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Night of Knives

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Night of Knives
Night of Knives
Publication information
Publisher Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition
Released 30 March 2010
Pages 336 pp
ISBN 978-0765363497
Followed by Return of the Crimson Guard

Night of Knives is the first novel by Canadian author Ian Cameron Esslemont. It is set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, a ten-volume epic fantasy series by Esslemont's friend and colleague Steven Erikson. Esslemont and Erikson co-created the Malazan world in the 1980s.

Night of Knives was first published in the United Kingdom by PS Publishing in September 2004 as a limited hardcover. A paperback edition followed in May 2006. Bantam, who publish Steven Erikson's Malazan novels, published Night of Knives in hardcover on 7 May 2007 and in mass-market paperback on 5 May 2008. Its first U.S. publication was published by Tor Books in May 2009.

Night of Knives is the first of six novels by Esslemont, each collectively subtitled A Novel of the Malazan Empire. It is followed by Return of the Crimson Guard, Stonewielder, Orb Sceptre Throne, Blood and Bone, and Assail.

The novel is set in the 24 hours when the Emperor of the Malazan Empire is murdered. Chronologically, it takes place after the prologue to Erikson's Gardens of the Moon but before the main body of the novel. Several characters and locations which appear in Night of Knives also appear in Erikson's The Bonehunters.

Front matterEdit


This novel is dedicated to
who made the world real


This work's long journey from conception to print has been full of aid from many unexpected directions. It grew out of a collaboration of many years' standing with Steven Erikson that continues to be rich and rewarding, creatively and in friendship. To him must go my greatest thanks for our partnership in creating the world of Malaz. I would also like to thank Simon Taylor for his generosity of spirit, William Thompson for his encouragement and editing skills, my agent, John Jarrold, and Gerri Brightwell for her long-standing support and insightful comments. And finally, extraordinary thanks to Peter Crowther for taking a chance on an unknown.


A short introduction by Steven Erikson.


Night of Knives
Extended Dramatis Personae Prologue
Portents and Arrivals
Hounds of Shadow
Old Enemies, Old Friends
Feints and Fates

Plot Summary Edit

Dramatis Personae (as found in books)Edit

click here for extended Dramatis Personae

The Malazans Edit

  • Emperor Kellanved, absent ruler of the Malazan Empire
  • Dancer, Master-Assassin and bodyguard to Kellanved
  • Surly, Mistress of the Imperial assassin corps, the Claw
KoK End

Scene from 'Night of Knives' Interpretation by Corporal Nobbs

  • Tayschrenn, Imperial High Mage
  • Temper, a Malazan soldier
  • Corinn, a mage, member of the Bridgeburner Brigade
  • Ash, an ex-officer of the Bridgeburner Brigade
  • Seal, a one-time Malazan army healer
  • Dassem Ultor, Champion and 'First Sword' of the Empire
  • Chase, an officer of the garrison at Mock's Hold
  • Hattar, bodyguard to Tayschrenn
  • Ferrule, member of Dassem's bodyguard, the Sword
  • Possum, an Imperial assassin, Claw

Inhabitants of Malaz Isle Edit

  • Coop, proprietor of the Hanged Man Inn
  • Anji, servitor at the Hanged Man Inn
  • Kiska, a youth hoping to enter Imperial service
  • Lubben, gatekeeper at Mock's Hold
  • Fisherman, a mage of Malaz Isle
  • Agayla, spice dealer and mage of Malaz Isle
  • Trenech, regular at the Hanged Man Inn
  • Faro Balkat, regular at the Hanged Man Inn
  • Obo, a mage of Malaz Isle

Others Edit

  • Edgewalker, elder inhabitant of the Shadow Realm
  • Jhedel, a prisoner in the Shadow Realm
  • Oleg Vikat, a scholar of the Warrens
  • Surgen Ress, last Holy City Champion
  • Pralt, a leader of the shadow cult
  • Jhenna, Jaghut guardian of the Dead House

Cover galleryEdit

Notes and ReferencesEdit

Malazan Book of the Fallen Gardens of the MoonDeadhouse GatesMemories of IceHouse of ChainsMidnight TidesThe BonehuntersReaper's GaleToll the HoundsDust of DreamsThe Crippled God
Novels of the Malazan Empire Night of KnivesReturn of the Crimson GuardStonewielderOrb Sceptre ThroneBlood and BoneAssail
Kharkanas Trilogy Forge of DarknessFall of LightWalk in Shadow
Bauchelain & Korbal Broach Blood FollowsThe Healthy DeadThe Lees of Laughter's EndThe Wurms of BlearmouthCrack'd Pot Trail

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