Ian C. Esslemont

Ian Cameron Esslemont (born 1962) is a Canadian writer. He was trained and has worked as an archaeologist. He is best known for his series Novels of the Malazan Empire, which is set in the same world as the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series written by his friend and collaborator, Steven Erikson. Esslemont is the co-creator of the Malazan world.[1]

Ian Cameron Esslemont
BornIan Cameron Esslemont
1962 (age 60–61)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Pen nameIan C. Esslemont
GenreHigh fantasy
Notable works
  • Novels of the Malazan Empire
  • Path to Ascendancy
SpouseGerri Brightwell


Ian Cameron Esslemont was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He has lived and worked in Southeast Asia, including four years spent in Thailand and Japan. He is currently working on a new trilogy set in the Malaz world. He lives in Alaska with his wife, novelist Gerri Brightwell, and their three sons.[2]


Esslemont and Erikson co-created the Malazan world in 1982 as a backdrop for role-playing games. In 1991 they collaborated on a feature film script set in the same world, entitled Gardens of the Moon. When the script did not sell, Erikson greatly expanded the story and turned it into a novel. The two writers agreed to both write books set in the same world. However, it took a further eight years before Gardens of the Moon was published by Bantam UK and Erikson agreed to write a further nine novels set in the same world. Life and work commitments delayed Esslemont's own entries to the series until 2004, when his first novel, Night of Knives, was published as a limited edition by PS Publishing (a mass-market release by Bantam UK followed in 2007). This book was a prequel to the main Malazan sequence. His second novel, Return of the Crimson Guard, takes place within the main Malazan sequence, shortly after the events of the sixth book, The Bonehunters. It was published by PS Publishing in May 2008 and by Bantam UK later that year. Both Night of Knives and Return of the Crimson Guard have now been bought by Tor for publication in the United States. His third novel, Stonewielder, was published by Bantam UK in 2010 and Tor in the US. His fourth novel, Orb Sceptre Throne was published in 2012. In spring 2014 he signed a contract with Bantam for three more novels set in the Malazan world.


Novels of the Malazan EmpireEdit

Six-part novel series set in the world of Malazan. The novels cover events simultaneous with Erikson's the Book of the Fallen, of the Crimson Guard, the succession of the Malazan Empire, the situation on Korel and Jacuruku and the mystery of Assail. Some of these events are hinted at during the course of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Characters that appear throughout the novels are Kyle, Greymane and the avowed members of the Crimson Guard like Shimmer, Blues, K'azz, Skinner and Cowl.

Title Published Approximate Word Count Pages
Night of Knives 1 September 2004 104,000 304
Return of the Crimson Guard 15 August 2008 272,000 702
Stonewielder 25 November 2010 198,000 634
Orb Sceptre Throne 20 February 2012 188,000 605
Blood and Bone 22 November 2012 183,000 586
Assail 5 August 2014 168,000 544
Approximate Total: 1,120,000 3375

Path to AscendancyEdit

The Path to Ascendancy is a prequel series set in the world of Malazan, written by Ian Cameron Esslemont.[3] The stories deal with the early adventures of Dancer and Kellanved (Dorin and Wu, in this series) and their eventual rise to power on Quon Tali.

Title Published Approximate Word Count Pages
Dancer's Lament 25 February 2016 (UK), 31 May 2016 (US)[4] 145,000 416
Deadhouse Landing[5] 15 November 2017 136,000 400
Kellanved's Reach[6] 21 February 2019 (UK), 2 April 2019 (US) n/a 352
Forge of the High Mage[7] Forthcoming n/a n/a


  1. ^ Jones, Jeremly L. C. (2009). "The Minimal and Finely Focused Fantasy of Ian C. Esslemont". Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Ian C Esslemont Biography". Penguin Books. Archived from the original on 23 July 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Dancer's Lament | Ian C. Esslemont | Macmillan". Macmillan. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ Erikson, Steven. "Steven Erikson's Reddit AMA reveals New Trilogy titles". Reddit. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  5. ^ Esslemont, Ian (14 April 2016). "Esslemont interview". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  6. ^ Esslemont, Ian. "Esslemont interview". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Conversation with Ian Cameron Esslemont" (Podcast). Ten Very Big Books. 18 March 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.

External linksEdit