3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What an epic,
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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)