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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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“Erikson is an extraordinary writer. My advice to anyone who might listen to me is, Treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon. And my entirely selfish advice to Steven Erikson is, write faster.” ―Stephen R. Donaldson
“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
From the Back Cover
"Give me the evocation of a rich, complex and yet ultimately unknowable other world, with a compelling suggestion of intricate history and mythology and lore. Give me mystery amid the grand narrative. Give me a world in which every sea hides a crumbled Atlantis, every ruin has a tale to tell, every mattock blade is a silent legacy of struggles unknown. Give me, in other words, the fantasy work of Steven Erikson. Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics on a scale that would approach absurdity if it wasn't so much fun."--Andrew Leonard, Salon.com
"Steven Erikson is an extraordinary writer. My advice to anyone who might listen to me: Treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon. And my entirely selfish advice to Steven Erikson: Write faster."-Stephen R. Donaldson
"The author is working so far beyond genre convention you need to measure the distance in light years. We'd sooner attempt to reduce the history of China to a logline than try a plot synopsis in this limited space. Enter Malazan and find a fully-realized universe complete with history, mythology, sociology, and thaumatology. It is peopled with characters who are neither black nor white but patterned of gritty grey and shadows and wade through oceans of blood. There's nothing safe about fantasy like this: intriguing, complex, thought provoking, exceedingly well-written, and, for the intelligent reader, exhilaratingly satisfying."--Paula Guran, Cinemafantastique
"An astounding debut...has the potential to become a defining work."--SF Site
"Gripping, fast-moving, delightfully dark, with a masterful and unapologetic brutality reminiscent of George R. R. Martin. Steven Erikson brings a punchy, mesmerizing writing style into the genre of epic fantasy, making an indelible impression. Utterly engrossing."--Elizabeth Haydon
"The experience of reading Gardens of the Moon is akin to being plunged into a full-immersion course in a heretofore undiscovered realm. Erikson's world is richly envisioned, dense and gritty, rife with magic and filled with complex political and military intrigue."--Jacqueline Carey
"A brilliant book! Exciting, inventive, intelligent--frequently funny. A wonderful book to read and to recommend to others."--David Drake
"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---accomplished with none of the customary rifs on Tolkien. 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
"Complex, challenging...Erikson's strengths are his grown-up characters and his ability to create a world every bit as intricate and messy as our own."--J. V. Jones, SFX
Top customer reviews
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Many have spoken about the fact that you don't know what is going on and have to "figure it out" as you go. Sanderson fans will hate that - sorry - not meant to be an insult, but that is indicative of Sanderson's style. His magic system is very direct and easy to understand. This series is not. This book doesn't answer all your questions, either.
So, to be more precise, "difficult" is just too vague. I would say this story develops suspense and makes you wonder about the politics, the motivations of the characters and the way the magic and world works without digressing to explain anything to you or to resolve all your questions. You must stick with the story to find out everything. There are no 'informative digressions', which is a common feature in fantasy today. What I mean by 'informative digression' is a point in the text where the main character or narrator will, as an aside, stop and 'catch you up' on how the world works, what his/her motivations are and just spend a page or so explaining things about the world and how things work in the world to you.
So, this series has NO 'informative digressions'.
Also, most modern fantasy is much more character focused. These are all stylistic choices, not substantive choices. It may make it harder to get into for some, but this is a point of preference, not quality. Given, if you want or need those character driven stories or like to get filled in as you go, you won't like this series.
Personally, I enjoy both kind of stories and don't view one style as inferior or another superior, but I accept the style for it's strengths and enjoy them when they are well done. In this case, it is VERY well done and INTENSELY enjoyable!
Most recent customer reviews
Loves the scale/scope
Loved the plot/sub-plots
Loved the writing/prose/dialogue
I can not wait to smash the rest of the series now.
The backstory on this novel is enormous, similar to Tolkien in its depth and grandeur.Read more