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.

Publisher's SummaryEdit

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 matterEdit


This novel is dedicated to the memory of my father, R. S. Lundin, 1931-2007. You are missed.


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.


Plot SummaryEdit

Toll the Hounds
Dramatis Personae Prologue
Vow to the Sun
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Cold-Eyed Virtues
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
Epilogue Pagination


The following summaries contain spoilers
Please access individual chapter summaries via the Chapter infobox

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 CoralEdit

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 LamathatEdit

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 KallorEdit

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 DragnipurEdit

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.


Book One: Vow to the SunEdit


This creature of words cuts
To the quick and gasp, dart away
The spray of red rain
Beneath a clear blue sky
Shock at all that is revealed
What use now this armour
When words so easy slant between?
This god of promises laughs
At the wrong things, wrongly timed
Unmaking all these sacrifices
In deliberate malice
Recoil like a soldier routed
Even as retreat is denied
Before corpses heaped high in walls
You knew this would come
At last and feign nothing, no surprise
To find this cup filled
With someone else's pain
It's never as bad as it seems
The taste sweeter than expected
When you squat in a fool's dream
So take this belligerence
Where you will, the dogged cur
Is the charge of my soul
To the center of the street
Spinning round all fangs bared
Snapping at thirsty spears
Thrust cold and purged of your hands

Hunting Words
Brathos of Black Coral.

Book Two: Cold-Eyed VirtuesEdit


From her ribs and from the hair of women
Seen swimming sun-warmed rivers in summer's light,
From untroubled brows and eyes clear and driven
Gazing out from tower windows when falls the night
From hands cupped round pipe bowls alabaster carved
When veiled invitations coy as blossoms under shade
Invite a virgin's dance a rose-dappled loved so starved
Where seen a coarse matron not yet ready to fade
and the tall bones of legs 'neath rounded vessels perched
Swaying lusty as a tropical storm above white coral sands
Where in all these gathered recollections I have searched
To fashion this love anew from soil worked well
by hands
And into the bower garland-woven petals fluttering down
Hovers the newfound woman's familiar unknown face
For on this earth no solitude is welcomed when found
And she who is gone must be in turn replaced
And by the look in her eye I am a composite man
Assembled alike from stone, twig and stirred sediment
Lovers lost and all those who might have been we neither should rail nor stroke searing resentments
For all the rivers this world over do flow in but one

Love of the Broken

Book Three: To Die in the NowEdit


Push it on to the next moment
Don't think now, save it
For later when thinking will show
It's useless face
When it's too late and worry is wasted
In the rush for cover
Push it past into that pocket
So that it relents its gnawing presence
And nothing is worth doing
In pointless grace
When all the valid suppositions
Smother your cries
Push it over into the deep hole
You don't want to know
In case it breaks and makes you feel
Cruel reminders
When all you could have done is now past
No don't bother
Push it well into the corner
It's no use, so spare me the grief
You didn't like the cost so bright, so high
The bloodiest cut
When all you sought was sweet pleasure
To the end of your days
Push it on until it pushes back
Shout your shock, shout it
You never imagined you never knew what
Turning away would do
Now wail out your dread in wave of disbelief
It's done it's dead
Push your way to the front
Clawing the eyes of screaming kin
No legacy awaits your shining children
It's Killed, killed
Gone the future all to feed some holy glory
The World is Over.

Siban's Dying Confession
Siban of Aren

Book Four: Toll the HoundsEdit


Like broke slate
We take our hatred
And pile it high
A ragged line to map
Our rise and fall
And I saw suffused
With the dawn
Crows aligned in rows
Along the crooked wall
Come to feed
Bones lie scattered
At the stone's foot
The heaped ruin
Of past assaults
The crows face each way
To eye the pickings
On both sides
For all its weakness
The world cannot break
What we make
Of our hatred
I watched the workers
Carry each gray rock
They laboured
Blind and stepped
Unerringly modest paths
Piece by sheared piece
They built a slaughter
Of innocent others
While muttering as they might
Of waves of weather
And goodly deeds

We the Builders
Hanasp Tular

Cover gallery (WIP)Edit

Notes and referencesEdit