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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of House of Chains: The Malazan Book of the Fallen 4 by Steven Erikson, read by Michael Page.

In Northern Genabackis, before the events recounted in Gardens of the Moon, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descend from the mountains into the flat lands. For one among them, Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove an extraordinary destiny. 

Some years later, it is the aftermath of the Chain of Dogs. Coltaine is dead. And now the untried new Adjunct, Tavore, must urgently raise an army able to withstand the forces of the Sha'ik's Whirlwind that are massing in Raraku, the few remaining veterans from Coltaine's march her only hope....

So begins the epic new novel of war, intrigue, magic and betrayal from a writer now acknowledged as one of the most original, imaginative and exciting storytellers in modern fantasy.

©2002 Steven Erikson (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about House of Chains

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good story, average performance

they changed the reader, and this new one is inconsistent. puts on accents for characters, but they are hard to distinguish and sometimes he forgets them completely.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent (and unfairly-maligned!) reading

I have listened to the 1st 4 of these now. I agree with the other reviews in that the reader of the 1st 3 was the superior (marginally) when it came to vocal characterisations...however, I loved every minute of this reader's rich and powerful, Olivier-esque style, and his use of pause and emphasis was SUPERIOR to that of the previous reader!!! Highly recommended!!!

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Do not be put off by the new reader

At first I was hesitant in accepting the new reader and the voices changing for characters I loved.

But to be fair, most of the books in the series contain completely new characters. I have listened to 2 books now with this reader and there are more new characters than old by far. And most of them are as memorable as before.

Give the new reader a chance, the books are phenomenal.

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stunning

another incredible chapter in this series of books. truly deserving of the title epic. I loved it

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Disappointingly addictive

The new reader has a lot of inconsistency with his voices for characters, however, other than a few names said strangely his voice has a strong presence perfect for this epic series

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sub par recording

I haven't got very far into the book.
The audio is of pretty low quality.

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  • Vintr Michal
  • 23-03-2019

Rough transition but great book

The biggest obstacle in letting me enjoy this audio book is the translation from Ralph Lister to Michael Page. But once you accept there's nothing you can do about it the story is just great.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mara
  • 28-01-2022

the new reader is awful

I cannot but say that Michael page has big shoes to fill after Lister. He seems unable to distinguish his personae and makes them all sound so similar. Lister's character all had unique voices and he barely ever mixed them up. this cannot be said for Page who seemed to have difficulties giving a voice to Karsa. I can only hope he gets better at if from here on in as I know he has narrated the rest as well. why anyone would want to exchange Ralph Lister for Michael page is beyond me at this point. as for the story itself... what can I say? Erickson is a genius. The way he weaves the plots of all his personae together. It is, to say the least, brilliant. I was on one page rooting for our bridge burners, as I grew a soft spot for lloric on the other. In the beginning I wanted to tear Karsa orlong apart and sock him in the arrogant month. But the Crude arrogant bastard grows on you as you follow him on his journey towards values. The mean Rope that now has a human face.... the majestic world of the Malazan empire has me in its claws and I gladly continue the rest of the journey.

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  • Tatras
  • 14-12-2020

Too many words!

I liked this saying the most in this book: - Crocus "To ascend is also to surrender. Immortality is turning away. Mortals fate is to embrace life itself as it is with all its fraud. (Also the death I guess should be embraced). Life is mortals first lover! Worship of imperfection and accepting mistakes - crippled god have actually quite seductive narative. The series are keeping to be nicely brutal (like Toblakai's last encounter with Bidithal) in the way as old legends and mythos are even with the same narative which I like a lot. This book is still a bit "madhouse", but not that much as the previous one, where the characters have strange (emotional) states/thoughts regarding how much other things they withstand or in the light of their thousands of years old life in the case of some of them - they are sort of more believable . Some bits remains like Knuckles have life issues because of too much speaking, Keeper is odd too, god have a problem asking questions, god of death is accused of possesing one girl (being the patron of assasins and kills thousands is fine?), but those mostly psychological issues are cool in some way. It seems to me like sort of an epic tale with parts of B type literature and on the level of psychological world of the characters. Maybe I'll find better name for this in the future. Overall most of the characters being god's, humans or aliens have more or less human issues, they have their family (whatever group they consider for it) and family matters which is important for them, they like animals and diversity, they are introverts beyond imagine (Yaguths).. but those are all still human issues from human psyche. And I have to say I really like authors view of the world and people which could be nicely seen from this. Anyway, Malazan series becoming another series in my life that after going through them all I would like to erases them from my memory so I can read them again...

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  • robert slade
  • 01-04-2019

Great book, terrible narration.

The first three volumes of this series as narrated by Ralph lister are excellent. Why audible chose to switch to the ponderous declamation which appears to be Michael page’s sole vocal mode is beyond me.

I will continue with the series solely because I’m a Malazan Book of the fallen fan, and am using the audio books to revisit the series.

We’re it not for that prior affection I wouldn’t touch anything narrated by this narrator. I assume that his overblown plodding style appeals to some people but as far as I’m concerned it’s an impediment to enjoyment.

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  • Hamish W
  • 15-10-2019

Review of narrator

Michael Page isn’t nearly as good as Ralph Lister. He pronounces words differently (diver, soletaken, Imass for example). The voices you know and love from the first three books have changed and many of the participants have the same voice, tone, cadence etc which get confusing). I skipped through the first 30 minutes of this as the Teblor sounded all the same. It did get better as it went along and you got more used to it but partly because you just know nothings going to change so you adapt your listening

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  • Arthur Simms
  • 29-11-2020

Great book, and I prefer Michael Page!

If you've gotten this far you'll know the Malazan books are fantastic, so I'll leave that as it is.

I'm mainly writing this review to offer a counter opinion on Michael Page since there are quite a few negative reviews about him. I'm now a few books further down the line from this one and while I did find the change very jarring initially, particularly the changes in pronunciation of some words I actually think Page is my preferred narrator. Page generally has a much more serious tone with gravitas imbued in everything he says, very fitting for a series as dark and grand in scale as this. Lister is fantastic, but a few of his accents particularly his nasal Seven Cities accent were too cartoony sounding in my opinion.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-2019

Karsa Orlong!

The first part of this book focusing solely on Karsa Orlong's story is honestly on of the most entertaining audiobooks I've ever heard!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-06-2019

Different narrator, still good

Change of narrator did not take away from the story. Yes a bit different in voices and some of the names are said slightly differently but it's not a problem. If you're looking at buying this then you already know to pay attention as you don't get your hand held and eased into the lore.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-2021

epic journey continue

i was pretty sceptical about new narrator but after i while i rly like this one and cannot wait to go through rest of the books!

Karsa Orlong it's a amazing character! love this book a lot. so far Memory of Ice it's my favorite! but this one come close!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-10-2020

Different voice actor, jarring change

While I really liked Ralph Lister's narration, Michael Page is almost as good, but different. Ralph Lister has a better narration voice, and pronounced Malazan's names and words better. Michael Page has a narrator voice that sounds like he's reading Shakespeare, but does amazing voices for the characters. He gives them accents (not all good though, Malazans are slightly Indian for some reason), which gives the books a more realistic feel.

Still, the change of narrator is jarring. Page pronounces names differently, and gives characters completely different voices and accents from Lister (why are Fiddler and Crokus Indian??). Why Page didn't listen to Lister's narration for the sake of continuity is beyond me.
Why they chose to change voice actor 4 books in is also beyond me.

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  • Pete Williams
  • 12-05-2019

My favourite series of books

I read this series a number of years ago, and you get in your head a voice for all of the characters. Well the story remains fantastic, the narration is less than wonderful. There is really no differentiation between characters when it switches between chapters. The characters also change how they speak in different parts of the book.

In short, then, I love this series of books as quite possibly one of my favourites that I have ever read. However, this book has been poorly narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-2022

Needs better narration!

The house of chains introduces us to some of my favourite characters in the malazan universe while still keeping links to established characters but the whole experience is clouded by the narrator he has obviously made no attempt to find the right pronunciation for most of the names and places in the book and it kills the immersion for me,this in no way reflects on the story or the world building erikson has given us one of the best epic fantasy series ever written in the 10 books of the malazan book of the fallen series,while not everyone can be bothered investing in such a big story if you consider yourself a fan of fantasy at all you owe it to yourself to immerse yourself in these books completely you will laugh you will cry and you will become genuinely concerned about the fate of some of the characters brought to life by erikson in these books, don't read one book and disregard the rest, the consistency of intelligent, engaging storytelling stays all the way through to the last book don't judge this book on my review or someone else's review get involved in the world and characters of malazan and make your own decision these books will repay everything you invest in them tenfold if you are like me you will reach the end of book 10 then immediately pick up book 1 and start again because one read through isn't enough to ingest the depth of the storytelling offered up here there is a point in the book where we are confronted with the sudden death of one of our main characters and I genuinely was winded by it I was outraged I was hurt I felt the loss I wanted them back in the story this ability to attach you emotionally to his characters is one of eriksons many strong points.
I apologize for this long long-winded review😎
Note to whomever it concerns Please please get these books narrated by a cast of narrators who can do justice to the characters, pronunciation of words and place names and most of all the amazing story on offer here as one person narrating this many characters is not doing it any justice at all.

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  • Ruff
  • 06-10-2021

Great story but literally the worst narrator.

The story, is great - nothing more to say about that.

The narrator on the other hand. Christ. He's literally the worst person for a book that involves multiple characters from multiplie cultures. He has approximately four voices that he employs - gravel-ly, posh brittish, shrill old woman, and stereotypically Indian.

THAT'S IT.

A tonne of characters across time and space, and they all sound the same for some inexplicable reason. Who's speaking, a Tiste edur, a Daru, a malazan or an Indian person? You sure won't know unless the narrator explicitly says who says what.

Maybe I wouldn't have minded this so much if I hadn't experienced Ralph Lister for the past three books. Maybe this wouldn't have been as awful if I hadn't seen that it IS actually possible to give 10+ characters and various peoples distinct and meaningful voices. But now I have, and this is like a pale imitation of what we had.

I hate that I'm going to have to listen through more of this trashbag to be able to enjoy the rest of this series on audiobook.

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