Review: Kellanved’s Reach by Ian. C. Esslemont

Kellanved’s Reach is the final instalment of the Path to Ascendancy trilogy by Ian C. Esslemont, and I remember pre-ordering it as soon as I heard it was coming out.


Kellanved, Dancer and Surly have great plans for Malaz Island, and Kellanved has even greater plans for the future. The city states of Quon Tali are warring amongst each other, too busy to care much about the upstart Dal Honese mage scheming behind the scenes. But they should take him more seriously, as should everyone who serves him, or call him his ally. Kellanved cares little about politics or war. He is looking to uncover a mystery, one much darker and more dangerous than anyone could imagine. The Army of Dust and Bone.


Ian C. Esslemont keeps me enchanted by his light writing style and captivating characters that I love to read and learn more about. Everyone you know and love are back, and constantly in a huff about Kellanved’s antics. I swear if Surly rolls her eyes at him one more time they are going to get stuck that way!

To see how Whiskeyjack got his command, and his nickname was great. To get a first look at some allies from the future for the first time meeting up with Dancer and Kellanved is also great. Sometimes it did feel a bit like Easter eggs, but on the other hand, we did know they had to have had met up somehow. I just didn’t expect everything to happen to close to the beginning of Kellanved’s reign. Still, there was no character introduction that disappointed me.

As always the adventures of Kellanved and Dancer aren’t the only story lines to follow. There’s two escapees from Gris territory who want to join the Crimson Guard but find themselves pressed into service in another company. There’s Surly and her Napans going after Nap and her fool of a brother. Heboric is trying to find answers to his questions, but finds something he wasn’t expecting. There’s the characters from the previous books still around in Li Heng.

The ending left me wanting more, and I think that was exactly the idea behind it. I’m sure this trilogy will be expanded in the near future, for there are a lot more stories to tell.




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