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Images of chains run through the fourth instalment of Steven Erikson's Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Chains bind Karsa Orlong, warrior from an ancient race, in slavery, then link him with the souls of those he has slain. There are also chains of loyalty and vengeance. Then there are chains from the past: the story of the Chain of Dogs from Deadhouse Gates for one, as well as the image of the Crippled God, whose subjugation triggered the events that have taken over all the characters' lives.
House of Chains follows several characters first encountered in Deadhouse Gates, the second book in the series, and the action runs at first parallel to and later after the events in the third book, Memories of Ice. Felisin, the girl who became Sha'ik, the avatar of the Whirlwind Goddess, is here with her sister Tavore, the Adjunct of the Empire. The narrative follows these two and the many characters caught in their wake as the Malazan army marches toward Raraku Desert and a tragic confrontation with the rebellion.
Steven Erikson is creating something special here: realistic, human characters living in a world so complex and rich in history that it rivals any other created in the literature of the fantastic. It's becoming clear that the rules and standards for what has previously been known as sword and sorcery (the term seems inadequate) are being rewritten with the appearance of each new volume in this magnificent fantasy series. --Greg L. Johnson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Starred Review. Longtime fans may be surprised by the fourth book in Erikson's masterful fantasy epic that began with Gardens of the Moon (2004), because the long opening section follows a single character, the Teblor warrior Karsa Orlong, and his companions on a gory raid through enemy territory and into the human lowlands of Northern Genabackis. The time-hopping, perspective-shifting, looping story lines typical of this Canadian author return later, as Erikson ties Karsa's actions to the ultimate showdown between the forces of the Malazan Empire and Sha'ik's Army of the Apocalypse. Against a backdrop of brutal power struggles, the stubbornly determined Karsa is able to accomplish more than even he could have imagined. Unusual among fantasy writers, Erikson succeeds in making readers empathize equally with all sides involved in his world's vast, century-spanning conflict. Newcomers will eagerly seek out previous books in the series. (Aug.)
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Although the style is a little... simple, I find the world and the portrayal of the characters to be intensely engaging. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Lee Van Adel
awesome. do yourself a favour and get into this series. Erickson will throw you for a loop every time. And he actually seems to be sticking with his publishing deadlines. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by andrew
A truely engrossing series. However, this can be a very daunting book for those who are not familiar with the earlier titles. Read morePublished on Dec 12 2003