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Toll The Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen #8)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  18,218 Ratings  ·  535 Reviews
The eighth book in Erikson's acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen fantasy sequence

It is said that Hood waits at the end of every plot, every scheme, each grandiose ambition. But this time it is different: this time the Lord of Death is there at the beginning...

Darujhistan swelters in the summer heat and seethes with portents, rumours and whispers. Strangers have arrived, a
Paperback, 1296 pages
Published April 9th 2009 by Bantam (first published 2008)
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TS Chan
'There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail-should we fall-we will know that we have lived.'

This Book of the Fallen took me the longest to finish to-date. A large part of the book hovered around 3-stars for me but it was redeemed by 2 things: (1) THAT ending; and (2) Anomander Rake.

Rake has been an (extremely charismatic) enigma pretty much the whole of the series and as a reader we never really got close to this character. However, and I don't know how E
Mar 21, 2017 Ivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
At this point it's impossible to talk about the plot and characters without spoilers so I won't even try.

When I started this many people have said that it's slowest and worst of the Malazan books for 2/3 and they where right but I can't say I was bored. Erikson knows how make interesting character and and luckily I have good memory since there are lot of characters we haven't seen since books 1 and 3 and I was thrilled that some small events caused ripples that can be seen here.

Now that last thi
Jul 19, 2014 Conor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: malazan
3.5 Stars.

The painfully slow pace for much of this installment made it the weakest Malazan book in some time, although the typically awesome ending went some way to redeeming it. The return to the city of Darujhistan was cool and I was glad to see some familiar faces (the retired Malazans and the regulars of the Phoenix Inn were both awesome) but these plot-lines were especially slow for much of the book, which was a shame. Although the scene where the Malazan's were attacked in their bar by a
Jenna Kathleen
I'll be honest, the first part 60~70% of this book felt pretty dragged out to me. The stories were all over the place with seemingly no way to come together, and I think knowing a lot of the characters at the beginning (for once) made most of the book pretty easy to follow compared to previous books. It was great to finally feel comfortable starting a Malazan book and not being thrown into mass confusion, and it was even better to see characters I love, but the chaos and confusion of starting a ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Evgeny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Back in Darujhistan things are back to normal with a lot of parties competing for power, money, influence, or just trying to stay alive. The rules of the game are simple: all means of achieving a goal are fine. A number of people came back to the city and they have no idea what to do in there, which leaves a lot of time for them to ponder on philosophical questions. Meanwhile, in Coral (Black Coral now) Anomander Rake does ... well... something - I still have no clue what he did there.

I rate thi
Feb 17, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the only book in the series that feels long, too long maybe. Of course all of the disparate strands are necessary to bring us to the seriously epic convergence in the last quarter. And yet, I leave it without being overwhelmed with emotion, no weeping buckets or stress palpitations.

Without getting too spoilery (put a tag on just in case), (view spoiler)
David Sven
May 31, 2012 David Sven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as the previous book in the series. There seemed to be an excessive amount of introspection and self indulgent musings(yes, more than usual) touching on the usual Steven Erikson favourites ie politics and religion.
Still, when the characters were done playing with themselves (some literally so) we get the customary, second to none, explosive action scenes that keeps me coming back for more.

The story takes us back to Darujhistan, which is a pleasure to revis
Nov 16, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it
Giving this a 4.5*s overall, the ending was brilliant!! Full review will go up soon as it's 2am here and I stayed up to finish this!


This storyline is rather a dramatic one when it comes to the overall world of Malazan. For the majority of this (monster) book I was enjoying the different threads and characters (we saw some of my favourites reunite and take leading roles) but it was a slow mover at first. I would say that the first two thirds are thoroughly too slow for my liking
Feb 16, 2009 Gordon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Malazan trilogy addicts who just need to read the next one.
Recommended to Gordon by: No one really, it's a compulsion
Blech. I think that's a word, at least it's onomatopeiac. Anyway, that's how I feel about Toll the Hounds.

I waited a couple of days to write this review, just so I wouldn't be too negative, but I think it's only reduced my invective.

Anyway, after slogging through the 600 or so contract-filling pages I made a concerted effort in the last week to polish this guy off. And succeeded. But it's the weakest Erikson yet. It has hundreds of pages of filler and attempts to add colour (the humour of Kruppe
Feb 10, 2016 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most important aspects to a good reading experience is Trust in the author. I trust Erikson to deliver, it’s been 8 books now and he hasn’t let me down once.
This installment had a different style but once I got used to it, I had no problems.
Toll the Hounds has a host of awesome characters; gods, ascendants, humans, dragons, Hounds…needless to say the convergence in this one was a beast!
Some of my favorites? Iskaral (so funny!), Karsa, Rallick, Nimander, Bellam Nom, Torvald, Murillio,
Executive Summary: To me this book lives or dies by its characters, if you liked the people from Darujhistan in Gardens of the Moon you'll likely enjoy this as much as I did. If not, you may find this one slow.

Full Review
This book provides an interesting contrast with Reaper's Gale for me. A lot more happens in Reaper's Gale, yet I enjoyed this one a lot more.

So why is that? The characters. The worst thing a storyteller can do is have characters you don't care about. I don't mean dislike. Robi
Twerking To Beethoven
I am in absolute awe of the complexity found in the Malazan "Book of the Fallen", both in characters and in plot. Few sagas in this genre come close to the level of engagement and depth in the characters moving throughout the series. It's hard to write a review of a single book since it should be viewed as a whole (and that's something you peeps already know). But "Toll the Hounds" is perhaps one of the most emotionally gripping books thus far. Since it is book 8 in a series of 10, and my cravin ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Zayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing installment in the Malazan series!

In Toll the Hounds, we're brought back to Darujhistan where this whole series started, reacquainting us with some old favorites from Gardens of the Moon as well as bringing a huge cast together from the entire series. Powers are converging onto Darujhistan: Gods, demons, powerful warriors, and crazy priests. But what is it they seek from this City of Blue Fire?

I feel like the strongest part of this novel was the cast. The cast was everything in t
May 06, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epics, reviewed

Just... wow.

That ending just blew my mind.

I mean, Erikson has already spilled a ton of ink across a nearly countless number of characters and plot lines. His plots are intricate, inter-related and have a very deep history. Some characters will pop up in one book and then won't be seen for several more (or, more likely, die; not that that would preclude them from impacting the story). They may only make a brief appearance or end up getting caught up in another character's plot. However, the
Oct 09, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A recent column by Orson Scott Card enumerated four qualities that he felt defined true greatness in novels. Briefly, they are 1) clear writing 2) memorable, powerful characters 3) "pivotal moral and philosophical issues of universal concern," and 4) "such a thorough experience of the culture in which it is set that readers experience and comprehend it as reality, regardless of how far removed from it in space and time they might be." I bring this up because I think that Steven Erikson, in his ...more
Nov 25, 2011 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Story: 5/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking

Toll the hounds is the eight book in the Malazan series. I haven’t read many series this long before, those that I have, had felt like pulp fiction by this stage, where we are just going through the motions of a story with lots of little side plots to keep the author in business. NOT Malazan; Book of the Fallen, this still feels like I am reading the original story and it has ta
Scott  Hitchcock
Originally published in 2008 I think SE had had enough of George Bush and went a bit overboard on the social-economic and political agenda the first 75% of the book. I love that SE puts so much compassion and addresses current issues in his books but there’s a difference between weaving it into the story and standing on the pulpit and preaching. It was still a good book through that 75% but lacked action and as stated some of the side stories were just to preach.

Then the last 25% and in particu
It's getting harder and harder to review these Malazan books. Toll the Hounds is the 8th book in the series so spoilers are kind of inevitable but I'm going to try hard not to post any.

Toll the Hounds takes us back to Genabackis, the location of Gardens of the Moon and Memories of Ice. We are reunited with characters from those two books such as the retired Bridgeburners, Kruppe, the Noms, Murillio, Chalice, and Anomander Rake. There are also some old favorites: Karsa Orlong, Samar Dev, and Cutt
Apr 17, 2008 Terence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Malazan Empire fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Duffy Pratt
Apr 25, 2010 Duffy Pratt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, shared-world
6/30/2012 - First off, I doubt anyone will be reading this review to decide whether they will continue with the series. If you are, then make up your own mind, but read on at your peril: There may be SPOILERS.

Perhaps the most annoying characters in this series so far have been Kruppe, the pastry eating fence who is pleasantly pleased with his own turn of phrase and thus tends to repeat himself repeatedly. And Iksarial Pust, the high magus of Shadow, who thinks he is pretending to be insane, but
The Crimson Fucker
Toll the Hounds!

fuck! i haven't write a review in ages... still! i need to give this shit a try! god damn this shit its good! as some of y'all know and by some i mean 2... i've been re-reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen series! not only because its awesome... but also cuz i'm broke and i aint got no money for new shit! so suck it!!! here is my review:

I know I joke a lot about world domination! the big ol' fantasy of me taking over and imposing my will over everything that lives in this sad
May 05, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long Spoiler Video Review(14m):

The eighth Malazan book brings readers back to Darujhistan, a setting we haven't been since Gardens of the Moon. We see how our retired Bridgeburners are doing while running a local tavern built upon the temple of K'rul. The ship with Cutter, Spite, Pust, Barathol, Scillara, and Mappo arrive in the Darujhistan harbor. On the way to the city, we have Karsa, Samar, and Traveller joining together along with the Hounds of Shadow.
Lars J. Nilsson
This is I'm afraid the low point of the Malazan series. And had this been book 2 or 3 it is possible I wouldn't have continued reading the sequels, and would have been very disapointed. Here's my problems:

1) Occasionally narrated by Kruppe, a character. This is the first time in the series any character gets to narrate, and to introduce it in book 8 feels strange. Also, Kruppe isn't fit to tell a story straight, I found myself so exasperated by the style that I frequently skipped entire section.
Jul 15, 2013 Fadi rated it it was amazing
It took me more than two months to finish this book, maybe I got a bit lazy, maybe the book was stretched, maybe the fact that I went on vacation didn't help...actually that's bullshit, I took my kindle and read TTH beside a river in the mountains of Lebanon, I sort of connected with Endest Silann at that moment (don't worry that's not a spoiler). Now where do I begin, how do I express my tumultuous journey with this book?

"Tumultuous? you gave it 5 stars..." I hear you say, well let me explain.
Jan 04, 2010 Dhuaine rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
I had 2 years break in reading the series. When I finally picked up the 8th volume, I spent first 200 pages wondering who these people are and why should I care. With such a massive scope, the author could have thrown in a couple of sentences reminding the readers what the characters did in the past, especially since they all come from the entire series. Characters from all the volumes spend first 1000 pages of the book (out of 1200) traveling in order to meet in one place (or not; there's at le ...more
Review will follow soon...
Jul 03, 2017 Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have come this far, then you know how it goes.

Erikson does again, he masterfully combines several plots that at the end converged into one massive explosion of EPICNESS that will blow your mind.

This is the 8th book in the series, and if it was the case of some other author, this book would have felt like a retrace of pass books. This is not the case with Toll the Hounds. What happens in this book is the culmination of plot lines you did not even know existed!

Oh! Our dear Kruppe is the
Oct 25, 2011 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“The more civilized a nation, the more conformed its population, until that civilization's last age arrives, when multiplicity wages war with conformity. The former grows ever wilder, ever more dysfunctional in its extremities; whilst the latter seeks to increase its measure of control, until such efforts acquire diabolical tyranny.'
- Traveller”

Finally. Finally I can allow myself to give five stars to one book of the malazan series. I liked all the previous books a lot, but I never got around to
Oct 15, 2016 Carmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guardare al domani

"Non esiste lotta troppo dura, né differenze troppo schiaccianti, poiché anche se falliremo, se dovessimo cadere, sapremo di avere comunque vissuto".

Il commiato da Genabackis è una silenziosa e soffusa presa di coscienza sul dolore e la dignità di viverlo in ogni forma.
Intensa riflessione sulle nostre contraddizioni, sulla nostra perpetua tendenza a quell'autonomia etica e morale che, nei fatti, disattendiamo ciclicamente con l'alzare lo sguardo al cielo e sperare che qualcun
Sep 30, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Darujhistan is such a great city to set this story in. I love the inner workings of the nobility, the bars, the underworld, everything.

In typical Malazan fashion, a whole lotta shit happened and I'm not sure how much went over my head. I enjoyed the hell out of it though, and there were some genuinely heart warming moments.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Stonewielder (Malazan Empire, #3)
  • The White Luck Warrior (Aspect-Emperor, #2)
  • The Many Deaths of the Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #8-9)
  • The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt, #5)
  • A Betrayal in Winter (Long Price Quartet, #2)
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 series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.
More about Steven Erikson...

Other Books in the Series

Malazan Book of the Fallen (10 books)
  • Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)
  • Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)
  • Memories of Ice (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)
  • House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)
  • Midnight Tides (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)
  • The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)
  • Reaper's Gale (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)
  • Dust of Dreams (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)
  • The Crippled God (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10)

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“There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived.” 125 likes
“Survivors do not mourn together. They each mourn alone, even when in the same place. Grief is the most solitary of all feelings. Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation.
None of it works. The forms crumble and dissolve.
To face death is to stand alone.”
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