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)
I'm sure there are people who enjoy incredibly complicated and complex books that require multiple read throughs to properly understand, but I'm not one of them. The first half of the book is filled with random people talking about incomprehensible events that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Some of the things clicked into place a lot later, but since it was such a barrage of information at the time, I forgot most of it by the time it became relevant. It's also not like it's an easy read in terms of language use since there's a ton of fantasy elements mentioned without any explanation and if there is an explanation, it's usually only hinted at. This is probably not a good audiobook, since I suspect if you're reading a print copy, you can stop and think and even page back to the relevant parts, which you can't really do with an audiobook.
There's just way too many characters to keep track of and out of all of them, there are about 2 that get any sort of character development. The rest are one dimensional and barely memorable with confusing names which made me not care for anyone. The writing was all over the place, with what felt liked a mad pasting of mostly dull storylines. It was incredibly hard to follow and things only started to make sense around the half way mark which is when people start to talk about things that you've actually read about already. There was also way too much magical elements introduced, with most of them only used in the scene they were needed and never brought up again. I suspect they'd come up again in the following books, but if you're just reading this one, it really does feel shallow.
The reason it's not a one star for me is because it was quite ambitious and some of that ambition does pay off with some epic scenes that really felt quite grand in the context of the world. Some of the ideas were clever and interesting, albeit usually only briefly touched upon. Can't really think of much else that I enjoyed though.
So if you're a hardcore fantasy nerd that loves complex and vast worlds and is essentially masochistic when it comes to hard to read books: yes, you'll probably enjoy this. As for people who enjoy their books making sense with a single read and characters you actually care about, I wouldn't recommend this. It's quite a lengthy book as well, which you definitely feel, even more so knowing that you have to get to at least the two-thirds point to have any sort of good sense of the book. This was a rough read that made me appreciate well-written fantasy so much more because I can see now how too many good ideas can be nigh impossible to coherently merge into a readable book.
Fantasy Novels 4 Life
Yes but i would recomend reading and listening at the same time and then using wiki to catch up on characters. A lot going on. Sometimes seems like its to much!
The floating city
He was good had to put him on 1.25 while reading.
no made be confused a lot but read summaries of chapters to catch up
The story seemed like a five star story. It is possibly too epic. I think some of the "It reads like a D&D game" opinions have a point. Too many boss opponents get taken out, then there is a new boss to face.
I think this is the lowest rated book in the series because of its scattered nature. This opinion has little merit as I have not read the rest of them yet.
I look forward to the next in the series and hope that the characters become more developed. If it continues like the first, I may get worn out, like binging on a two pound bag of your favorite candy. Kudos to Mr. Erikson on a good start.
In itself it sets up the world well but I didn't appreciate everything until the second listen (I drive a lot) because of all the we vocabulary words. A lot of questions beers only vaguely answered, but any fan of the series will just smirk and tell you to keep reading if you want the answers (and so I shall).
This book has a narrow focus in terms of story but it still takes a while to comprehend its focus. there are a lot of facts thrown in for future of the series. Still the story feels like a complete tale. As the first book should it sets up the realm, the conflict, magic, and overall writing for the series. the narrator is ecxellent however i felt like he wasnt very consistent with the way he portrayed each characters voice.
Far and away the best book series I have had the pleasure to listen to. Just finished my 5th time through this particular one. The Malazan world is so well constructed, that even after 5 listens, I still pick up new insights and information. I can't wait till audible decides to put Ian C. Esslmont's companion books on the site, as well as the novellas written by Steven Erikson.
This is an amazing book and I expect the rest of the series to be just as good.
So, when you find yourself thrown in the middle of the plot, with characters that you haven't been introduced, don't give up! Just keep reading/listening, everything will be clear at some point.
If I am honest, I disliked the book in the beginning. I was so lost!
I was o chapter 5 when decided to start it over, by then I had a fairly good idea of the characters and what was going on. Listening again those first few chapters did much good for me.
Now I am in a trance with this series and I can't wait to see what happens to, what already are, my beloved characters.
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