building meets spellbinding storytelling in this must-read fan-favourite from Esslemont. Ideal for fans of Steven Erikson, David Gemmell and Brandon Sanderson.

'Esslemont's best yet' - FANTASYBOOK REVIEW

'The Malazan franchise is fighting fit in the hand of its co-creator' - SFX

'His best novel so far.' - ***** Reader Review

'Just gets better and better with each book. Love it.' - ***** Reader Review



On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted another expedition into the neighbouring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, half of the spirit-realm and half of the physical, ruled by a powerful entity who some name the Queen of Witches and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata.

Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs - but it was the voices from that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers launch their invasion of this jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission.

To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail men call the Grey Ghost. This warrior leads these tribes on a raid unlike any other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands.

While word comes to K'azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku.

And their employer? Could it be the goddess herself...


Further praise for Esslemont's Malazan series:

'Everything you expect of a Malazan story, being both epic and relevant... nail-biting and anything but obvious.' - SFF WORLD
'Terrific... impossible to put down and highly recommended for all fans of The Malazan Book of the Fallen.' - FANTASY HOTLIST
'Hugely promising... a contained, concise romp that's also dense with fan-pleasing information... an entertaining romp.' - DEATHRAY
'Maybe I'm prejudiced since I love the Malazan books so much, but I had a blast reading Night of Knives... I highly recommend it to anyone.' - FANTASY BOOKCRITIC
'Esslemont handles action and brooding atmosphere equally well.' - STARBURST
'Extremely readable... All credit to Esslemont and Erikson. They have created a wonderfully energetic world that is just crying out for adventures.' - ETERNAL NIGHT

#6 - Assail
#6 - Assail
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.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more