Assail (Malazan Empire #6) (Final)

assail (Custom) This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer.

Title: Assail

Series: Malazan Empire #6

Author: Ian Esslemont

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 544



Gold! Gold has been found in the northern land of Assail and everyone, from scum to soldier to sorceress is making their way their to make their fortunes.

The remnant of the Crimson Guard, the descendants of the Jaghut, the remaining T’lan Imass and whole masses of various people converge into yet another, albeit hopefully the last, pointless Malazan Story.


My Thoughts:

Erikson lost me with his first Forge of Darkness series book and Esslemont has done the same for me with this book.

At some point, Existential Angst, Hints of Archaic Badness, Weapons and Spells that ALWAYS turn out to be Cursed & General Moping by Everyone, you just have to say no. No one is happy in these books, and I really mean no one.

It wears on you after a bit. Sure, the story can be cool and the action top notch and the epic can be big, but 17 books of between 500-900 pages each should not be ALL Grim Despair.

And for a book named Assail, the Forkrul Assail only appearing for about 3 pages tops in the last 5% of the book, well, that is Epic Fail to me. The Imass/Jaghut feud gets more time for goodness sake, and that was supposed to be OVER way back in Memories of Ice or so [the 3rd book  of 10 in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series].

I’ve gotten used to the fact that these books are all only loosely related,not a tight overall story but I don’t like that either.

So what did I like? Well, the fighting and spell’ing were pretty good.

And that is why I’m done with Esslemont as well, He has turned into a clone of Erikson in his writing philosophy and I won’t countenance it any more.


4 thoughts on “Assail (Malazan Empire #6) (Final)

  1. Considering they’re building the world together I guess that’s not a surprise. I really need to read Malazan someday. Probably next year. Esslemont’s working on a Malazan prequel now, apparently. Guess you won’t be checking that out?


    1. The thing is, compared to say, Night of Knives, or even The Return of the Crimson Guard, Esslemont’s Existential writing was almost nil, Grim, but not the “every soldier is a pontificating philosopher” that Erikson has all his characters be. It was a nice change from Erikson, but now, I’m not sure I could separate their writing styles.


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