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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Amazing, He Is The King Of Fantasy
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...
Published on 18 July 2003 by BLIND_BADGER

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Step Back
And just when I thought the Malazan saga was kicking into high gear with the events of Memories of Ice the series is brutally reined in with House of Chains.

Maybe it's just something about the plot or the characters involved in the Seven Cities conflict that means I've found this and book two much less enjoyable than the ones focused on Genabackis...
Published on 11 Oct 2011 by DRFP


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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
By 
BLIND_BADGER (letchworth, herts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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.
But over all it is another hit from perhaps THE BEST author of fantasy novels in this day and age, it's his attention to detail and his merciless imagination which sets him apart from most fantasy authors and puts him straight up in the big league with the likes of Tolkien.
I advise to anyone thinking of buying this novel to buy it over the net because i will tell you now you will not be able to find it in any high street retail shops, I spent ages looking for this novel, I even went to this giant book shop in Cambridge which had like four floors in it and they didnt even have it, they only had Memories Of Ice (what about the other novels, insult or what) in the end I had to order it over the net because I just couldnt find it anywhere. So avoid the hassel and just order it from Amazon.
But like I said this is a truly magnificent story from a highly under rated, and highly ignored MASTER of fantasy novels, who never seems to be given the light of day by anyone.
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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
By 
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) (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
This review is from: House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) (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
By 
Mr Patrick Mcgann (Galway, Galway Ireland) - See all my reviews
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book that continues a fantastic series, 24 Nov 2003
By 
mbogle (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) (Mass Market Paperback)
House of Chains is the fourth book in the series but, in fact, carries on where the second book left off. (Deadhouse Gates)
The author takes us back to the characters and consequences that followed the ending of that book. Although this book can be read on its own I would strongly advise reading this series in order:-
1)Gardens of the Moon
2)Deadhouse Gates
3)Memories of Ice
The reason is that many of the most enjoyable parts of the book are seeing the cleverly interlaced stories that flow from book to book with actions that occur in one book being seen from different angles and even explained more fully in this one. We follow a number of different individuals as each follows their own paths meeting and crossing the paths of all the other characters. The cleverest part is that each path is distinct unto itself with the goals and objectives varying wildly. The crossing when it occurs may not even be with the characters but an explanation as to why for example a boat was found drifting with all the crew dead in a previous book.
This series is an excellent read which is full of novel ideas and a depth of story and plot that has kept me enthralled from the time I started reading the first book until now when I eagerly await the 5th.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 5 Jan 2003
By 
K. Bourouba (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the best book so far. In this one, you really start to see the bigger picture about what is happening, and why these events have occured. You learn a great deal about the T'Lan Imass and what they have become, you learn what is happening with the Malazan empire, and the effect of the new cards in the deck of dragons implies. This book is also the starting point for one character who I believe is the greatest guy ever, like another reviewer said, a minor one, but a cool one at the end. This book does not suffer from the longwindedness that previous instalments have, notably Memories of Ice and the bits with Kruppe from the first one. If you have read the others then you have to read this one. Lots of questions answered, and a lot more posed.
The only downside is that I just found out the series may span ten whole books from beginning to end, which takes the mick a bit in a Robert Jordan fashion... Hope they are all as good as this one
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Step Back, 11 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) (Mass Market Paperback)
And just when I thought the Malazan saga was kicking into high gear with the events of Memories of Ice the series is brutally reined in with House of Chains.

Maybe it's just something about the plot or the characters involved in the Seven Cities conflict that means I've found this and book two much less enjoyable than the ones focused on Genabackis? Characterization has never been Erikson's strong point in all honesty. I know what certain characters are but I never I know who they are.

Having said that, Karsa Orlong, introduced at the start of this novel, is probably Erikson's best developed character. It's a shame that for much of the first 200 pages of this novel he's not particularly likeable and that even thereafter he remains something of an untouchable character in terms of his martial prowess, a fact that renders him slightly boring.

Even after that opening "book" in this novel and we're back with the Malazan's and Karsa's place in the story is established this segment of the Malazan saga never quite gets off the ground. Sha'ik's rebellion and attempted suppression is basically a conflict waiting to happen for almost the entire novel; lots of people talking about what might happen with very little actually happening. When events finally do kick off they're deftly written but the outcome is still slightly anti-climatic.

Of the other plotlines in this novel - Crokus and Apsalar end up engaged in protecting the Throne of Shadow, the significance of which may or may not be proven in the future. Otherwise their time is spent getting to a point where their stories can get going again and is rather unexciting. Trull Sengar's plotline I found rather uninteresting and seemed to me an overly elaborate and long-winded way of developing just a few plotpoints and setting up book number five.

I've read this far, so I'll carry on with the Malazan saga. It's just quite disappointing that after the energy of Memories of Ice and the revelation of the entire saga's nucleus that events slow right back down here. The explosive lift off to the epic conflict with the Chained God that I was expecting just didn't materialise. Some of the problems with his story that I thought Erikson had ironed out with Memories of Ice also reared their head again here resulting in that feeling of the author's reach constantly exceeding his grasp.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an epic, 6 Oct 2004
By 
P. D. Smith (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) (Mass Market Paperback)
This series is one of the best fantasy series I've encountered, if not THE best.
As others have done, I'd strongly recommend anyone new to the series to start with Gardens of the Moon, as all the books are strongly interlinked; if you start with The House of Chains, you'll quickly become totally baffled and lost...
The prologue to the House of Chains is set just before the Gardens of the Moon, but most of the rest of the book is set where Deadhouse Gates (book 2) left off. It explains some of the things that happened in Deadhouse Gates as well as continuing the history of Shaik and The Apocalypse.
As is the joy of this series, it concentrates equally on both sides (actually all three sides, but one is less obvious) of the coming conflict to give a 'true history' of the Malazan world, rather than the 'biased' view that many other fantasy novels provide of their respective worlds (concentrating only on the 'good' side). In the Malazan Book of the Fallen, you're hardly ever 100% sure which IS the good side (eg is the Apocalypse a battle for freedom from the acquisitive Malazan empire, or something more sinister?)
The book also seems to be setting the scene for Midnight Tides (book 5), with some of the side plots that took place. There are also hints about what 'actually' happened to the Bridgeburners (I wonder when this theme will be expanded)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 April 2004
By 
Nick (Truro, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) (Mass Market Paperback)
How Erickson writes these books so fast and so well is a mystery. This book is not quite as good as memories of ice (my personal favorite of the five written so far) but an all round excellent read non the less. Any fan of fantasy should get into this series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book that continues a fantastic series, 25 Nov 2003
By 
mbogle (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This book continues the tale where it was left off in the second book and leads us through to the meeting of forces in the holy desert of Raraku. The pace is fast and the characters memorable. Although it can be read as an individual book I would strongly recommend reading the series in the published order:-
1) Gardens of the Moon
2) Deadhouse Gates
3) Memories of Ice
4) House of Chains
The reason (apart from it being one of the best series I have ever read, see the reviews and ratings 4.5-5 stars each!) is that to gain the maximum enjoyment you need to understand the characters which have been built up over the previous 3 books into some of the most memorable I have the pleasure to experience. Fiddler and his love of explosive munitions, which he uses too close to allow his squad to feel comfortable.
A number of new characters that played small rolls in the previous books are brought to the fore as we see the interlacing of stories that helps explain some of the previous unexplained questions from previous books but also raises new ones. The best thing is that the story lines are separate but interlaced in a way that actually closes some of your unanswered questions! Unlike some series.
I am eagerly awaiting the 5th book which, I will undoubtedly buy as soon as it appears
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House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
House of Chains (Book 4 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Sep 2003)
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