In Darujhistan, the city of blue blue ﬁre, it is said that Love and Death shall arrive dancing. It is summer, and the heat is oppressive, but for the small, rotund man in the faded red waistcoat discomfiture is not just because of the sun. All is not well. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city streets like ﬁends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways, but the quarry has turned, and the hunters become the hunted. Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. While the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of hounds...and in the distant city of Black Coral, ruled by Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, ancient crimes awaken, intent on revenge. It seems Love and Death are indeed about to arrive...hand in hand, dancing.
A thrilling, harrowing novel of war, intrigue, and dark, uncontrollable magic, Toll the Hounds is the next chapter in Erikson's monumental series - epic fantasy at its most imaginative and storytelling at its most exciting.
"This novel and all others in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series follow my own pronunciations of Malazan words and names. My thanks to Michael and Jane and everyone at Brilliance Audio." (Steven Erikson, Victoria, B.C. Canada, January 2014)
©2008 Steven Erikson (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
"Extraordinarily enjoyable.... Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics." (Salon)
"Truly epic in scope, Erikson has no peer when it comes to action and imagination, and joins the ranks of Tolkien and Donaldson in his mythic vision and perhaps then goes one better." (SF Site)
The Narrator is very good and by book 8, I have gotten comfortable with his style and delivery. The pace and tone are good and the book itself has a decent pacing so part of his job is done for him.
This is book 8 in a 10 book series. It is, so far, my least favorite of the series. I actually read the books starting in the 1990s but had to get them from the UK which meant long periods of time between books.
I bought the series from Audible to listen to them in order, back to back. I have found that in doing so, subtle parts that I missed when reading the books so many years ago, I pick up on now.
They are all great, but this is my least favorite of the series. The book tells parts of the story from inconsistent points of view (in my opinion) which is not bad, but not as smooth as the earlier stories. Still, a good read, but just a different style than the other 7 books.
If you are listening to the series, by book 8 you are very comfortable with Michael's style and you recognize characters by voice. When I read the books, I sometimes had a hard time keeping the many, many characters straight. Especially if time had elapsed between my reading.
It is very difficult to do this given it is a 40 hour commitment. I do find myself trying to get to the end of a chapter or looking forward to a serious block of time when I can listen for a few hours at once.
This is a great series. While this is not my favorite book, I have both read and listened to it. I still highly recommend the book and the series.
I love fantasy series, but I find they "burn out" and get tedious or repetitive, and end up going longer than they should. 8 books in, I'm still jazzed for each new chapter! I am really astounded that I let the first book hold me back from this series for so long! (Clarification: great book too, just requires you to take it seriously; not a weekend reader).
I have loved this series since I picked up the first book, book 8 is no exception, once you start it is hard to stop and take a break.
The narrator does some characters justice, Iskaral Pust is in my mind perfectly portrayed, while Anomander Rake sounds like an old manservant.
All things considered The malazan book of the fallen is the best high fantasy out there, from The black Company to The wheel of time and A song of fire and ice.
So much has been said about the Malazan series that I'm going to limit myself to a couple of personal impressions & some thoughts about the narrators.
The length of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series gave the author broad-range opportunities for developing complex characters, and he took full advantage of the big canvass. Few of them change in a linear way and a lot of times my feelings reverse and reverse again while continuing to connect with a character.
Erikson usually approaches philosophical and spiritual issues by keeping discussions open-ended, leaving readers with enough substance to continue chewing on the questions raised. I was disappointed in a couple of sections towards the end of Toll the Hounds that were more like closed little packages. The rest of the book was good enough to keep me from knocking off any stars.
In reviews of the other books, there's been a lot of discussion about the narrators. Their styles are quite different & I generally like both. I agree with listeners who have said there should be more than one narrator for each book. There are just too many characters, creating a need for more unique voices than one individual can handle. Both narrators were particularly Inadequate re. women's voices. Also, in order to broaden the range of voices, both of them resorted to styles that were growly, creaky, etc, that get old very quickly. It would have been much better to have at minimum a male & a female narrator for each book,
One of my biggest frustrations with both narrators has been that neither of them pause at all between the sections of a chapter. There's no indication that we've moved from one plot-line to another, which can lead to a lot of unnecessary rewinding.
Hope I haven't sounded too negative-- I'm really enjoying the series. Definitely recommended!
Let's start with the cons: it appears that Steven tried his hand as a poet… he was not successful. I could've done without all the fanciful narration.
Pros: good plot development, tied up a lot of loose ends, and of course he created some questions to be answered in the next book but that is a good thing. Very intense and exciting ending. On a final note I think Michael Page gets better by each book he does and his performance really sells the story.
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