Friday, 31 May 2013

Plot synopsis for ASSAIL by Ian Cameron Esslemont

A plot synopsis for Assail, Ian Cameron Esslemont's final Malazan novel (for now), has surfaced.

The final chapter in the awesome, epic story of the Malazan Empire.

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 countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers 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 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 to mysteries that Shimmer, second in command, wonders should even be sought. Arriving also, part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. And with him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and who cannot remember his past life, yet who commands far more power than he really should. Also venturing north is said to be a mighty champion, a man who once fought for the Malazans, the bearer of a sword that slays gods: Whiteblade.

And lastly, far to the south, a woman guards the shore awaiting both her allies and her enemies. Silverfox, newly incarnated Summoner of the undying army of the T'lan Imass, 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 is the final chapter in the epic story of the Empire of Malaz.

Based on previous information, Assail serves as an epilogue to both Ian Cameron Esslemont's Malazan Empire books and Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

Assail is currently listed for release on 24 December this year, though that date may be subject to change. It will be followed on 4 January 2014 (also a working date) by Steven Erikson's Fall of Light, the second in the Kharkanas Trilogy, a prequel work set hundreds of thousands of years before the main series.


Iain said...

Wert, can one read the Esslemont books separately? Or must they be slotted into the overall order. I have read the first 4 Erikson books.

alabrava said...

Has ICE mentioned what his next project might be? I know he basically got a deal because of Erikson, but I've watched him grow with every book, (Stonewielder I thought was pretty strong), and I'm actually looking forward to his next project, whatever it might be. I know Erikson, even after the Kharkanas set, mentioned a Karsa series, but wasn't

Shane said...

Very excited for this one.

Adam Whitehead said...

The only Esslemont book you can read separately is NIGHT OF KNIVES. The rest have to be read in the right place otherwise they constitute massive spoilers for Erikson's series (and later bits in Erikson's books will spoil ICE's if read out of order).

RETURN OF THE CRIMSON GUARD is best-read after at least THE BONEHUNTERS, maybe REAPER'S GALE at the latest.


ORB SCEPTRE THRONE must be read after TOLL THE HOUNDS. You can also read it after DUST OF DREAMS/THE CRIPPLED GOD, as it occurs more or less simultaneously.

BLOOD AND BONE also takes place alongside DUST OF DREAMS/THE CRIPPLED GOD and should be read after.

"Has ICE mentioned what his next project might be?"

He's considering several possibilities, I believe. He and Erikson have talked about finally tackling the Malazan World Book (and that sort of thing is in vogue at the moment), though I believe there is also some thought of waiting for Erikson to finish at least the KHARKHANAS trilogy first (so presumably they can cover the Tiste backstory in full without spoiling anything). ICE has also spoken about doing some non-MALAZAN things as well.

Anonymous said...

Eh, I'd much rather have Erikson write about Assail. ICE just doesn't do it for me, and for such an important piece of mystery/lore in SE's series to be handled by the, in my opinion, vastly inferior ICE, is quite annoying. Reminds me why I was put off the series towards the end of MBotF.

Salt-Man Z said...

Amazon has shown FALL OF LIGHT being pushed back to June 5th for a couple of weeks now...

Anonymous said...

Amazon.UK shows Assail with a November 7, 2013 release date.