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Toll the Hounds (The Malazan Book of the Fallen) [Mass Market Paperback]

Steven Erikson
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 May 2009 The Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 8)
In Darujhistan, the saying goes that Love and Death shall arrive together, dancing...It is summer and the heat is oppressive, yet the discomfiture of the small rotund man in the faded red waistcoat is not entirely due to the sun. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city's streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways but it seems the hunters have become the hunted. Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. Strangers have arrived, and while the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of hounds. All is palpably not well. And in Black Coral too, ruled over by Anomander Rake Son of Darkness, something is afoot - memories of ancient crimes surface, clamouring for revenge, so it would seem that Love and Death are indeed about to make their entrance...This is epic fantasy at its most imaginative, storytelling at its most exciting.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group) (26 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553813197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553813197
  • ASIN: 0553813196
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.6 x 6.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 816,698 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

Book Description

The eighth book in Erikson's extraordinary, acclaimed and bestselling fantasy sequence. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

It is said that Hood, Lord of Death, gathered unto himself a host of gods, in a place beyond the reach of mortals. It is said that Hood waits at the end of every plot, every scheme, each grandiose ambition. But this time it is different. This time he's there at the beginning...

Darujhistan swelters in the summer heat and seethes with dire portents, unsettling rumours and insidious whispers. Strangers have arrived, a murderer is at work, and past tyrannies might be reawakening. The retired Bridgeburners of K'rul's Bar have been singled out by the city's assassins with deadly consequences, and a small, rotund, red-waistcoat-clad man, while dismayed by his expanding girth, knows that this is the very least of his worries. For somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of hounds.

And far away in Black Coral, the Tiste Andii rule with seeming indifference. At a massive barrow outside the city, thousands gather - adherents to the cult of the Redeemer, a once-mortal man whose virtue and honour seem defenceless against the twisted ambitions of his followers.

So, as Hood stands at the beginning of a conspiracy that will shake the cosmos, at its end, there waits another. For Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, the time has come to right an ancient and terrible wrong ...

With this epic new chapter, Steven Erikson's awesome fantasy adventure enters its final, climactic stages.

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toll the Hounds 2 July 2008
An exhaustive review for this has already been given, so I'm just going share a few of my thoughts.

For me, this is the best book yet in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It is certainly the most intricate so far with more characters and happenings than ever (at least it seems that way). It moves along through the first three parts at a fairly sedate pace laying the ground for an earth shattering final part. As mentioned in another review, at times in this book Erikson adopts a different writing style, in which he is actually speaking to you of the events occuring at the time. It's pretty much exclusive to the goings on in Darujhistan, and I rather enjoyed it, though I don't expect we'll be seeing it again. The book is filled with a sense of melancholy (a result of the focus given to the Tiste Andii and an unloved child called Harllo), and it gets downright tearful in places. Comic relief is provided by the incomparable Iskaral Pust, and, of course, Kruppe.

I loved this book and cannot wait for the concluding volumes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars *zzzzzzz* 18 Oct 2011
I was extremely disappointed with this novel in the series. Every other book has been a 5 star, with maybe a couple of 4 stars' so far. In fact I read them all again a second time while I waited for this book to come out. This book is one of the hardest I have ever read...due to it being so ludicrously boring. Far too much of it focuses on groups of miserable characters (e.g. Clips' Tiste Andii troupe), that are an absolute chore to read about. There are three main story arcs, two of which (Clips' group and the Cult of the Redeemer/Dying God) are absolutely pointless, add nothing to the main series arc, and particularly in the case of the redeemer, seem to be extremely underdeveloped.

There are a few highlights, Karsa gets some page time which is always a bonus, and I genuinely loved the stuff with the little boy in the mining camp (can't remember his name). But unfortunately the interesting characters don't get enough story time.

However, don't give up hope, as I am glad to say I am halfway through Dust of Dreams so far and it is a definite return to form. Throughout my life I will read this series again and again, but I think each re-read will definitely miss out this pointless and boring book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An epic struggle 3 Aug 2014
By Rowena
By book 8 of the Malazan series, I am used to Erikson’s style, and have accepted that there will be large passages of his books that I find rather tedious to get through. The struggle has always been worth it, because the pay-off is that the good bits are simply amazing.

Even taking this into account, Toll the Hounds was a harder struggle than most. The action is set back in Darujhistan and Black Coral, and there is less going on in terms of plot than the previous book (Reaper’s Gale), with a lot of padding.

Unfortunately, the elements of Erikson’s writing that I like the least, such as the interminable philosophical monologues, are heavily used throughout Toll the Hounds. Add in a lot of characters I find boring, and some I actively dislike (Kruppe and Iskarel Pust), and this was never going to be my personal favourite of the series.

However, there are some redeeming points. The Dying God sub-plot is satisfyingly horrible, although I’m not sure it added anything to the series overall. The story involving Harllo and Murillio is also good and quite emotional, and Karsa Orlong is always great to read about.

I still found Toll the Houds a slog though, and the end was a long time coming. But when it did – wow, it was worth it!

Overall, I would probably rate this 3.5 out of 5, but I’m rounding it down just because I did find a lot of it very tiresome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Calm Before the Storm 10 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a series that has always confounded traditional expectations, and even at this late stage continues to do so. With the main plot built to a crescendo both in terms of epic action and breathless tension... Erikson chooses to pause and take stock before delivering the conclusion.

This is a much more low-key, intimate book than recent installments, with the story more personal and effecting than is usual.

We rejoin a few scattered Bridgeburner survivors, as well as Crokus and his disparate group as they come full circle to the city of Darujhistan. Their travails may not be as mammoth as some in the series, but they are perhaps just as important.

Erikson continues to juggle dozens of characters with skill, and still manages not to disappoint with a finale that sees many of the most powerful figures in the series come together in a clash that ends in a very important death or two...

The writing is as good as ever, and I get the feeling that the small pause provided by this novel will be more than welcome as the grand finale of this already impressive series begins.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Another year, another book in Steven Erikson's enormous Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Toll the Hounds is the eighth (of ten) novel in the series, but given that the final two books are one immense story split in half for length, it is also the penultimate chapter of this series.

The continent of Genabackis, two years (or so) after the war between the Pannion Domin and an alliance between the Tiste Andii under Anomander Rake, the mercenary companies under Caladan Brood and a Malazan army under Whiskeyjack and Dujek Onearm. In that war half a dozen major cities and the floating fortress of Moon's Spawn were destroyed, and the final Pannion refuge in the city of Coral was devastated and occupied by the Tiste Andii. The city is now cloaked in endless night and known as Black Coral. The shattered remnants of the Bridgeburners - Mallet, Spindle, Picker, Bluepearl, Blend and Antsy - have settled in Darujhistan to run a bar whilst a shadowy group of mages awaits the long-prophecised coming of a Tyrant who will conquer it. From the west Cutter, once a Daru thief named Crokus, is returning home with a motley crew of adventurers from across the world, whilst in the south of the continent three separate groups of travellers have arrived on missions of their own. In night-shrouded Coral, Anomander Rake broods and his sword, Dragnipur, drinker of souls, becomes restless...

Toll the Hounds takes us back to where the series began in Gardens of the Moon nine years ago, Darujhistan of the blue fires, and it is with a tremendous sense of nostalgia that reader is reunited with many favourite characters from that novel and Memories of Ice, not to mention a few more familiar faces as well (some of whom get spectacular entrances).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
rather a lot of waffle with little action; enormous contrast to all the preceeding books
Published 18 hours ago by A Rowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent condition
Published 1 month ago by joseph turner
4.0 out of 5 stars cool book
drags on for a bit and the lack of action till the end is a bit of a let down but the lady part of the book makes up for it all!
Published 7 months ago by G.Mad
4.0 out of 5 stars Good follow on in the series
I didn't like this as much as the previous books--bit too much introspection in it this time, almost as if Erikson was trying to pad it out. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. Broadsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars better read in sequence
I read this book a whils since and enjoyed it. It encouraged me to begin from the first book. Having read all the books up to date this was much more enjoyable - knowing something... Read more
Published 14 months ago by L P Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars The Demon Hounds are Coming
A great dark fantasy novel about a village that is terroised by a murderer and then it is invaded by demon hounds. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Andrew50
1.0 out of 5 stars A good time to give up on this series
If you are thinking of whether you should continue with this series or not, I would say now is the right time to give up. Here is why.... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Adnan Akhtar
4.0 out of 5 stars In great parts too long but GREAT END
Most of the book is filled with only partially interesting story lines and a lot of descriptions: I did not like this very much.
But the last 150 Pages are Awesome!
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by hallo-leute
4.0 out of 5 stars A Three to four star read.
The fact that it has taken me over a month to read this book should say something about it.

Toll The Hounds is a big, big book easily breaking the thousand page mark,... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by Perpetual Man
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than other reviews would have you believe.
I started this one pretty reluctantly. I'd read the reviews, the vast majority of which all seemed to think that Toll the Hounds was a bit of a dud. Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2010 by Scifi Fan
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