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House of Chains: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4 | [Steven Erikson]

House of Chains: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4

In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.
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Audible Editor Reviews

"This masterwork of imagination may be the high watermark of epic fantasy. This marathon of ambition has a depth and breadth and sense of vast reaches of inimical time unlike anything else available today. The Black Company, Zelazny's Amber, Vance's Dying Earth, and other mighty drumbeats are but foreshadowings of this dark dragon's hoard." (Glen Cook)

Publisher's Summary

In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.

Some years later, it is the aftermath of the Chain of Dogs. Tavore, the Adjunct to the Empress, has arrived in the last remaining Malazan stronghold of Seven Cities. New to command, she must hone 12,000 soldiers, mostly raw recruits but for a handful of veterans of Coltaine's legendary march, into a force capable of challenging the massed hordes of Sha'ik's Whirlwind, who lie in wait in the heart of the Holy Desert.

But waiting is never easy. The seer's warlords are locked into a power struggle that threatens the very soul of the rebellion, while Sha'ik herself suffers, haunted by the knowledge of her nemesis: her own sister, Tavore.

And so begins this awesome chapter in Steven Erikson's acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen.

©2002 Steven Erikson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (313 )
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4.2 (288 )
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Performance
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  •  
    chrisredfieldjm 08-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Listening ends here and reading begins."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The Narrator. If Michael Page had started the series I might have been content with him narrating it as a whole. Alas, he did not.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of House of Chains?

    I only made it into the second chapter. If I can edit this after I read the book I will be back to inform you of my Most Memorable Moments.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Page’s performance?

    Even noticing the change of narrators I felt obligated to give Michael Page a chance. His performance felt insufficient compared to the previous performances by Ralph Lister. Ralph brings a potent energy to his narration. He empowers the characters with vitality, personality/individuality, and substance. Made for a fantastic journey. After listening to Mr. Page's performance I couldn't help but be reminded of Ben Stein's character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No movie is the equivalent of its book, Ever! That being said, if the movie makes a genuine effort to portray the book's true essence, e.g. The Lord of the Rings, then yes. If it's another Eragon, then No.


    Any additional comments?

    I am sad to see that Michael Page has narrated the rest of the series. No offense to Michael but Ralph Lister created a world that I giddily dove into every opportunity I had. My long road trips and hours at work will return to their rightful location, North of Xanth. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series though
    P.S. I won't say the name, but a character that was recently stabbed in the chest needs to find a way back into these novels. Hopefully there is a way around Hood's Gate, or Hood needs to put him/her back in play, or anything that will bring him/her back! Keeping my fingers crossed

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dominic 08-28-14
    Dominic 08-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    "New Reader"
    Would you try another book from Steven Erikson and/or Michael Page?

    Change of reader and pronunciations are a great disappointment after 3 books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?


    What about Michael Page’s performance did you like?


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    Any additional comments?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua SACRAMENTO, CA, United States 07-21-14
    Joshua SACRAMENTO, CA, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Swapping narrators hurt"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would get our old narrator back. His voice had a lot more life to it, the characters felt more real, the voices were more varied.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Karsa Orlong. Boom, that guy is awesome.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Page’s performance?

    It is obvious that Michael doesn't study his characters before reading them. Instead, he uses certain voices with certain emotions which causes all characters with a similar voice type to be the same


    Could you see House of Chains being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    This would be a phenomenal TV series. The stars are already set up in the book, you could make this similar in style to Game of Thrones, telling multiple stories at once. A great introduction to the world would need to be created though. You would have to keep all of the core characters because they intertwine so heavily, the loss of one might hurt them all. Kruppe, Karsa, Coltaine, The Adjunct, Gamut, WhiskeyJack. The list goes on and on.


    Any additional comments?

    Can we get this re-recorded by the original reader?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy macmasters beach, Australia 06-23-14
    Tracy macmasters beach, Australia 06-23-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story shame you changed narators."
    Would you consider the audio edition of House of Chains to be better than the print version?

    No. Now if you had of kept the original narator I would say yes.


    What three words best describe Michael Page’s performance?

    Poor poor poor.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I love Erickson's work its a level above most epic fantasy, I'm extremely disappointed with the change from Ralph Lister to Michael Page.


    Any additional comments?

    Get rid of Count Dracula and bring back Ralph Lister.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Arlington, TN, United States 06-06-14
    Richard Arlington, TN, United States 06-06-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Change in narrator ruins experience."
    How could the performance have been better?

    Brilliance Audio did a poor job selecting a new narrator for this series. Ralph Lister was phenomenal! I understand that things change and sometimes a new narrator is needed but Michael Page is the wrong narrator for this series. I have several other books he has narrated and he did a splendid job. But those books, and particularly the writing styles of those authors, were different and this is a poor match.

    I hope Brilliance Audio finds a new narrator for this series or I will have to finish it by reading which I don't really have enough time for these days.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story is fine. Author Steven Erikson continues the Malazan: Book of the Fallen series well.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Metuchen, NJ 05-05-14
    Mike Metuchen, NJ 05-05-14 Member Since 2012

    from planet of the geeks

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    "Great story, awful narration"

    Another great fantasy book made barely listenable by bad narration. It can't say how disappointed I was to see who the new reader was. If Page had narrated these books from the beginning I would have given up.

    Story wise, if you've come this far in the Malazan series,you know what you're going to get: great characters, an intricate plot, high magic, and brutal warfare building up to an amazing ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dragoness 01-13-14
    dragoness 01-13-14
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    "Spectacular story, horrible narration."

    I loved the story, but boy do I miss Ralph Lister. His narration was just spectacular, and Michael Page just doesn't compare.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 12-28-13
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 12-28-13 Member Since 2011

    www.newimperium.org

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Masterpiece of Epic Fantasy"

    This is fantasy at the most absolutely epic end of the genre.

    This book brings together so many threads that have been building over the course of the first 4 books, and once you see how intricately structured the tale is that Erikson is telling, the scope is astounding. It is hard to imagine the work that went into planning this story. This was the first book where I really felt like I knew what was going on throughout the vast majority of the book, and so I think I enjoyed it a lot more, even more than Memories of Ice, perhaps.

    The first 270 pages or so are a masterpiece of epic fantasy writing, showing that in fact Erikson CAN write one single storyline without diverging into dozens of sub-characters and plots. The writing is tight, and it's hard to imagine anything being cut. When it is over it's actually a bit disappointing that we have to get on with the main storyline, which is of course, the war that's been brewing between the rebellion of Seven Cities and the Malazan Empire. As the tale progresses, I really felt that I had a grasp on most of the key players, and I think this is in part to Erikson finally revealing tons and tons of backstory and explanations of the various plots that are going on. Although unexpected things are constantly occurring, it seems that an overall picture of the storyline is now becoming clearer. After this we reach a kind of pause for breath, as the fifth book starts a new tale on a new continent that will eventually tie into the whole storyline.

    The interesting thing is that while there are definitely some good characters and some evil characters, and thankfully the good guys (generally) make it out all right in the end and the evil guys get their comeuppance, there are a host of characters that fall between categories, as it seems in real life, who are "gray" and you do eventually come to understand their motivations and positions, even if you may have hated them at first. I think this tempers the fact that we cannot get quite as much character development at an individual scale when dealing with such a large dramatis personae. The main characters feel like they have some deep backstories that are simply not yet revealed, driven by excellent dialogue and POV moments, plus insights from other characters watching from the sidelines.

    I was disappointed at first that the series switched narrators, but within the first hour I was hooked by Michael Page's amazing performance, and now I don't regret it. He especially brought Karsa Orlong to life for me, a character that (as a perfect example of what I mentioned before) I disliked at first, labeling as a villain, and now find one of the most interesting characters in the entire series, whom I find myself cheering on more and more. His growth and development in particular, changing from evil to (mostly) good, is quite a masterful piece of storytelling.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Canyon, TX, United States 01-17-14
    Jason Canyon, TX, United States 01-17-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unfair Criticism of Narrator"

    This was another fantastic book by Erikson. Can't wait for Audible to release book 5. Just a word about the narration. I think the criticism Michael Page has received for this book is a bit unfair. True the new character voices were a bit distracting at first, but if Page had started the series there would be no complaining. He does a masterful job of reading a masterful story in my humble opinion.

    8 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ely W Cannon 09-05-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Terrible vocal performance- audio production is of"
    What would have made House of Chains better?

    The same voice actor from the first three in the series.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can barely follow what is going on there is no distinction between characters by the person reading. I am having a hard time hearing clearly what is being said in general because of the audio mastering on this one it seems to have a high amount of reverb, and needs to be run through an audio compressor.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He cannot change his voice enough to distinguish between characters. He doesn't create enough space between settings and characters so as to allow me to follow what he is saying. In general he is simply no where near as good as the narrator from the first three audio books in the series which is making me upset. I was really enjoying the series and now I am afraid I wont be able to finish it.


    What character would you cut from House of Chains?

    Not really sure what characters are in it I cannot follow what is going on with this narrator reading.


    Any additional comments?

    Get rid of this narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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