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Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1 | [Steven Erikson]

Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (1270 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Overall
3.7 (1140 )
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Story
4.0 (1136 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (73)
Performance
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  •  
    John Tupelo, MS, United States 12-03-13
    John Tupelo, MS, United States 12-03-13 Member Since 2003

    Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    148
    34
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    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Written to Confuse On Purpose"

    Started listening to this on an airplane and then continued on return trip. Spent the 1st 4-5 hours convinced I'd somehow bought a middle book or the 1st book in a series that had the background told previously. Nope - author just writes characters, their actions, the landscape, the whole entire universe like he wrote it down as he thought of them. Spur of the moment - no context for anything. You have parts, books, chapters all loosely driving a threadbare storyline.

    While the Audible description outlines a plot seemly based on "WhiskeyJack" character, he's actually one of the least visible characters in book. Hours 5 - rest of book didn't get any better.

    For those who talk about how complex the book is... badly written doesn't make a book complex. Will not be purchasing further books in series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Hood River, OR, United States 11-18-13
    Wendy Hood River, OR, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally Lost!"

    I was completely lost during this entire story, I even went back and re-listened to the beginning to try and make some sense out of what this story was about, with no luck at all. I could never figure out what was happening in the story, or why the characters were doing or saying what they were. I have never been this lost with a book before. Will not continue with this writer at all.

    The narrator was very good, just needed better material to work with.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilmi Al-Harthy Complex, Oman 06-24-13
    Hilmi Al-Harthy Complex, Oman 06-24-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    104
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Confusing names and bad reading style"

    Narrator kept on using these nasal voices that were consistently annoying. The way he portrays the voices has no correlation to how people speak in reality. It was so annoying that I found it hard to actually focus on the story. The author also made a choice to pick thoroughly confusing names for his characters. This when combined with the annoying reading made it hard to follow the plot almost a full 4 hours into the reading. After a total of 4 hours of listening I was barely getting a vague sense of differentiating the characters in the book. Maybe it's just me, but I am not happy with this book so far and I am finding it rather hard to continue listening to it.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA, United States 07-25-13
    Ronald LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Confusing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not by the narrator for sure


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ralph Lister’s performances?

    No


    Did Gardens of the Moon inspire you to do anything?

    Listen to the Blade Itself series again because this was boring and confusing.


    Any additional comments?

    Never finish the book it was confusing and slow.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Salem, OR, United States 04-30-13
    Jacob Salem, OR, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
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    54
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Complex and compelling"

    Don't expect to have any questions answered in this opening to the Malazan Book of the Fallen. However, the characters were each unique and compelling. There is a ton of action and violence on par with Abercrombie. If you're like me, you will hit the prologue after you have finished just to try to figure out what you've missed. I am looking forward to the rest of the series hitting Audible. Performance wasn't spotless, but Ralph is good enough not to get lost in dialogue changes and complex "foreign" language.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andoring Middlesex, VT, United States 04-14-13
    Andoring Middlesex, VT, United States 04-14-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It IS epic and it WILL require your full attention"

    I was somewhat surprised. The reviews seemed so good, and there were parts that I really liked, but I just couldn't follow along. Perhaps my mind wonders a little when I'm listening to books on tape? Perhaps you don't have the same attention to detail and visual cues (like people's names and places) that you get when reading a book. Perhaps it was the narrator. He had two voices... a narration that sounded a lot like the actor Jason Stathom (which was kind of cool) and the character voices which was a higher pitched more street-urchin version of Jason Stathom. Perhaps it was the disjointed way that the author seemed to bounce from character to character. It was hard to tell who I was following and where I was and even what they were doing at times. Too many sub plots and side stories. I just couldn't follow along. Perhaps your listening will be different and I hope it is, or perhaps you get into stride later in the book. I listened for eight hours before saying "enough".

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Calgary, AB, Canada 03-18-13
    Jason Calgary, AB, Canada 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "A book with a ton of potential but......"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This is a decent read but the story is ridiculously difficult to follow and would probably be best as an actual paperback novel.


    What three words best describe Ralph Lister’s voice?

    Narrators voice makes it difficult to tell what characters are actually actually talking because they all sound like the same person.


    Any additional comments?

    I thread that this is one of the best rated epic fantasy series but as an audio book it falls short.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-17-13
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-17-13 Member Since 2004

    I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    52
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    1
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    Story
    "Disconnected Story and characters"

    Little is explained in this book; not the characters' motivations, not who knows and what they know. There seems to be no center to the story but rather it's a loose collect of conversations which attempt to outline something. For the first hour it's sorta Zen; after that I started to wonder about the author's skill. Mostly I found myself not really caring. If you enjoyed 7-9 of the Wheel of time then you might like this otherwise stay clear.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fritz Kramp White Lake, MI United States 02-03-13
    Fritz Kramp White Lake, MI United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many characters, too little depth"
    Any additional comments?

    The plot was well done, drawing all the lines together in a satisfactory conclusion. Too many times, however, the author would move on to another character and I'd have to try to remember who it is, their position in the plot, and any emotional investment I have for them. Often as not, there wasn't any of the last. None of the characters felt explored as deeply as would have been enough to keep my interest.

    If you can keep multiple story lines together without effort and like plot driven book, you'll probably like this. If you like a focused work that highlights a character through their choices and mistakes, you'll probably want to move on.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David corpus christi, TX, United States 11-29-12
    David corpus christi, TX, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    49
    14
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    0
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    "Horrible Don't waste your time"

    The author has talent.But this story is so disjointed.It doesn't flow at all. I swear You will have to stop and take notes just to follow the story line. Oh and their is no main character.
    I put it down to a bad editor or acid tripping one. How this drivel ever got published Ill never understand. I didn't finish and wish I could get my credit back..

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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