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Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen Hardcover – September 16, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765310082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765310088
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

The eighth Malazan Book of the Fallen actually brings back some of the earliest volumes’ power. As the city of Darujhistan bakes in the summer heat, a mysterious robed man, obviously some sort of mage, wanders its streets. The question of whether he will survive the thieves, assassins, and wizards, local and striking-from-afar, should hold readers despite the extremely high page-count. Erikson may not keep up the pace throughout, but his knack for well-drawn exotic characters, no matter how fleeting, and mastery of world building cannot be denied. Add this one for saga mavens. --Roland Green

More About the Author

STEVEN ERIKSON is an archaeologist and anthropologist and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His previous novels in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series--Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains, Midnight Tides, The Bonehunters, and Reaper's Gale--have met with widespread international acclaim and established him as a major voice in the world of fantasy fiction. He lives in Canada.

Customer Reviews

The world building of Erikson is amazing.
Matthew J Cox
The author has notably changed his style for this book (This was conscious at least in part, as he has apparently said just this in public forums, book signings, etc).
Erikson seems to have really slow starts to each of his books and Toll the Hounds seems to be a little more difficult to get through.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 67 people found the following review helpful By R. Nicholson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 usual 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. However, this may be the first in all the books of this series that may be deemed somewhat overwritten, mainly 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 disjointed 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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. Hobart on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I can certainly relate to those who are annoyed by the frequent jumping from one character (or group of characters) to another every 2-3 pages or so, but if you stick with "Toll the Hounds", everything eventually coalesces into a stunning conclusion, as at least one central theme is resolved. Here are some reasons to hang in there:

1. Mother Dark turned her back on her children, the Tiste Andii. Her son, Anomander Rake, assumed responsibility for the fate of his people. The purpose of his sword Dragnipur is revealed, and is not what it seems. Rake's fate and purpose are revealed in stunning fashion, enough to justify reading "Toll the Hounds".

2. Traveler: who is he, and what brings him to Darujhistan? Another revelation sure to surprise those familiar with earlier books. Never assume the departed do not return.

3. Hood, God of death; what is he behind the hood? His purpose is also revealed; the dead are collected for a reason, and and marching towards their fate.

4. A new player is introduced; the Dying God. The visceral corruption of his blood compares to the Crippled God.

As usual, several players are called upon to make terrible sacrifices, and redemption abounds. As always, a few Bridgeburners fight against extinction. And of course, another group of intrepid travelers bumble and stumble their way towards their destination in comedic fashion, trying not to get themselves killed in the process.

I know the book starts a little slow, but stick it out; the conclusion is worth the price of admission.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Obsessive Reader on November 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know what to say, I just had to say something. This author is on a whole other level. I'm aware of all the criticisms heaped on him about length, divergent plots, overload of characters, dropping you right in the middle of things, but his writing is detailed and superb. The overall arc can be hard to follow and understanding things can be elusive but if you sit down and read through the whole series so far you'll find it's not nearly as complicated as you think. You will realize that instead of laying out the story as past present future, he builds the history and all necessary knowledge as you go along. Like life you never know the whole story or the history or the answer to everything or how to do anything or why something happened unless you keep going.

It is unlike traditional fantasy which has a simple cut and paste storyline. Even the greatest fantasy writers suffer from the problem of taking Tolkien's Middle Earth and changing the details, as well as stories and plots that follow Tolkien's blueprint with the only variations caused by those varying minute details. Erickson however, deviates from the traditional model. There are always protagonists and antagonists but it's hard to find any truly good guys or bad guys. The guys you're egging on might capture a town, rape the women, and slit the throats of the others. While the guy you consider the bad guy might try to save those lives and give water to a thirsty enemy. Like real life, the lines are blurred and good or bad is often determined by the situation and the opponent rather than a specific moral bent. Because of that, the characters that are truly moral and good and the ones that are just hopelessly bad stand out from the rest of the gray area folk.

I could go into the plot of this novel but if you haven't read books 1 - 7, there's no point. Read the series either you will hate it, or you will love it, but you won't be indifferent and without opinion.
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