It was once a land ravaged by war; minor city states, baronies and principates fought for supremacy; and then the rival cities of Tali and Quon formed an alliance, and so Quon Tali came into being.
However, that was generations ago. That dynasty has collapsed, and the regional powers are now clawing at each other's throats once more. But at the heart of Quon Tali lies the powerful city state of Li Heng, which has for centuries enjoyed relative stability under the guidance of the powerful sorceress known as the Protectress. She is not someone likely to tolerate the arrival of two particular young men into her domain: one is determined to prove he is the most skilled assassin of his age; the other is his quarry - a Dal Hon mage who is proving annoyingly difficult to kill. The sorceress and her cabal of five mage servants were enough to repel the Quon Tali Iron Legions, so how could two such troublemakers upset her iron-fisted rule?
And now, under a new and ambitious king, the forces of Itko Kan are marching on Li Heng from the south. His own assassins, the Nightblades, have been sent ahead into the city, and rumours abound that he has inhuman, nightmarish forces at his command. So as shadows and mistrust swirl and monstrous beasts that people say appear from nowhere run rampage through Li Heng's streets, it seems chaos is come - but in chaos, as a certain young Dal Hon mage would say, there is opportunity....
©2016 Ian C Esslemont (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks
This is what I've been waiting for ever since I first read Steven Erikson's Gardens of the Moon, the beginning of a partnership that won an empire. This book was great and has made me go back to the beginning of Gardens of the Moon and redu Erikson's books just to get hints into what Convergence will happen in Esslemont's next book of the series.
That being said John Banks is no Michael Paige or Ralph Lister, I only hope he can redeem himself in Esslemont's Return of the Crimson Guard. I found that he needed to work on keeping very similar voices out of each scene so as not to confuse the listener as to which character was speaking (gets rather annoying to have to keep going back just to listen to dialog more closely to know who said what).
Looking past that however, this is a brilliant beginning to the Malazan Empire and I say WELL DONE Esslemont, keep up the great work because I can't wait for the next one
"an average origin story"
an enjoyable pre-malaz story with an interesting introduction to a couple of shadowy upstarts and their plans.
good narration. great to see the start of dancer and kellenved. excitedly waiting for the next book.
I doff my hat once more to Mr Esselmont. Dark, funny, well paced and seem less as ever.
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