The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.
However, the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand....
Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order - an enthralling adventure by an outstanding voice.
©1999 Steven Erikson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of imagination may be the high-water mark of epic fantasy. This marathon of ambition has a depth and breadth and sense of vast reaches of inimical time unlike anything else available today. The Black Company, Zelazny’s Amber, Vance’s Dying Earth, and other mighty drumbeats are but foreshadowings of this dark dragon’s hoard." (Glen Cook)
this book is long and it is intricate. it is not something you can casually listen to. that said it is amazing and if you like sweeping epics that drop you into a world that is well developed and wonderous, you need this book.
I confess I only made it to about 3.5 hours before calling it quits on this listen so my review is limited. Just wanted to warn that this is a really dark book starting out and so I found it hard to continue. There was very little action after 3.5 hours and no humour to alleviate the gloomy atmosphere of the story. The narrator is great, and I loved his voice so didn't want to stop listening but I just couldn't make myself continue, especially knowing I still had 23 more hours to go; it seemed like a depressing endeavor. This series had a lot of great reviews, I just couldn't get into it.
Erikson's Malazan series is long and intricate but well worth the time and effort to carefully follow every interesting and tight plot line.
Ralph Lister is a joy to listen to as he brings the character's and Erikson's world to life brilliantly.
The price for these audiobooks is staggeringly low for the quality and length in comparison to other books. I strongly suggest you grab every book in the series ASAP!
Epic on the scale of Tolkien. Large on the scale of Jordan. Visceral like Abercombie, minus the colloquial language.
Not to say that this is a patchwork of impressions of those authors, but their influence is apparent in this, entirely singular work.
The depth of the prose is amazing. Both beautiful and horrifying in places. Fast paced, and far richer in magic than GRRM or Abercombie, this is a high fantasy lover's dream.
I will caution that the plot and dialogue are finely woven, and without careful attention, the threads will pass the listener by. This is not an adventure story to listen to while doing something else. This demands, and deserves, your attention.
The narrator is superb. Just wonderful.
I recently got into reading high fantasy. And before this I read,
1) Saga of seven suns - loved it
3) The Stormlight Archive - I actually took half day at work to finish the book... it was so good
4) Wheel of time - loved it!!!
And then this book. Everyone had positive reviews about this series and I was very excited when I got started. BUT, reading this book has been combination of pleasure and torture!
I wanted to like this book so bad, I read first 15%-20% of the book 3 times!!!
--- The Problem --
Is Erikson's writing style... the story is very rich with characters, abilities, gods, creatures, story lines etc... and author gives minimum to no explanation to what or who they are at the time of their mention, and jumps from only story line to another without warning... You are expected to keep track of everything and learn things about world as you go...
If you have read Dune, well this book is like that. I stopped on book 1 of dune because of writing style... If Brandon Sanderson's wrote this story it would been way better.
--- It will get better? ---
I have read in few reviews people saying that book will get better. Yes, it will but, only towards the end of book 2 when you learn most of the characters. Do not worry book 3 has ton of new stuff :P.
--- The Advice ---
Want to enjoy the book? Use Google to look up who is who. In book 3 I started using Malazan wiki, and it made reading much enjoyable.
Looking up characters is not giving much away... and you are better able to create metal image of the story.
Good luck hopefully this was helpful.
Former Newspaper Sports Editor and avid reader and listener. Love Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries, Historical Fiction, and more.
Erikson writing is exceptional... I found GOTM a hard listen. The story confusing but it felt like I was missing something. I was.
I decided to pick up a hard copy of the book because the story just seemed very interesting.
Each chapter was broken up into subchapters but the production of the audio did not do a good job of seperating the different point of views in each chapter. This made the narration difficult to follow.
When you are reading this you can see the difference. I read the first two parts of the book and got to know the characters before finishing up with the audiobook.
Ralph Lister's narration is great. Not his fault.
If you cannot get into this audio. Try a print copy. it is great. Up there with George R.R. Martin.
Don't waste time. Book was 80% complete before it became mildly interesting. Poor character development.
Someone who likes a confusing story line and keeps a dictionary at arms reach cause he likes to show how smart he is. I wanted something a little lighter but for some this could just be the thing.
Made it more simple and not jumped around when puting the book together this shouldn't be this hard to fallow because if I wanted that I would pull out my text book.
He put me to sleep.
He is good add writing but he needs to write for the common person and map his story better.
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