Thursday, November 8, 2007

House of Chains

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

House of Chains is the fourth book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It picks up soon after the end of Deadhouse Gates, albeit opening with a tale of Karsa Orlong, also known as Toblakai and Sha’ik’s bodyguard, who now becomes a major player. Tavore, Adjunct of the Empress, trains several thousand soldiers for the upcoming battle with the rebellion while Sha’ik waits in Raraku. However, things are not at all serene in the desert those in Sha’ik’s own camp conspire to separate ends. Aspalar and Crokus, as well as Kalam and Fiddler, continue their adventures begun earlier while far away a T’lam Imass comes across a lone Tiste Edur. Once again power and convergence, soldiers and mages, shape events as the Crippled God makes a play for power behind the scenes.
Lacking the timbre and emotion of Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice, House of Chains suffers from being a middle book. It continues events from the earlier books as well as setting the stage for further stories without anything really happening. The climax had a nice buildup but ultimately dropped a little flat. Nevertheless I did enjoy this book and, as always, the world building was superb. The next book supposedly features a whole new setting and characters which should be fun to read even if it means leaving the “main” body of the tale.
Final rating: 8/10.

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