Esslemont (Knights of Knives, 2009) returns to the epic fantasy.
The cities of the Malazan Empire are threatened by various flavors of civil unrest, including the Wickans, local tribesmen who resent their land being overrun by settlers; the Talian League, who seek to restore an earlier royal line; the Talians' allies, the wild and less-than-reliable Seti; and most notoriously, the Crimson Guard, the once-vast army of mercenaries who swore a magical Vow to destroy the Empire. Believed to be forever dispersed and their commander lost, the Guard, led by many who were previously the Empress Laseen's most trusted officers, have collected a new and substantial body of recruits. And behind the various factions, the gods are pulling the strings. The plot churns through so many battles, devastating explosions, magical clashes, shifts in alliance and momentous duels that they all seem to melt together. Some readers may need a flowchart to keep track of who’s who.
Less a story and more an elaborately charted series of turns by multiple players.