Path to Ascendency trilogy, a Malazan prequel by Ian Esslemont

elvet

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I have just finished book two, Deadhouse Landing, and have been delighted by how many characters’ backstories are fleshed out in these books.
The series is about how Dancer and Kelllanved meet and come to control Malaz. Along with their journey, others gather, and the names just keep on coming. I was on the Wiki multiple times, refreshing my memory of how I knew these characters from the The Book of the Fallen.
As great as it is to have this prequel, I would not recommend someone starts the Malazan books with it. Esslemont’s books have a very different feel and writing structure to Erikson’s and I think that the jump into Gardens of the Moon after these books would be too much of a leap. But, I would be interested to hear what others think.
 

elvet

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I'm waiting for book three to be realised in paperback, much as I love the series specially book two I refuse to pay £20 for a hardback that is just over 300 pages.
Interesting. Hardback is not option here. I bought all 3 when newly released in trade paperback format, the same as all my other Esslemont books.
 

williamjm

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I enjoyed the first two books in the series, but found Kellanved's Reach to be a bit disappointing. It felt like it was trying to pack too many big events into a slim novel and as a result it often felt a bit rushed.
 

elvet

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I enjoyed the first two books in the series, but found Kellanved's Reach to be a bit disappointing. It felt like it was trying to pack too many big events into a slim novel and as a result it often felt a bit rushed.
So, would you recommend a malazan newbie start with these books, or go with Gardens of the Moon?
 

williamjm

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So, would you recommend a malazan newbie start with these books, or go with Gardens of the Moon?
It's an interesting question because in some ways I think Dancer's Lament might be more accessible since it doesn't throw the reader into the middle of events in quite the same way. That said, I'd probably still recommend GOTM first because the prequels are probably more enjoyable if you know the characters and who they will end up becoming.
 

elvet

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I agree. Getting to know the characters as they participate in the main story somehow solidifies them more for me. As much as I like finding out how they came to be involved, I don’t think they have as much emotional impact in these books. Better to get to know them first, then go back and see where they came from.
 

elvet

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I finished Kellanved’s Reach, and while it wasn’t as good a read as the first two books, it still provided some good background on how Dancer and Kellanved consolidated their power and created the unique Malazan military structure.
I am going for a reread. This time, I’m going to follow Werthead’s recommended reading list.
 
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