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Editorial Reviews

"This masterwork of imagination may be the high watermark of epic fantasy. This marathon of ambition has a depth and breadth and sense of vast reaches of inimical time unlike anything else available today. The Black Company, Zelazny's Amber, Vance's Dying Earth, and other mighty drumbeats are but foreshadowings of this dark dragon's hoard." (Glen Cook)
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Publisher's Summary

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 Adjunct to the Empress, has arrived in the last remaining Malazan stronghold of Seven Cities. New to command, she must hone 12,000 soldiers, mostly raw recruits but for a handful of veterans of Coltaine's legendary march, into a force capable of challenging the massed hordes of Sha'ik's Whirlwind, who lie in wait in the heart of the Holy Desert.
But waiting is never easy. The seer's warlords are locked into a power struggle that threatens the very soul of the rebellion, while Sha'ik herself suffers, haunted by the knowledge of her nemesis: her own sister, Tavore.
And so begins this awesome chapter in Steven Erikson's acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen.
©2002 Steven Erikson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Hal on 12-28-13

Ralph Lister is missed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, but only in the sense that I want to continue with the Malazan series but do not have the time to read traditionally (I listen while commuting etc). While Page is competent, the memory of how vastly superior Ralph Lister was makes it difficult to enjoy the performance (as opposed to the book itself).

How did the narrator detract from the book?

It is a huge shame that Ralph Lister seems to no longer be narrating the books. While Michael Page is generally decent enough as a narrator, he simply doesn't have the range of voices, accents and intonations that Lister used. Admittedly, he makes an effort to distinguish characters (more than most narrators do), but he simply isn't as good as Lister. Lister's Kruppe will be missed!

What is also off-putting is that no effort seems to have been made to match pronunciation with the previous books. While I have no idea what led to the (very unfortunate for us readers) decision of letting Ralph Lister go, Michael Page should have acknowledged that he is picking up a series part way through and therefore should have made sure to maintain a consistent pronunciation. It is incredibly jarring to hear Page pronounce things in a manner which I (thanks to 3 gigantic books prior to this) think of as incorrect. Every time this happens I am brought out of the narration; constant interruptions to the flow of the narration like this make it difficult to enjoy the book. Unfortunately, with a book series like this with so many fictitious names and terms, it happens a great deal.

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62 of 64 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joe on 12-25-13

New Narrator is a Bummer

If you’ve listened to books by Steven Erikson before, how does this one compare?

This fourth installment os more or less on par with the pervious three but it is getting kinda carried away. One of the main reasons I loved the first three books as much as I did was because while there were wildly powerful characters in the story, many more were normal people in the midst of extraordinary situations. In House of Chains most of the characters have near god-like powers and I think it is getting a touch extreme.

Any additional comments?

As has been noted in other reviews the new narrator leaves a lot to be desired. The new voices for old characters is pretty jarring, Quick-Ben, for example, sounds nothing like he did in the first three book and it is distracting. There are other voices as well that have been dramatically altered.

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29 of 30 people found this review helpful

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