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Gardens of the Moon Audiobook

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

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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

4.0 (4526 )
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4.2 (4117 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JPaladin 03-29-13
    JPaladin 03-29-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    292
    ratings
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    131
    79
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    Story
    "Loved the characters & complex world"

    Written for adults, this book has rich and deep characters. The world is complex and weaves an interesting network of layered machinations upon machinations.

    However, given the great maturity in writing style and characters I kept waiting for a more meaningful and develop story arc. Instead it felt like every event and conflict resolved through deus ex machina---which may have been the point, but it left me wanting a story line to get invested in. I may listen to the second book, but I'm not highly motivated to do so as I don't really care what will happen to these characters (that may also have been the point).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cara Edmonton, AB, Canada 12-05-12
    Cara Edmonton, AB, Canada 12-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "It's finally an audiobook!"

    This is the best fantasy series ever, hands down. I have read the physical books at least 5 times, and I have been awaiting an audiobook since my first time. Ralph Lister does an amazing job with the many, many characters, whose voices are often described in the text, and he reads the story with the drama it deserves. I highly recommend this book, and this audiobook, get both!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-27-12
    John Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read and great reader!"

    I read the print version of this book over 10 years ago. I remember enjoying it, but for various reasons had to read it in bits and pieces and lost track of the story. I decided to come back to it again and am so glad I did. The story is compelling and the narrator helps to make the already intriguing characters come to life. Thoroughly enjoyed this listen! Just waiting for DeadHouse Gates now. How about it Audible?? I hope Ralph Lister is working on it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Silver Spring, MD, United States 11-26-12
    Benjamin Silver Spring, MD, United States 11-26-12 Member Since 2010

    Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    75
    71
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    Story
    "Complex, Multifaceted, Characters Underdeveloped"

    From the outset, this book seems like a good introduction to a very involved fantasy series. Try this book if you are very open to continuing on with the series. There is a lot that is left unexplained and much that is left incomplete, so if you want perfect understanding and all the characters rounded-out by the end of the first book, you'll be left wanting. However, if what you are wanting is an extended, multi-part fantasy epic, you could do a lot worse.

    The very appealing thing about this book is the interaction of the various characters who, at first, seem very distant from each other, but then eventually collide in, often improbable, but quite entertaining ways. Even with the heavy use of prophecy as a foreshadowing tool, there is little predictability in these interactions. When you combine this fact with the lack of contextual development (i.e. history, mechanics of magic, pantheon etc.), you feel as if you are being swept along in a fast-moving narrative stream.

    On the other hand, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of character development on the side of the protagonists. There were quite a lot of them and their endeavors were given very egalitarian coverage by the narrator. So maybe the author spread himself a little thin. Where this really needled me was when I was trying to discover a particular character's motivation for their actions. This was lightly explained at best. Often a protagonist was acting as the tool of another through possession or some other kind of influence, but even in those cases, the motivations of the possessors was similarly left unclear.

    I recognize that as the first of a larger series, much of this will likely be explained, but just taking the first book on its own merits, the characters need a little depth and the world they inhabit needs texture.

    The narrator was very competent in developing distinct vocal characteristics for the various dramatis personæ. I would call a few of his characterizations a little odd relative to the way they were described physically. This did not detract from the story at all and most of his work was quite enjoyable.

    NOTE: As of this writing the subsequent novels are not available from Audible.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Shenton Park, Australia 10-10-12
    Ian Shenton Park, Australia 10-10-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yeah..."

    Top fantasy. Malazan is an excellent series. Been waiting for it on Audible for ages. Keep em coming...

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonas 10-04-12
    Jonas 10-04-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Greatest epic of our time !"

    More fecund than any book of its kind. No other writer has a menagerie of fleshed out characters like Erikson.

    14 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-25-17
    David 05-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    6
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    "great story"

    my only crtisisim is that I wish that the performer took a longer pause between paragraphs.

    extremely well written. is there another way to express a raised eyebrow? Lots of them in this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J 05-18-17
    J 05-18-17 Member Since 2013
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    14
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    "So much going on!"

    This is a busy book. so many intersecting stories. Well developed and good turn of phrase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami and Lola 05-17-17 Member Since 2016
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    8
    1
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    Story
    "Changing Perspective"

    It's hard to follow the story. If there were pauses before each perspective change then it would've been easy to follow. Instead I found myself having to rewind the audio once I realized the perspective changed 2 sentences ago but the speaker read it like it's in the same line of thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walt Danker 05-12-17
    Walt Danker 05-12-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen"

    Many have commented that there are so many characters in the story that it makes it hard to listen and prefer to read this book. I did not find that to be the case for me. I listen to this book during my work commute and really enjoyed the story and the characters. there is a lot to keep up with but I found it manageable. I did check in on a Wiki every now and then just to make sure I was following, so that may be an option if you get lost in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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