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

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  21,360 ratings  ·  536 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
ebook, 672 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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Joel The most awesome character in the series according to me. Way better than Ganoes Paran, Adjunct Tavore and comes close to Whiskeyjack and Fiddler.…moreThe most awesome character in the series according to me. Way better than Ganoes Paran, Adjunct Tavore and comes close to Whiskeyjack and Fiddler. Especially in the later books of the series. He's got this complete view of the world in black and white, what is right and what is wrong. As I said, best character in the series.(less)
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Community Reviews

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The Malazan freight-train of awesomeness rumbles on.

House of Chains was another epic, ambitious instalment in the Malazan franchise. This was a great read, and while it lacked the emotional impact and sense of grandeur of MoI and the Chain of Dogs it added a new aspect to this series in proving that Erikson can write an engaging, focused story with the best in the genre.

As a bold young warrior sets out from his isolated mountain village to carve for himself a path to fortune and glory, he finds
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 Hou
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
You know what I think I am kind of still in shock and awe over just HOW MUCH stuff happens in this book. It begins on a whole new part of the land following a single character named Karsa Orlong. The time frame is a little before the events of Gardens of the Moon, but as the story goes on it recounts other events that tie in with all three of the previous books.

I have to say that I adore the character of Karsa Orlong and I now see why so many people have been telling me to watch out for him. He'
5 Stars

House of Chains deserves full marks for the sheer volume of action, changes, and actual size. This is a massive book, a long read, but funny thing is it never really felt like too much. This is a novel that you would have a tough time reading quickly and I feel that you might miss the point. House of Chains is a book to be experienced, at times quickly taking in the action and the wonderful world. At other times it should be taken slowly and carefully, allowing time to digest all that yo
This is an easy five.

It was obvious almost from the get-go, I would love this book ...

I started writing the review, but let's face the facts..... it was 30C at 07.00 this morning, and I'm afraid to look at the thermometer right now, so.....

REVIEW TO COME in a few days, when the temperature in the morning drops at least 2C


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
House of Chains by Steven Erikson continues my Malazan Book of the Fallen read through. House of Chains is book number four and my initial goal was to read this entire series this year. It is going to be tough, because I’m way behind, but I’m still going to give it a shot. House of Chains continues Erikson’s multiple POV, plethora of characters, insane world building, and stylistic writing that doesn’t give away answers easily. However, in House of Chains, Erikson introduces a character that has ...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
TS Chan
I felt strangely disconnected with this book, even though it was a lot easier to get through as compared to the previous 3 instalments. I still love the way Erikson writes relationships between characters, and there are some really great pairings going on in this book; namely Karsa Orlong and Torvald Nom, Onrack and Trull Sengar, Pearl and Lostara Yil. There was also great continuity as the events in Memories of Ice were mentioned and had impact to what's unfolding in this book. I also really li ...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
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 Ka
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
Tracey (Queen of Blades)
I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others. It's much much slower. (For Erikson that's really saying something!) Anyway there are many things I loved about it. The world-building is excellent, the dialogue is fantastic and the characters are... flesh and blood. Karsa Orlong, Trull Sengar and Onrack the Broken are among my new favourites.

The events take place immediately after the end of Memories of Ice and Deadhouse Gates. The Adjunct has arrived in Aren along with an army of new recruits to
James Tivendale
It is astonishing how every book in this series seems to get better than the one before. The sheer size of the cast is phenomenal however it seems like each character has an important role to play in the grand scheme of things and there are no 'bit-part' players. New characters such as Karsa Orlong, L'oric and Trull Senegar become favourites straight away and that is down to Erikson's skill as a writer. I will admit that I go a bit sentimental when we find out what characters such as Quick Ben, ...more
The Crimson Fucker

Alright... I'm done again!


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
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
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru

In Northern Genabackis, tribal mountain warriors raid southern flatlands. Years later, Tavore, Adjunct to the Empress, enters the last Malazan stronghold. New to command, she must hone 12,000 recrutis to resist the Whirlwind of her sister Sha in the Holy Desert. The power struggle of the seer's warlords threatens the soul of the rebellion.

My Thoughts:

It has been a long, long time since I last wrote a real review. I've been seriously slacking. However, I can't not write a review for an e
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
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
Fernando  Martins
I, therein, proclaim The Malazan Book Of The Fallen as my favorite series.
M Hamed
you know what was needed to move this book a little closer to perfection ?
(view spoiler)
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another excellent addition to this fantastic series. I had a great time reading it and while the end left me a little disappointed (view spoiler) it was still a top notch read.

As this been out for more than a decade AND has more than 400 reviews, there is little substantial I can add (for great reviews by fans of the series check out Conor's and David's reviews). We got a raft of new characters and
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Fantasy and Sci-F...: Chapter 5 8 21 Sep 03, 2015 08:17AM  
Fantasy and Sci-F...: Chapter 3 10 27 Sep 03, 2015 01:25AM  
Fantasy and Sci-F...: Chapter 4 5 24 Sep 02, 2015 12:42PM  
Fantasy and Sci-F...: Chapter 2 9 23 Sep 01, 2015 01:38PM  
Beyond Reality: HOUSE OF CHAINS: Finished Reading (*SPOILERS*) 15 19 Aug 12, 2015 05:35AM  
Beyond Reality: 5/17--House of Chains: Prologue and Chapters 1-3 9 12 Jul 22, 2015 07:01AM  
  • Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire, #2)
  • The Warrior Prophet (The Prince of Nothing, #2)
  • The Books of the South (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4-6)
  • An Autumn War (Long Price Quartet, #3)
  • Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt, #4)
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.
More about Steven Erikson...

Other Books in the Series

The 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)
  • Midnight Tides (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)
  • The Bonehunters (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)
  • Reaper's Gale (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)
  • Toll the Hounds (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)
  • Dust of Dreams (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)
  • The Crippled God (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10)

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