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House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – March 6, 2007
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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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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 amazon.co.uk 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.
For those that would say that the first 200 pages that chronicle the exploits of Karsa Orslong are a weakness to the story, I would have to say that I initially felt the same way. After reading the rest of the book, I have since changed my mind. Although he is not my favorite character (that distinction would have to go to Ganoes Paran or Fiddler), he has become an important part of the story.
Although this is not the best book in the Malazan series (that would have to be either Memories of Ice or The Bonehunters), this book gives important background into the mind of the Crippled God, as well as gives the "humanity" of Cotillion and Shadowthrone.
When I read this book, I was thinking about a question an online friend asked lately about the difference between literary fiction and genre fiction. I didn't know how to answer her question then, and I still don't now. But the question has been itching away in the back of my head because I think that there is-- at least for me-- some kind of an answer. But I'm kind of like one of those irritating people who say "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like."
So then I thought-- hey, what do I like? So then I started thinking about the genre fiction that I really liked and what various books would be if they were music. It's kind of a bizarre switch, but it more or less worked for me. Some kinds of fantasy-- romantic fantasy, for one, are kind of like pop music. It can be really satisfying, but is very rarely surprising. The text deedle dees around and is sweet and even if it's dealing with a really serious life issue it still comes out sort of like Madonna singing "papa don't preach". (I'm sure that I'm going to offend someone with this, but in my defense I don't claim to be speaking for anyone except myself.) There can be perfect pop songs, and I *adore* them-- but the thing that stands out if they're really true to form is the lack of surprise for me as a listener.
So. There's something about surprise in what I think of as more "literary fiction". In musical terms, if I think: "that's a really good pop song", then it's genre. If I think "that's a really great song", then it's literary fiction. (It's also possible for something to be both, but that's messy and just confuses my metaphor. Which is frankly already confused enough.)
So. What is Steven Erikson?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, you've made it this far so you're committed now. HoC is a great read for the same reasons you enjoyed the previous books: complex plots and sub-plots and middle-plots,... Read morePublished 2 days ago by simon
You will need to concentrate as with all Erikson's work. It helps to have some familiarity with the Malazan Book of the Fallen series but this is a new continent, new cultures and... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing series! Erikson is an excellent writer and I couldn't put the books down.Published 29 days ago by christopher s.
I had a lot of fun reading this. The ending was not as gut wrenching as Deadhouse Gates or Memories of Ice, but the this one did have the emotional impact to make it a comparable... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Calimama
A fairly common opinion is that House of Chains, while good, is a step down in quality from the second and third Malazan books. I disagree. Read morePublished 2 months ago by SockPuppet
Keeps the pace with the previous two books. Not quite as intense as the previous one but introduces surprisingly interesting characters and you learn a lot about the universe.Published 2 months ago by Hugo Brandao
I really enjoyed the book and the associated series. Well worth the time.Published 2 months ago by Dana Wregglesworth