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Full series review to come Deadhouse Landing,second book inPath to Ascendancyseries and sequel to magnificentDancer s Lament,managed to stay a good booknot as good as the first one, sadlydespite constantly being tripped by none other but author himself.The story starts not long after misadventure inLi Henghappened, whereWuandDorin,nowKelanvedandDancer,were thrown away from after their disastrous attempt on usurping the throne, which leads them running with a tail betweenDeadhouse Landing,second book inPath to Ascendancyseries and sequel to magnificentDancer s Lament,managed to stay a good booknot as good as the first one, sadlydespite constantly being tripped by none other but author himself.The story starts not long after misadventure inLi Henghappened, whereWuandDorin,nowKelanvedandDancer,were thrown away from after their disastrous attempt on usurping the throne, which leads them running with a tail between their legs, to a familiar surroundingsMalaz City And in it, Kelanved storms headfast into a myriad of questionable decisions No, it s not just the fact how he heedlessly explores broken, long forgotten and dissolving into chaos itself, magic realm all by himself which, of course, leads Dancer to feel worried and being left out but he buys a stinky, s ithole tavern, filed withNapanrefugees And on top of that, he spends their lifesavings onto buying a ship for those same Napan refugees Ship which is, of course, cursed.In the spare time, and when he remembers to include Dancer, together they explore realm ofShadow And, oh yes, they never workedas a couple than they did in this book Which is really great since in their historyorlikely future since main series happens later onthey were shown as partners with a similar agenda and the same goal, and it happens how they simply have to learn to coexist.Here, in this book, Ian made an effort to show us how they actually care for one another, and I think this is my biggest impression of the bookKelanved and Dancer s relationship build upWhat about those Napans Who and what Napans are Civil War refugees, naval pirate crew stranded on main rival s territory, accompanied with exiled Napan royalty It sthan obvious that they plan revenge Revenge for which they need a ship, no matter how daunting and cursed thatfloating bucketactually is Since that ship is just one wave from sinking, they have to work in a tavern, run by Kelanved What kind of work WellTattersail,my most beloved mage in the main series, once was would you believe that a main captain of the pirate crew with her strike force of three shipsmuch like Columbus s trio Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina But instead in service of exploration they are fat barques armed with siege catapults, onagers and blazing, monstrous, cannonsInsufferable, IntolerableandInsolentAnd yes, we have a great naval battle Where we realize cannons are futile when Sail is on board.I was actually so glad I could read about her past, that I am quite prone to forgive her companion s,Admiral Mock s,utter one dimensionality of the character, spattered with various pirate clich s, which basically servedto signify Sail s personal, and prepare her future story, than to tell their combine efforts ofBony Clyde meets Romancing the Stonekinda narrative That s a pity, I believe we had something there, but I ll pretend how I understand why Ian did thisNot to mention how I m probably the only one who wished for that kind of plot in Malazan books Onenewoldface we see isTayschreenIf Tattersail was my favorite mage in the main series, than Tayschreen in it was her polar opposite Here, however, he is one of my favorite characters Which basically means how even greatest bastards once were good kids you could actually understand and possibly root forOK, let s not get ahead of ourselves There isn t much of him in this book, so I ll refrain myself from spoiling something I ll just say that he was the second most tragic character in Deadhouse Landing.Which leads me to most tragic characterDassem UltorHave I ever mentioned thatDessembraeis my favorite character in all Malazan books No Well, those of you who ve read main series know exactly why he is my favorite character Those of you who don t know what I m talking about that s great That s how it should be.In all seriousness At the beginning we find Dassem in plagued city Li Heng, still as aKnight of High House Deathand itsFirst Sword,taking the knee and for the first time asking something of his God,HoodHe asks him to spare someone s life.Now, inability to apprehend lack of omnipotence of his God, and failing to understand how his powers donotwork in its core, he resigns from his post and seeks refuge somewhere else Yes, Malaz City.When it comes to nostalgia, as well as discovering, explaining and reminding of those things that were once known but now strangely forgotten this book gets an A 5 out of 5.But when it comes to structural narrative, characters, story and plot it s much less stellar.Unlike the previous book, Dancer s Lament, this one has farPOV characters And although stories in which we are following all of them is mostly occurring in one place, Malaz City, there are few excursions out of that place, on the open sea, in previous setting Li Heng, as well as another cognitive realm of existence And strangely this brings a pacing issue One character barefoot comes to Malaz City from another continent, a naval battle is being prepared and it happens all while two characters are spending most of their time in another realm without any water or food to sustain them Now, these are not glaringly obvious problems, but I wished, here and there, a simple sentence explained better how much time is in between all these occurrences.And as I ve mentioned, there are characters in this book that are simply there Doing nothing of significance Even when they storm a Hold And reading Malazan book, having that is really strange, because you got used to paying close attention especially to those seemingly insignificant characters, least you miss some big revelation So having an insignificant character ending up to be indeed insignificant is something to get used to.Similar thing bogs even main characters Dancer and Kelanved 70% of the book and much of their story consists of strolling around a wasteland, running fromHounds,experiencing very little.There would be muchcomplaining if their banters, humor and surprisingly warmth and emotion weren t so highlighted and well delivered.Sure, last one hundred pages are great But book isn t just its last one hundred pages.Overall, in the end, when I start dissecting and nitpicking to see if the sum of positives is bigger than that of negatives, I did came to a conclusion yes, most definitely, yes This is a good book and great addition in the series overall2.83 5 Path to Ascendancy series Dancer s Lament Kharkanas series Forge of DarknessFall of Light Ultimate Malazan Chronological Reading Order Book 1 5 sBook 2 Even betterWhen you ve been looking forward to a release for forever there s a tendency to set the bar so high there s no way it can live up to expectations Then there s that rare book that smashes those expectations It really is amazing how much ICE has grown as an author Reading his first book Night of Knives at some point last year his prose was clunky, the story somewhat disjointed but hey it was still the Malazan world Every book in Empire you could see him grow and Book 1 5 sBook 2 Even betterWhen you ve been looking forward to a release for forever there s a tendency to set the bar so high there s no way it can live up to expectations Then there s that rare book that smashes those expectations It really is amazing how much ICE has grown as an author Reading his first book Night of Knives at some point last year his prose was clunky, the story somewhat disjointed but hey it was still the Malazan world Every book in Empire you could see him grow and yet he never really was at Erikson s level That s not to say Malazan fans shouldn t read Empire It s a good but not great series which helps fill in some of SE s brilliant cryptology The we get to Path to Ascendency Dancer s Lament put him on a new plain Simply a great story and part of that is finally getting the entire backstory of all these iconic characters But the other part is ICE has arrived as an author He s not SE nor is he trying to be to his credit He has his own style and I think he s comfortable with that whereas a few times during Empire I felt he might be too heavily influenced by SE To give further context to BotF fans who haven t given ICE a shot this series is superior to Kharkanas SE has gone too far over the edge with the political and social economic messages in that series and forgotten the story Still an amazing series but this one has that Malazan feelthan Kharkanas Yes Kharkanas is the story of the three Tiste tribes but still This borders on the edge of the 5 great BotF novels DH, MOI, MT, TBH and TCG It doesn t have the earth shattering emotional trauma you associate with reading those This is an exciting tale of conquest and contains hidden secrets of the empire laid out for you And then there s the characters Kellanved, Dancer, Dassem, Surly, Tayschrenn, Crust, Urko, Nightchill, Obo, Agaylaand a host of other hidden for you to find out about.Those last 100 pages were one hell of a convergence Deadhouse Landing was another fantastic novel in this prequel trilogy of two of the most notorious characters from the Malazan series This sequel continued to expand on the origins story of Dancer and Kellanved, by bringing us to the infamous Malaz Island where it all began For readers of Malazan, some of the names in the Dramatis Personae were enough to make one incredibly excited for what s in store It was so hard for me to write this review without giving away even the smallest detail, w Deadhouse Landing was another fantastic novel in this prequel trilogy of two of the most notorious characters from the Malazan series This sequel continued to expand on the origins story of Dancer and Kellanved, by bringing us to the infamous Malaz Island where it all began For readers of Malazan, some of the names in the Dramatis Personae were enough to make one incredibly excited for what s in store It was so hard for me to write this review without giving away even the smallest detail, which might diminish the impact of the Aha or the OMG, it is HIM HER moments These names alone aren t actually spoilers in its truest sense Nonetheless, my take is that a Malazan fan will derivedelight from reading these prequel books without prior knowledge of whom among the Old Guard might be featured.The bond between Dancer and Kellanved grew stronger in this instalment it was heartwarming to see how protective the former can be over the latter, who can be downright infuriating with his obscure, shadowy schemes Their story was told from only Dancer s POV so far and it remained so in this book, ever keeping the mage an enigma As Kellanved pursued his path to power with Dancer in tow and causing disturbances among the Warrens, the assassin s prowess and growing notoriety attracted the attention of another highly talented and dangerous individual I literally bolted up when this person s name was first revealed as it did not appear in the Dramatis Personae The other main POVs aside from Dancer, were of two mages, a naval captain and a swordsman Take a guess if you would like to, but I would mention noAs with all Malazan novels, intricate politics and war were always brewing somewhere However, compared to the larger series, the narrative in this trilogy had been far simpler to comprehend Esslemont s writing managed to achieve a remarkable balance to the tone of the story It was grim, epic and, most oddly, fun at the same time I had bestowed many superlative compliments to the Malazan series, but fun was never one of them, until now One example was how Kellanved got his name While Dancer had a touchingly poignant story behind his, the Dal Honese mage s one was most random and hilarious The ending chapters recalled that familiar epic feel of Malazan novels, where powerful coruscating Warren magic and astonishing mastery of martial fighting skills melded to produce a rousing and intense climactic sequence As a whole, Deadhouse Landing rounded up some of the earlier significant events and its main characters in the history of the Malazan Empire, as well as shed a tiny bit of light on the Azath Just on these points alone, I would probably have awarded this book 5 stars Coupled with the effortless writing that Esslemont has blessed these books with, it was simply a joy to read Another favourite Malazan novel, and potentially a favourite trilogyYou can order this book from Book Depository Free shipping worldwideYou can also find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions. All I really have to say is.wow I almost, ALMOST prefer this series to the BotF It s not nearly as epic, but it s much.enjoyable, if that s the right word His writing style is much tighter than SE, by that I mean he doesn t have these inner philosophical musings that SE tends to ramble on I absolutely LOVED BotF, but I love this series, so far, for different reasons. Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Deadhouse Landing is the second installment of Ian C Esslemont s Path to Ascendancy trilogy this series set prior to the events in Steven Erikson s The Malazan Book of the Fallen and Esslemont s Malazan Empire Never having read any of the Malazan books before receiving a review copy of this novel from the publisher, I immediately procured a copy of Dancer s Lament, dove right in, and found myself quickly immersed in a massive, beautifully complex world.This Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Deadhouse Landing is the second installment of Ian C Esslemont s Path to Ascendancy trilogy this series set prior to the events in Steven Erikson s The Malazan Book of the Fallen and Esslemont s Malazan Empire Never having read any of the Malazan books before receiving a review copy of this novel from the publisher, I immediately procured a copy of Dancer s Lament, dove right in, and found myself quickly immersed in a massive, beautifully complex world.This book picks up directly after the events of Dancer s Lament with Dancer the assassin and his mysterious companion Wu the mage finding themselves cast upon new shores and in a new city Malaz City to be exact Wu quickly informs Dancer they will be continuing their plot for world domination, purchases a run down bar in the worst part of town as their new base of operations, hires Napan refugees to run the place, then wanders off on a strange, personal quest to explore a long forgotten and dissolving realm of magic Dancer, of course, is thus left alone to make a string of head scratching decisions which lead to less than satisfactory results.For a Malazan noob like me, Dancer s Lament and Deadhouse Landing were my first introduction to this world, these characters Not sure if that makes my experience with this novel better or worse, but I can truthfully say I went into the story with no expectations, having no idea what becomes of these characters in the future novels But this clean slate allowed me to learn about everyone introduced here, grow to like them for who they now are, and slowly grow fond of the sprawling world that they live in And it was this amazing introduction and the fact I felt I was truly beginning my journey at the beginning with these characters that was the best part of the novel for me personally.The one element of the narrative I struggled with was the overwhelming number of point of view characters All these different people are introduced, cross paths with one another at one point or another, then exit off stage I ve read that many of these individuals are characters of importance in the other Malazan books, which meant frequent readers already knew and had an attachment for them, but I personally struggled at times to keep all of them straight in my memory, not able to appreciate the name dropping and foreshadowing of future events.Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, finding it a very interesting story with a number of approachable characters and a great introduction to the Malazan world I can t say if long time Malazan fans will appreciate the book as much as I did, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say they would enjoy it as well.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review I d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone |Free ⚖ Deadhouse Landing ♾ 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 as Kellanved develops a strange and dangerous fascination for a mysterious ancient structure found on the islandThe chaos in the region extends to the metaphysical planes also as a young priest of D rek starts to question the rot at the heart of the worship of the god of decay And back in Li Heng, Dassem, now the proclaimed Sword of Hood, finds himself being blamed for a plague which leads him to a crisis of faith and searching for answersDuring all this, war with the neighbouring island of Nap threatens, recruited allies wonder at Kellanved s sanity, and powerful entities take of an interest in the little mage from Dal Hon Dancer faces a hard choice should he give up on his partnership Especially when the fellow s obsession with shadows and ancient artefacts brings the both of them alarmingly close to death and destructionAfter all, who in his right mind would actually wish to enter an Elder mystery known to everyone as the Deadhouse This is a book clearly dedicated to Malazan aficionados.Once again we re following the duo of Wu and Dancer and see their first steps on Malaz Island.We also see a lot of the people that will become important players within the Empire We learn about the relationship of Surly with her Nappan crew including Cartheron and Urko Crust.We learn of Dassem Ultor and how he became the Mortal Sword of Hood.We learn of Tayschrenn and his days on Kartool as a priest of D rek.We learn of Tattersail and her This is a book clearly dedicated to Malazan aficionados.Once again we re following the duo of Wu and Dancer and see their first steps on Malaz Island.We also see a lot of the people that will become important players within the Empire We learn about the relationship of Surly with her Nappan crew including Cartheron and Urko Crust.We learn of Dassem Ultor and how he became the Mortal Sword of Hood.We learn of Tayschrenn and his days on Kartool as a priest of D rek.We learn of Tattersail and her life in Mock s hold, while Mock is still alive.We learn of a few of the people who will later oppose the Malzan Empire.We learn of some elder gods and ascendants who always mingle behind everyone s back.And we all learn this in a rather short entry of the Malazan world, as the book doesn t even reach the 400 page mark.I really enjoy Esslemont s approach with his Path to Ascendancy series There s a lot of name dropping and foreshadowing no pun intended P if you know your Malazan But overall the series is very focused and straight forward, which makes it a bitapproachable compared to his and Erikson s larger tomes.So for the die hard fan of the Malazan world this is an enjoyable must read as it puts a lot of puzzle pieces together For non Malazan readers though, this will be a book and maybe even a series with way less appeal, because you miss out on a lot of the little fist bump moments Loved it ICE even made me like Tayschren who I never liked at all in the main series A few small things bugged me where the timeline doesn t really gel with the rest of the series like WhiskeyJack being there at the beginning of the empire , but the series is riddled with issues like that so I m willing to let it go I have seen others complaining that the series is too simplistic and not as detailed as the main series I totally disagree I love that this series isn t majorly complicated Loved it ICE even made me like Tayschren who I never liked at all in the main series A few small things bugged me where the timeline doesn t really gel with the rest of the series like WhiskeyJack being there at the beginning of the empire , but the series is riddled with issues like that so I m willing to let it go I have seen others complaining that the series is too simplistic and not as detailed as the main series I totally disagree I love that this series isn t majorly complicated and there aren t superfluous characters and overly long political rants Possibly my favorite Esslemont work of fiction to date His pacing and prose have certainly improved over time from his earlier days When you read Gardens of the Moon you are of course made to feel like you ve landed in the middle of something that has been going for a long time This book is something of a reward to long time readers, letting us in the inner circle finally get to know things we ve been wanting to know for years How characters met, how plans formed, and an entertaining, action Possibly my favorite Esslemont work of fiction to date His pacing and prose have certainly improved over time from his earlier days When you read Gardens of the Moon you are of course made to feel like you ve landed in the middle of something that has been going for a long time This book is something of a reward to long time readers, letting us in the inner circle finally get to know things we ve been wanting to know for years How characters met, how plans formed, and an entertaining, action packed, book to boot