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House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 669 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531004X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765310040
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 5.7 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the 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 the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In the aftermath of the chain of dogs, adjunct Tavore, sister of Felisin arrives with an unblinded army to take seven cities back for the empire. Or so the idea went....
The issue with the novel is, that the back would give you the idea that it was a showdown between Tavore and Felisin, whilst it really isn't. The first quarter of the book is a flashback, explaing the character and presence of Toblaki in Deadhouse gates. The rest is so concerned with various storylines that the promised showdown falls flat on its face. This only jars me because I was led to believe that this book was a "end to the first half" of the series, and I was hoping to take a break to let my wallet and my studies recover....sadly not so, I remain gripped as ever. And in truth, the climax was still excellent, just more a battle of assassins in which giant dogs, ghosts and a very angry Toblaki wander into the mix. There is little else in the book that I can openly criticise, the plot lines remain as strong as ever, and as always, erikson gives us copious amounts of philosophical musing, bizarre comedy and sheer randomness. As we have come to expect from him, not everything is answered, and thus we must keep reading until the bitter end. The next novel in the series is excellent, and I believe that the Bonehunters is currently residing in my postbox.
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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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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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