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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

3.7 (1946 )
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3.8 (1748 )
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Performance
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  •  
    S Albrightsville, PA, United States 04-09-15
    S Albrightsville, PA, United States 04-09-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "A True Epic...I Hope."

    I don't know how I'd missed this, but I had. I actually found the recommendation for it on another, personal review site, which, too, would have been missed were it not for my recent draught of work from known authors. I persisted in my search for a new author, and realized that author might not actually be new. I found him.

    The reviewer warned all that the first book would be hard to follow. Indeed, I was told the story might be incomprehensible until well into the second book. I must admit having been put off at first. A great deal was happening. I felt like a styrofoam cup in the middle of a river that had recently burst its banks, a wild, torrentuous ride which could ultimately only affect me by crushing me to pieces.

    However, nearing the end, I felt completely in-the-know. Of course, having already generally resigned myself to accepting that which cannot be known, likely had a great deal to do with that. Were there still unanswered questions? Yes. Did I understand the many plots? No. But I was enjoying the story, and I had a firm grip on what was happening *now*, and thoroughly enjoying that I''d no idea what was going to happen next. I didn't actually know how rare that was until this book. I thought I'd experienced it, but not fully.

    I'm also told this series is quite large. Normally, that would excite me, but I'm actually a little afraid that I've entered a world much larger than Westeros, and that it might be too big. Right now, I love what I don't know, but it seems highly possible that I won't ever know a great deal.

    However, I'm rating this book. This one book, and it was very well done. One could argue the depth of meaning was completely accidental, but who cares how it was designed? A snowflake is a snowflake.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor GREENVILLE, TX, United States 04-08-15
    Taylor GREENVILLE, TX, United States 04-08-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Finally"

    I've been trying to read this book for years. It's immersion style of story telling is frustrating, and you constantly feel like your missing something new.

    But after buckling down and reading it multiple times. You wonder how you ever went so long without finishing.

    It's taken about a week and a half, which for me is 5-6 days longer than typical. But I will say it's worth it, and I will read more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 04-06-15
    Ronald 04-06-15 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Unexpected surprise!"

    I'd never seen this writer or his series. What a wonderful accident to stumble upon Gardens of the Moon. I would recommend this series to any who enjoy magic and monsters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim D 04-06-15
    Tim D 04-06-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "not a good audio book. too complex to listen to"
    What disappointed you about Gardens of the Moon?

    You are thrown into the middle of a war without an explanation of who or what you are listening to. The places and names of the story are very foreign and I believe for someone familiar with this Genre and world could potentially be something fun to listen to but with a guide. Too many complex story lines and character developments take place all at once it would seem the writer expects fore knowledge of the entire world before you begin this world leaving someone brand new to the author nothing to reference. The voice actor does not make adequate pauses to signal one story line ending and another beginning as it would seem the book's structure is required to understand the plot as well


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steven Erikson again?

    Probably not as it just seems like this was written to debut a game or something requiring a lot of prior knowledge


    What didn’t you like about Ralph Lister’s performance?

    Too dry, not enough character presentation and separation. I could not pick out the character's prose based on voice completely confounding the already very complex story line


    Any additional comments?

    This book sounded like a lot of work, planning, and rewrites went into it and it might be a good book to read not to listen to

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uber Femme San Antonio, TX 04-04-15
    Uber Femme San Antonio, TX 04-04-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    35
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    6
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    "A struggle to finish"
    Any additional comments?

    I took heed of the reviewer' warnings about the complex plot and long character list. I read chapter summaries on wiki as needed. I understood that the story wouldn't really reach its stride until the second book. In short, I was prepared. I love epic fantasy, and complex plot lines, and rich characters. I was willing to invest the time.

    That's not the problem. The problem is the author's style. Yeah, I said it. I seems that he writes scenes and dialogue to be intentionally obfuscatory, thinking that makes for intelligent prose. It's not that the reader has to pay close attention to understand what's going on in the scene; the reader has to be PSYCHIC to do so.

    One review on audible said something like, 'you have to make me care. It's your job.' That about sums up how I feel. Yes, the story is interesting. The characters are believable.And the narration is good. But I wouldn't recommend this book; it had no heart. Maybe it does get better with the second listening, but I just don't are about the characters enough to slog through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FootballNutter Washington, D.C. 04-03-15
    FootballNutter Washington, D.C. 04-03-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Slow start... Slow finish..."

    This book takes a long time to get going partly because of the number of characters. By the end I'd found a few I liked enough that I'll pick up the sequel if it's ever on sale. But there are enough other books that I'd recommend saving your credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audre 03-31-15
    Audre 03-31-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No thank you"

    Life is too short to try and figure this book out. I was so lost and so confused about what was going on. The author jumps right into the middle of the story without any explanations or background. That wouldn't be bad except that the world of the story is very complex with its own language and imagery. Even the names of people and places are so complicated that I couldn't keep them straight. To make matters worse, all the characters talk to each other in riddles and they don't even know what's going on. I stopped listening. There are so many good books out there, I can't spare more time for this one.

    The narrator makes the book seem even creepier than it is. He's not terrible, but his way of speaking doesn't help in my way, especially since his character voices aren't really different from each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Wood 03-28-15
    John Wood 03-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    10
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    "It's a long series... but this book sets the stage"
    If you could sum up Gardens of the Moon in three words, what would they be?

    Don't Annoy Anomander.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It doesn't try to apologize for the character's flaws, and their points of view, and the history. The book feels like it's written by a historian who was there, and as you find out... there is a reason for that.


    What about Ralph Lister’s performance did you like?

    I like the guy who comes later better, but Lister is pretty good. He kinda slurs some of the names, but it's all pretty dang well done.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    "AWAKEN THE SEVEN WITHIN ME!!!!!"


    Any additional comments?

    Quick Ben is awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nilkilla 03-26-15
    nilkilla 03-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    14
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    "Not the story for multitasking!"

    A great establishing story, though they're is definately a lot going on with multiple moving parts. On more than one occasion I had to rewind due to missing some key piece. Well read and executed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Clarke 03-24-15
    Tim Clarke 03-24-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    16
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    "Hard to follow, get context before listening."

    Once I read the wiki summary it was a lot easier to track the story. Without that context I was hopelessly lost. The reader is great and the scope is huge and complex. I'm going to give the next in the series a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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