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Steven Erikson

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Initial post: 1 Feb 2009 13:44:23 GMT
Oakey says:
Ok guys help me out.
I've read Gardens of the Moon and wasn't particularly blown away.

I have Deadhouse Gates ready and waiting to be read but i just can't help thinking I'm going to be reading 1000 pages of a less accessable book (than "gardens") and wasting my time.
I especially hate slow starters where you have to wade through 200 pages of pap before the story starts in earnest

I love fantasy and I see all the people raving about this series but I need convincing that the series gets better because what I've seen of it so far is just ....well.....meh, ok.

Convince me

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2009 15:52:52 GMT
If you weren't blown away by 'Gardens of the Moon' then maybe this isn't the series for you. I think the series does become less rather than more accessible, with an enormous number of characters, plots and sub-plots, plus occasionally confusing leaps around the timeline.

Despite all this I believe it's one of the best, most inventive and engrossing series I've ever read, and if you're prepared to persevere you might find it intensely rewarding. Much depends on how much patience you have, and how long you can maintain your attention span. Sorry if I'm not exactly persuading you in its favour, but I'd be lying if I said I thought it was an easy read.


In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2009 20:11:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Feb 2009 20:11:49 GMT
Oakey says:
Jules, I read it without any problems at all, it wasn't that it was a hard book to follow, just not a very good one.
I just want to know if it gets better or is "Gardens" the best Erikson has to offer.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2009 20:52:55 GMT
In my opinion, the following books in the series are much better than the first. I've only read the first four though. While I thought that "Gardens of the Moon" was a good book, I didn't find it exceptional. "Deadhouse Gates", on the other hand, I couldn't put down. On more than one occasion I would sit up until 3 or 4 AM reading, and thinking "just one more chapter". (This was also true of books three and four)

I think it took "Gardens of the Moon" for Erikson to establish his writing style. The best thing about the series is how his universe continually expands and deepens. At first glance the books might only seem loosely connected but as the story unfolds you get a greater insight into how things are deeply interconnected.

I can only recommend reading on, especially if you have already bought the second book. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

I hope this helps.

Posted on 5 Feb 2009 13:10:13 GMT
Tom says:
Yup, got to agree - the structure of Gardens wasn't the best because it was his first book and that detracted from it, but in no.s 2 and 3 he really hits his stride and they're stunning books.

Posted on 5 Feb 2009 18:46:02 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Feb 2009 18:47:57 GMT]

Posted on 8 Feb 2009 15:04:23 GMT
L. O. Shea says:
I agree wholeheatedly that GofM is not the easiest book to read as it really does throw the reader into a world of immense complexity and history with no lifejacket, but this adds to the "realism" for the reader. Indeed there are some things that are not explained until the 7th or 8th book (Icarium etc) I love this series with a pasion and have browbeaten friends into starting it. Friends who have been put off with it´s length (and comparisons to the Wheel of Time it must be said).
Oakey, be prepared Deadhouse Gates has very little in common, character-wise with GotM, but is a fabulous read. Massively depressing though. Erikson is not exactly sentimental when it comes to character killing. In a lot of different forums Deadhouse Gates has been voted the best of the series so far ( I favour Memories of Ice myself) and so it is certainly worth taking up.
I am currently reading the series from the beginning for the 4th time and everytime I do this I discover another thread to connect the massive list of characters. It is simply stunning in it´s scope.
As for the "spin off" books by Ian Cameron Esselmont, they are also well worth the read. The first book is not as complex or as well written as Erikson, but the second " The return of the Crimson Guard" is great. Erikson and Esselmont invented the Malazan world together and there was an agreement between them as to the storylines they each would have. Esselmont got the Crimson Guard thread, A group we have heard about from the very start but was never developed. A marvellous book. And a vital part of the growing firnament. Will he take the Forkrul Assail thread I wonder?.
I´m rambling.
Oakey, keep on going, you will not be disappointed in any way and you will read it again and again, and you will be amazed at the complexity of the story.

Posted on 18 Feb 2009 21:26:44 GMT
G. Cardwell says:
You have to give Gardens at least half the book before it starts to get into its stride, but when setting the scene for such a complex, realistc, deep and rewarding world you can forgive it. Erikson is the new king of fantasy and has raised the bar for all that follow and you really ought to give Deadhouse a go, I am sure that you will not regret it.

Posted on 21 Feb 2009 21:11:14 GMT
Lizzie says:
Hi there,

I've been thinking of purchasing Gardens of the moon and giving this series a go, when I came across this thread and Oakey's original question. All your comments have been interesting, but I would just like to ask something too. Do you think both men and women would like this series? I've been reading the reviews and they appear to be mainly from men. Is it more of a man's book do you think?


Posted on 22 Feb 2009 23:50:42 GMT
Hi Mrs Lee

Firstly, i would agree with the earlier posters that Gardens of The Moon is a complex book with little in the way of explanation for many of the key elements - the magic system for instance, or what the T'Lann Imass actually are. However, this just adds to the satisfaction gained in later books when it all suddenly makes sense. I reread GoTM after book four and it was very rewarding.

Secondly, I am not exacly sure what you mean by a man's book. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is often referred to as "military" fantasy, because a lot of the action centers around epic battles. But so does the Lord of the Rings. Although the battles are very well described and the earlier books focus on the Bridgeburners, an elite military unit, later books go in very different directions. Often the characterisation is detailed and in many places genuinely funny. My favorite character remains the blanket wearing Tehol Beddict, singlehanded working to bring a corrupt empire to its knees whilst simultaneously having problems with chickens. And a manservant who turns out to be... but that would be spoiling things.

So, I don't think a male/female division applies. Do you like intelligent fantasy that will genuinely make you think? Do you want a pace and narrative that actually left me breathless at times? Do you want an epic scale and a large list of memorable characters? If yes, then try GoTM - but do not give up on the series without reading Deadhouse Gates(DG). If DG leaves you cold, move on.

Personally I rate the Malazan sequence as the best fantasy series of all time, if that is worth anything.

Posted on 23 Feb 2009 19:02:57 GMT
Lizzie says:
To R. M. Lindley

Thanks for the information. You've convinced me. It's high praise indeed if you rate 'the Malazan sequence as the best series of all time.' So I'm going to give it a go, but will bear in mind to al least read Deadhouse Gates too.

Thanks again and kind regards.

Thanks to Oakey for the original post.

Posted on 23 Feb 2009 19:10:24 GMT
You could always try Tad Hamilton. His ' otherland ' novels are supurb as are the ' Memory Sorrow and Thorn ' series.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2009 02:31:37 GMT
I bought GoTM on the spur of the moment and I must say I have not regretted it at all. I totally agree that there is not a male/female division. As a woman I am looking for exactly this kind of fantasy, as you rightly said on an epic scale but with pace and narrative. It is simply superb.

Posted on 24 Feb 2009 19:25:33 GMT
Paul Tapner says:
I think you mean tad williams, mikesg1

Posted on 24 Feb 2009 23:42:23 GMT
Stuho says:
Gardens introduces some of the principal characters, and settings, for the series, persevere. Yes agreed Deadhouse Gates veers off in another direction but placed in the context of the whole series it occurs in just the right place. A good memory is probably needed to keep track of all the threads. Everytime a new book comes into print I begin reading the whole series again, it really brings the whole piece together, this is the only series that has ever prompted me to do such a thing, fortunately I read quickly.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 18:32:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Mar 2009 18:33:29 GMT
Oakey says:
Mike and Paul , thanks but my question was about Erikson and whether its any good, not about what i should read lol

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 19:02:33 GMT
With this book I believe men and women would like it, many of the best characters are women and many of them warriors, I guess it depends on whether you like plenty of action, if so you'll like it, if not then you might want to find something a bit lighter.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 19:12:45 GMT
Read the series, I thought the first book was great, but compared to later book in pales in comparison. Deadhouse Gates is one of my favourite in the whole series it contains the legendary Chain Of Dogs the name given to the seventh Malazan armies 1500 mile march to safety through enemy territory. If you're a fan of well written wars and battles mate, then this will blow your mind. Not to mention the story around the assassins picks up it's pace and the magic system really comes into it's own. Like I said, give it a go, better safe than sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 20:18:45 GMT
Just a quick to note that to say I'm a women and I love the series, yes it is complex and due to massive amount of infomation thrown at you sometimes diffcult to understand. But the plot and the characters are gripping.

Posted on 28 Apr 2009 15:45:46 BDT
Iain Cliffe says:
I would say Memories of Ice (No3) is the best and GotM one of the worst in the series to date. Worst is of course relative to scarily good :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2009 15:02:36 BDT
J. Heywood says:
I am a female and have read this series three times and enjoyed every word .
For me it got better and better and more understandable after I read it for a second time. I suppose it depends on what you expect from a book.I like blood and guts and complexity. No love stories for me. Highly recommended.
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Discussion in:  fantasy discussion forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  21
Initial post:  1 Feb 2009
Latest post:  8 May 2009

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