Gardens of the Moon has its own place in my list of fantasy favorites. It has more depth than most, it's edgy in a somewhat creepy way.
The character, Cropper, is a favorite!
I'm a veteran of fantasy novels. To me, this book stands by itself delivering a unique listening experience.
Loved every minute. Finally found an author that writes fantasy as good or better than Tolkien. The narration is perfect. Characters have distinct voices, but the voice acting doesn't over shadow the story.
The first half of this book is terrible. It is disjointed and inconsistent. The narrator also fails to pause between scenes or perspectives. The story improves in the second half and shows promise for the series as a whole.
Some way to better pull the story together. I am a visual person and as I read or listen to a story, I have to be able to see it in my head and understand what I am looking at. After 10 hours I had to restart the book because I had no idea what was going on or who the players really were. After another several hours I decided to put this one aside for now.
I may try another one but with out a better way to understand what is going on, I wouldn't want to buy another one.
I only got about 10 hours into the book so I don't have one.
Disappointment, it really seemed like the makings of a good story.
While the narration of this book is exceptional, something which will usually see me through an okay novel, the actual content was exceptionally bland. After some hours of listening (4 1/2, to be precise). I was still unsure as to whose perspective I was supposed to consider primary in the novel. It kept running around, picking out characters whose names would be stated once, then not mentioned again for six or seven minutes of dialogue, making the different perspectives even more confusing. To increase my lack of care for each character, the story jumped forward two or three years (or more!) several times within just my short listening period. I understand that the events taking place last many years, but jumping forward with a description of characters I have not seen doing things I barely care about is hardly an appealing listen. While I would suggest looking at Ralph Lister's other works, I think I'll steer clear of anything by Steven Erikson in the future - or at least from 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.