House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)
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House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen #4)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  15,902 ratings  ·  380 reviews
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 Adjun...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lee
I am not going to re-write my original review because it is all still relevant. The only thing I would add, is that it is even better second time round. But since I was already on five stars there is nothing to improve.

Story: 4/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking

Without doubt my favourite in the series so far. If you have read the previous three and wondering whether to start number four. Stop reading this and go read Hous...more
David Sven
I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but yet again, my reread of House of Chains has been a far superior experience compared to the initial read. Part of that has to do with already knowing a lot of the characters coming in and knowing who will play major roles going forward, leaving the grey matter free to unpack the dense world building, plot, and themes. There is also the added enjoyment of discussing the book as part of a group read at The Malazan Fallen here on Goodreads. http://www.go...more
Lori (Hellian)
Finally finished this monster of a book. Worth every page. I don't know why I'm not giving it a 5. Maybe because there's so many in this series, I want to wait to the end to see which were the best. This might be a contender, there wasn't a dull or wasted part, instead every page I drank deeply from. I wish I could just continue directly to the next, but I've got some other highly anticipated books from the libes and I don't want to be #250 on the wait list. Besides, I like taking a little break...more
Duffy Pratt
2/7/11 - Erikson begins by treating us to a 200 page prelude about a new character named Karsa, who also starts out as one of the most purely despicable characters I've ever read. He starts out on his quest for glory, which basically means slaughter and rape. He gets captured, and grows into one of the best and most interesting characters in the series. Erikson is always audacious, and never more so than with this prelude. It's probably the best writing so far in the series, and the remainder of...more
Christopher H.
House of Chains is the fourth volume in Steven Erikson's monumental ten-volume series entitled, "The Malazan Book of the Fallen." This book follows the first three in continuing to flesh out the world, characters, and mythology that Erikson has so brilliantly created.

The first quarter, or so, of the novel tells the back-story of a character that we briefly met in the second book in the series (Deadhouse Gates)--that of the 'Toblakai' or as we come to find out, the great Teblor warrior, 'Karsa Or...more
Dara
House of Chains starts off unlike the previous three Malazan books. Erikson spends a full quarter of the book with one POV character - Karsa Orlong. Karsa starts out as a reprehensible savage. He rapes and murders others seeking only glory for himself. Of course, Erikson doesn't leave it there. Throughout the book, Karsa grows more than any other character so far in the series and it's a fascinating journey. I admit that it took me a long time to get into Karsa's tale. It took time to forgive hi...more
The Crimson Fucker

Alright... I'm done again!


SPOILERT ALLERTA!!!


I don't even know where to start... ima go with I'm fucking terrified of erickson! I can't even beging to imagine how the fuck hi manages to hold it all inside his head! There its as much hiding with was being said that there is in what its said... fuck! How he does it???? I mean the scope of the whole damn thing its byond behemothic!! I mean shit! I'm speachless... I don't know what was more brutal... Karsa's path to infamy or the Adjunt march... Lo...more
Traci
Four out four five star ratings...I'm pretty sure no other author or series has caused this sort of reaction from me. I don't even know where to start with this review. Just wow. To start just when I thought I had a handle on the world of Malazan Erikson throws a curve ball with Karsa Orlong. Who is he? What is he? Where is he? When is he? The mystery of it had me scratching my head in a way that I haven't since Lost was on. And what could have been an Ana Lucia, or worse a Nicki and Paulo, mome...more
Rob
Executive Summary: The best book in the series so far. There are just a few subplots in this book that slow it down and prevent me from giving it a 5.

Full Review
This novel is very different from the first 3. The first "book" is not only 25% of the novel, it all focuses on one character. Karsa Orlong is not a very likable character. His story is still an interesting one.

His is one of the most straightforward stories of the series so far, and the one with the most character growth so far. The Kar...more
Hanne
Another epic instalment in the Malazan series, and another very dark one. There isn’t much going well in this book. We start with Karsa, the complete opposite of the traditional ‘reluctant hero’, which made it very hard for me to cheer for him.
But saying that everything goes wrong for him would be quite the understatement. He gets knocked unconscious an infinite number of times and in between those moments, he discovers that the world is a complicated thing and that nothing is what it seemed to...more
John
House of Chains is the fourth novel in Steven Erikson’s monumental epic fantasy series The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The tenth and final novel of the series has just been published and I’m in the process of re-reading the eight that I had already read so that I can finish the last two novels with what has come before firmly in my gray matter. I realized after reading House of Chains that I never reviewed it—indeed, I never reviewed any of the subsequent novels. This was not because I didn’t re...more
Anirudh
House of Chains continues from Deadhouse Gates and we revisit the desert of Raraku. But unlike the chain of dogs, the plot in the book is pretty average. It would appear that without the Bridgeburners it’s not an entertaining read.

We see the new Shai’k (Why he must include ‘ in every fourth name is beyond me) and her battle with her elder sister. It was not a bad read but it was not as entertaining as the last book. We also get to know about Karsa. In the beginning his story was interesting but...more
Brian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jon
The first part, the background story of Karsa, is by far the best writing I've seen from Erikson. It's a compelling read, filled with action, some suspense, and--gasp--some distinct, believable characterization. Not to mention some decent exposition, the absence of which is, to my mind, the glaring flaw of this whole series.

The rest of the story, alas, goes back to his usual "dropped in the middle of the action" style, with great heaping helpings of "I hope you remembered that critical remark fr...more
Guy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Razmatus
again great delivery, some things again highly symbolic in nature, and again brilliant climax... each book so far has had a sort of "key word" that could sum up the main storyline(s) in each of them - Gardens of the Moon had "peace", Deadhouse gates "survival, life/death and importance of history/memory" and Memories of Ice was predominantly about "redemption in its many forms"... this book, besides the strong motive on gods and humans, I believe the central element of the book was "vengeance",...more
Lucinda
Steven Erikson’s series ‘the mazalan book of the fallen’ has to be the most original, inspired creation within the fantasy genre that is comparable to the genius Kate Elliot or Terry Brooks. The striking, imaginative front covers capture readers’ attention, especially
for those who love fantasy fiction most of all. The series begins with ‘gardens of the moon’ followed then by ‘Deadhouse gates’ and ‘memories of ice’ with this volume as number four in an already epic saga. This author has so much c...more
Jesse Whitehead
Love him or hate him Napolean made a vast impact on this world. While commanding armies and marching soldiers to their deaths he kept a book which he titled “Book of the Fallen”. In it he listed the names of every one of his soldiers who died in combat.

Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the series of which “House of Chains” is the fourth book, evokes that same dark morbidity. This series has garnered a lot of controversy lately among fans of fantasy. These books have an incredibly sharp le...more
Evgeny
I had high hopes for this book. It continues the story of Deadhouse Gates in the end of which a lot of people was really pissed off at Apocalypse rebels for slaughtering Coltaine's army thanks to betrayal on high level of command. Now that Adjunct's army came to Seven Cities, the possibility of revenge became real. This is what I hoped for. Well, the first mention of these people came in after 1/3 of the book.

So, what happens in the beginning? A new race is introduced best described as bloodthi...more
Zayne
This book was absolutely amazing! Not the best Malazan novel, but still really good. I enjoyed every minute of it, and if I had the time, I would've finished a long time ago. I was a bit disappointed at first to see that I was going back to Raraku after my bad experience with book 2, Deadhouse Gates, but this was so much better than that. It actually hooked me with all its diverse characters and stories from all over the Malazan world that seemed to somehow touch each other and affect one anothe...more
Joseph Michael Owens
Holy @#$#$%#$% that was awesome!! The book introduces the reader (again [cryptically]) to Karsa Orlong who, along with Anomander Rake, are two of the series most compelling male characters. The book builds toward a climax in Raraku that really exceeded my expectations in the best possibly way: by completely defying them. I can't give any spoilers; it'd potentially ruin too many plot points and twists. Part of what makes this series so incredible is the way the complex layers reveal themselves. E...more
Igor
Epic finale to the stories started back at Gardens, at least to some of them.
Somehow I was bored through first half of the book although when I consider I wasn't actually bored rather my attention went somewhere else. Luckily enough I got back to the book and found it as my new favorite of the series.
Story about Karsa really evolved and was so unpredictable that kept me following it, where the peak was overwhelming and it's not even over yet! Of course Bridgeburners, well whats left of it, was...more
Kyle Muntz
This is a tough book to evaluate clearly. The novella that makes up the first 150 pages is a masterwork and a highpoint of the series, but after that it lags somewhat. The characters from Deadhouse return and are doing fascinating things, but there's a sort of intermediary, aimless feel to them, and the clash between Felisin and Tavore wasn't especially compelling until the end.

This was very much a book of high and low points, but as usual, the standout moments were ingenious and endlessly inven...more
Jeremy TeGrotenhuis
Another excellent volume in the Malazan Book of the Fallen, House of Chains begins with the story of the barbaric Teblor warrior Karsa Orlong, who leads a small raiding party on a rampage of slaughter through rival villages and human towns. Karsa's arrogance and violent actions - which include incidents of rape and the frequent murder of "children" - are reprehensible and might be off-putting to some readers. But, by the end of his introductory story arc, Karsa's character growth, personality, o...more
Jonathan Bord
This review will contain spoilers for everything in this series up until this book.


This book really started out much better than the previous ones, with Karsa Orlong's adventures. The tight focus on his character as well as his simplistic world view that did not allow Erikson to dive into exhausting internal monologues about the nature of the world made this into a very interesting story.
But sadly, after about a third of the way in we discover that this story is just a very long and pointless as...more
Viridian5
I've been making my slow way through the colossal novels of Steven Erikson's The Malazan Books of the Fallen, and I have to say that House of Chains is the most involving of the group so far. Everything really starts to come together here. I'm not saying that nothing happens in the prior books--tons of things happen to hundreds of people--but House of Chains is where everybody's stories really start to intersect and add to each other. It truly builds off the events of the last three books and sh...more
S.M. Carrière
He's done it again. After putting down this book for a long while because I so thoroughly loathed its opening character, I ended up cheering for that same character by the book's end.

Steven Erikson is a master of imagination, with an ability to draw one in that is, thus far, unparalleled by any other modern author I've read. Ever. His characters are so wonderfully complex, and not static at all, apt to change so that a brave man may become a coward, and a fool a wise man, that you find yourself...more
Amelia
House of Chains is another great installment of the Malazan books. (It's the fourth one of ten.)

With this one, it's back to the Raraku Desert and the rebellion of the Seven Cities. Again there are many familiar characters and more new ones. One of the old characters, Toblakai, who is now known as Karsa Orlong, has his earlier past revealed to the readers and begins to stand out as a very striking and important person.

There is so much going on in this series. Each book truly amazes me more becau...more
Elizabeth Baxter

It has taken me a long time to read this book. Not because I didn't enjoy it and not because the story didn't grip me. It's just that other things seem to have come between me and House of Chains. For instance, I got a brand-new Kindle for Christmas and have been busy falling in love with this and all the brilliant stories I’ve discovered. But last night I curled up with House of Chains and managed to finish it. I have to say even though I love my Kindle, there is still nothing that beats curlin...more
Jan Kjellin
It starts off as being the best work I've read by Erikson. The way he describes the culture of the Teblor and reintroduces Karsa Orlong, whom we've already met in Deadhouse Gates almost without hints as to why and how this has anything to do with previous entries in the series. (And because he changed his namne later on, I did not realize who Karsa Orlong was until much later in the book.) Since I started reading this just after Memories of Ice, that made it feel fresh and inriguing. I don't thi...more
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The Malazan Fallen: HoC - Chapter Twenty Six & Epilogue - NO SPOILERS 18 72 Aug 19, 2014 03:15PM  
The Malazan Fallen: HoC - Chapter Five - NO SPOILERS 36 82 Jul 18, 2014 05:46AM  
The Malazan Fallen: HoC - Chapter Three - NO SPOILERS 44 96 Jul 16, 2014 10:44PM  
Icarium vs Karsa 2 36 May 27, 2014 06:02PM  
The Malazan Fallen: HoC - Chapter Twenty Five - NO SPOILERS 21 62 May 18, 2014 05:14AM  
The irony of the T'lan Imass 1 22 Apr 14, 2014 06:32PM  
The Malazan Fallen: * HoC - End of Book Discussion 33 101 Mar 07, 2014 08:38PM  
  • Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire, #2)
  • The Warrior Prophet (The Prince of Nothing, #2)
  • The Books of the South: Tales of the Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4-6)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • An Autumn War (Long Price Quartet, #3)
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Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist. His best-known work is the on-going series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/steven...
More about Steven Erikson...
Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2) Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3) The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6) Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)

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