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Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen Mass Market Paperback – August 4, 2009

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Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen + Reaper's Gale: Book Seven of The Malazan Book of the Fallen + Dust of Dreams: Book Nine of The Malazan Book of the Fallen
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Product Details

  • Series: The Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 8)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Pocketbok size 2008 edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765348853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765348852
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 4.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,700 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 66 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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11 of 13 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 4 people found the following review helpful By Maraich on January 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're someone who devourers books in one or two sittings I don't think you'll get as much out of this book as otherwise you might. The writing itself is beautiful and is on a level that makes it difficult for me to read most other people's offerings as they just don't measure up. As always, Mr. Erikson broke my heart after making me love his characters. Being incredibly powerful in these stories just means your sacrifice will be even greater.

I did not find this book a difficult read, but I took my time and read it slowly. I didn't look for connections between the different groups involved in the story, but instead enjoyed them as separate stories that in the end all combined into a neat package. I always ache when I finish another Malazan book, but I think this one was even more draining than Deadhouse Gates (which really tore me up emotionally). I feared, based on some of the reviews I read here, that I would be disappointed in this volume, but instead I believe it is one of my favorites.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Blili on December 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Here's what I love about Steven Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series:

It's huge and hugely complicated. Tons of characters, a plot that is a 100 miles thick, a story line that spans hundreds of thousands of years, characters operating on several planes of existence and in several realms that somehow all affect one another. Mind boggling.

It's gut-wrenching and extremely emotional. Erickson is merciless in his manipulation of the reader's emotional journey. He writes about friendship, loyalty and love in ways no other author manages, and yet also tortures the reader with his tales of despair, heartbreak and betrayal.

Lastly, until this installment, one could safely say that despite the size of each volume, in a Malazan book, *something* was always happening on any given page. Not so in Toll the Hounds.

This book goes on for hundreds and hundreds of pages with absolutely NOTHING happening. There's a TON of navel-gazing in Toll the Hounds. And it's clumsily executed too, where, at its most absurd, what feels like dozens of pages are dedicated to the empty reflections of an Ox. An Ox? Seriously?

If you hated the Mhybe character in Memories of Ice, because all she was in the book was an endless stream of internal dialogue that did nothing to advance or clarify the plot, then you will need to brace yourself for this book. Pretty much every character in it spends pages and pages and pages in Greek Opera-style mournful introspection. I suppose some might call this character building, but the appeal, at leas to me, of Erickson's books has thus far been that the stories are primarily plot-driven.
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