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Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen [Paperback]

Steven Erikson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 16 2008 Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 8)
In Darujhistan, the city of blue fire, it is said that love and death shall arrive dancing. It is summer and the heat is oppressive, but for the small round man in the faded red waistcoat, discomfiture is not just because of the sun. All is not well. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways, but the quarry has turned and the hunters become the hunted.
Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. While the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of Hounds...And in the distant city of Black Coral, where rules Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, ancient crimes awaken, intent on revenge. It seems Love and Death are indeed about to arrive...hand in hand, dancing.
A thrilling, harrowing novel of war, intrigue and dark, uncontrollable magic, Toll the Hounds is the new chapter in Erikson's monumental series - epic fantasy at its most imaginative and storytelling at its most exciting.

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Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen + Dust of Dreams: The Malazan Book of the Fallen 9
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Product Description

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.)
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.


“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."  

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By R. Nicholson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the 8th book in Steven Erikson's 'Malazan Book of the Fallen" series.

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...

The cons;

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gotta agree with the 3 previous posts Oct. 5 2008
Like the other reviewers here, I found this book quite difficult to get into. It does seem like Erikson has taken a different approach to writing this novel and it is an approach, quite frankly, that does not work. There are passages where Erikson squeezes in his views on religion, theology, economics, etc. but in an overly verbose and unenjoyable way. Interspersed in the novel are the meat and potatoes of the book where the plot is driven forward and the characters developed. I too found myself skipping over the former parts to get to the more interesting paragraphs. I don't even bother reading the poems that start off each paragraph anymore. I don't see the point.

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.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Anyone to have made it through the previous 7 books in this series should know Erickson very well by now. He takes his time telling these stories and makes no apologies about it. We spend many hundreds of pages getting to know characters and their circumstances before the big events start to unfold, and in doing so - those events weigh heavy when they finally do arrive. Each character we are introduced to is flushed out through many dimensions, giving us a glimpse of all of their humanities and inhumanities. Gods, men, and demons are all rendered with this fine-detail brush and the reader often comes away from these written encounters deeply touched and profoundly moved.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...but not comparable to the rest Oct. 2 2008
This series is my favourite series of all time. The ability of the author to capture and hold the attention of the reader is astounding to say the least. There is so much going on in each novel that it is truly awe-inspiring that Mr. Erikson can even bring each storyline together for a conclusive mind-blowing finale. And he does this over and over with each subsequent publication.

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.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
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
Published 5 months ago by RK
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Although the style is a little... simple, I find the world and the portrayal of the characters to be intensely engaging. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lee Van Adel
4.0 out of 5 stars very strong finish
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 more
Published 11 months ago by Jean Paul Fredette
3.0 out of 5 stars great continuation of the tale
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 more
Published 16 months ago by avid reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Just can't finish it!
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 more
Published on Dec 12 2008 by Keren
2.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?
I was very excited about this novel at first. Later, not so much. In fact I am still struggling through it. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2008 by A. Dixon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Malazan Saga continues on...but with a struggle...3.5 Stars
This is the 8th book in Steven Erikson's 'Malazan Book of the Fallen" series.

Of all the books in the Malazan series, this is, without a doubt, my least favorite... Read more
Published on Oct. 5 2008 by R. Nicholson
2.0 out of 5 stars Toll The Hounds
A dissappointment from my most favourite author. Normally I would read a 900+ page Erikson book in about a week or two. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2008 by A. Moses
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Developments in the Malazan World(s)
Those of us who have read the first books will not need persuasion to pick this one up, but it is not for those who just want a taste of Erikson's work to see what all the fuss is... Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2008 by vrai
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