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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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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 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...
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.Read more ›
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.
As noted by the author, Erikson changed his writing style with this book. He is writing mostly as though the story is told by Kruppe, to an audience named later. I didn't mind this too much but it comes and goes like a fake Keanu Reeves accent. On top of this, there is far less action for 90% of the book and much more reflection on emotions, internal monologue, pondering the past etc. Most of it honestly, was quite boring and tedious, not to mention inconsequential. Instead of rewarding the readers with more of the interesting storylines (Traveler/Karsa, Bridgeburners in Daru), he almost delights in teasing them and then immediately switching to something boring once the reader's interest get pique'd. I thought most of the Nimander story, Seerdomin/Redeemer, and even the Rake/Endest Silan/Spinnock Durav storylines were FAR too lengthy and fell flat.
Then after all of the musings (kind of mopey musings) of the Tiste Andii, the Redeemer, Seerdomin, etc we get about 100 pages or so of extreme unadulterated mayhem for an ending. Now, I like unadulterated mayhem, don't get me wrong, but it just came across as rushed. The mayhem was more quick, random and confusing than deep and emotional like it should have been. The emotional payoff of this book should have blown Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice away, given the material. It doesn't.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Worst book! I have been trying to read it for months and just can't get into it. I might try skipping this book or maybe I will give up on the series now.Published 9 days ago by Tak
Amazing series! Erikson is an excellent writer and I couldn't put the books down.Published 1 month ago by christopher s.
I finished the book last Saturday and today, Sunday a week later, still digest it.
It is the most unusual book in the series.
Almost (but not quite mind you! Read more
I like the book and I like the series. I have ordered them all on audio CD and listen to them on my way to work. Read morePublished 2 months ago by hekate
I love the slower pace, the interesting insights into the Tiste Andii, the complicated schemes and plots, and most of all, the ending is better than any other Malazan book.Published 3 months ago by William Hoekel
Read them all. Then read them again. But pay very close attention to this one. Ignore it at your peril.Published 4 months ago by A. Walker
A fabulous read. Toll the Hounds was book 8 of ERIKSON's Malazan series, and the author continues to deliver a series of deep characters, long term story arcs and developments that... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Andrew Whitehead
Definitely some plot twists I did not expect. Got to read it to experience them, though. I'm not going to spoil the surprise.Published 5 months ago by Lynette Moughton