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House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen) [Mass Market Paperback]

Steven Erikson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Dec 2002 The Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 4)
In Northern Genabackis a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descended from the mountains into the flat lands. For among them, Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove an extraordinary destiny.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; large trade paperback edition (2 Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593046250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593046258
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.4 x 6.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,746,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Archaeologist and anthropologist Steven Erikson's debut novel, Gardens of the Moon, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and set readers on the epic adventure that is his acclaimed 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' sequence. He lives in Cornwall and is currently writing The Crippled God - the tenth and final chapter in what has been hailed 'a masterwork of the imagination'. To find out more, visit

Product Description


"The kind of epic narrative that will have you scrambling for more" (Stephen R. Donaldson)

"This is true myth in the making, a drawing upon fantasy to to recreate histories and legends as rich as any found within our culture" (Interzone)

"Combines a sense of mythic power and depth of world with fully realized characters and thrilling action" (Michael A. Stackpole)

"Easily the best fantasy series to appear in the past decade" (SF site) --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

Book Description

The awesome - and acclaimed - fourth instalment in Steven Erikson's epic fantasy sequence THE MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Amazing, He Is The King Of Fantasy 18 July 2003
This book truly is awesome, its exciting, fulfilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat right the way through to the end and beyond.
This book carries on from Deadhouse Gates, and writes about the rebellion aka "Sha'ik's Whirlind" that has sweeped across genabackis and how Adjunct Tavore (Ganoes Paran's sister) has been given the task of destroying the rebellion with a rag tag army of recruits.
We see the old characters from Deadhouse Gates in this book like, Fiddler, Kalam, Crokus, Apsalar and many more. Also what is interesting about this novel, is that it begins with the tale of a character who was barely even mentioned in Deadhouse Gates, this character is called Karsa a Toblakai who was first mentioned in the first few pages of Deadhouse Gates when the first sha'ik was assassinated by the Red Blades.
Anyway Karsa's story is set before any of the stories in the other novels took place, and tells us everything about him and the part he plays and still has to play in these truly amazing stories.
As usual Steven Erikson writes with a lot of detail which as usual compliments the story than hindering it and making it boring.
As you all will know the battles in his stories are extremely violent and grusomely detailed and this story is no exception, but I find this gives more realism to the story and the battles in general, and it makes the novels more exciting.
This novel will close a lot of doors from previous novels, but as with all of his novels they actually open more doors than they close, its this style of writing which keeps us waiting in agony for the next instalment, and making us frustrated that the books could end so soon when there is so much left to cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Least favourite so far 23 Dec 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have given five star reviews to the first three novels in the Malazan series by Steven Erikson, but couldn't bring myself to do so with House of Chains. It was most certainly my least favourite of the series and, although it has some fantastic moments still, it was more difficult to engage with.

One of the reasons for this is that the first part of the novel deals exclusively with a naive but ferocious tribesman called Karsa and his two mates, who rape and pillage for fun. It is hard to see how this will fit in with any of the story we've seen so far in the previous three novels. The 'aha!' moment when I worked this out was one of the better parts of House of Chains.

Another reason is that we encounter the duo of Trull and Onrack - other people have said they really enjoy these characters, but I found their sections rather slow and tiresome.

The novel felt, in general, much slower than the first three I read.

Having said all this, Erikson at not quite his best is still LEAGUES above pretty much any other fantasy writer plying their business these days, and so House of Chains is a far superior novel to much of the dross that can be found on the fantasy shelves. Also, the last third of the book was utterly explosive in many ways and kept me gripped to the last page. I have a feeling that if you've already read three of the novels in the Malazan series, you will not quit at the fourth, but, to anyone who finds themselves flagging, I would urge you to push through. The pay-off is well worth it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read 25 Nov 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well after waiting with baited breath for this to be published in paperback, I was not disapointed. This is one of the best fantasy novels I have read ever, but I would say this to any reader new to this series, don't start half way in, begin with Gardens of the moon and stick with it (it is hard to begin with) then you will be rewarded with this masterpiece.
Also if it has been some time since you read the other books a re-read might be advantagous as a lot of the story of the last three books overlaps, indeed the last two are running parrallel for much of this book, with the closing parts of Memories of Ice happening near to the climax of this book.
To anyone who has read this series you know how good the other books are, this one is as good if not better, to those of you who havn't read the series, begin now and don't look back.
(As an aside it is so nice not to have to wait years for sequals to be published, ie Jordan (who then produced the miserable Crossroads of twighlight) or Martin (if feast is as good as the others I don't think i will care) as he seems for the moment atleast to be writing one a year, please keep it up, now I just have a few days hopfully for Midnight tides).
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 3 Feb 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first came across Steven Erikson some 2 years ago and after completing Gardens of the Moon I was a committed fan. Every successive book has only served to reinforce my opinion that he is one of the most original and captivating fantasy autors that I have ever had the pleasure to read. The House of Chains has managed to surpass even all my expectations, and after Deadhouse Gates they were very high indeed. From the novella in the first 150 pages through to the unfolding of some of the plans of the Crippled God, this book was unletdownable. Erikson rightly deserves much more credit for his work than Jordan, who I consider a much inferior author. This book has everything that makes a great novel, both from a fantastical sense and from a literary sense. There is no overwhelming subterfuge at work trying to confuse the reader, each book gives more elaborate and indepth insights into what goes on in the twisted pantheon of the MAlazan Empire. A must read....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Andy Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
If you're reading this then you're most likely already hooked. If not, read on, you will be. While 8 and 10 hold the crown for best in the series, with the rest not quite matching... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Alex Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great to series to follow after game of thrones. All out war ☺
Published 26 days ago by john p wilman
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
Simply awesome. Another great read from Steven Erikson. Thoroughly enjoyed the plots and how everything built to a crescendo at the end.
Published 1 month ago by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Life does not end on big bangs. This book has a subtle ending, with some brilliant new characters introduced. Can't wait to sink my teeth into the next book.
Published 1 month ago by Bert
5.0 out of 5 stars Continued excellence
Incredibly complex and truly epic this a great read and leaves me wanting to start the next book straight away. This series is a must read for fans of fantasy epic.
Published 3 months ago by Jim
4.0 out of 5 stars My daughters choice
This was a gift for my daughter so I can't really comment on whetehr its good or not - she seems to like it a lot.
Published 4 months ago by Mini
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a grind than usual
I have loved Erikson's books. Yes they are verbose at times but generally have thoroughly enjoyed them. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Still an excellent series, if only they didn't get LONGER WITH EACH...
First off, let me say, The Malazan Empire books are well-written, the world construction is meticulous, down to passing smells, and transient impressions of sound and colour... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Magda M
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one
Another great read, they just keep coming. This does start slow but boy does it pick up. You do have to keep your mind sharp to catch all the little twists that weave this whole... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bailey
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