cover image Kellanved’s Reach

Kellanved’s Reach

Ian C. Esslemont. Tor, $29.99 (592p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7948-1

Esslemont (Deadhouse Landing) continues his Path to Ascendency series in this fine tale that combines the panorama of epic fantasy with the grit of sword-and-sorcery fiction. On the island of Malaz, Napan noblewoman Surly and her captains prepare to reclaim her home island of Nap from her brother while the mage Kellanved and the assassin Dancer, leaders of the forces that recently captured Malaz, are on a magical quest to locate the throne of the Army of Bone. To the north, on the mainland, the manifold forces of Bloor and Gris are entangled in an ongoing conflict, and apprentice mason Gregar Bluenth and young magician Fingers seek to join the vaunted Crimson Guard. To the far west, mercenary commander Orjin Samarr is in service to Nom Purge in what appears to be a losing fight with the powerful twin cities of Quon and Tali. The extensive cast of characters and the wide scope will prevent newcomers from being able to join the story in progress, but fans of the series will appreciate these same facets. Esslemont’s weird magics, intense combat, and varied characters continue to put his work at the peak of epic fantasy. (Feb.)