Thursday, July 17, 2008

In The Limelight - Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen VIII)

It's that time of the year again; about a fortnight ago -- on July 1th to be precise -- a new entry, "Toll the Hounds" (Amazon: US available on Sep 16; UK), into the colossally ambitious and unprecedentedly epic "Malazan Book of the Fallen" saga was unleashed upon the world which is divided into two categories of people - those who are already devoted followers of the series, and those who are yet to become one. [I'm being "a bit" overdramatic here :)]

Away with my amateurish sense of drama..."Toll the Hounds", the eight installment of the ten that are announced in the series (now sixteen, if you don't count the spin-off novellas of "Bauchelain & Korbal Broach", since Erikson made a new deal with Bantam UK for two more trilogies set in the same universe - it is confirmed that one of them will be dealing with Anomander Rake's rise to power...) has garnered a fistful of reviews from my fellow bloggers. Here are the ones I managed to track down (and read):
From what I've managed to induce, the consensus is by no means absolute. The reviews vary by a fair margin and all of them are worthy to read -- Erikson is known to deliver thematically, stylistically and in terms of content rich and multilayered works -- since the individual reviews oftend tend to brush against a previously unencountered aspect of the book. The problem most of the reviews expose is Erikson's verbosity and a very slow and meandering buildup with many subplots leading nowhere, but the reader's patience is ultimatelly paid of by another bombastic ending (yup, a convergence). Other than that - a few reviewers deem it his best work, some say it's his worst to date, but "Toll the Hounds" is in general considered an o.k. book by Erikson's standards.

I still have "Reaper's Gale" and probably at least one of the Ian C. Esslemont's novels to read before plunging into "Toll the Hounds", but I'm curious about the book and would like to hear your opinion - so what do you think, if you managed to read it by now that is?
p.s. If you are not nearly as far as the eighth book, then I urge you to read a great analysis of "Deadhouse Gates" (the second novel) over at The Cesspit.


Kristen said...

I had not heard that one of the new trilogies was going to be about Anomander Rake's rise to power. That should be great! I'm all excited now!

ThRiNiDiR said...

Yes it should; but I'm more happy about the fact that Erikson is going to slow down the pace of his writing which will hopefully result in tighter writing... And I'm glad to have been of service :)

Abalieno said...

Thanks for the reference ;)


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