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House of Chains (Malazan Book 4) [Mass Market Paperback]

Steven Erikson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 20 2003 The Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 4)
In Northern Genabackis, just before the events recounted in Gardens of the Moon, a tribal raiding party descends into the southern flat lands intent on wreaking havoc. But for the one named Karsa Orlong it marks the beginning of what will prove an extraordinary destiny.

Some years later, Tavore, recently appointed Adjunct to the Empress, has arrived in the last Malazan stronghold on Seven Cities. New to command, she must hone twelve thousand soldiers, into a force capable of confronting the massed hordes of the seer Sha’ik’s Whirlwind who lie in the heart of the Holy Desert.

But waiting is never easy. The tribal chiefs are locked in a power struggle that threatens the very soul of the rebellion, while Sha’ik herself is haunted by the knowledge of her nemesis, Tavore, her own sister…

So begins this awesome epic novel of war, intrigue, magic and betrayal from a writer regarded as one of the most original and exciting storytellers in fantasy today.

Frequently Bought Together

House of Chains (Malazan Book 4) + Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 3) + Midnight Tides: Book Five of The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.27

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From Amazon

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.

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series Feb. 28 2006
By Jerry
If you love fantasy, you'll really like this series. Start from the beginning and work your way to this one if you haven't. Each one builds upon its pedecessor and only gains momentum.
**A book I would also recommend is The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt. This, the first installment of The Morcyth Saga is a great beginning for a new author. Battles, magic, gods, secret passages and intrigue, all the elements of a classic epic fantasy! Any fantasy reader will enjoy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read Jan. 10 2004
By xteeve
Fascinating book.
This is simply one of the two best series right now, if not the best. To give you an idea, I received the first four books as a present. and after a difficult and reluctant start of book one, I was gone. In two days of marathon reading, hardly stopping to eat or sleep -to say nothing of bathing - I finished book one, read book 2, 3, and 4. Amazing. high-fantasy as it's best. I'm even a little irritated when people compare it to G.R.R Martin or R.Jordan series. they are good, but the quality here is so much better that it's almost a work of art. If you like fantasy, do yourself a favour and read this series. My only regret is that I had to wait so long, when over there in britain they've been out forever.
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By mbogle
This book continues the tale where it was left off in the second book and leads us through to the meeting of forces in the holy desert of Raraku. The pace is fast and the characters memorable. Although it can be read as an individual book I would strongly recommend reading the series in the published order:-
1) Gardens of the Moon
2) Deadhouse Gates
3) Memories of Ice
4) House of Chains
The reason (apart from it being one of the best series I have ever read, see the reviews and ratings 4.5-5 stars each!) is that to gain the maximum enjoyment you need to understand the characters which have been built up over the previous 3 books into some of the most memorable I have the pleasure to experience. Fiddler and his love of explosive munitions, which he uses too close to allow his squad to feel comfortable.
A number of new characters that played small rolls in the previous books are brought to the fore as we see the interlacing of stories that helps explain some of the previous unexplained questions from previous books but also raises new ones. The best thing is that the story lines are separate but interlaced in a way that actually closes some of your unanswered questions! Unlike some series.
I am eagerly awaiting the 5th book, that I will undoubtedly buy as soon as it appears
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4.0 out of 5 stars Already dying for the next one... Jan. 25 2003
This is a tale of two armies.
In the aftermath of Coltaine's death, the Adjunct Tavore must lead her rag-tag collection of soldiers into Raraku, the holy desert, in hopes of defeating Sha'ik's dreaded Army of the Apocalypse. Her army is uneasy. They are a patched together group of raw recruits, hoary old veterans and the broken survivors of Coltaine's army and they know nothing of the Adjunct, seeing her as untried and aloof.
In the meantime, Sha'ik is beset within her own army. The wily Korbolo Dom and his triumphant Dogslayers are the backbone of her fighting forces, yet they have their own agenda. The High Mages Bidithal and Febryl can't be trusted but they are necessary for Sha'ik's plans. Betrayal seems imminent from all sides. And Sha'ik herself is in turmoil as the Goddess of the Whirlwind and Felisin battle for the soul of the person they both inhabit.
The two armies meet one fateful night and two sisters will clash. Only one will remain standing.
While the two armies prepare for their monumental clash, we travel the journey of discovery with a remarkable warrior named Karsa Orlong. We watch as Lostara Yil, one of the formidable Red Blades, and a Claw named Pearl set out on a task set for them by Adjunct Tavore only to be horrified and saddened by what they discover.
This is the fourth book of the Tale of the Malazan but it picks up the thread of the story that ends in the second book, The Deadhouse Gates.
I had a hard time getting into this book at first because the first 200 pages details the exploits of a seemingly unknown warrior named Karsa Orlong. The events told actually pre-date the events of the first book of the series. As Karsa's story begins to unfold we start to catch up with the current time in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, essential and underappreciated Jan. 23 2003
Steven Erikson is hardly known here in the states, where he's yet to publish, but his four fantasy novels are unequivocal modern classics. "House of Chains," the newest entry in the long-winded "A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, continues the fascinating saga.
Fans of Jordan and Martin will be wowed by Erikson's epic, sweeping narrative and complex plots. Stephen R. Donaldson is quoted on the back of House of Chains, and for good reason. Comparisons could also be made to Glen Cook's "fantasy-noir" style, and other postmodern fantasy/scifi authors who effectively blur the lines between notions of good and evil.
Erikson's world is endlessly complex, replete with thousands of societies, deep history, vast geographies, and unique magic. There is plenty of humor, a fair amount of gore, and constant action. And an important, unavoidable facet of Erikson's writing style is that he challenges the reader. He doesn't deliver stock characters and cliched, predictable plots on a silver platter.
Start with "Gardens of the Moon," and order from if you must. Fingers crossed, Erickson will publish domestically, and all of those weak, poorly written, hackneyed derivative juvenile fantasy books currently choking the shelves of your local bookstore will be swept aside.
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