Raja's Reviews > House of Chains

House of Chains by Steven Erikson
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's review
Sep 13, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in September, 2009

The first part of House of Chains is the single longest cohesive block of writing that is in any of the books so far -- some two hundred and fifty pages of a single point of view told sequentially. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's also by far the best writing in the series to this point, a compelling (if disturbing) narrative from the viewpoint of a murderous, rapacious monster of a barbarian.

The rest of the book is about as good as the other entries in the series, making this quite a satisfying read overall. It also really starts to solidify some of the connections between characters and events that had been unclear, linking points from all three previous books together into a group of overarching narratives that are just barely beginning to make sense. I can see why it's going to take ten books in total to tell this chunk of the story, and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the ride.

So why only four stars? Apart from the first section, the writing remains somewhat overwrought and stilted in places. Not unusual in epic fantasy, but it's far removed from the taut necessity of Glen Cook's prose, the precise perfection of Daniel Abraham's, and the dark ambiguity of Scott Bakker's. Still, a strong entry in an excellent series.

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