This is the best fantasy series ever, hands down. I have read the physical books at least 5 times, and I have been awaiting an audiobook since my first time. Ralph Lister does an amazing job with the many, many characters, whose voices are often described in the text, and he reads the story with the drama it deserves. I highly recommend this book, and this audiobook, get both!
I read the print version of this book over 10 years ago. I remember enjoying it, but for various reasons had to read it in bits and pieces and lost track of the story. I decided to come back to it again and am so glad I did. The story is compelling and the narrator helps to make the already intriguing characters come to life. Thoroughly enjoyed this listen! Just waiting for DeadHouse Gates now. How about it Audible?? I hope Ralph Lister is working on it.
I'm 24 hours into it and still don't know what's going on or why and I don't care about any character or plot line. People die but are still alive. Wounded but healed but wounded but sort of healed miraculously or sometimes not. Big and mean but impotent. Small and fragile but impotent. But sometimes not. Everyone is against everyone else, or not, sometimes. Yeah, it's like that. There isn't any focus. The writing jumps from one seemingly irrelevant place to another relevant place with no known relevance.
Lister has an incredible array of voices and moves easily from one to another. He is a great reader.
I'm done with this series.
When I first read the blurb for this book I thought it was right up my alley. Epic fantasy, complex plot, large cast of characters, intrigue etc, etc. Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to expectations.
Indeed, the only reason I stuck with this book to the end was due to the large number of reviews saying that it would be worth it.
I've read and enjoyed titles by Jordan, Martin etc, so don't get me wrong I know a complex storyline when I hear it.
There is no doubt that this book is complicated. At the start we are thrown in head first to, what seems on the face of it, the middle of a story. We are introduced to a large number of characters very quickly. We know nothing of their history, allegiances or motivations. Over time things do settle down a bit and by the middle of the book you feel that you are finally getting to grips with things.
Unfortunately the problem is that things just don't develop from there. The story just seems to drift on with no obvious goal. Various gods and mythical characters make cameo appearances, and at times it just feels they were introduced just for the sake of it.
There seems to be several different magic systems in use, but none of them are ever properly explained ... it just seems to happen.
Another significant problem I have with the book is there isn't really one character that you particularly like. Its always difficult to invest time and effort in a book when you don't really care all that much what happens to the protagonists.
Finally, the narrator really doesn't help the book at all. His interpretation of female voices is just awful and he has a habit of fading away at the end of sentences which makes hearing what he is saying quite difficult.
So, all and all, I won't be continuing with this series.
Ralph Lister is one of the better readers on Audible, and does a masterful job of differentiating characters without making them sound silly.
The writing style of Gardens of the Moon is complex, with several story lines converging into a single night, the writer intentionally blurs the traditional notions of good and evil; giving each faction reasons for their actions other than rule/save the world. The language is complex and compelling, using a wide range of vernacular that is usually reserved to the intelligence or education and standing of a particular character, adding a depth and complexity to the cast.
The only issue is a rather confusing and slow start. The author starts with several seemingly unrelated plot lines that do not converge until very late. Many names and historical/magical terms tend to sound similar unless a listener is very attentive throughout- in reading on can go back and double check a name of a warren (the name of type of magic) for instance. It's not so easy in hearing, and thus might leave the reader slightly confused, never quite in mental control of the happenings of the story.
Overall, it was a satisfying end, and an entertaining venture. I do not, however, believe I will continue the series.
Great world building, awesome magic, but very hard to follow. I'm not sure I could tell you the plot. The performer is one of the best and I would definitely listen to something just for his voice.
I was about half way through the book before I understood what was going on. you are thrown into a world with no preamble. you get character descriptions long after they are introduced, shattering the image you have built in your mind. towards the end (no spoilers), when it is revealed what is going on, and characters race to inform relevant parties, the other party already, sometimes with no explanation, already knows everything. and I don't know but it is the book or the narrator, but scene transitions are very abrupt. suddenly, a new sentence and you are with a different character in a different situation. quite hard to follow. all that said, I'll give the second book a chance.