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)
Sneak past the dragon and slay the princess!
There is so much detail so that not a single sentence is a throwaway...not a complaint, however. This is the kind of book that you can read 10 times and glean something new from it each time. Beautifully written and the characters instantly grab you.
They really throw you into the lore and dont give much of an explanation, but it makes you think and everything starts to come together. I have high hopes for the rest of the series. Great listen
It's refreshing to find a fantasy author that is committed to the idea that heroes should be heroic, and either possess a sound moral compass or be on the road to finding one. That being said, Erikson doesn't shy away from the horrors of war and evil magic - rather, he uses disturbing situations as a crucible for forging his characters into better people. And if they won't change, they eventually die for it.
Erikson manages to hold together a very complex story line, for the most part. Admittedly, the last quarter of the book is not as enjoyable as the first three. It seems as though Erikson had too many loose ends to tie up towards the end and was ready to move on to the next installment. Still, the book was a fun ride!
Let me preface by saying I'm new to fantasy novels. I loved... no I LIVED The Song of Ice and Fire series for 2 years straight. I read the 5 available books 5 times and wanted more. I thought this series would fill the void until Martin ended my suffering.
I was completely lost from the get-go. I felt like I needed a glossary, not just for the characters but for the language! So-and-so opened a warren? WTF is a warren? I stuck with it for 4 hours hoping context would alleviate my confusion but it just got worse and worse. At about the 5 hour mark, I realized I was not listening anymore. I had zoned out and was no longer interested because I couldn't follow what was happening. Based on the other glowing reviews, I'm sure it was just me. I was seeking more of a historical fiction with knights dueling and huge battles. One of my favorite things about the Martin books is how magic takes a back seat to realism. The opposite is true for this book.
The author does an acceptable job although at times, he speaks so softly that I couldn't hear what was said.
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.
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