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Malazan Book of the Fallen > Chronological Ordering of the Erikson/Esslemont 'Malazan Empire' Novels?

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message 1: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Feb 22, 2011 05:59PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) I have purchased or ordered all of the available "Malazan Empire" novels by Ian C. Esslemont. Esslemont, or ICE as he is affectionately known by his fans, is the co-creator with Steven Erikson of this amazing world that we have all become so enthralled with.

So far, ICE has written three "Malazan Empire" novels, including:

Night of Knives
Return of The Crimson Guard and
Stonewielder

Delightfully, it seems that he has plans to write three more novels in the Malazan world to round out his contribution to the series.

I have done a bit of browsing about and it looks like, if a person so desired, the novels by both authors could/should be read in something like the following order--

Gardens of the Moon (Erikson)
Deadhouse Gates (Erikson)
Memories of Ice (Erikson)
Night of Knives (Esslemont)*
House of Chains (Erikson)
Midnight Tides (Erikson)
The Bonehunters (Erikson)
Reaper's Gale (Erikson)
Return of the Crimson Guard (Esslemont)
Stonewielder (Esslemont) forthcoming
Toll the Hounds (Erikson)
Dust of Dreams (Erikson)
The Crippled God (Erikson) forthcoming

* Technically, NoK could be read at the very beginning of the entire series, but it seems that most recommend waiting until you have read MoI. While chronologically first in its plotting, Esslemont's NoK is apparently set up more like a flash-back experience; so, maybe it does make more sense to read and look back on those initial events in the early days of the Empire after the reader has waded through the first three of Erikson's books.

Finally, ICE's third novel, "Stonewielder" is due to be released in both hard-cover and paperback in early May 2011, and it appears that it directly follows on the tail of "Return of the Crimson Guard".

I would be very interested in the opinions of others who've read ICE's Malazan novels and where they think they best fit into the sequence to best create and overall integrated series.


message 2: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (last edited Apr 10, 2011 06:36AM) (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
I thought about this for a day or so....trying to decide what I would recommend. I read Night of knives right before deadhouse gates, and that worked, but where you placed it is fine as well.
Ultimately, Deadhouse Gates and Memories are such hooks, I think where you have it placed is the best bet


message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 111 comments You left off Bonehunters, which should be listed after Midnight Tides.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Chris wrote: "You left off Bonehunters, which should be listed after Midnight Tides."

Yikes! I did indeed, good catch, Chris!


message 5: by Chris (last edited Feb 24, 2011 09:34AM) (new)

Chris Hawks (saltmanz) Hm. The generally-accepted order of reading (initially recommended by the authors, and adhered to on the official Malazan forums) is publication order, which puts NoK before TBH, RotCG before TtH, and SW before TCG.

You definitely don't want to read NoK first, as a it spoils a couple of minor mysteries for the first couple of books.* TBH actually has a lot of ties to NoK (character cameos and location mentions), so reading NoK just beforehand makes a lot of sense. (I don't see any reason at all to read it between MoI and HoC, since it breaks up the Genabackis/Seven Cities alternating pattern.)

At first glance I didn't like the idea of reading SW directly after RotCG, just because of the jump in time; it would feel more natural to have another book or two in there. But the more I think about it, the more I think it might work. Otherwise, if you don't want to break up the DoD/TCG finale by going strictly publication order, you could slot it in after TtH. (I think Esslemont has said that timeline-wise it takes place around TtH.)

*At the Tor.com reread (currently underway) they went with NoK between GotM and DG, and I think the consensus among rereaders there (myself included) is that that was just way too early.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Chris wrote: "Hm. The generally-accepted order of reading (initially recommended by the authors, and adhered to on the official Malazan forums) is publication order, which puts NoK before TBH, RotCG before TtH, ..."

Thanks, Chris! I appreciate your thoughts, and I pretty much agree with them. I haev read all nine of Erikson's books, and am working my way through Esslemont's now. I think you're right about the placement of NoK just before TBH. As I recall, it was the consensus of a lot of readers/rereaders at "Malazan Empire" that it probably best fit between MoI and HoC; but I very much agree that it should not be read first, or even following GotM. Thanks again for your thoughts, Chris! Cheers! Chris


message 7: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments I haven't been following this thread all that closely (sorry), but I just realized ... do I need to update the schedule of books on our group book shelves to reflect this order?


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Jon wrote: "I haven't been following this thread all that closely (sorry), but I just realized ... do I need to update the schedule of books on our group book shelves to reflect this order?"

No, Jon, I don't think so at all. We'll see how it goes with reading Erikson's MBotF, and see if at some future point folks want to tackle Esslemont's Malazan Empire novels. We've got a lot on our plate as is. I suppose the best thing to do is to pitch the question to our readers while we are reading "Midnight Tides" and see what the consensus is at that point in time.


message 9: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
Jon wrote: "I haven't been following this thread all that closely (sorry), but I just realized ... do I need to update the schedule of books on our group book shelves to reflect this order?"

We got a LOT of time to decide...lol


message 10: by Ben (new)

Ben (bstanley52) | 39 comments As someone who hasn't started the series (but will shortly, I really want to catch up!). I also have to ask about the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach short stories. My library has a book of them and I was wondering if they fit chronologically within the list created above? I just want to know when I should try and fit it in within my read of the series. Thanks.


message 11: by Maggie, The Malazan Queen of Chaos (new)

Maggie K | 1202 comments Mod
I did read those Ben, and I would say they are pre-series. These two show up in the series in Memories of Ice with their servant


message 12: by Ben (new)

Ben (bstanley52) | 39 comments But there would not be any spoilers of the main books? Per above that was the concern in reading Night of Knives before the main Erikson works.

Thanks.


message 13: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (shelley69) | 597 comments Ben wrote: "As someone who hasn't started the series (but will shortly, I really want to catch up!). I also have to ask about the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach short stories. My library has a book of them and I..."

Hey Ben! I wouldn't read the BaKBss until at least you have read Memories in Ice. If you read them before then it kinda gives the mystery that are these crazy characters away. As to the reading order listed above, I would read it in that order EXCEPT for Stonewielder, which I would read after TtH and before Dust of Dreams. :)


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