I'm happy to report that Esslemont has avoided this scenario by writing a cracking book. It's a great read full of the depth of character and intricate plot weaving I've come to expect from the Malazan world.
The events of the book take place during a single night on Malaz island - the night of the emperor's assassination. It follow two characters: Temper and Kiska as the night's events unfold around them.
I have two criticisms of the book. It took a while to get going and for me to figure out what it was actually and about there are so many different characters with the story flitting between them that I sometime struggled to keep up with who was who.
But these are minor concerns. Overall it was a great story and I look forward to adding the rest of Mr. Esslemont's books to my collection.
I give it 4 bookworms.