• Night of Knives

  • Novels of the Malazan Empire, Book 1
  • By: Ian C. Esslemont
  • Narrated by: John Banks
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (941 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The small island of Malaz and its city gave the great empire its name, but now it is little more than a sleepy, backwater port. Tonight, however, things are different. Tonight the city is on edge, a hive of hurried, sometimes violent activity; its citizens bustle about, barring doors, shuttering windows, avoiding any stranger's stare. Because tonight there is to be a convergence, the once-in-a-generation appearance of a Shadow Moon - an occasion that threatens the good people of Malaz with demon hounds and other, darker things....

It was also prophesied that this night would witness the return of Emperor Kellanved, and there are those prepared to do anything to prevent this happening. As factions within the greater Empire draw up battle lines over the imperial throne, the Shadow Moon summons a far more ancient and potent presence for an all-out assault upon the island. Witnessing these cataclysmic events are Kiska, a young girl who yearns to flee the constraints of the city, and Temper, a grizzled, battle-weary veteran who seeks simply to escape his past. Each is to play a part in a conflict that will not only determine the fate of Malaz City, but also of the world beyond....

Drawing on events touched on in the prologue of Steven Erikson's landmark fantasy Gardens of the Moon, Night of Knives is a momentous chapter in the unfolding story of the extraordinarily imagined world of Malaz.

©2005 Ian Cameron Esslemont (P)2005 Random House Audiobooks, all rights reserved. Introduction © 2005 by Steven Erikson.

What listeners say about Night of Knives

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Worth the wait

This book was so worth the wait. As an avid listener of all things Malazan, I was thoroughly entranced through the whole story. To hear how seamlessly the story has been woven into the story I am so familiar with was a real treat. Can't wait to listen to book 2(starting in 5 minutes).

8 people found this helpful

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Good Companion Kick starter to Malazan saga

Pretty good initial "companion" story to the world of Malazan not yet explored. I like the idea of Esslemont and Erikson going at this endeavor together; truly makes for epic story telling. Esslemont doesn't disappoint as this is fast paced action and intrigue in a very digestible format (I sometime get worn ragged trying to plow through 700+page books). Not here, well done.

5 people found this helpful

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Action without substance. Difficult to finish.

I was extremely disappointed with this title. I loved the main Malazan series and I was hoping for a similar experience here. It is not. The characters ring hollow and it contains none of the wit or charm that made the original Malazan series so great. Even at less than 10 hours long it was a struggle to finish.

The book does get slightly better towards the end but in my opinion it still ranks dead last in the Malazan series. Hopefully book two will be better.

3 people found this helpful

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Confusing

This is the second time ive listened to this book and ive gone half way through the second book for the second time as well and i have no idea what is going on. you get thrown in with no explanations. and there is no explanations throughout the books. your just hearing what is going on as if the author expects you to know who, what, why. the second book is even worse. you get thrown between so many people that you have NO clue what is going on. maybe later in the series everything comes together but i cant keep listening to books that make no sense.

3 people found this helpful

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Actually okay

I was afraid of moving to Ian after reading Erickson, but dude is actually a good writer, Banks got all the names right and the move from books of the fallen was not too harsh

2 people found this helpful

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  • 07-31-17

So close to being a good book but sadly hollow

Just enough relationship and context to stick together scenes of violence, without the satisfaction of knowing WHY anybody was acting. The writing itself is fairly well executed but this book lacks clarity of motivation, depth, and much in the way of connection, leaving me feeling frustrated.

The world building would be good with some context. Like his characters, who largely lack empathy, the author has too little for his reader. Action unfolds like a video game without grounding in the things that provide humanity and meaning. People are injured seriously and get up to fight again with little consequence. Without grounding in meaning the magic elements take on a flimsy aspect that detracts as much as it would otherwise contribute. Immature.

1 person found this helpful

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Malayan fans must read.

This was a pleasure. The differences between Erikson and Esslemont although subtle are rewarding. This reader didn't even mispronounce any of the names!

1 person found this helpful

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listen to this not paths to ascendancy

much better than paths to ascendancy which was a terrible series. this actually keeps to the feel of the rest of the books

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Hard to keep track of what is going on.

I keep trying to listen to his books but they continue to make me not want to.

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Different author but same voice

It's a good story and book but just like Erikson takes some concentration to decipher what's going on. I liked it.