Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is I’m afraid the low point of the Malazan series. And had this been book 2 or 3 it is possible I wouldn’t have continued reading the sequels, and would have been very disapointed. Here’s my problems:
1) Occasionally narrated by Kruppe, a character. This is the first time in the series any character gets to narrate, and to introduce it in book 8 feels strange. Also, Kruppe isn’t fit to tell a story straight, I found myself so exasperated by the style that I frequently skipped entire section.
2) Length. I mean, really, where’s the editor? I understand fantasy epics are supposed to long, and that the audience expect it to be long, but this is ridiculous. I can without thinking pick out 4 entire story threads that have *nothing* what so ever to do with the main story and could have been cut immediately.
3) The disjointed start. Call me slow but it took me about 300 pages before I had any idea what the book was about. Also, it switches view point furiously in the beginning, which made me loose my interest, again finding myself skipping entire sections.
4) Repeated dialogs and forced humor. Does every Malazan marine have exactly the same reparté? And also, the humor in the earlier books was a side effect, here it appears as if Erikson was trying to force it.
Other than this, the book still shows why the Malazan sequel is the best fantasy being produced out there.
The ending is awesome.
So yes, I will continue reading, but I really, really hope that this book was the exception of the series.
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