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Toll the Hounds ➳ [Reading] ➶ Toll the Hounds By Steven Erikson ➩ – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 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, Toll the PDF \ 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 HoundsAnd 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 arrivehand 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.


10 thoughts on “Toll the Hounds

  1. Petrik Petrik says:

    Against all odds, Toll the Hounds blew my mind away and became one of my favorite installment within the series Toll the Hounds, just like House of Chains, is one of the installments which I heard plenty of mixed things about they re there for valid reasons However, unlike House of Chains which disappointed me a lot, I actually found Toll the Hounds mesmerizing, a treasure trove for philosophies, and also one of the most rewarding books in the series so far The story of the novel focused on t Against all odds, Toll the Hounds blew my mind away and became one of my favorite installment within the series Toll the Hounds, just like House of Chains, is one of the installments which I heard plenty of mixed things about they re there for valid reasons However, unlike House of Chains which disappointed me a lot, I actually found Toll the Hounds mesmerizing, a treasure trove for philosophies, and also one of the most rewarding books in the series so far The story of the novel focused on the characters in Darujhistan and the Tiste Andii race That s right, we re finally back in Darujhistan after seven books and we finally get to see the story focusing almost completely on the Tiste Andii.Picture A fanart of Anomander Rake by artsed d8joaqaI won t lie, a lot of the warnings about the extremely slow pacing and the overload of philosophical content as amazing as they were towards this entry were there for good reasons It took a LONG time to get to the rewarding convergence and believe me, this isn t by all mean a flawless book a lot of the philosophical content didn t add any value to the book other than being there for social commentary Like the majority of the fans said, the barrage of philosophies was so extreme that it almost damaged the entirety of the book Every character has become a philosopher here a single question asked will be answered after four or five paragraphs of self contemplation But gods below, the last 25% of the book was totally worth the struggle Plus, I m confident that this is a book that will be much better upon a reread due to the touch of omniscient narrative that Erikson added for premonition and foreshadowing valuePeople don t change to suit their god they change their god to suit themThe last quarter alone won t be a sufficient reason to warrant my high rating and love for this book Let s start with expectation This is probably the first time I m thanking all the warning provided by the fans of the series without spoilers too If I haven t been warned about what kind of pacing to expect here, I most likely would suffer through this read a LOTThis raised the question of whether the book was actually good or not that it required a warning to be enjoyed but I won t get into that now Let s just say that because of the word of mouth I received regarding this book, I ended up reading all the slow and philosophical contents as a lesson in writings and a dissection of philosophies instead This made my reading experience much less boring than it was supposed to beSurvivors do not mourn together They each mourn alone, even when in the same place Grief is the most solitary of all feelings Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation.None of it works The forms crumble and dissolve.To face death is to stand aloneTalking about studying Erikson s prose and storytelling structure within this book, I really need to applaud how well crafted some of the chapters were As I mentioned before, Erikson added an omniscient narrative to this book, I DISLIKED omniscient narrative, it very rarely worked for me That being said, the new storytelling direction allowed Erikson s prose to have freedom in switching POV from a bird s eye view to the standard close third person view At the same time, Erikson was capable of telling an undiminished epic fantasy quality while effectively portraying what the characters felt with minimum words In my opinion, one of the most brilliant writing skill in this book was the way Erikson starts and ends his chapter For example, he starts one chapter with this sentenceThe soul knows no greater anguish than to take a breath that begins with love and ends with griefAnd then he proceeds to tell an entire chapter revolving around that passage and finally ending it with the same passage added with discussions and philosophies that made the chaptermeaningful This situation happened several times and they were astonishingly brilliant.Other than readers warning, the other crucial aspect on why I found the extremely slow pacing tolerable was due to the familiarity of settings and characters This doesn t mean that there weren t any new characters to find here, Erikson just won t simplify things for readers The main difference between this book and the previous installment was that I found the new characters in this novel to be so much better to follow than the one in Reaper s Gale There weren t any ridiculously dumb and pointless story arc just like Redmask or the Shake forgot his her name already due to boredom storyline In fact, Harllo was one of the few characters Erikson wrote that made me truly empathize with For god sake, Harllo was practically Fitz plunged into the Malazan world, enough said.Throughout the majority of the book give or take 75% the plot looked like it s going nowhere and I seriously wondered what the hell is Erikson trying to do here , what even is the true main plot of the novel and how will he be able to conclude this one satisfyingly and Beru fends, he did He absolutely nailed the last 25% with massive impact force making the last 25% of the book the best explosive closing in the series so far even better than the climax sequences in Memories of Ice It was astonishing and ingenious the way Erikson unraveled everything he has prepared into the last 25% of the story I wish I could give you a spoiler free explanation on how masterful it was but I can t I m honestly speechless and I m writing this with the convergence playing like a movie in my head It was truly a cinematic experience of grief, darkness, light, vengeance, ash, destruction, humor, and of course, one of the greatest imagery that epic fantasy has to offer you must experience this for yourself.Picture One of the interior artworks in the Subterranean edition by Marc SimonettiI m at the homestretch of the series now and I don t really have anything else to say about this tome without going into repetition or spoiler territory Toll the Hounds may have a lot of flaws in pacing and overload of philosophical contents I love philosophies but anything that s too much is never good but overall, it was still expertly crafted Only twobooks to go now The beginning of the end has been sparked and my journey within this gigantic series is very close to the end Allow me to close this review with a quote that will definitely stick with me for a long timeThere is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail should we fall we will know that we have livedOr in other words of my other absolute favorite seriesJourney before destinationYou can order the book HERE You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions


  2. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    DON T TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW Yes, I was prepared, but I hate everything right now Moving on to another book so I can get behind this Mel DON T TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW Yes, I was prepared, but I hate everything right now Moving on to another book so I can get behind this Mel


  3. TS Chan TS Chan says:

    In a series replete with epic endings, Toll the Hounds offered, to date, the most epic one of all It is with much joy that upon rereading I could upgrade this book as one of my favourites Before I start my review proper, I d like to point out that reading Return of the Crimson Guards from the Malazan Empire series prior to Toll the Hounds is relevant to the timeline, both from an event and character standpoint The plot in Toll the Hounds seemingly digressed from the central arc of the Cripple In a series replete with epic endings, Toll the Hounds offered, to date, the most epic one of all It is with much joy that upon rereading I could upgrade this book as one of my favourites Before I start my review proper, I d like to point out that reading Return of the Crimson Guards from the Malazan Empire series prior to Toll the Hounds is relevant to the timeline, both from an event and character standpoint The plot in Toll the Hounds seemingly digressed from the central arc of the Crippled God and was no less captivating because of it While the past few books gave readers an in depth view of the Tiste Edur of Shadow, this one brought focus to the Tiste Andii of Darkness, of whom we were only given small morsels of information so far A mysterious race, given to excessive introspection and deep melancholy, the Andii is led by an utterly enigmatic and supremely great leader, the Son of Darkness There is still so much fascinating history to be discovered about the Tiste Andii that Erikson s current series, The Kharkanas Trilogy, is being written to address this Anomander Rake, Lord of the Tiste Andii, Son of Darkness, is in my view, one of the greatest fantasy characters that I ve ever encountered Evenamazingly, is how Erikson elevated him to such lofty ideals without ever having his own point of view, as if the very enigma from doing so made him evercompelling and charismatic What we did get were the viewpoints of other characters, be it his people or other races or even gods and ascendants, and their highest regards for himThe chaos in you, yes, a fire on the promontory, a beacon piercing the profound entropy we saw all around us And yet, so few of you proved worthy of our allegiance So few, Lord, and fewer with each generation, until now here you stand, virtually alone The one who was worth it The only one There is much skill in creating beautiful yet subtle symmetry in storytelling A skill that Erikson has in spades as evident from his narrative Toll the Hounds can be called as the penultimate volume in Malazan Book of the Fallen as the next two books, Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God, form a two part finale This vast, sweeping and intricate tale begun in Darujhistan in Gardens of the Moon and had now come full circle with a convergence of mind boggling proportions The word epic will not even begin to describe the confluence of almost all the major, or biggest, or most badass characters, descending upon the unwitting citizens of the City of Blue Fire I cannot sufficiently praise the brilliant writing commanded by Erikson to tell the tale of this fateful city, in the form of the most engaging and unique voice of that little round man in a red waistcoat, Kruppe The storytelling literally serenades the reader with a combination of poetic, elegant, graceful and, at times, alliterative turn of phrasesArrivals Glory and portent, delightful reunion and terrible imminence, winged this and winged that and escapes and releases and pending clashes and nefarious demands for recompense over a single mouthful of spat wine, such a night Such a night And this was a night like any other, a skein of expectations and anticipations, revelations and perturbations Look around Look around On all sides, day and night, light and dark Every step taken with the firm resolve to believe in the solid ground awaiting it Every step, one after another, again and again, and no perilous ledge yawns ahead, oh no Step and step, now, step and step The ratings for Toll the Hounds were probably among the most divergent of this series, as the pace was very slow for a significant part of the book with a greater level of dense philosophical commentary and seemingly overindulgent introspection In fact, my initial read suffered because of this aspect However, being in the right state of mind as I tackled my reread and having gained a newfound appreciation for deep ruminations, I experienced a significant improvement in my level of enjoyment while reading this tome From themes of mortality and morality servitude, sacrifice and salvation redemption and restitution it was so pervasive and pondering in the narrative that I do acknowledge that pacing suffers but I was so thoroughly immersed in it this time that it no longer was an issue While the climaxes of the preceding books tend to commence around the last ten percent or with two main chapters remaining, we are treated to a doubly extended climactic ending in this volume This was due to the presence ofsubplots and arcs in the narrative all masterfully intertwined towards the aforementioned convergence that was most poignantly expressed in the voice of Kruppe And the ending set the stage for the two part finale to come Malazan Book of the Fallen is so named for its heart wrenching and tragic tales These span from the small and personal ones to the immense and epic Was all this grief and suffering for nought For in the words of one of the greatest of all,There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail should we fall we will know that we have lived You can purchase the book from Book Depository Free Shipping Bookshop.Org You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.


  4. Jody Jody says:

    It has been over a week since I finished Toll the Hounds , so I have had plenty of time to think about how I wanted to review this Personally, I thought this was the weakest book in the series Now, before you go all berserk on me I have my reasons, and let me emphasis that while I say it is the weakest book in the series it is also a great book by any other standards But putting it up against all the other Malazan books it just fell a little short for me Let me explain There were a lot of It has been over a week since I finished Toll the Hounds , so I have had plenty of time to think about how I wanted to review this Personally, I thought this was the weakest book in the series Now, before you go all berserk on me I have my reasons, and let me emphasis that while I say it is the weakest book in the series it is also a great book by any other standards But putting it up against all the other Malazan books it just fell a little short for me Let me explain There were a lot of sections in the book were not much happened With books this size I understand there isn t going to be action from beginning to end, and I am used to the non combatant interludes in these books, but it just got to me in this one I actually felt a lack of interest at certain times, and I believe this contributed to me taking so long to finish it I just had no desire to pick it up as much as I did the other books Maybe it s just Malazan overload from the past few months, but I don t think so Also, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on in some areas of the story Erikson has a way of befuddling the mind sometimes, and I found that happening a lot to me in this book I think back to some scenes and still have no clue what he was trying to achieve Now, knowing how Erikson writes, this may all come to pass with the next two books and I will probably be sticking my foot in my mouth by the end of the series, but until then OK Now that I have gotten my complaints out of the way let us move on to the positive side of the review and other thoughts I was so glad to be back in the city of Darujhistan and with characters that got me to fall in love with this series way back in GotM There is Murillio, Anomander Rake, and of course the linguistic genius who is always a step ahead of everyone else, KruppeWhatever happened to common decency To decent commonry What s decent is rarely common that is true enough, while the obverse is perverse in all prickly irony, would you not agree Kruppe would, being such an agreeable sortWhile there were other characters I would like to mention, I can t due to spoilers for those of you who haven t made it this far yet Erikson has a way of tying in events or little phrases that relate back to previous books that I really enjoy A joke between characters, a dark omen that finally came to pass, or some reference back to an event that you just hope to catch This makes these books enjoyable to read, but can also seem impossible to notice with the amount of information in each book Here is one I happened to stumble upon See if you can see the relation back to GotMLove found and love lost A certain desperation that still spins like a coin which way will it fall Question as yet unanswered, a future as yet undecidedAs with all Malazan books you re going to have your share of heartache, and a great convergence at least once in every book These two things are sometimes intertwined and other times not While I enjoyed the convergence in this one it was definitely overshadowed by the heartache I felt It is not uncommon to have these emotions battle with each other in this series, but in this book it was no contestThe soul knows no great anguish than to take a breath that begins with love and ends with griefI know I said earlier this is the weakest book in the series, and I will stand by that There are always going to be weaker books in any series Having said that, I did enjoy this waythan it frustrated me I was definitely caught off guard by the problems I had with it, and I think that is why I feel the need to explain my complaints as much as I have Toll the Hounds is a vital addition to this series, and one I am sure I will look back on as an intricate piece of this vast Malazan puzzle when I am done Sadly, it did not make my 5 star cut, but of course I encourage all of you to read it and decide for yourselves.4 stars


  5. Deborah Obida Deborah Obida says:

    There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail should we fall we will know that we have lived Anomander Rake Son of Darkness I have just one problem with this book, and that is its slowness, this book is so damn slow, this book could have been better if it was 500 pages shorter, I will read and read yet nothing is happening, it made the reading experience not as fun as the previous ones, I have to admit I was bored at some point, which is the first timeThere is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail should we fall we will know that we have lived Anomander Rake Son of Darkness I have just one problem with this book, and that is its slowness, this book is so damn slow, this book could have been better if it was 500 pages shorter, I will read and read yet nothing is happening, it made the reading experience not as fun as the previous ones, I have to admit I was bored at some point, which is the first time since I started this series.The unnecessary descriptions of morning and evenings got tiring after the first few times, I started skimming the rest, don t even get me started on the weather It would have been better if he had adopted the writing style of GoTM or MT, that a part is dedicated to one location, then they all meet at the final part Speak truth, grow still, until the water is clear between us.Meditations of the Tiste Andii Moving on to things I love in this book One we are back to Darujhistan, we ve heard almost nothing from this city since GoTM, the first book, another location is Black Coral which is now ruled by the Anomander, so the Andiis live there with some humans We also have few other locations and some new characters which would be discussed in the character section Survivors do not mourn together They each mourn alone, even when in the same place Grief is the most solitary of all feelings Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation. Characters If you are spoiler sensitive or haven t read the first 7 books, I suggest you jump this section, cause even though I won t mention spoilers I would mention character names which would tell you who made it this far in the series.DarujhistanHere we have Kruppe,Murillio,Coll, Rallick Nom and the rest of the usuals of Pheonix inn Cutter and Torvald Nom are back to the city,with Scillara, Barathol and Chaur Stonny now resides there and the remaining retired Bridgeburners that own K rul s bar and finally Baruk and Lady Envy.Nothing much happened with those at Phoenix inn, just the usual, the rest is spoilers, as usual politics and fight for council seat is as hot as ever, an asshole named Gorlas Vidikas really caused trouble for my loved characters view spoiler Gorlas killed Murillio in a duel but Cutter killed him, Cutter is so badass now but still love and misses Apsalar, she sent him a message and told him to come met her hide spoiler Cutter is as lost as ever, also very pessimistic, Barathol is trying to start a new life same as Scillara The bridgeburners have some assassin issues, those scenes were one if my favourite in the whole book Stonny part wasn t that fun, she wasbitchy than before Sacrifice must be weighed by the pain of what is surrendered, and this alone was the true measure of a virtue s worth. Black CoralTo say the Tiste Andiis are hopeless is an understatement, Mother Dark s rejection made them all turn to my beloved Anomander for everything, the weight on his shoulders, no wonder he is the way he is So glad he has people like Spinnock Durav an Andii who would do anything for him, even die if Anomander asks tears and Endest Silann, just get ready to have watery eyes or tear up anytime you read his part, its just so sad The ending part for these three is just so., I just can t find an appropriate word to describe it view spoiler Anomander sacrificed himself and died to give his people hope, since he is the gate to Kurald Galain, he merged his soul with that of the gate in Dragnipur and made Black Coral a gate to their realm wipes tears Spinnock distracted Karllor from getting there to steal the sword and almost died, Endest Silann also helped stopped a dying god from taking over the Andiiis who wanted to pry on their vulnerability when Anomander was doing this hide spoiler People now worship Itkovian and calls him the redeemer, as a new god things are not so easy, some bastards try to pry on that, the rest is spoilers.OthersMy beloved Nimander and co, Skintick, Destra, Nenanda, Aranatha and Kedaviss, how I love this lot Nimander is so humble and has a low self esteem, I don t blame him, life hasn t exactly being kind to him, but despite this he is noble and is willing to die for his love ones, even strangers if need be, no wonder they follow and love himEmotions are the spawn of true motivations, whether those motivations be conscious or otherwise , said Nimander. Karsa, Samar and Traveller made this bookfun, the dialogue between Karsa and Samar is one of one favourites in the book, and guess what they are also heading to Darujhistan.Gruntle, Mappo and the Trygalle trade guild were in this but their parts was the slowest and boring, if not for the dialogue between the Bole brothers I might have skimmed these partsIt s against the law to look in someone else s bag Swamp law Does this look like a swamp That doesn t matter You broke the law Anyway, what you found was my spare moccasin Your one spare moccasin That s right Then why was it full of my love notes What love notes The ones me and her been writing back and forth The ones I hid in my moccasin Those ones, Jula What s obvious now is just how many times you been breaking the law Because you been hiding your love notes which you write to yourself and nobody else you been hiding them in my spare moccasin Not that you d ever look But I might, if I knew about it You didn t though, did you Besides, you don t have a spare moccasin, because I stole it And that s why I stole it back You can t steal back what you didn t know was stolen in the first place That s just stealing And stealing s against the law Swamp lawHarllo, view spoiler Harllo is the son of Stonny, she got pregnant after that rape in Capustan, she named him after Harllo her friend hide spoiler Bainisk and Bellam Nom are new characters that have managed to crip into my heart and top my favourites PlotThere is a prophecy about a convergence in Darujhistan that would involve Anomander, Lady Envy and Spite her sister, The hounds of Shadows and Light, Karsa, Samar, Traveller, Iskaral Pust and many others


  6. Mayim de Vries Mayim de Vries says:

    Epilogue There is no bell that could toll for me now Chapter 24 She was there All the time Chapter 23 Rake, dear me Rake Chapter 22 What an army, what an epic army Bridgeburners on the tip, Dujek on the left and Wickans on the right flank then Brukhalian s Grey Swords You could conquer the whole universe Chapter 21 Scott said Hold on, because this is when it starts Well, hold my sword coffee Chapter 20 The alliance goals to keep Darkness in, Chaos out and Death down Chapter 19 Epilogue There is no bell that could toll for me now Chapter 24 She was there All the time Chapter 23 Rake, dear me Rake Chapter 22 What an army, what an epic army Bridgeburners on the tip, Dujek on the left and Wickans on the right flank then Brukhalian s Grey Swords You could conquer the whole universe Chapter 21 Scott said Hold on, because this is when it starts Well, hold my sword coffee Chapter 20 The alliance goals to keep Darkness in, Chaos out and Death down Chapter 19 I am not going to blame your choices on anyone, you are a grown woman, but Chalice, yours is the saddest love story I read in a while Chapter 18 Some deaths are late and overdue, late and overdue, and late and late, and overdue and late and Kallor And not that I am repeating myself Just emphasising Or going Kadaspala Chapter 17 My fists are clenched for all the Snells of the world Our world Chapter 16 The Dragnipur world is the death toll and toll the death knell at the same time I am rarely saying this but really, my mind is blown Chapter 15 Just thinking about the hypothetical Pink Moranth made me pause Chapter 14 When somebody says oops when unleashing an undead dragon, know that they care Clear all the paths for Traveller Take all the burdens from Rake save that one that makes even the stones tremble Chapter 13 That is one fat dead undead army on the march.Chapter 12 Between Karsa and Traveller versus Itkovian and Seerdomin I think I prefer the second bromance please note, both have a female in the background Chapter 11 My heart breaks for all the Harllos of the world Our world Chapter 10 This kelyk thing is beyond terrifying Chapter 9 Despite all my love, I don t think I d ever share a meal with you, Kruppe perspective as wide as the waistline notwithstanding Chapter 8 Gothos That was an absolute folly Chapter 7 I so hoped we see the bole sister finally Alas, twobrothers again And the dark side of the moon Chapter 6 If you set personal goals, go for the throat as they say, he he , don t be satisfied with the easy Kill death and vomit rainbows Chapter 5 And THIS IS WHY every self respecting burglar should take a cat on as a team mate, right Torvald you ungrateful nob, not even hello kitty Also, best chapter so far, a masterpiece, truly and there is 19to go Chapter 4 That is a beautiful prayer when you don t want your deity to be lonely And is there a lonelinessprofound than this of a child denied by his mother Chapter 3 It is settled Next time I am moving countries, I am contracting Trygalle Trade Guild Anybody s got their contact details Chapter 2 As your resident Tiste Andii in disguise, I think I could move to Black Coral any daynight Ps remember, sun kills, think of the Sahara desert Chapter 1 Attention for POV change I swear there arePOVs in this one chapter than in some whole fantasy series.Prologue Oh no only three books left I am not going to even pretend that I could in any way give a pale shadow of justice to this book or indeed a whole series in a proper review There are many better than me, here on Goodreads and many of those I m lucky to have among my friends , who managed to grasp and convey the sheer brilliance of what awaits those who open the Malazan Book of the Fallen All I can give you is a chapter breakdown of my own ponderings for whom the bell tolls.The Malazan Book of the Fallen 1 Gardens of the Moon 2 Deadhouse Gates 3 Memories of Ice 4 House of Chains 5 Midnight Tides 6 The Bonehunters 7 Reaper s Gale 9 Dust of Dreams and the third star is a testament to my generosity 10 The Crippled God


  7. Gavin Gavin says:

    This was another good instalment of Steven Erikson s fantastic Malazan series It was a step up in quality from what we got in Reaper s Gale Mostly because I think the characters and balance of the story were better in Toll the Hounds As always I enjoyed Erikson s weird but engaging writing style and enjoyed his observations and scathing social commentary The setting of this instalment was a big plus for me as we returned to the city of Darujistan It ranks up there with Letheras as my favour This was another good instalment of Steven Erikson s fantastic Malazan series It was a step up in quality from what we got in Reaper s Gale Mostly because I think the characters and balance of the story were better in Toll the Hounds As always I enjoyed Erikson s weird but engaging writing style and enjoyed his observations and scathing social commentary The setting of this instalment was a big plus for me as we returned to the city of Darujistan It ranks up there with Letheras as my favourite Malazan setting and has the added bonus of having a ton of great characters living in the city The pick of the bunch being the always entertaining Kruppe, who managed to find himself sharing narration duties with Erikson for some of this story Others big hitters who popped up in this story were Rake, Karsa, Traveller, Kallor, Envy, Spite, and the always fun duo of Shadowthrone and Cotillion Not that the mortals were lacking as we got the return of old favourites like Crokus, Kruppe, Rallick Nom, Picker, Blend, and even Iskeral Pust Plus we got to meet a bunch of fun new characters as well The pick of the new guys being Harllo and Endest I was not a giant fan of the super bleak tragic tone that ran through the story but Erikson just about managed to offset this with offering a few moments of triumph to go with the tragedy and by countering the tragedy with a story arc focusing on redemption The tone was also lightened a bit with a some humor The balance worked OK for me Though I must admit I m surprised a few of the characters never off ed themselves before the big Convergence finally hit given how depressed and suicidal they were After a near year long break from the Malazan series I found the start of this one a little hard to get into in the early stages Erikson has a unique and weird writing style and it took me a little bit of time to acclimatize myself with it and get sucked back into the story It likely did not help that I had to try and remember who some of the lesser characters were again Luckily by the 20% to 25% mark I was back into the flow of all things Malazan If I have to moan about something it is the fact that a few of the BIG deaths lacked the same level of emotional impact as a few of the very minor ones That was a little disappointing Darujistan, the Tiste Andii, Dragnipur, and that one big epic surprise death were the strength of this instalment Rating 4.5 stars I always feel a little harsh not giving some of these Malazan stories a full 5 star rating I think that is mostly because I tend to judge them against the best books in the series like Memories of Ice and Midnight Tides So this is a 4.5 Malazan rating which equates to a solid 5 star rating in regular terms Audio Note Michael Page has done a decent job with this series since taking over from the equally good Ralph Lister


  8. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    Back in Darujhistan things are back to normal with a lot of parties competing for power, money, influence, or just trying to stay alive The rules of the game are simple all means of achieving a goal are fine A number of people came back to the city and they have no idea what to do in there, which leaves a lot of time for them to ponder on philosophical questions Meanwhile, in Coral Black Coral now Anomander Rake does well something I still have no clue what he did there.I rate thi Back in Darujhistan things are back to normal with a lot of parties competing for power, money, influence, or just trying to stay alive The rules of the game are simple all means of achieving a goal are fine A number of people came back to the city and they have no idea what to do in there, which leaves a lot of time for them to ponder on philosophical questions Meanwhile, in Coral Black Coral now Anomander Rake does well something I still have no clue what he did there.I rate this book 2.5 stars rounding down to 2 This was really painful to read First and foremost, there were a lot of POVs in the book The author keeps switching between POVs literally on each page which affected my reading pattern the following way go to the next page, scan it quickly to figure out which POV I read at the moment it was NOT obvious go back to the beginning of page and read it carefully to the end Repeat until finished Everybody is a philosopher in Malazan universe, which means for every POV switch we have almost full page of deep or not so deep thoughts and a couple of lines of action by the end of the page I finished the book, and still the motivation of the majority of characters is still a mystery to me I mean, a lot of inner thoughts, some action and not a word about what motivated this particular character to act the way he acted I had to read three fourths of the book to finally get some vague ideas of what was about to happen, which by that time begin to bother me This is Show, do not tell idea taken to the extreme By the time I finished the book I realized the people in the whole series have no clue what preventive measures are They all know beforehand that the bad things are coming to them, and nobody lifts his finger to do anything in advance, no kind of preparations until shit really hits the fan As soon as it happens, people finally start acting in the very last moment, doing great sacrifices most of these sacrifices could be easily prevented if somebody bothered to do something fairly obvious and logical things, too before the crisis started.Another problem the whole book is a tale of Kruppe who, by the way is really boring in this book except for exactly one scene In each chapter the beginning and the end is told in typical Kruppe manner of speech, but the middle is told in normal way as if the author keeps forgetting is was supposed to be Kruppe who tells the tale All in all, one of the weakest book in the series The only emotion I had after I finished it was relief like one after a great physical effort which it was sort of


  9. Ivan Ivan says:

    At this point it s impossible to talk about the plot and characters without spoilers so I won t even try.When I started this many people have said that it s slowest and worst of the Malazan books for 2 3 and they where right but I can t say I was bored Erikson knows how make interesting character and and luckily I have good memory since there are lot of characters we haven t seen since books 1 and 3 and I was thrilled that some small events caused ripples that can be seen here.Now that last thi At this point it s impossible to talk about the plot and characters without spoilers so I won t even try.When I started this many people have said that it s slowest and worst of the Malazan books for 2 3 and they where right but I can t say I was bored Erikson knows how make interesting character and and luckily I have good memory since there are lot of characters we haven t seen since books 1 and 3 and I was thrilled that some small events caused ripples that can be seen here.Now that last third was something We all know Erikson is absolute master when it comes to writing epic finale but this is where he outdone himself Convergence of powers in this book is of proportions yet unseen in Malazan world involving gods, ascendants, elder races and mortals and not all of the characters involved get out of it alive and some don t even live to see it Putting Malazan series on hold until further because I need some time to recover


  10. Stefan Bach Stefan Bach says:

    History meant nothing, because the only continuity was human stupidity Where to even begin From that magnificent ending No, who starts with an ending But in many ways,Toll the Hounds,eight book inMalazan Book of the Fallenseries is the beginning of an end Interlude into a final bookDust of Dreams Crippled Godbook by which end all pieces are set and ready for a conclusion Let s start with the necessary but I promise very brief what, where and who.We re back inHistory meant nothing, because the only continuity was human stupidity Where to even begin From that magnificent ending No, who starts with an ending But in many ways,Toll the Hounds,eight book inMalazan Book of the Fallenseries is the beginning of an end Interlude into a final bookDust of Dreams Crippled Godbook by which end all pieces are set and ready for a conclusion Let s start with the necessary but I promise very brief what, where and who.We re back inDarujhistan,place where inevitable convergence is approaching Convergence of characters, of destinies, past and future, old and new, friends and enemies, lovers, ascendants, gods, mules all coming to a single crossroad.And that s not the only convergence in this book Deep within the sword,ChaosandDarkare about to battle each other to extinction, possibly ending the world and all realms in it.The only force that is willing to oppose this imminent end is that which is bound and shackled to a wooden wagon, forces gathered through millennia, consisting of mutual dreaded enemiesCharacters Reading this book reaffirmed my opinion that all powerful characters, such asAnomander Rake,hurts the overall quality of the story Yes, you have read those lines properly Bear with me.It s not that I hate having these types of characters as much is failing to see what other readers found so compelling in him and characters alike I mean, I get it, he is all powerful, veers into a dragon, have a badass sword, he is also profoundly mysterious and unfathomably tragic And most of the time, that sthan enough, because this is fantasy and something like this is presumable, right But, at some point, this vast power, this larger than life part in the story, becomes a burden to a character Because whenever he comes into a spotlight, readers expectoooohh sandwwoooow sfrom him They expect to be awestruck And that ultimately puts limitation on author himself, because there are expectations to be met and when author realizes he can t meet those expectations, like Erikson realized here , they have none other choice than to put these type of characters on a shelf To wait their opportunity to shineBecause would you believe it that Steven never intended for Anomander to have a big part in this series Actually, Erikson himself was quite confused that Anomandaris was received so well by readers because, like myself, he wasn t infatuated by him at all Yeah, shocking, I know But of course, because he writes for us, he gave us what we want Well, what most of us want, in any case And if author doesn t have other compelling stories or if he simply relies too much on a story of this magnificent character we are bound to read endlesslyNo, it s not the time no it s not the time and no, it s still not the timethroughout much of the 1200 pages of a book Like in this one here.Honestly, at some point I heardJaffarsayingPatience, Iago, patience If other characters have to wait this one character if other stories have to wait this one story to progress further than that, in my opinion, hurts the quality of the story.And this is exactly what happened here Other stories suffered because of it stories such asCutter CrocusandChalice D Arlewhich we could completely cut off, and except 80 pages of the book, we wouldn t lose much at all Add on thatRallick Nomand his cousinTorvald NomAdd evenEnvyandSpiteI would even go so far to cut offMapoandGruntle sstory All these stories, which served as an underwhelming supplement while we re waiting well, we don t know what exactly is that we re waiting all we know is thatIt s almost the time , I would completely cut off, saving approximately 400 pages, without losing any thread whatsoeverPerspective, you see The world changes according to where you stand Which leads us to last 150 200 pages, which were breathless Something we re quite used to seeing in Steven s books and something that doesn t surprise us any Now obviously I can t talk in details about it, but I ll mention this the main reason for me why last 200 pages kept me on the edge of my seat is mainly because of the prequels story and character I m following from them, all throughout this series, and seeing revelations and seemingly conclusion to that character s arc In all of my previous reads I wasn t as invested as in this one, with all the prequels, as well as side novels of this world, backing me up.Just because of it, again, I ll recommend chronological reading order for anyone that has nerves, time and overall desire to do soTo face death is to stand alone Preparation for character s death I love the fact that Steven was considerate enough to groom us and prepare for what is to come for this emotional barrage and sad departure from characters that we love.In the story we have a character who dies With Steven Erikson that s not even a spoiler, it s something that we expect in each book, at every corner to jump right at us.But the way he had done it, through seemingly insignificant character and within a minor story in the book, is a masterful preparation for his readers for what is to come by the endSadness belonged As rightful as joy, love, grief and fear All conditions of being.Too often people mistook the sadness in others for self pity, and in so doing revealed their own hardness of spirit, andthan a little malice Focusing so much and in so many details on this minor story and this insignificant character, and to let us grieve alongside these character s friends, feeling their pain, paying respect to their fallen comrade, going through all these stages, denial, anger, grief and finally acceptance, actually helped in accepting what is inevitably to come, on our feet, with grace.Brilliance is in small detailsSymbolism and allegory People don t change to suit their god they change their god to suit them What do you do when god refuses to acknowledge you Would you transform your faith in desperate need for answers Would you pick an easier way to find whatever meaning you can What then hides behind your prayer When the purpose of the prayer becomes seeking of hope or a blessing, or the sense that something greater than yourself might acknowledge your helplessness all of which in order to serve your wants and needs does a prayer becomes a meaning of reciprocity Is a prayer nothingfor you than a bargain The large part of this book centers on the questions at the very beginning of the faith, in the cradle itself, who decides what and how do we worship What is the proper way of worshiping a deity How is a priesthood born What are the rules and prohibitions And most of all who defines this moral filter from which we could divide justice from injustice Focusing on telling a story how wicked and dangerous priests can become, these mortal messengers of god s word, how from each next generation that same god s word can be twisted into something unrecognizable and made to suit selfish needs to whomever currently occupies the highest seat in this newly formed church especially if when bombarded with questions this deity refuses to answer we see how easy is for mortal opportunistic desires to become a dogmaProse I have seen many complaints about occasional shifting of structural narrative, and I have to say that I do not understand two things.First why had Erikson decided to introduce this late in the series, practically at the beginning of the end, this change Was it necessary to whom actually can we prescribe this change in telling the story this almost breaking of the fourth wall and pinching the reader on his nose while doing so If we prescribe it toKruppethen why now We had this character for four books and he never ventured into something similar in previous installments.But if we somehow manage to prescribe this to newly introduced character, this bardFishermanthen I suppose we can understand shifting.But I m not sure that we can, so overall I m confused and don t understand this move Steven decided to make.Second thing that I don t understand is why people are complaining so much about it This shift in narrative structure in each chapter is perhaps four paragraphs long Which means half a page in fifty pages long chapters per average Which again, in twenty three chapters long book is merely above eleven pages.Now, one may try to build an argument around this and say how ten pages in a thousand pages long book actually managed to disturb or even ruin someone s experience but, to be honest, I wouldn t call that a valid argument I would actually name that something else3.33 5 Quite generous rating, if you ask me Book is not only its ending, no matter how breathtaking that ending isKharkanas TrilogyForge of DarknessFall of LightPath to Ascendancy seriesDancer s LamentDeadhouse LandingMalazan Empire seriesNight Of KnivesReturn of the Crimson GuardStonewielderMalazan Book of the Fallen seriesGardens of the MoonDeadhouse GatesMemories of IceMidnight TidesHouse of ChainsThe BonehuntersReaper s GaleUltimate Malazan Chronological Reading Order


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