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Werthead

Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson

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Well, the events I noted would be rather vague for those who haven't read the middle books, so I wouldn't worry about much of anything in the way of spoilers. Glad you got the perspective that you sought in trying to judge the series as a whole, as I purposely concentrated on areas that really hadn't been addressed as much in other reviews.

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One perspective I like and hope to see realized is that each book has its own story and place in the overall story arc, while instead other long series seem to rely too much on retreading of the same plot devices or have endless journeys with no real destination (like running in a circle).

One quality that I perceive in the Malazan series is that instead each book stands on its own and tells a different story. Not much because it's conclusive or standalone, but because it explores different directions and themes. More like the complex system a world is, and less like a linear story that advances uniformly. There's a web of events and relationships, and all is connected in some way.

I don't think I've read someone complaining that one book is too similar to another. That's already a quality for a long series.

Then I would also consider the more superficial theme of "length", as everyone complains the books are too long. On the other side you say some PoV are underdeveloped as if implying they needed more attention (okay, a good writer maybe does more in less pages), and I also noticed that it's frequent that the best books in a series tend to be the longest, not the shortest.

Memories of Ice is still one of the longest book, yet is considered the best.

A Storm of Swords is by far the longest for ASOIAF, yet considered the very best.

Shadow Rising is the longest for WoT, and again usually considered the peak.

And it's also interesting because these books aren't just the longest, but also those that were written more quickly (another example is A Feast for Crows, that came out late and considered disappointing). As if they are contradicting the usual claims (the book needed more editing! the book is 300 pages too long!).

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Kinda tangential response to the post above.

There is a good reason why publishers never used to sign writers up for mammoth 12 book series. Writers are human and they get fatigued writing *that* much of a single series. Imagine spending 20 years writing one series! WoT took like 15 years and it was never finished.

Basically they seem to start off good/great then the author loses steam and begins writing more and more slowly - or at the same pace but with lesser quality. Worst is slowly and with lesser quality.

The person you were at the start of writing would be a different person by the time you finished it...if you ever finished it.

So Malazan hs its ups and downs just any other huge series.

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In the case of this particular book, it's not just a case of certain PoVs being underdeveloped; it also is a case of Erikson repeating certain motifs a bit too often, leading to some loss of effect. While each individual book does have its own tone and theme, within each book there often tends to be too much of a repetition in regards to individual "notes" within the book's "score." For example, there are two young girls and a mangled dog that are introduced in the story and really are not referred to until the climax. Their story and their role in the redemption theme is interesting, but not only has it received little airplay, it is in ways too close to the Stonny/Gruntle/Harllo subplot in the particular type of redemption sought/given (although admittedly each would best be described as an inversion or mirror rather than as a replica of the other subplot).

While many others might decry Erikson's overuse of the philosophizing soldier, I tend to notice more the unnecessary redundant repetitions in symbolic acts in the tales. It's rarely more than a minor annoyance with me, but it is something to bear in mind as the series progresses.

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:ack:

The paperback for Toll the Hounds is now available in the UK and guess what? Bantam have switched the series to the new 'B'-format of mmpb, meaning it's about 20% bigger than the other books in the series on your shelf.

Fucking awesome. Now I'm glad I switched to the hardcovers as of The Bonehunters.

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:ack:

The paperback for Toll the Hounds is now available in the UK and guess what? Bantam have switched the series to the new 'B'-format of mmpb, meaning it's about 20% bigger than the other books in the series on your shelf.

Fucking awesome. Now I'm glad I switched to the hardcovers as of The Bonehunters.

You mean like halfway between a MMPB and a trade paperback? I live in the US but I'm just curious. I have the Prince of Nothing trilogy in this format. I always hate it when series switch formats, and hope Tor doesn't do anything like this with Malazan.

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You mean like halfway between a MMPB and a trade paperback? I live in the US but I'm just curious. I have the Prince of Nothing trilogy in this format. I always hate it when series switch formats, and hope Tor doesn't do anything like this with Malazan.

I doubt very much the Americans, whose mmpbs are notably smaller than normal UK ones are anyway, would do this.

I'm puzzled why the UK publishers are doing this though. It seemed to be limited to Gollancz and Orbit but if Bantam are leaping on board, maybe everyone else is going to be as well.

What's weird is that the B-formats are simply 'scaled' up versions of the normal mmpbs. They don't have less pages to accomodate the same-sized text, so they're not saving paper either. Very strange.

TTH is also fecking gigantic, with a mmpb page-count of 1,290-odd pages. It misses out on hitting 1,300 (something I haven't seen in a single-volume new novel for many years) by just a few pages.

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:ack:

The paperback for Toll the Hounds is now available in the UK and guess what? Bantam have switched the series to the new 'B'-format of mmpb, meaning it's about 20% bigger than the other books in the series on your shelf.

Fucking awesome. Now I'm glad I switched to the hardcovers as of The Bonehunters.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I have all the MM because they have the uniform style.

And I've already ordered the book a couple of days ago...

TTH is 1k words more than Reaper's Gale. That's like 30 pages more. This was absolutely unneeded and will broke my collection.

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I doubt very much the Americans, whose mmpbs are notably smaller than normal UK ones are anyway, would do this.

I'm puzzled why the UK publishers are doing this though. It seemed to be limited to Gollancz and Orbit but if Bantam are leaping on board, maybe everyone else is going to be as well.

What's weird is that the B-formats are simply 'scaled' up versions of the normal mmpbs. They don't have less pages to accomodate the same-sized text, so they're not saving paper either. Very strange.

TTH is also fecking gigantic, with a mmpb page-count of 1,290-odd pages. It misses out on hitting 1,300 (something I haven't seen in a single-volume new novel for many years) by just a few pages.

What I don't get is how according to Erikson, the book is only 357,000 words. I could swear half of these Malazan books are longer than any Wheel of Time book. Source:

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Toll the Hounds is 383k accordingly to a wordcount program I used.

If TTH is 357k then reference books like WoT and A Storm of Sword would be shorter than how we consider them.

This is my own wordcount (so all the books are counted the same way):

A Song of Ice And Fire - George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones: 280k

A Clash of kings: 325k

A Storm of Swords: 402k

A Feast for Crows: 300k

Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon: 205k

Deadhouse Gates: 268k

Memories of Ice: 350k

House of Chains: 302k

Midnight Tides: 272k

The Bonehunters: 365k

Reaper's Gale: 382k

Toll the Hounds: 383k

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I'm sitting here with my copies of Memories of Ice and The Shadow Rising trying to make sense of this.

The Shadow Rising:

1,031 pages (including appendices)

393,823 words

Times New Roman font

39 lines per page

Memories of Ice:

1,194 pages (including appendices and House of Chains preview chapter)

350,000 words

Goudy font

37 lines per page

Margins seem comparable in both.

Bantam must be doing something weird here. TTH is almost 300 pages longer than TSR but 10,000 words shorter. WTF?

TTH is 1k words more than Reaper's Gale. That's like 30 pages more. This was absolutely unneeded and will broke my collection.

It's got nothing to do with the size of TTH, it's just that all UK SF&F brands (and some mainstream ones) are moving to this new size. It appears to be the new industry standard, despite being inconvenient and unwieldy.

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