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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 (514 )
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4.2 (466 )
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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

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Arlington, TN, United States 06-06-14
    Richard Arlington, TN, United States 06-06-14 Member Since 2013
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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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 04-06-15
    Robert 04-06-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Michael Page -- Where epic fantasy goes to die..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The book is amazing. I thoroughly enjoy Steven Erikson's story telling. His characters are deep and evolve in a realistic and compelling fashion. His plots are big complex arcs of glimpsed experience that leaves my imagination exercised and my concentration tested.


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

    Karsa Orlong is the uberprotagonist. He's one of my favorite characters of Erikson's.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I'm not sure how Michael Page still has a job doing readings. That may sound harsh but seriously, this guy phones it in. Did he even bother to listen to the previous books for an idea of what he was reading? You know, for some semblance of continuity? His reading is just jarring. His pronunciation of unique-to-the-world words is completely off in left field [soul-taken becomes soleytak'ken for instance]. Each one of his characters is COMPLETELY different from the previous books - so much so that it makes following dialogue almost impossible in some instances. Other instances, the voice he uses for bigger-than-life demigod types sounds like a tavern drunk… Its distracting to say the least.
    Its the same crap he's pulled in other series when he comes in halfway through to wreck the experience (like when he follows Pacey and mangles Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold).


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

    You probably just read it...


    Any additional comments?

    A message to Audible -- Start treating trilogies and series like single books and hire voice-over actors accordingly.

    You wouldn't change voice-over actors halfway through "Gone With the Wind" so why is it OK to do it halfway through a trilogy series?!

    Write up a contract for the life of the series instead of per book or whatever. I'm pretty hard on Michael Page above, but its probably more your fault or whomever contracts the voiceover work (after all, I really enjoyed The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence).

    I know. You know. Michael Page knows. We can do better than this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane 03-24-15
    Shane 03-24-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Great story, terrible narration."
    Would you listen to House of Chains again? Why?

    No. If this was the first book in the series it would have been the last one I read. The narration is so bad, I would gladly pay 2x as much and have Lister back. The book would then be so much more enjoyable.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Probably the amount of insight and foreshadowing that goes on. It is well architected.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Page?

    Ralph Lister. He was amazing in the first 3 books and really brought all the characters to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I took many breaks and had to force myself back into it.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't change narrators mid-cycle in the book, unless the original narrator was terrible. It is truly the most tragic thing about the entire series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Fong 03-17-15
    Ray Fong 03-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Horrible voice actor"
    What did you like best about House of Chains? What did you like least?

    I have enjoyed the series up to now. This new narrator has a very limited number of voices and it is very easy to get lost on who exactly is talking. His accent is so heavy many times can't understand what he is saying.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Heavy accent makes it hard to understand. The same voice is used across characters making it hard to determine who is speaking.


    Any additional comments?

    Please bring back Ralph Lister!

    2 of 2 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?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua 07-21-14
    Joshua 07-21-14 Member Since 2012
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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?

    2 of 2 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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    3
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Metuchen, NJ 05-05-14
    Mike Metuchen, NJ 05-05-14 Member Since 2013

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 02-03-14
    James 02-03-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favourite series, but ..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book to read, yes, the audiobook? No. The narrator is terrible, this is the second time he has ruined one of my favourite series. Why couldn't they keep the original narrator? Michael Page's voice sounds the same for every character, and they all sound like they swallowed a pail of gravel. Unfortunately it looks like he is doing the rest of the series too.

    Do yourself a favour, if you are interested in this book, buy it and read it yourself.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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