Reaper's Gale is the seventh novel the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series. It was published in the UK May 7, 2007, in Canada June 5, 2007, and in the US on March 4, 2008.

In this bloody and dour seventh entry in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series (after 2006's The Bonehunters), the Letherii Empire is under siege from within and without. The Tiste Edur uneasily rule the Empire of Lether, against the will of the Letherii people. Several factions in Lether seek to overthrow Rhulad, the emperor of a Thousand Deaths, who is quite probably insane and sinks further into madness every time he dies in combat and his sword resurrects him. Two forces also threaten Lether from the outside: the tribal Awl, led by the brutal warrior Redmask, force a confrontation, while a flotilla from the Malazan Empire sails toward the Letherii capital. The plethora of characters, attacks and counterattacks, hidden schemes and battling gods will mostly appeal to serious fans of brutal and complex epics, at least those who have fortified themselves by reading the earlier books.

Publisher's SummaryEdit

All is not well in the Letherii Empire. Rhulad Sengar, the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, spirals into madness, surrounded by sycophants and agents of his Machiavellian chancellor. Meanwhile, the Letherii secret police conduct a campaign of terror against their own people. The Errant, once a farseeing god, is suddenly blind to the future. Conspiracies seethe throughout the palace, as the empire - driven by the corrupt and self-interested - edges ever-closer to all-out war with the neighboring kingdoms.

The great Edur fleet - its warriors selected from countless numbers of people - draws closer. Amongst the warriors are Karsa Orlong and Icarium Lifestealer - each destined to cross blades with the emperor himself. That yet more blood is to be spilled is inevitable... Against this backdrop, a band of fugitives seek a way out of the empire, but one of them, Fear Sengar, must find the soul of Scabandari Bloodeye. It is his hope that the soul might help halt the Tiste Edur, and so save his brother, the emperor. Yet, traveling with them is Scabandari's most ancient foe: Silchas Ruin, brother of Anomander Rake. And his motives are anything but certain - for the wounds he carries on his back, made by the blades of Scabandari, are still fresh.

Fate decrees that there is to be a reckoning, for such bloodshed cannot go unanswered--and it will be a reckoning on an unimaginable scale. This is a brutal, harrowing novel of war, intrigue and dark, uncontrollable magic; this is epic fantasy at its most imaginative, storytelling at its most thrilling.

Front matterEdit


To Glen Cook


Thank you to my advance readers: Rick, Chris, Mark, Bill, Hazel and Bowen. Thanks also to the folks at Black Stilt Cafe, Ambiente Cafe and Cafe Teatro in Victoria for the table, the coffees and AC access. And for all the other support that keeps me afloat, thanks to Clare, Simon at Transworld, Howard and Patrick, the scary mob at, David and Anne, Peter and Nicky Crowther.


Plot SummaryEdit

Reaper's Gale
Dramatis Personae Prologue
The Emperor in Gold
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Layers of the Dead
Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Knuckles of the Soul
Chapter 13 Chapter 14
Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18
Reaper's Gale
Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22
Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Epilogue Pagination


The following summaries contain spoilers
Please access individual chapter summaries via the Chapter infobox


The prologue consists of 4 vignettes, introduced by place and time.

The Elder Warren of Kurald Emurlahn
The Age of Sundering

The Elder Goddess Kilmandaros is introduced, leaving the disintegrating Warren through a rent torn through to another realm. On her way through she passes the corpses of six slain dragons. Their blood pooled around them attracts and traps wraiths. As the pooled blood hardens it begins to 'sink' through the realm and it is revealed that the Warren of Starvald Demelain is channeled through draconic blood.

The ruined K'Chain Che'Malle demesne
after the fall of Silchas Ruin

Gothos the Jaghut has nearly completed the Ritual sealing under ice the battlefield where the K'Chain Che'Malle were defeated by Tiste Edur and Tiste Andii. It is some time after this battle, and Gothos comes upon Scabandari Bloodeye (the Tiste Edur leader who was involved in the Sundering) who has been caught by the Elder Gods Mael and Kilmandaros and is near death. Gothos points out to Mael and Kilmandaros that if Scabandari is killed now, the Ritual around them will preserve Scabandari's soul and much of his power. Gothos instead offers to trap Scabandari's soul in a Finnest. After Kilmandaros shatters Scabandari's skull to kill him, Gothos claims the Finnest itself in payment for the service. He then departs, pleased that he has outwitted the Elder Gods.

Kilmandaros then returns to the rent to Kurald Emerlahn, to find Anomandaris Purake of the Tiste Andii. Rake offers to help Kilmandaros driving the 'pretenders' from the dying realm, and ensuring that the Throne of Shadow remains unoccupied. Kilmandaros agrees, they re-enter the realm, closing the rent behind them, and set about 'cleansing' it.

The Awl'dan, in the last days of King Diskanar

Preda Bivatt, a captain in the Drene Garrison, comes across hundreds of beached war canoes on the shores of the Bluerose Sea, northeast of Drene City. The number of boats indicate that half a million warriors had come ashore, and the captain wonders why there has been no sighting or rumors of such a large unknown force.

The Awl'dan, following the Edur conquest

A rider with a crimson-scaled mask (later revealed to be Redmask) comes across a fresh battlefield on the top of a hill on the Awl'dan plain south-east of Drene. The victors, the legions of Drene, have gone, The fallen army are not from any of the local tribes or peoples bounding the Awl'dan, and bear a device of two wolf-heads. Further, wolves have fed on the bodies, but have only taken the hearts.

Book One: The Emperor in GoldEdit


The lie stands alone, the solitary deceit
with its back turned no matter the direction
of your reluctant approach, and with each step
your goal is driven on, your stride carried astray,
the path enfolding upon itself, round and round
you walk and what stood alone before you,
errant as mischance, an accidental utterance,
now reveals its legion of children, this mass
seething in threads and knots and surrounded,
you cannot draw breath, cannot move.

The world is of your making and one day,
my friend, you will stand alone amidst
a sea of dead, the purchasing of your words
all about you and the wind will laugh you
a new path into unending torment--
the solitary deceit is its solitude, the lie is
the lie standing alone, the threads and knots
of the multitude tighten in righteous judgement
with which you once so freely strangled
every truthsayer, every voice of dissent.

So now ease your thirst on my sympathy
and die parched in the wasteland.

Fragment found on the day
the poetess Tesora Veddict
was arrested by the Patriotists
(six days before her Drowning)

Chapter 1 Edit

Chapter 2 Edit

Chapter 3 Edit

Chapter 4 Edit

Chapter 5 Edit

Chapter 6 Edit

Book Two: Layers of the DeadEdit


Who now strides on my trail
devouring the distance between
no matter how I flee, the wasted
breath of my haste cast into the wind
and these dogs will prevail
dragging me down with howling glee
for the beasts were born fated,
trained in bold vengeance
by my own switch and hand
and no god will stand in my stead,
nor provide me sanctuary, even
should I plead for absolution--
the hounds of my deeds belong
only to me, and they have long hunted
and now the hunt ends.

Songs of Guilt

Chapter 7 Edit

Chapter 8 Edit

Chapter 9 Edit

Chapter 10 Edit

Chapter 11 Edit

Chapter 12 Edit

'Debt in Blood' by Spindrift

The burning fleet of the 14th off the coast of Lether, Interpretation by Spindrift

Book Three: Knuckles of the SoulEdit


We are eager
to impugn the beast crouched
in our souls
but this creature is pure
with shye eyes
and it watches our frantic crimes
in the cage of our cruelty

I will take
for myself and your fate
in these hands
the grace of animal to ammend
broken dreams--
freedom unchained and unbound
long running--
the beast will kill when I murder

In absolution
a list of unremarked distinctions
availed these hands
freedom without excuse
see how clean
this blood compared to yours
the death grin
of your bestial snarl mars the scape

Of your face
this is what sets us apart
in our souls
my beast and I chained together
as we must
who leads and who is the led is
never quite asked
of the charmed and the innocent

Dog in an Alley
Tibal Feredict

Chapter 13 Edit

The Adjunct and the 14th Malazan army move into Lether and burn the fleet, apparently never to turn back.

Chapter 14 Edit

Chapter 15 Edit

Chapter 16 Edit

Chapter 17 Edit

Chapter 18 Edit

Book Four: Reaper's GaleEdit


I went in search of death
In the cast down wreckage
Of someone's temple nave
I went in search among flowers
Nodding to the wind's words
Of woeful tales of war
I went among the blood troughs
Behind the women's tents
All the children that never were

And in the storm of ice and waves
I went in search of the drowned
Among bony shells and blunt worms
Where the grains swirled
Each and every one crying out
its name its life its loss
I went on the current roads
That led me nowhere known

And in the still mists afield
Where light itself crept uncertain
I went in search of wise spirits
Moaning their truths in dark loam
But the moss was silent, too damp
to remember my search
Finding at last
where the reapers sow
Cutting stalks to take the season
I failed in my proud quest

To a scything flint blade
And lying asward lost to summer
Bared as its warm carapace
of youthful promise was sent away
into autumn's reliquary sky
Until the bones of night
Were nails glittering in the cold
oblivion, and down the darkness
death came to find me

Before Q'uson Tapi
Toc Anaster

Chapter 19 Edit

Chapter 20 Edit

Chapter 21 Edit

Chapter 22 Edit

Chapter 23 Edit

Chapter 24 Edit


Cover galleryEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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