Assail (2014)
Assail (2014)
4.07 of 5 Votes: 5
0765329980 (ISBN13: 9780765329981)
Tor Books
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"Assail" the sixth and final installment in the Malazan Empire series which I won through Goodreads/First Reads is an action-packed, intoxicating fantasy that begins with news of a gold discovery in the north. Adventurers set out seeking their fortunes, crossing dangerous seas, fighting hostile inhabitants, and terrifying creatures only to be met by the swords of Northerners threatened by the encroachment on their land. As the clash of wills grows bloody and more violent, several men and women will meet their fate in the icy mist- shrouded mountains where a menacing power with a terrifying truth awaits them.Interspersed in the multiple threads of this imaginative and riveting plot is the struggle of the Crimson Guard's second-in-command Shimmer and her party who not only search for Cal-Brinn and the fourth company but seek answers behind the mystery of their sworn oath; Silverfox, the Summoner and the undying army of the T'lan Imass who hunger for vengeance against the Icebloods; and the ex-Malazan Kyle's hunt for the "Lost" armed with his mighty sword Whiteblade. And if this isn't enough the author has added even more complications to the adventure with marauding soldiers, fortune-hunters, seafarers, a Tiste Andii who can't remember his past, a diplomatic bard as well as Hearthguards sworn to protect the northern holdings. Skilfully the author builds suspense and intensity in an epic fantasy that twists and turns as the adventurers face ghosts, giants, a cursed sea, a monster of bones, a barrier of ice and demons. In an epic fantasy filled with vengeance, a vendetta, the "acid of fear", violence and death there are strong elements of courage, honour and friendship. In a novel that vibrates with a wealth of unique, complex and unforgettable characters who add to the drama, power and tension of this page-turner, I liked the selflessness and integrity of Orman, Bergin's son who doesn't flinch in making a decision that could cause him heartache; the stubborn fearlessness of Lyan the Shieldmaiden; the prudence, endurance and wisdom of young Dorrin; and the empathy and devotion of Leleen. Terrifying are the T'lan Imass who show their enemies no mercy and the vicious and cruel Forkrul.This is the first novel I've read by Ian C. Esslemont, and although I thought I might be lost with little understanding of the background compressed in the other five books, I was swept away by the magnitude of such a compelling story. I enjoyed "Assail" so much that I intend to read the entire series about the Empire of Malaz. (as with all my book comments, perhaps some spoilers here)I found the latest Malazan book to be quite enjoyable. After really liking several of Esslemont's books I felt the previous book (Blood and Bone) was decent, but not at the same level. In that book, the side stories were more interesting than the actual story. Here the story and promise of conclusions made for a quick read. What I have noticed, particularly in the previous book and this one, is that Esselmont has developed something like a pattern to his stories. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is there. At first I briefly looked back at a map to see where the various groups were but then I realized I didn't have to do so. This is going to sound harsh, but it isn't meant to be... Basically there's several groups that are converging on a location from different angles. To follow the story you don't have to actually know from where, to where and how far apart they are. What will happen, is that by the end the groups will converge (with some converging prior to that point). That is what happens here.I enjoyed hearing the latest about several reoccurring continuity characters and (unlike the previous book) enjoyed the stories of the new characters. The one thing that keeps it from a final star is that it felt like a conclusion book. It felt like a final story to tie all the other Esslemont books together. On the one had, I like how many loose ends were tied up and questions were answered but on the other it bordered on being predicable. Still a welcome addition to the Malazan series.
Solid entry in Esslemont's Malazan run - brings a lot of loose threads together in a satisfying way.
A decent end to Esslemont's series with some interesting revelations.
A satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series.
not a totally satisfying end to the series
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