In the initial books of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the Knight of Darkness is called Anomander Rake. Later on, in the prologue of Midgnight Tides, Scabandari Bloodeye calls him (in his thoughts) Anomandaris Irake. In the prologue of Reaper's Gale, he's called Anomandaris Purake. (I haven't read The Bonehunters or Reaper's Gale yet; I have the former, which contains the prologue of the latter as a preview.)

I'm reasonably familiar with misconceptions about names, so I'm not fixated on Rake being some sort of surname. However, I guess it has to have some meaning. What is it? A title?

I think he's also called Anomandaris Dragnipurake in one of the first four books, but I'm not sure.

How is Rake pronounced, anyway? /reɪk/? /rɑːkeɪ/? /rɑːki/? /rækeɪ/?

3 Answers 3


Purake was an honorific bestowed upon Anomander's father by an Azathanai, in the Azathanai language. I believe it meant something to the effect of, "strength in standing still" or "strength in stillness".

Rake was an honorific bestowed upon Anomander himself, by an Azathanai, in the Azathanai language. It means "strength".

This information was not available when the question was asked. It was revealed in the book Fall of Light, in the Kharkanas trilogy.

I have found a quote upon request, about 5% into the book. I apologize for any typos.

'Intentions precede our deeds, and then are left lying in the wake of those deeds. I am not the voice of posterity, Anomander Rake. Nor are you.'


'Purake is an Azathanai word,' Brood said. 'You did not know? It was an honorific granted to your family, to your father in his youth.'

'Why? How did he earn it?'

The Azathanai shrugged. 'K'rul gave it. He did not share his reasons. Or, rather, "she", as K'rul is wont to change his mind's way of thinking, and so assumes a woman's guise every few centuries. He is now a man, but back then he was a woman.'

'Do you know its meaning, Caladan?'

'Pur Rakess Calas ne A'nom. Roughly, Strength in Standing Still.'

'A'nom,' said the Son of Darkness, frowning.

'Perhaps,' the Azathanai said, 'as a babe, you were quick to stand.'

'And Rakess? Or Rake, as you would call me?'

'Only what I see in you, and what all others see in you. Strength.'

  • 1
    Can you add a quote that backs this up?
    – Valorum
    Aug 14, 2019 at 6:03
  • @Valorum No, but I can give you context. Endest Silann was remembering a conversation between Anomander Rake and Caladan Brood. In that conversation, Brood told Rake about the meaning of Purake and offered him the name Rake. Anomander said something along the lines of his father's name being a curse, so he said he would "accept this first burden" of the name Rake. There was also talk of strength, with Anomander saying he did not feel any strength in himself. Brood replied saying that the strong never do. I am only about 10% of the way into the book, so it is pretty early on.
    – Daniel
    Aug 17, 2019 at 0:38
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    @Valorum Actually, I went ahead and figured out how to search my Kindle so I could find the quote. I've typed it out in an edit. It's kinda lengthy.
    – Daniel
    Aug 17, 2019 at 0:52

I agree with the above post, I just want to add some flavor:

In one of the middle books, there's a short anecdote about how after Anomander first acquired the blood of the Eleint, a female, maybe Tiam herself, told him he was now Dragnipurake, roughly blood of the dragon. I can't conjure up a citation, though.

It seems to me, largely metaphorical, Anomander is the sum of his decisions as symbolized by the sword, and the identity and name of Anomander and the sword reflect that identity. For the record, the Malazan wiki cites Anomander Dragnipurake as an alias, but doesn't explain that name.

The series, overall, loves to play with the evolution of names across cultures, generations, and continents. Try tracking all the variants of Theloman Toblakai.

  • You seem to have come to a different conclusion that that of the currently accepted answer? Do you have any reason to assume one is more "right" than the other?
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 13, 2017 at 7:45
  • I couldn't comment because that needs 50 rep, but I wanted to add the blood of the dragon information. My post strikes me as properly a comment, because it is merely additional flavor, however answer was the only way i could post it. Nov 13, 2017 at 7:52
  • Ah, in my opinion it's good enough to be an answer on it's own. If you agree with the above answer and want users to know that you can leave a note somewhere in your answer to say so, or you can include some of the information in your own answer as long as you're not directly copy pasting the answer above (ie saying that his name is most likely "xyz Purake")
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 13, 2017 at 7:55

It does seem to be some sort of surname, or rather the name of a noble House. Anomander Rake's father was also called Purake, as the head of House Purake. "Anomander Rake" was just a shortening of "Anomandaris Purake", Purake being his surname and Anomandaris his given name.

You can find a similar discussion of names here on Reddit.

There doesn't seem to be any official information on how to pronounce the name "Rake".

  • So... Is Dragnipurake Dragnipur + Rake (with the rs collapsed), or Dragni + Purake? Who knows? Steven Erikson is positively malevolent in his lack of explanation of a lot of things.
    – muru
    Dec 30, 2015 at 13:09
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    @muru dragniprake, is most likely a combination of dragnipur and rake, as he was well known for 100's of thousands of years to hold that sword. Most of the info rand provided you comes from the prequel novels that discuss Anomandors origin story, and why the Tisti Andii are living in the malazan world instead of in their own world.
    – Himarm
    Dec 30, 2015 at 14:15

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