Deadhouse Landing by Ian C. Esslemont – Review

Cover- Deadhouse Landing

Published: November 14, 2017

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Path to Ascendancy #2

Pages: 400 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Return to the turbulent history of what would become the Malazan Empire…

After the disappointments in Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To do so they join forces with a small band of Napans who have fled their home. However, Kellanved is soon distracted by a strange and dangerous ancient structure. Back in Li Heng, Dassem, now the proclaimed Sword of Hood, finds himself being blamed for a plague which leads him to a crisis of faith – and searching for answers.

During all this, the neighboring island of Nap threatens war and allies are beginning to wonder about Kellanved’s sanity. Dancer now faces a hard choice: should he give up on his partnership? Especially when his friend’s obsession with shadows and ancient artifacts brings the both of them alarmingly close to death and destruction. After all, who in his right mind would actually wish to enter the Deadhouse?

So just one thing – why the heck didn’t this book get promoted like books that are actually garbage with a nice cover do???? Every single book set in the Malazan world that I’ve read is awesome (I can’t attest to the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach ones) and the Dancer’s Lament was ICE’s best book to date. It stands to reason that Deadhouse Landing should be just as good, if not better (which it was) so… does that mean Tor felt it didn’t need the promotion? Last I checked I think this book had a cover or title but no release date and next thing I know it’s on NetGalley two weeks prior to its release – SURPRISE!

Let me step off my soapbox now and give you an actual review.

Deadhouse Landing was a SOLIDLY WONDERFUL sequel and it made me so nostalgic about the main series that I suddenly want to destroy my schedule and do a 6 month re-read. I stopped periodically to squeal at my husband about a character that just showed up because the powers are gathering on Malaz and the gang is getting together (!!!!!). Dancer and Wu show up on Malaz Island and promptly buy this shack of a bar called Smiley’s and they hire on some Napans who are obviously hiding out from their mainland brethren. Just a few familiar faces here… Surly, Cartheron, Urko… no big deal, right? That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Dancer and Wu/Kellanved end up wandering through Shadow, facing off against the Hounds, walk up to the Deadhouse, and buy a ship that’s an even bigger dump than Smiley’s. All in all it’s a fantastic book.

What I love about the Path to Ascendancy series is it shows the reader how Dancer and Kellanved met and how the powers that exist in the MBOTF series come together. This is the prequel everyone wanted! I could blather on for many sentences about characters that show up, events, plots, blah blah blah but that would be very spoilery and I don’t want to be that person. All I can advise is this – if you’ve read the main Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson, then you’ll enjoy this immensely. If you haven’t read any of these books then Dancer’s Lament is a good place to start too. Deadhouse Landing was a fantastic read, less philosophical than Erikson’s books, but it’s classic Malazan greatness nonetheless.

5 thoughts on “Deadhouse Landing by Ian C. Esslemont – Review

  1. Whooohoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I made the mistake of glancing through the list of characters at the beginning, so I knew some of my favorites would be showing up. I kind of wish it had been at the back so I could enjoy each appearance of characters I liked 🙂

    I’m reading this only at lunch time at work, but I have a feeling I’ll probably devour the rest of it over Thanksgiving. I want to savor it but I also want to race through it as fast as I can!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any of the Malazan books 😦 I will do though – and I did buy the first one ages ago but like all my other owned books I don’t seem to get round to them as the review books always come first (which is why I’m cutting down on requests).
    If you ever go ahead and do that reread let me know and I might start as well – nothing like a bit of encouragement 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done audio and actual book versions of several. The first 3 books are great audio books if that’s your thing. After that the narrator changes and I couldn’t take it 😂


  3. Pingback: Deadhouse Landing (Malaz: Path to Ascendancy #2) ★★★★ ½ | Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road

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