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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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From Publishers Weekly
In this sprawling fantasy epic of the Malazan empire at war with its enemies and itself, the first of a projected 10-volume series, Canadian newcomer Erikson offers many larger-than-life scenes and ideas, but his characters seem to shrink to fit the story. Perhaps they need to stay small enough for the reader to keep them all in mind. Jumping often between plot lines, the novel follows Ganoes Stabro Paran from his boyhood dreaming of soldiers to his escape from imperial service. Paran travels on journeys of body and soul, going from innocent to hardened rebel against gods and empire without losing his moral core. Other characters may go further, to death and back even, but none is as sharply portrayed. The book features a plethora of princes and paupers, powers and principalities, with much inventive detail to dazzle and impart a patina of mystery and ages past. The fast-moving plot, with sieges, duels (of sword and of spell), rebellions, intrigue and revenge, unearthed monsters and earth-striding gods, doesn't leave much room for real depth. Heroes win, villains lose, fairness reigns, tragedy is averted. Erikson may aspire to China Miéville heights, but he settles comfortably in George R.R. Martin country.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In the first of a projected 10 volumes of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the Malazan Empire is up to its eyebrows in the intrigues of mage Anomander Rake and his sorcerous minions, the Tiste Andii. The empress Laseen pursues her grisly ambitions with the aid of the Ninja-like Claw assassins, but Erikson focuses on the grunt-level fighting of military engineers Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and the field-grade mage Tattersall, who are more than ready to go home, when the empress commands a battle in and around the Free City of Darujhistan. Erikson portrays this hurly-burly--something very like the Lord of the Rings' Battle of the Pellenor Fields--from the perspective of those who had to get out of the way of the charges and exchanges of spells and sometimes died anyway. It remains to be seen whether Erikson's excellent writing will carry through nine more volumes of this gritty, realistic fantasy in the manner of Glen Cook's Dark Company series. Wager on fantasy readers' robust appetites, however. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
This was the hardest I had to work at a book in a long time. There are so many characters, magics, peoples, gods and shear volume of information that I had difficulty keeping track. This diminished my enjoyment a little bit. Also the author doesn't ever definitively give you an answer to situations. There is enough information to draw a conclusion but I still don't have any ideas if the conclusions I've drawn are correct. I don't mind working a little for a good story but I wish I had read a few reviews and knew that going in.
That I tried to listen to this on audio. There is so much information that I really needed to jump back and forth to the glossary to figure out who was talking and saying what. Also the chapter format jumps to multiple PoV in each chapter and it was difficult to follow along with on Audio.
I didn't even begin to really like the story until about 50% in. There number of characters made it really difficult to become attached to anyone and I still wasn't sure who or even if there was a side to root for.
This is a completed series and it seems after reading a few reviews that on the second read everything makes much more sense and things from this book flow through the rest of the books. So I hope that knowing I will need to approach my reading a little differently I will enjoy future books a little more with less confusion.
Tor re-read of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Good chapter summaries with a lot of the finer points being discussed in the comments section. You might find that a good supplement to your reading.
Thank you Damian, if/when I continue this series I will definitely look into it as this should make reading better