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Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – December 23, 2004
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The problem with this book (as well as the entire Malazan series) is that both the proponents and the opponents are right. That is, Erikson's writing has some excellent points, but it has some major weaknesses itself. It's one of the very rare cases where I'd describe the quality of the writing as "controversial".
First, the strong points. Erikson is an excellent worldbuilder. He's an excellent character builder. He's a great plotbuilder. He's got all the qualities a good fantasy writer needs. If you find a plotline, you're guaranteed to find it well constructed. If you find a well-formed character, you'll find him/her believable and coherent. If you find some world description, it'll surely be breathtaking.
Now, the weak points. It's no coincidence that I started each of the sentences in the previous paragraph with "if you find". The problem with Erikson is, sometimes you get tired of searching. I think the one quality Erikson lacks most is underlining. Even mediocre fantasy authors know that in order to get the reader focused on their writing, they have to let him know what's important in the book and what's not. Erikson seems to ignore this truth - he seems to be constantly poking the reader, telling him "there are no less important parts in the book, everything is equally important".
To show how much this is an issue, a comparison. I find that Martin actually cares for the reader's attention and keeps track of his main characters and plotlines - I don't have such feeling with Erikson.Read more ›
Firstly if you are looking for any of the following, beware!
A young nobody (or lost prince) finds famous sword, hacks up baddy, saves the world
Main characters that never seem to die
A light read i.e. Few brain cells or imagination required (Harry Potter?)
Author spoon feeding i.e. everything is explained immediately
Elves, Orcs, Hobbits, goblins etc
After about 100 pages of gardens of the moon you will be very confused, after about 200 it will be even worse, it was for me when I first read it. The story does pick up, but there are still a number of things that will have your head spinning. Erikson is not the type to give info dumps so the brain cells will have to stay sharp while reading this book since the info is spread through all the books. The first book is the weakest of the 5 currently published simply because it is impossible to fully understand everything that happens since you don't have enough information about the Malazan world. But perseverance pays of tenfold as soon as the second book and there is hardly any filler (WOT?) so it is worthwhile not to skim through.Read more ›
The good new is, Erikson's "The Gardens of the Moon" is a fat, intelligent and wonderfully convoluted fantasy novel. Along with Ricardo Pinto's quite dissimilar but equally intelligent "The Chosen", this is one of the best genre debuts to appear in the last two or three years. (As an aside: Erikson is a Canadian, now living in the UK. Pinto is Portuguese, but also lives in the UK. Hmm, wonder if I should emigrate too? After all, look at Poirot... Quite good for the little grey cells, it seems).
The not so good news (well, the daunting news, at least) is that "Gardens" seems to be the first of a projected 10-volume series. Oh dear! Not again!
Of course, the good news is not going to sound too good if you don't like "military" fantasy. "Gardens" is very much about war, dealing as it does with the Empress of Malazan attempting to conquer, by foul means rather than fair, everything in (and indeed out of) her site. There's a lot of intrigue and a lot of politics, and there's a hell of a lot of (deftly distributed) historical background, but in this first instalment at least, that's what it pretty much boils down to.
Conversely, the not so good news is going to sound very sweet if you're the sort of reader who gobbles up each and every of Glen Cook's "Black Company" books the moment they appear. "Gardens" is not only similar to the Black Company series in that it deals mainly with the often magical struggles between irreconcilable and not quite comprehensible adversaries, but also in that it generally depicts events from the viewpoint of the more or less "ordinary" soldier (sorcerous or otherwise). Erikson is, however, better at this than Cook; he is also rather more ambitious.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This story jumps around way too much. You can track all the characters, but as soon as you care at all about one, they are gone for most of the rest of the book. Read morePublished 1 day ago by William Michael Griffin
Not completely my style, but offers the reader a great sense of adventure, thrill and magic through portraying different key characters and perspectives.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I'm pretty sure this whole book just went right over my head. I've read epic fantasies in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them but this book was just really hard to follow. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Justin Yu
Not as intimidating as others would make it seem. Worth reading. It is not all dark either redemption is woven in.Published 14 days ago by Silvio Pellas Martinez
When i opened a book, i got magic explosion in my face!!! I felt like i was dropped in legendary epic battle! Read morePublished 14 days ago by CHOPA
GoTM is a very intense and grand epic fantasy. It is as epic as you can make a book. The story talks of Gods, Ascendants, demons, and mortals... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Vincent Cerone
Give it time. Like many reviews point out, you will be thrown head first into a pile of new names, magics, and places at the beginning (often without much background initially). Read morePublished 20 days ago by economaster
Convoluted story line. Hard to keep track of who's working with who. If you can do that it's a pretty good read.Published 20 days ago by Soop