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Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen) Paperback – 1 Apr 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593044703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593044704
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,428,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Archaeologist and anthropologist Steven Erikson's debut novel, Gardens of the Moon, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and set readers on the epic adventure that is his acclaimed 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' sequence. He lives in Cornwall and is currently writing The Crippled God - the tenth and final chapter in what has been hailed 'a masterwork of the imagination'. To find out more, visit www.malazanempire.com.

Product Description

Amazon Review

With a field as crowded as heroic fantasy, a reader is entitled to know what makes the latest blockbuster worth his or her attention: but Bantam books are throwing considerable marketing weight behind Steven Erikson, because they clearly believe he is the Next Big Thing. They may be right--he 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.

Gardens of the Moon concerns the military campaign by the Malazan Empire to capture the last remaining Free City on the Gernsbackian continent. War is waged with conventional soldiers as well as powerful magicians, and gods mix with mortals in a complex, but rewarding, series of narrative threads that come chiefly out of the school of Feist's Magician, although there is also something of the flavour of Gavriel Kay's celebrated Fionavar books. The moon of the title is a wonderfully grand conception, a sort of floating mountain that moves through the skies of the war-striken continent, and is the home of the 'Son of Darkness'. The various magical battles are splendidly written, and the characters are well realised. Rewardingly mellow and fiendishly readable. --Adam Roberts

Review

"Erikson is an extraordinary writer...my advice to anyone who might listen to me is: treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon." (STEPHEN R. DONALDSON)

"I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of the imagination may be the high watermark of epic fantasy." (GLEN COOK)

"A world that is both absorbing on a human level and full of magical sublimity...a wonderfully grand conception...splendidly written...fiendishly readable." (ADAM ROBERTS)

"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)

"Rare is the writer who so fluidly combines a sense of mythic power and depth of world, with fully realized characters and thrilling action, but Steven Erikson manages it spectacularly." (MICHAEL A STACKPOLE) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Louise on 27 Mar 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book because I was going through books so fast, and wanted to find an epic fantasy series that would keep me occupied for a long time. The reviews on Amazon - both positive and negative - decided me.

A lot of people have said this book is confusing and hard to follow. I didn't find that, but you probably will if you try to read too fast. There are no wasted words, no lengthy explanations of "what has gone before." There's a vast history behind this story and its characters, but you are only told as much as you need to know right now, and what you are told is slipped in and can easily go unnoticed as the plot moves forward.

There are a lot of characters, and some are developed more thoroughly than others. There simply isn't space in 750 pages to show every character learning and growing.

The story moves forward at a good pace. In that sense, it reads more like a moderately paced thriller than an epic fantasy. But there's nothing thriller-like about the content. The world is filled with magic, and the gods move amongst mortals and interfere in their lives. If you prefer magic to be subtle, this book probably isn't for you, but if you're like me, you'll love the creativity in this world's unique system of magic.

Some people have complained that this book is a prologue to the rest of the series. It is. There are a lot of questions left unanswered. But that doesn't really matter. It's also a story in its own right - the tale of the Malazan Empire's attempts to take control of the last remaining free city on the continent of Genabackis. That story reaches its conclusion as all the threads come together in a dramatic climax.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I've used Amazon for years, but never been inspired to write a review before.

Have I found what I was looking for? Oh, yes. This epic fantasy series is going to keep me occupied and happy for a long time
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92 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Alinko on 30 Mar 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now where do I start? Gardens of the moon is the first book in a series of 10 (5 out so far) based on at least 5 continents and I estimated over 10 different character POV per book. There is also about 300, 000 years of relevant history, numerous different species and a completely different system of 'magic' to the regular fantasy fare. With countless mysteries and good number of extremely powerful beings it is quite hard to get your head around it at first. So I will try my best in this review to give you a good idea of what to expect from the series as a whole.
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.
To give a head start I would say that there are 2 definite constants in the Malazan world.
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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Katie on 27 Mar 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I bought this book, I was dreading having to look up stuff in the index at every page, or not being able to understand what was going on in one great long, 700 page battle. That was the impression I had got of the series from its critics. However, others, whilst admitting that it was complex, could not praise it enough. I thought I'd give it a try.
Well, I'm simply blown away. What an amazing start to what promises to be an enormous project that will be soon seen as one of the top fantasy series ever!
Yes, Steven Erikson (and Ian Cameron Esslemont, the co-creator of the world of the Malazan empire) have imagined a world far beyond anything that's ever been written about before. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to remember exactly which Ascendant Cotillion is (though perhaps if you're confused over that one, you've skipped a few pages!) but generally if there is a point when you think, "Hang on, who's Apsalar again?" there is a very useful list of characters at the start which helped me get a few things straight - but I never needed to do this with anything important. If there was something I was unsure about, it would be a minor God, whose name was mentioned in passing. Erikson writes so skillfully about this complex world that I had next to no difficulty remembering what was what.
The pace is fast throughout the book, helped by the style of the book. You see events from many different characters points of view, from both 'sides' (similar to George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire) and you come to care for the characters.
You do NOT get spoon fed the story and details of the world. You get dropped into the story, and you pick up stuff as you go along.
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