Stonewielder is the third 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.
Greymane believed he'd outrun his past. He now ran a school for swordsmanship in Falar and was looking forward to becoming fat and lazy. With him was Kyle, though the plains youth was not quite so contented with civilian life outside the mercenary company the Crimson Guard. Yet it is not so easy to disappear when you are an ex-Fist of the Malazan Empire, especially one denounced and under a death-sentence from that very Empire.
For there is a new Emperor on the throne of Malaz, and his thoughts turn to the lingering drain of blood and treasure that is the failed invasion of the Korel subcontinent. In the record vaults beneath Unta, the Imperial capital, lie the answers to that disaster. And out of this buried history surfaces the name Stonewielder.
In Korel, Lord Protector Hiam, commander of the Stormguard, faces the potential annihilation of all that he loves as with the blood of his few remaining men and a crumbling stone wall that has seen better days, he labours to stave off the sea-borne Stormriders who would destroy his lands.
Meanwhile, religious war has broken out all across these lands as the local cult of the Blessed Lady, who has stood firm for millennia against the assaults of the Stormriders, seeks to stamp out all rivals; a champion refuses to stand against the alien 'Riders' and takes up arms in rebellion; and a local magistrate innocently pursuing the mystery of a series of murders is brought to the very heart of a far larger and far more terrifying ancient crime that has stained the entire subcontinent.
Greatest gratitude to Gerri for her unswerving support. Thanks to Derick Burleson for graciously allowing me to adapt one of his pieces to this setting. I would also like to acknowledge the fans of the World of Malaz, its readers, and those active on its online forums. Your energy and enthusiasm keep Steve and me inspired.
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 6||Chapter 7|
|And All the Shores Between|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
Book One: The SeaEdit
The so-called Malazan 'empire' began as a thalassocracy. That is, rule by sea power. In the undignified scholarly scramble to identify and distil the empire's early stages this truly defining characteristic is usually overlooked. Yet the Malazan expansion was undeniably one of sea power and this was the key to its early successes. It was also the key to one of its early failures: the ill-conceived incursion into the archipelago and subcontinent known variously as Fist, Korel, or the Storm-cursed. For this archipelago was itself a supreme sea power, if non-expansionist. And in the end of course it was the sea that so definitively, and with such finality, put an end to all hostilities.Imperial Campaigns (The Korel Occupations)
Volume II, Fist
Book Two: The LandEdit
On the subcontinent known to some as Korel, to others as Fist, the Chosen who defend the Stormwall against the attacks of the ocean-borne ‘Riders’ foretell that should these Riders broach the wall they shall sweep on to engulf the world entire in an eternal reign of ice and storm.
Book Three: And All the Shores BetweenEdit
He stands watching the Chosen on the wall