Toll the Hounds is the eighth novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series by Steven Erikson. It was first published in the UK and Canada on June 30, 2008, and in the US on September 16, 2008.
- 1 Publisher's Summary
- 2 Front matter
- 3 Plot Summary
- 4 Epigraphs
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Cover gallery
- 7 Notes and references
Publisher's Summary[edit | edit source]
In Darujhistan, the city of blue fire, it is said that love and death shall arrive dancing. It is summer and the heat is oppressive, but for the small round man in the faded red waistcoat, discomfiture is not just because of the sun. All is not well. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways, but the quarry has turned and the hunters become the hunted.
Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. While the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of Hounds... And in the distant city of Black Coral, where rules Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, ancient crimes awaken, intent on revenge. It seems Love and Death are indeed about to arrive...hand in hand, dancing.
A thrilling, harrowing novel of war, intrigue and dark, uncontrollable magic, Toll the Hounds is the new chapter in Erikson's monumental series - epic fantasy at its most imaginative and storytelling at its most exciting.
Front matter[edit | edit source]
Dedication[edit | edit source]
This novel is dedicated to the memory of my father, R. S. Lundin, 1931-2007. You are missed.
Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]
Gratitude as always goes to my advance readers: Bowen, Rick, Mark and Chris, with special thanks to Bill and Hazel for their kind words and support over the course of what proved to be a difficult year. Appreciation also goes to the staff of the Black Stilt Café and the Pacific Union Café for their generous loan of office space.
Love to Clare and Bowen, for everything.
Maps[edit | edit source]
Plot Summary[edit | edit source]
|Toll the Hounds|
|Vow to the Sun|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|To Die in the Now|
|Chapter 13||Chapter 14|
|Chapter 15||Chapter 16|
|Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Toll the Hounds|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20|
|Chapter 21||Chapter 22|
|Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
- The following summaries contain spoilers
Please access individual chapter summaries via the Chapter infobox
- The following summaries contain spoilers
Prologue[edit | edit source]
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.
Genabackis[edit | edit source]
Darujhistan[edit | edit source]
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 | edit source]
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.
Lamatath Plain[edit | edit source]
As Karsa Orlong and Samar Dev traverse the Lamatath Plain, they encounter Traveller. Someone, Karsa realizes, not even he can cross.
Nimander & Companions and Kallor[edit | edit source]
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 | edit source]
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.
Epigraphs[edit | edit source]
Book One: Vow to the Sun[edit | edit source]
This creature of words cuts
Brathos of Black Coral
Book Two: Cold-Eyed Virtues[edit | edit source]
From her ribs and from the hair of women
Book Three: To Die in the Now[edit | edit source]
Push it on to the next moment
Siban of Aren
Book Four: Toll the Hounds[edit | edit source]
Like broke slate
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Of all the Malazan books, Toll the Hounds had the greatest impact on Erikson while writing. His own father was dying at the time, and the novel involved "delving into the nature of grief and working through that grief." Erikson says the book also served as a "cipher for the series" because it is the only book in the series where the reader knows identity of the voice driving the narrative. "So it's a kind of self conscious narrator, so it's meta fictional, and that is actually the cipher to an alternate reading of the entire series."