Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen Paperback – Sep 16 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Book eight in the intensifying Malazan series (following 2007's Reaper's Gale) sees the grinding, bloody clash of newly created deities against longstanding, increasingly powerful Gods. The Crippled God, born in the city of Darujhistan, and the Dying God, who bleeds a poison that enthralls and addicts his followers, both vie for a place in the formal pantheon, using humans and the goddess-descended Tiste Andii as pawns in their unholy, greedy game. Warrior-hero Anomander Rake subtly manipulates the factions from the sidelines. Finally, the gods' slaves and representatives and the common people of the Darujhistan meet in one dark, thunderous, transformative night. This is a praiseworthy entry in the massive series encompassing multitudes of characters, complex plot lines and grotesque violence, but it's not lightweight in tone or in heft, and new readers will be entirely at sea. (Sept.)
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“Truly epic in scope, Erikson has no peer when it comes to action and imagination, and joins the ranks of Tolkien and Donaldson in his mythic vision and perhaps then goes one better.” ―SF Site
“Extraordinarily enjoyable . . . Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics.” ―Salon.comSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Of all the books in the Malazan series, this is, without a doubt, my least favorite...I will explain
First, the pros;
Overall, this series is epic fantasy at its best; in fact 829 pages in this book alone. There is intrigue, magic, unexpected enemies and friends and even some erotic moments; not to mention the usually backstabbing and clandestine plotting. In this book we are reacquainted with some old friends from previous tales, e.g. Cutter, Druiker, Karso Orlong (Toblakai warrior), Anomander Rake and last but not least, the ever loquacious, forever famished, mound of round, Kruppe.
Erikson's strength is his use of prose to describe people and their surrounding, all the while weaving a tale his characters come alive in; this latest installment is no exception. In fact, this may be the first in all the books that may be somewhat overwritten because of some of these perceived strengths. Which leads me into commenting on...
1.)As with previous Erikson works, the book starts off by given brief glimpses of several different developing stories. The problem here, in my opinion, is that unlike previous books, most of these story lines do not really develop into something resembling a plot until well after the first 200+ pages.
2.)In addition to the slow development, the writing seems heavy and difficult to follow; I had to almost 'study' sections to try to figure out what Erikson had his characters doing and saying.
3.)I found I became 'weary' of trying to interpret the vague, unclear conversations and happenings that occurred through out most of the entire novel.Read more ›
I love Erikson's other works and recommend those to all my friends looking for a great fantasy read. Sadly, I can't say the same for this book. I will finish it just so I know what is going on for the next book. Hopefully Erikson (or his editor) gets this series back to what made it popular in the first place.
Without fail, Erikson's writing improves with each new volume. He is able to convey comedy, combat, drama, and wit with equal quality - important skills that keep the ready engaged through the nearly 1000 pages of "Toll the Hounds".
While every book ultimately portrays epic events in the fantastical world Erikson has created, "Toll the Hounds" - miraculously - manages to raise the bar yet again and before the last page is turned, many large and gasp-worthy changes will have been wrought.
With only two more books to read in the series ("The Dust of Dreams" is already available and the final volume, "The Crippled God", is shortly forthcoming), I can only hold my breath and plunge forward with trust that while in Erikson's capable hands, I will not be disappointed.
That being said, although this book easily surpasses the majority of other epic fantasy novels out there, it was my least favourite of the series. This may sound a little odd but I found this book extremely "wordy"...and not in a good way. The style was completely different from his other novels. Almost as if Kruppe narrated the whole thing in his off the wall dialog (which at times I could swear it was him). It was a tad annoying and because of its excessiveness, not a whole hell of a lot happened in 3/4 of the novel. The book is about 900 pages long, but it is only the last 200 pages where Mr. Erikson's skills really shine through like the previous novels. At times I was in tears...but I have to admit that I was slightly confused at the end of this novel with regards to the doings of Rake. While the characters within the novel (like Draconas) appear to have an epiphany about Rake's goals...I still feel like I have missed something vital that may come back to haunt me as I continue the series. I have even felt the need to check online for an "explanation" of what happened, although no luck finding this information as of yet.
I sincerely hope Mr. Erikson reverts back to his writing style as seen in the previous novels. Although a superior novel, it was not up to par with the others in the series.
Most recent customer reviews
JUST AS GOOD AS THE PREVIOUS 7. I WENT RIGHT OUT AND ORDERED THE 9TH.Published 6 months ago by Byron Freeman
The person who received these has ordered the next one, is lending me the ones he has already read, is sleep deprived because he stays up all night reading, and raves about them to... Read morePublished 11 months ago by hauoli
A good read, but make sure you are starting from the beginning of the series.
I have really enjoyed the 'Malazan book of the Fallen' series by Steven Erikson, and am... Read more
Although the style is a little... simple, I find the world and the portrayal of the characters to be intensely engaging. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2014 by Lee Van Adel
The writing style of this book caused me to skip certain paragraphs, the same way many ppl likely started doing in wheel of time when Jordan's characters would start on their... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2013 by Jean Paul Fredette
The character development and story lines in this series are second to none. I have no patience for soliloquizing (probably not a real word). Read morePublished on June 10 2013 by avid reader
I never thought the day would come when I wouldn't be able to finish a Steven Erikson book, but I think it is finally here!! Read morePublished on Dec 12 2008 by Keren
I was very excited about this novel at first. Later, not so much. In fact I am still struggling through it. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2008 by A. Dixon