Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) - Steven Erikson10

Review :: Gardens of the Moon

Written by Jacob Walsh

To put it simply, this book, and the rest of the series, is the greatest work of Fantasy to come out since the Lord of the Rings was published. It is a perfect mix of humor and seriousness, both vast in scope and narrow in focus. It creates a world full of magic, but it is a world that is harsh, gritty, and even more diverse than our own. There is both good and evil, but there is no black and white. The series manages to be innovative and yet still retain many of the traditional trappings of a fantasy series. There is a sense of vast antiquity behind these books, as if you are picking up and dusting off the ancient writings of a long dead empire. Gardens is a great introduction to the series, full of great characters you will love, hate, or reserve judgment for. One thing about this series that sets it apart and above all else is its incredible intricacy. There is no wasted text in these books, an incredible feat considering the length of them. Every action and character in this series is tied into the primary plots. Yes, plots. There are three primary story arcs, though as the series progresses they blend together until they are less distinguishable. There are also large numbers of smaller arcs within the main ones. As i said earlier, nothing is wasted or fails to add to the plot. I simply do not have enough room to extol all of the virtues of this series, so let me finish by urging you to read these books. If there is one series that should not be missed, this is it!!

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Gardens of the Moon

Click here to see the original UK cover art.

World Fantasy Award nominee 2000.

The Malazan Empire is a continent-spanning dominion over which the ruthless Empress Laseen holds sway, her rule enforced by the Claws, the Imperial assassins. Bled dry by incessant warfare and undermined by dissension, signs indicate that the Empire could be crumbling from within.

The Genabackis campaign has been a war of attrition in which the Malazans have spent years fighting the combined forces of local armies aided by the formidable Son of Darkness and Lord of the Tiste Andii, Anomander Rake, the Crimson Guard, the powerful warlord Caladan Brood, and their allies.

Though they emerge victorious from the siege of Pale and impel the flying fortress of Moon’s Spawn to retreat and abandon the conflict, the Malazan triumph is bittersweet. Evidence implies that the Bridgeburners were nearly wiped out by treacherous elements from within the ranks of their own army.

Before any light can be shed on what truly occurred, the Malazan troops are sent marching to subdue Darujhistan, the last of the Free Cities of Genabackis. Soon, as the conflict escalates, powerful forces converge on Darujhistan.

And with gods and Ascendants watching and manipulating events, nothing is as it seems in the City of Blue Fire.

Thus begins The Malazan Book of the Fallen, one of the greatest and most ambitious fantasy epics of our time.

"Steven Erikson is an extraordinary writer. I read Gardens of the Moon with great pleasure. And now that I have read it, I would be hard-pressed to decide what I enjoyed more: the richly and ominously magical world of Malaz and Genabackis; the large cast of sympathetically rendered characters; or the way the story accumulates to a climax that hits like machinegun fire. 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

"Erikson's style is no-nonsense, and his military campaigns have a reality to them that's often lacking in fantasy… 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

"Steven Erikson… has the breadth and detail of imaginative vision, he is able to create a world that is both absorbing on a human level and full of magical sublimity, and, above all, he can write… a wonderfully grand conception… fiendishly readable." – Adam Roberts