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Toll the Hounds

(Malazan Book of the Fallen #8)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  27,104 ratings  ·  919 reviews
In Darujhistan, the city of blue fire, it is said that love and death shall arrive dancing. It is summer and the heat is oppressive, but for the small round 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 quar ...more
Hardcover, 1008 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Tor Books (first published June 30th 2008)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,104 ratings  ·  919 reviews

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Start your review of Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: epic fantasy fans
Shelves: favorites
Against all odds, Toll the Hounds blew my mind away and became one of my favorite installment within the series.

Toll the Hounds, just like House of Chains, is one of the installments which I heard plenty of mixed things about; they’re there for valid reasons. However, unlike House of Chains which disappointed me a lot, I actually found Toll the Hounds mesmerizing, a treasure trove for philosophies, and also one of the most rewarding books in the series so far. The story of the novel focused on t
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW! Yes, I was prepared, but I hate everything right now!! Moving on to another book so I can get behind this!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
TS Chan
In a series replete with epic endings, Toll the Hounds offered, to date, the most epic one of all. It is with much joy that upon rereading I could upgrade this book as one of my favourites.

Before I start my review proper, I’d like to point out that reading Return of the Crimson Guards from the Malazan Empire series prior to Toll the Hounds is relevant to the timeline, both from an event and character standpoint.

The plot in Toll the Hounds seemingly digressed from the central arc of the Cripple
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grim-dark, malazan
It has been over a week since I finished Toll the Hounds , so I have had plenty of time to think about how I wanted to review this. Personally, I thought this was the weakest book in the series. Now, before you go all berserk on me I have my reasons, and let me emphasis that while I say it is the weakest book in the series it is also a great book by any other standards. But putting it up against all the other Malazan books it just fell a little short for me. Let me explain!

There were a lot of
Mayim de Vries
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epilogue: There is no bell that could toll for me now.*

Chapter 24: She was there! All the time!

Chapter 23: Rake, dear me Rake…

Chapter 22: What an army, what an epic army: Bridgeburners on the tip, Dujek on the left and Wickans on the right flank then Brukhalian’s Grey Swords. You could conquer the whole universe!

Chapter 21: Scott said: “Hold on, because this is when it starts!” Well, hold my sword coffee.

Chapter 20: The alliance goals: to keep Darkness in, Chaos out and Death down.

Chapter 19
Deborah Obida
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adult
"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."
Anomander Rake
Son of Darkness

I have just one problem with this book, and that is its slowness, this book is so damn slow, this book could have been better if it was 500 pages shorter, I will read and read yet nothing is happening, it made the reading experience not as fun as the previous ones, I have to admit I was bored at some point, which is the first time
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was another good instalment of Steven Erikson's fantastic Malazan series. It was a step up in quality from what we got in Reaper's Gale. Mostly because I think the characters and balance of the story were better in Toll the Hounds!

As always I enjoyed Erikson's weird but engaging writing style and enjoyed his observations and scathing social commentary.

The setting of this instalment was a big plus for me as we returned to the city of Darujistan. It ranks up there with Letheras as my favour
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Stefan Bach
“History meant nothing, because the only continuity was human stupidity.”

Where to even begin?
From that magnificent ending? No, who starts with an ending?
But in many ways, Toll the Hounds, eight book in Malazan Book of the Fallen series is the beginning of an end. Interlude into a final book Dust of Dreams/Crippled God; book by which end all pieces are set and ready for a conclusion.

Let's start with the necessary - but I promise very brief - what, where and who.

We're back in
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-grim
I have no choice but to give it at least five stars! This is an author who never stops to grow and continues to thug on every emotion I am capable of and some new ones I had no idea I was capable of. If you are a fan of Fantasy, on the darker side, and can cope with some seriously grand philosophical musings on both micro and macro levels, presented in more than realistic way, and can handle some human tragedy... You have to check this series out! I can't begin to even touch on the plot, but if ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: malazan, 2018, fantasy
”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.”

The eighth tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen is dominated once again by Erikson’s philosophical musings. The majority of the book is an intellectual exploration of life and death, society and history, love, lust and war, on a scale not rivalled by even the political treatise that was Midnight Tides.

That is not to say, however, that nothing is happening in
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have made it through the biggest chapter of the The Malazan Book of the Fallen and unfortunately, in comparison to all that has come before, it is the weakest addition. Thankfully even a weak Malazan book is still better than 90% of all other fantasy series I have read.

It’s difficult to give a proper synopsis without completely ruining it for anyone that hasn’t read previous Malazan books so I’ll keep it brief. We’re back in Darujhistan with the majority of the characters from Gardens of the M
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, so that was the eighth book. I almost can't believe I have read so much of this series. Then again its taken over my life for over a year now and I still have two books to go on the main series and then there are all the other books and at least one complete reread to go...

Okay, so general consensus on Toll the Hounds is that it is very slow and bogged down in the political. I didn't really get that. Then again, it took me three months to read due to lack of time so I guess I was forced to
Feb 17, 2014 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)
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, buddy-read
Alas, time grinds on. All fates spin and not even the gods can guess how each will topple.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen (MBotF) series has quickly risen to be one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. The writing is superb and the world building is better than almost anything else out there. Even the books that I’d rank at the bottom of my MBotF Favorites List are still far and away superior to a lot of other series out there, past and present. Now, from what I’ve seen, opinions on this
David Sven
May 31, 2012 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
Scott  Hitchcock
Through 8 books with the ranking of the first time around as the second number.

1, 3, TBH
2, 2, MOI
3, 1, DHG
4, 8, TTH
5, 4, MT
6, 5 GotM
7, 7 HoC
8, 6 RG

The last 20% of this book was never in doubt. It might be the best of the convergences. The setup this time was much better and having the power of foresight this time around you can see the connections going forward and see the ones going back ever more clearly. A few scenes I flat out misinterpreted the first time around. A few I completely
Feb 10, 2016 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,
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Devastating ending. I can't stop thinking about the last 20% of this book. It was a bit slower start than previous books, but the payoff was worth it by the end. ...more
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. Ro
Feb 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Shobhit Sharad
I'll start by saying that this book was an absolute treasure-box for wonderful quotes, about anything and everything that torments the structure of our society and which troubles each individual's mind.

After having read a series like Wheel of Time (and loving it), I have no problem with stretched out books, where there may be less action, and more of people living their regular-fantasy-lives, provided it is well written and I connect with the characters. Both of these conditions were amply fulf
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
Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid
"You cannot war against the man you were, And I cannot slay the man I shall one day become, Our enemy is expectation flung backward and fore, The memories you choose and the tracks I would run. Slayer of dreams, sower of regrets, all that we are."

With all honesty, Toll the Hounds might not be a five stars read because of some reasons. If those weren't the most confusing first chapters among all the Malazan books so far, the chaotic switches between pile and pile of POVS was frustrating to sa
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epics, reviewed, fantasy

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
Jake Bishop

Toll The Hounds is my new favorite Malazan book. Masterfully crafted, and thematically probably the strongest one. I get why some people like it less, but I loved this book. It is an amazing exploration of grief, sacrifice and civilization.

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
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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 series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Other books in the series

Malazan Book of the Fallen (10 books)
  • Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)
  • Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)
  • Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)
  • House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)
  • Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)
  • The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)
  • Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)
  • Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)
  • The Crippled God (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.” 202 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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