Toll The Hounds

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Toll the Hounds
Toll The Hounds Tor Cover.jpg
Tor 2nd Cover
Author Steven Erikson
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Malazan Book of the Fallen
Genre High Fantasy
Publisher Bantam (UK & Canada)
Tor Books (USA)
Publication date
30 June 2008 (UK & Canada)
16 September 2008 (USA)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 1,296 pp (Bantam paperback)
ISBN 0-593-04638-2 (Bantam paperback)
Preceded by Reaper's Gale
Followed by Dust of Dreams (novel)

Toll the Hounds is the eighth novel in Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It was first published on June 30, 2008 in the UK and Canada, and on September 16, 2008 in the USA.

Toll the Hounds centers around the legacy of Anomander Rake, Lord of the Tiste Andii, and the convergence of various powers in the city of Darujhistan.


In an interview, Erikson has stated that he found it a bit difficult to write the novel because of personal issues. The issue, from subsequent Q&A's and interviews, was revealed to be the death of his father.[1]
When asked about the unique and divisive tone and style of the novel, Steven Erikson stated that he had planned to write the novel with Kruppe's voice "from very early on in the series".[2]


Many of the characters from Gardens of the Moon and Memories of Ice, make a return in this novel.


The prologue is divided into four separate scenes.

The first is in a "necropolis of sorts", where two people, who are revealed to be dead, witness a meeting between Hood, Edgewalker, Shadowthrone and Anomander Rake, though they are not privy to what is discussed.

The second is set in the realm of Dragnipur, where it is suggested that the Wagon is becoming very difficult to pull, as more souls keep dying. While on the horizon, Chaos steadily advances on the Gate of Kurald Galain.

The third scene plays out in a village, where two girls notice the departure of a dog, and decide to follow.

And the last scene is by a fire on an empty plain (likely in Kruppe's dream world), where Kruppe asks K'rul to witness him dance.



The retired Bridgeburners are enjoying their retirement when Assassins from the Assassins' Guild suddenly come after them, though the assassins soon discover that the Bridgeburners aren't easy marks.

Spite and her companions arrive in Darujhistan, and go their separate ways. Crokus, who is Cutter, is anxious at the thought of being reunited with his old friends of the Phoenix Inn, while Barathol seeks anonymity in the city.

Mappo Runt is anxious to find Icarium, who is on the Letheri continent. He hires the Trygalle Trade Guild to take him to that distant continent and is accompanied by Gruntle, who does this because he is irritated by all the attention from the acolytes and priestess of Trake, the new God of War.

Black Coral[edit]

Itkovian's sacrifice (in Memories of Ice gave birth to a new cult (the cult of the Redeemer), propelling him to godhood. But another god is out there to bend and corrupt the cult. And only a former Seerdomin appears to stand in that god's path.

Anomander Rake, the Son of Darkness, asks Endest Silann, the broken High Mage of Moon's Spawn, and Spinnock Durav, the wandering Tiste Andii warrior, to do what must be done, as he senses many things coming.

Plain of Lamathat[edit]

As Karsa Orlong and Samar Dev traverse the Plain of Lamatath, they encounter Traveller. Someone, Karsa realizes, not even he can cross.

Nimander & Companions and Kalor[edit]

Clip leads Nimander Golit and the others toward Black Coral, where his confrontation with the Son of Darkness awaits. They encounter Kallor, and he joins them on their journey.

The Realm of Dragnipur[edit]

Within the realm of Dragnipur, more and more souls are dying, and the ones left standing are more than aware that Chaos is on the verge of overtaking the wagon. And when that occurs, Draconus, the elder god who forged Dragnipur, is aware that all the realms could be destroyed. He has a desperate plan to face what seems inevitable, but little does he know that a blind Tiste Andii has an agenda of his own.


In a Q&A session on the Malazan Empire Forum, it was stated by a commenter, and not refuted by the author, that the themes of the novel were death and redemption.[3]

Publication history[edit]


The novel was first released by Bantam in UK and Canada as a trade paperback edition on June 30, 2008, followed by a US release by Tor Books in September of the same year.[4] A Mass Market paperback edition was released on August 4, 2009.[5]


An Unabridged Audiobook was released by Brilliance Audio on March 15, 2015. The Audiobook was narrated by Michael Page, and is 44 hours and 9 minutes long.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The novel received mixed to positive reviews on its initial release.

Fantasy Book Reviews gave the novel a 10 on a scale of 10.[7]

Neth Space stated in their very positive review that Toll the Hounds "may be the best written volume so far in Steven Erikson’s momentous epic fantasy series: The Malazan Book of the Fallen".[8]

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist gave it a 9 out of 10, stating that "After nearly 800 pages spent setting the stage, Steven Erikson finally goes in "attack mode." And when he does, prepare yourself to be blown away!"[9]

SFF also gave a positive review stating that "...until reading the last 300 pages, [this review was] going to be about whether the early negative elements had made this one of the weaker books in the series. Then four hours disappeared in a heartbeat and the words now fail to adequately convey how absolutely draining reading the last third of the book is".[10]

The Wertzone also gave a positive review, stating that "Toll the Hounds is also the Malazan series' most thematically-developed and tightest novel, with notions of family, responsibility and the role of desire all coming in for examination."[11]

Conversely, Daniel Lin on Daniel's Corner Unlimited gave it a mixed review stating that, "Toll the Hounds is my least favourite book in this series, but it is not a bad book. In fact, this book is extremely well written, and it has more depth than previous books".[12]


  1. ^ "Interview With Steven Erikson". Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Q&A with Steven Erikson". Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "A Message From Steven Erikson". Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Toll the Hounds Tor US Release". The Wertzone. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Toll the Hounds Mass Market Paperback Edition". Amazon Canada. 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Toll The Hounds Audiobook". 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Toll The Hounds Review". 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Tole The Hounds: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen". Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Tole The Hounds: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen". 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Jones, Owen (2008). "Tole The Hounds: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen". Sf Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Whitehead, Adem (2008). "Tole The Hounds: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen". The Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  12. ^ Lin, Daniel (2014). "Tole The Hounds: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen". Retrieved 16 October 2016.