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by author "Ian C. Esslemont" in All Categories
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Path to Ascendancy, Book 3
Ian C. Esslemont
Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
The incessant war between the bickering city states of Quon 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 alarmed. And 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.
In the western sky, the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted another expedition in a bid to tame the neighbouring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity whom some name the Queen of Witches and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata.
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.
Greymane believed he'd outrun his past. With his school for swordsmanship in Falar, he was looking forward to a quiet life, although his colleague, Kyle, wasn't as enamoured with life outside the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. However, it seems 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.
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.
The return of the mercenary company the Crimson Guard could not have come at a worse time for the Malazan Empire. Drained by constant warfare, betrayals and rivalries, many see the grip of Empress Laseen weakening. Conquered kingdoms and principalities test their old independence. Into this fermenting civil war on Quon Tali - the empire's homeland - comes the Guard and the ingrained memory of their vow of undying opposition to the existence of the empire.
Returning fans to the turbulent early history of what would become the Malazan Empire, the second chapter in Ian C. Esslemont's thrilling new epic fantasy sequence.... After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To do so they join forces with a small band of Napans who have fled a civil war on their own home island. The plan, however, soon goes awry....
It gave the Empire its name, but the tiny island and city of Malaz is now a sleepy, seedy back-water port. However this night things are a little different. This night its residents are bustling about, barring doors and shuttering windows. Because this night a once-in-a-generation Shadow Moon is due and threatens the good citizens of Malaz with demon hounds and other, darker, beings.... And it was also prophesied that on this night the Emperor Kellanved, missing for all these years, will return.
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.