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)
If I recommended this book to a friend, I would warn them of its complexity and uneven writing. The world building is impressive, but there are too many view points that are confusing. The plot wanders.
Ralph Lister did an outstanding job reading this book.
I have heard the books get better.
I have read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series in paperback. I enjoyed them so much that I plan to listen to each of the audio books as they are made available.
Thank you so much Audible.com for making Erikson part of my audio library.
If they could have built up the story line better
He did a good job on a bad story
After 10 hours of trying to get into the story, I had to give up. I started from the beginning 3 times. You just don't get attached to any of the characters so its hard to stick with all of the bouncing around. Lots of story lines but none good enough to cause you to want to listen. Maybe it's better if you read it.
Book Addict and a Fantasy Fanatic!
I can't finish this book. I've started reading it 4 times. On this last try I even got to Chapter 6... 2 hours into the audible version. But it's so extremely boring that it literally puts me to sleep.
The story jumps around from characters and in time. There was a spark of interest when the hell hounds first appeared but it died quickly and was lot in a lot of meaningless conversation.
I've heard this is a great series... and I'm sure if I could finish the book it will make up for the slow start... but I cant. Forgive me Book Goddess, but I just can't force this pill down
I can't believe anyone with any sense of craft would ever give these books a good rating. I read two of them. Both are rife with bad writing, lazy storytelling, ridiculous characters and tired tropes. Its not as bad as the Twilight series, but its pretty close.
No I would not
Be a talented writer
Rich, slightly grizzled
Disappointment, slight anger
Just another in a long line of boring, massive fantasy series. All characters are disengaged, poorly described, and interchangeable. If you like the Wheel of Time series, or A Song of Ice and Fire, you may like this. But rest assured you will encounter the same character types, Capitalized Important Words of Significance, and self-serious military theorizing from someone who has obviously never met a soldier before.
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. Reviewer at BiblioSanctum.
Gardens of the Moon is an ambitious novel that's not so linear in plot. It's not really something that can be narrowed down plot-wise. You're dropped into this world and left to piece together what's going on through the narrative with very little hand-holding. Some may dislike that and find the story jarring and disorienting while trying to figure out what's going on, and it can be. Personally, I found it exciting to start the story in medias res without all the padding. However, you're either going to go into the book with a broader view of the story or you're not. There's nothing wrong with either view, but if you have a hard time reconciling yourself with the haziness of the story, you may find it going to your DNF pile. However, things do start to become clearer as you near the end of the book.
This is a complex, dense story. Not something I'd recommend everyone listen to, especially if you have a hard time keeping up with characters and factions without a visual. I found myself having to rewind sections to listen to again to make sure that I fully comprehended what I'd read/listened to. I also had the Kindle book, so immersive reading became my best friend with this book. This book demands your full attention, and it's easy to lose track of things if you let your mind get off track too often. If you still decide to go audiobook route, Lister's performance will not disappoint. He's an excellent narrator. Some of his characters can sound a bit too similar, but not so much that I disliked his narration. My only personal complaint rests in some of the voices he used for characters were not voices I'd attribute to them, such as Kalam who read as if he'd have a much deeper voice that the one Lister used for him. However, his Kruppe is sure to keep listeners amused.
Layers upon layers of story are heaped on here. However, from the beginning, you can see different seeds being sown for future events. You have an empress, a usurper who betrayed the former emperor of Malazan, moving across the lands in an attempt to consolidate her power. Only one city remains after the defeat of the city Pale, a large city named Darujhistan. While her reign seems absolute, cracks begin to stress her goals. Darujhistan fears for itself after the fall of Pale, but there is also a political struggle happening on the local level that is being manipulated by a ragtag bunch of players that includes an alchemist, a playboy, and an assassin. Finally, the gods have decided to play their hand and turn this story over even more. Weaved around these things are numerous characters, factions, motivations, and side stories. More than a few people have some investment in the outcome of the empire.
Erikson really took a chance writing a book that could've turned many off to the story. This seems as if it will be the kind of book that will become clearer in retrospect as you move through the series, the kind of book where you'll remember it as the book where certain threads began. I think, while this story may confuse some, there's just enough intrigue shining through to keep people hanging on for the next story.
Probably easier to read than listen to because of the complexities of character names and number of strange story lines but for someone who listens to 500 plus hours of audio books every year thus is one of the few I need to drop from my device and just move on. I gave it 6 hours before giving up wishing I could get a refund.
This book follows multiple characters but never truly pulls them into a story line that you will feel involved with. If you can't give this book 100% of your attention you will get lost real fast, I listened to the whole thing twice and was fully disappointed..... I probably will not listen to the rest of this series.
Don't waste time. Book was 80% complete before it became mildly interesting. Poor character development.
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