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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

3.8 (2297 )
5 star
 (839)
4 star
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3 star
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3.8 (2069 )
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Story
4.1 (2060 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Justin Zodkoy 07-09-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Forced my way through it"

    struggled to finish the book. took me three tries. I don't recall another book since morpheus road I had to do that with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Olmstead 07-08-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book once you figure it out"

    This book has a pretty steep learning curve. I struggled in the beginning to follow what was going on but it all worked itself out eventually. Great book once you get sorted out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judson Wanner INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US 07-07-15
    Judson Wanner INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US 07-07-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful world"

    So many epic things happen. This is one of the best worlds I've entered in years!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 07-06-15
    Charles 07-06-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to understand at first"

    A lot of terms and concepts not well explained so I felt lost at times. Good story once I became more familiar.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B 07-05-15
    B 07-05-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cool World, Very hard to follow storyline"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Im really trying to get through the series because there is great potential. Just a lot of try to figure it out with no information going on in this book. Hard to follow for sure.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Kind of confusing. Lots of powers that be that were barely explained


    What does Ralph Lister bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator was great. definitely no problems there


    Do you think Gardens of the Moon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It needs a graph or chart so people can understand it better


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorman 07-05-15
    Dorman 07-05-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So lost!"

    Be prepared to be completely lost. Even though this is book one I feel as though I am starting in the middle of a series. Just as I think I am starting to understand the purpose of one character more are thrown in. I have reread both part 1 and 2 of the novel and very little has been cleared up. Was hoping for another GRRM ...disappointed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan M Elliot 07-03-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    56
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Will not continue with this series"
    What would have made Gardens of the Moon better?

    Many characters, yet few with any true depth of character revealed.


    Has Gardens of the Moon turned you off from other books in this genre?

    A fan of fantasy for decades I will continue my search for epics that appeal to me, this series did not catch my fancy.


    What about Ralph Lister’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Lister's performance is perfection personified. Indeed it is his ability to personify many characters with his voice that I find so admirable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Harmon 06-30-15
    Adam Harmon 06-30-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow....."
    Would you try another book from Steven Erikson and/or Ralph Lister?

    Probably not.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The good:
    The original idea that started the story, soldiers of an Empire so weary of war that they want to rise up against the Empress that overthrew the old Emperor is okay.
    The characters were impressive with their diversity. They felt real enough.
    The bad:
    Yet in many ways, this idea is diluted by far too many plots being woven into the story. I want to say I counted at least five major storylines that were being told, to the point you weren't sure in many cases what was the most important storyline. Almost every single person in the story has segments that are strictly for the character, which is okay when the particular person actually helps drive the story. Problem is, everybody has segments. And I mean EVERYBODY. It doesn't matter if the person is basically a stand-in character, they STILL get their own segments. This had the nasty effect of making it very hard to keep track of what was happening in the story and leads me to believe the author only wanted to crank out as many pages as possible much more than giving a concise story.
    I have heard people talk about the story has a good world. Umm.....no. Part of world building is the ability to subconsciously be able to understand where a place is in conection to the rest of the world. That simply isn't the case. The major city, Derujistan, is supposed to be near Pale. Yet, where is Pale and how far is pale from this other city? What part of the world is it located in? How close together are the two continents of the story? Frankly, this wasn't a strong point in the story because you never quiet knew where things were in relationship to each other.


    Which character – as performed by Ralph Lister – was your favorite?

    The one character that is best I would say is Grappa. Lister is a wonderful voice actor and despite a few times where a character's voice changed, he was pretty consistent.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    This would have to I think be heavily edited, otherwise you'd have something longer than the Middle Earth movies.


    Any additional comments?

    I hear good things about the series, but the story, despite the talents of the author in character creation, makes me think the author was more worried about page length than story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David A. Visti Raleigh, NC 06-24-15
    David A. Visti Raleigh, NC 06-24-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Hated it"
    What would have made Gardens of the Moon better?

    There were too many characters, none of which had much personality. As a result, I really didn't care what happened to any of them. Either use fewer characters, or at least develop some of them further.


    Has Gardens of the Moon turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but I love the fantasy genre. I just wish I had listened to this one first before buying the rest of the series. I'm dreading listening to the remainder of the series.


    Have you listened to any of Ralph Lister’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard any others, but I enjoyed his performance.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Gardens of the Moon?

    If I was editor, I would never have published this book.


    Any additional comments?

    You can have a lot of characters in a book if you make them memorable. George R.R. Martin has a huge number of characters in his books. But most are very memorable, and you care what happens to them. You love them. You hate them.. But, you care.

    In this book, there are many characters, but you don't learn much about them, beyond, oh, he's a sergeant in an army, she's a mage. I don't really care who lives or dies. I never felt engaged by the plot. I just wanted it to be over. I didn't really care which faction won.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Great start to a rich fantasy series"
    If you could sum up Gardens of the Moon in three words, what would they be?

    Deep Rich Fantasy


    What did you like best about this story?

    It has a rich history and deep world-building on which to base its story. To me the pacing was good, with plenty of action and intrigue. There are many layers of emotion and motivation, with "real" flawed characters. Decent magic system defined, along with gods, dragons, and magical weapons. I do like that the setting is more grim & gritty than say, The Lord of the Rings.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to choose from, along with a wide variety. Everything from large scale battles with magic, to humorous card games, to bargains with gods. One of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Hoods Breath! Do you dare enter a world where even the Gods may be slain?


    Any additional comments?

    The only downfall to some might be that there is a rich history to learn and remember along with a huge cast of characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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