Read Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson Online


The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cThe Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze. But it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand.......

Title : Gardens of the Moon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765348784
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 666 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Gardens of the Moon Reviews

  • seak
    2018-10-02 15:46

    UPDATE: I've just reread this book so I've updated my review, which you can find at the end of my little lovenote here. :)Why Read The Malazan Book of the Fallen, or A Love Note to Steven Erikson (Okay, not really the latter)If you've even attempted to read Gardens of the Moon, the first book in the 10 book epic that is the Malazan Book of the Fallen, you'll see very quickly that you're not given much as a reader. It's confusing, it's complicated, it's full of mysteries and myriad of characters and magics that you can easily become overwhelmed. Not to mention, Gardens of the Moon isn't nearly as well-written as the rest of the series.Not the most ringing endorsement so far, but we're getting there.The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is easily the most epic series I've ever read. The history is mysterious (and murderous) and vast, the races are plentiful and old, and the magic is as powerful as it gets.How many times do you pick up a book that sounds epic, but you start to read and it really isn't? This happens to me all the time. Because of a drawback of the medium, there can only really be a focus on so many characters. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it takes away from the epic-ness. The consequences of a few characters may have far-reaching effects and the history and world may even be vast, but there's still no denying that the scope is limited. It can't really be anything else.Steven Erikson does something that has yet to be seen in epic fantasy. He has created the standard for what is truly epic. I'll not deny that his characters suffer somewhat from this, many seeming to be essentially the same, but he has truly created a world that is so vast and detailed you won't care.This is also part of the genius. The characters don't even know what's going on, who's killing whom or why. They rarely even know who's actually in charge. And Erikson puts you right there with them. In addition, they're the ones narrating the story, which means you really have no idea who to trust. This is yet another aspect of his genius because as humans, we tend to want things to go our way, to see things our way, even to tell stories that go our way. Many characters are humble enough to see their shortcomings, but the story is told from very human people... well, and gods.And like George R.R. Martin, Erikson has no problem killing off main characters. It IS the book of the fallen after all.Another reason to read this series is what I call the Superman phenomenon. Erikson creates characters who have it all when it comes to magic or military prowess or swordsmanship or you name it. They are all-powerful and when they clash it will blow your mind.At the same time, he creates tragedy filled with pathos that at one point had me devastated for weeks. This is not a bad thing, not only is it good for the soul, it's powerful writing that evokes emotions in you so strong you feel like you've lost a friend when all you did was finish a book. This makes me wonder how he can possibly be accused of having thin characters when he made me feel like that about them.Finally, and fittingly, Erikson has written simply the best endings I've ever read. Any bit of confusion, and believe me there's quite a bit in every book of the series, is rewarded ten-fold with an ending that you will never forget.For most books, you may get a hundred pages as you climax after 500 pages worth of build-up. Erikson gives you at least 200 and in some books even more than this. The Crippled God , the final book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen, starts a part of the climax with 400 pages to go in the trade paperback.Simply put, read this series. When you're 400 pages in and you still have no clue what's going on, it's okay, I've been there too. It will be worth it, keep pushing on. How many authors really trust you, the reader, to put things together on your own? Have you felt how rewarding that is, have you even been given the chance? Now's your chance.As Logan Ninefingers always says (or rather, his father), “Once you've got a task to do, it's better to do it than live with the fear of it."----------------------Updated Review:There are few books you put down and immediately want to reread. Gardens of the Moon is one of those books for two reasons. One, it's that good. Two, it's that confusing.On a reread I already know I missed a lot the first time, but I quickly realized I missed SOOOO much that first time and most of it is because I wasn't used to having to use my brain as much. I was constantly amazed at how much foreshadowing is in this first book. So much is mentioned from the origins of the T'lan Imass and Tiste Andii to the Jaghut and even a little about the Forkrul Assail. And the epigraphs made sense! They ACTUALLY made sense! I always thought they might, but they are tell quite a bit in fact. Some I was amazed actually give away events in the following chapter, but you have no idea when you first read it. You wily bastard, Erikson!Hand in hand with the foreshadowing I'm amazed at the level of detail in this book, there's hardly a sentence without extra meanings behind it. But the problem is - you just don't know who to trust when you're going through this on your first time and it's so hard to catch it when so much is revealed in such an offhand manner. I still remember being so confused the first time and then figuring something out. That's what sold me on the series and why I still consider it one of the best, if not the best out there. A second reading sealed the deal.Having said that I also saw a lot of why people say it's the least well-written of the series. It's well done, leaps and bounds ahead of most I think, but it can be inconsistent. For most of the series it's told in third person limited, and while that seems to have been attempted for most of this book, there were instances where it drifts to omniscient within a section. The pacing is also a bit off, but that's not really any different from the rest either.Despite that, I stick with what I said above. :) These complaints are drops in the bucket compared to this vast, epic tale filled with history and magic and plans within plans. At the moment, The Malazan Book of the Fallen is my all-time favorite series. This may or may not change when George finishes his series (in 2113, zing!), but I have a hard time right now seeing how it will be possible to top. Yes, there's a similar level of detail and even camaraderie you feel with some of the characters, but how do you top this kind of epic? I don't think there's a better feeling in reading than figuring something out that the author withheld, that's what sold me on my first read and what continues to make this my favorite.5 out of 5 Stars (Not even a second thought)Note: I also highly recommend reading this with a group, or just checking out the discussions from the group read I've been participating in. Being able to toss around ideas and theories is priceless and having people to explain some of it is also very helpful.

  • Kelly
    2018-10-13 23:42

    If only I hadn’t put on that little black dress. Perhaps that would’ve saved this one for me. I mean, not only did I put on the little black dress, the one cutjusttothere. I did the hair. I put on the heels too. Everyone who has that little black dress or is dating someone who does knows what heels I mean. You guys have been in that mood where you really just want to go out- paint the town red like you’re Sinatra and are just, as they used to say of kings, in the mood to be pleased, right? Whoever your date is that evening will probably have to make very little effort for you to have a good time, and indeed you’re just fine with being the entertainment. I would like to state here and now that I showed up for my date with Steve Erikson with the hair and the dress and the heels in this mood. And it turns out he’s that guy. The one who will manage to irritate you no matter how many times you try to grin and change the subject, no matter how many broad hints you might help him out with. As with most dates you’ve gathered information on solely from the internet and well-meaning friends, he turns up late, it turns out he has lied about his height, is awkwardly insistent on telling you excruciatingly uninteresting stories the entire night while not asking you a single question about yourself, and then is confused when you do not want to see him again.Seriously, I PUT ON HEELS FOR THIS, ERIKSON. (Somehow that’s always the most insulting part, isn’t it?) Everyone told me you were great! This was supposed to be my happy fun vacation time with a happy fun book that I could geek out with my friends about and finally have something to talk about with them that did not involve Foucauldian analysis, Marxist delusions, academic drama or a thesis of any kind! But nooooo. Instead someone’s evil twin shows up and now I have to awkwardly tell all these people I like that I do not like their favorite book.It’s just that this isn’t a good book! And not even that it's not “good” in some literary way. It is clearly not “good” in that way, and it isn’t meant to be. I don’t hold it to that standard. It does seem to me to be trying to be good in a more old fashioned way more typical for fantasy- it just wants to tell a rollicking good story. But I mean… it is a bad story. I like stories. That’s why I read fantasy, in large part- I like that feeling of the archetypal coming to life in an interesting way that shows the inner workings of the recurring characters that I see everywhere in my reading. I like that sensation of a campfire at night and a bard repeating the history of a people, with flickering flames and drama and shadows and pronouncements that you can only take seriously in that setting and which you’d feel obliged to laugh at in the morning. This is a bad story. It’s cool that Erikson doesn’t need to spend a hundred pages explaining every detail of his world to us (and given how complicated it is, thank GOD for that), but the reader shouldn’t have to stop reading many times in order to try to straighten out what’s going on, who are these random people that keep showing up, how does this new demon or magic fit into anything, and most importantly, all important, why on earth should I care?Erikson definitely did not manage to make me care. It’s largely a function of the fact that there is such a huge cast of characters, and he spends so little time developing any of their personalities. When there is some sort of “inner reflection” by a couple of them, or “feelings”, it seems shunted in there to give his epic quest one of the elements an epic is supposed to have- it feels like he’s impatient with people being, you know, people, and would rather get back to telling me about this super cool magic battle with a demon he just invented that just popped out of nowhere. It was almost like people were necessary vehicles for him to create his fantasy world, but that cool names, and “Houses” and ranks (Son of Darkness, Knight of Darkness, Queen of Light) were the real point of the whole thing. People are there for him to be able to have fights. Honestly? It seemed like it was kind of constructed like an RPG game a lot of the time. Here is an action sequence. After this, your hero may explore this world and pick up coins and treasure to increase his value, there is an epic quest, but you can choose to get sidetracked by a bunch of others that involve various gods and spirits. Then in between each quest there’s that part where the game stops to give you an expository scene that advances the plot and you just watch, and then you take control back and go on to the next action sequence. Eventually you come back to the big quest and kill off the Big Bad and YAY YOU WIN! I can certainly see the appeal of this construction as a game, but I think as a book it doesn’t work so well, at least, not for me.It certainly didn’t help that in addition to the off putting construction and the poor character development, the dialogue was absolutely laughable (incredibly stereotypically exactly what satirists make bad fantasy writing sound like), the plot was ridiculous, he pulled a new thing out of his ass every five pages because… well.. because... His world building was incomplete, too. It felt like you could never trust it because he could just change it on you a minute later because he felt like it. He doesn’t hold himself to any rules. It’s like when you’re trying to make up an excuse on the fly for why you were late for something: “I forgot my keys, and then I got caught in a traffic jam, and then I passed that and there was some truck that had dumped bunnies on the roadway and I had to help save the poor things, and then I was almost here when all of a sudden Elvis appeared from the dead, riding an elephant and… well that’s why I’m late and its totally okay!” There’s no suspense because the main characters are sure to be resurrected (the alternate dimension rebirth had me laughing so hard I was crying), and the bad ones are either off screen, introduced late, or dumb. There’s some attempt at shades of grey with one character (the Adjunct) but he tells me what the point is, straight out, about five times, just to be sure that I get it, and its not that interesting a point anyway so it kind of ruins it. I liked the climactic end battle, but I swear to you even while that battle was going on, he was introducing new magic and people and not just going with the hundreds he already had after 600 pages of setting things up. If an author feels the need to do that instead of relying on the payoff from the 600 pages he already has… not good news. Not good news at all.I don’t know, I almost kind of feel bad saying all this. It feels like I’m making fun of someone who’s just so excited to tell me about all this cool stuff he thought of that he forgot to put it in a coherent order. It doesn’t mean that the individual ideas he thinks of can’t be cool, he just hasn’t figured out the other stuff he needs to make it interesting as well as cool. But still… lest we forget. HEELS, ERIKSON. HEELS.Yeah, still not over that. Next date, if there is a next date (I’m sensing some peer pressure coming my way from my crafty friends), I’m showing up in sweats, half tired and in the mood to watch reality TV. Something tells me things might go better that way.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-09-30 20:17

    OMG! I loved this book soooo much!! There are things I don't understand but I have some lovely Goodreads friends I can go to if I need answers. Also, this is a series I will be able to read over and over and find new tidbits! And, I did understand the majority of it 😄Ye gods! I was a nervous wreck at the end because I thought someone might meet their true death. < -- I think I got that from Tru Blood but I digress. Because in this book, not a lot of things stay truly dead! They come back or get taken over or some such thing. It's crazyyyyy! I love it 😄There was so much going on in the book but I kept up with most of it! Yay! And I loved so many characters. Paran, Sorry, Tattersail, Lorn, Toc ... and not all of them are good or are they? I felt Sorry for Sorry, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the beginning. Then someone I really liked, died by stupidity but they were brought back. I thought, yay, you idiot! BUT! I'm totally in love with Anomander Rake! I can't help myself and omg! I will except you his description and as he's supposed to be pitch black, the image I found online like that made him look like a prune!! I liked the million other images of him, one being from Tor. Anomander Rake's skin was jet-black, befitting Gothos' descriptions, but his mane flowed silver. He stood close to seven feet tall. His features were sharp, as if cut from onyx, a slight upward tilt to the large vertical-pupiled eyes. A two-handed sword was strapped to Rake's broad back, its silver dragonskull pommel and archaic crosshilt jutting from a wooden scabbard fully six and a half feet long. From the weapon bled power, staining the air like black ink in a pool of water.And he's also something else!!! Omg! Im shutting up now! This book is one of the best epics I have read yet. I had no idea! I kept watching soooo many of my Goodreads friends reading this series and I finally took the plunge! I could have started this long ago but I guess now was my time 😊I recommend to all fantasy lovers! Happy Reading! Mel ❤️MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  • ☽Luna☾
    2018-10-17 19:19

    full review now up5/5 Buddy read with my soul sister and my pals at BB&B“Ambition is not a dirty word. Piss on compromise. Go for the throat.” So I have stared at my phone screen for approx 96 hours trying to think of a review for this and I'm still left speechless, so I have vomited up some words for y'all to enjoy, if you want a proper review check Eriksons GR page there's only 3,000 of them...“Too many regrets. Lost chances—and with each one passing the less human we all became, and the deeper into the nightmare of power we all sank.” What even was this confusing mess of a book? I'll tell you what it was a goddamn masterpiece. I'm not even lying when I say that if you haven't read this you are missing out, if you call yourself a fantasy fan but you haven't started this series, well you must have something wrong with you. This was an epic ride and the actual bible of badassery. I love everything about this book. Erikson is clearly a genius to think of something so complex and unique. I was extremely apprehensive going into this book due to some statements from a few friends, apparently this book is confusing and the weakest of all ten. If this is the weakest then the rest must be so amazing that they are illegal to read, due to causing heart attacks from badassery overload. I'll be the first to admit I did find it confusing, but around page 50 I was able to follow the storyline, it's exactly what I expected from a world so large. The POV's switch back and forth and there's honestly like a 100 main characters, so yes it did get extremely overwhelming but the plot was so good that I didn't give a damn if I was confused, hell half the time I had no idea what was going on but I was okay with it because it was SO GODDAMN GOOD. Like it even had a puppet sorcerer. Not even joking that's how strange and epic this book is.But what really drew me in was the immense world building with so much attention to detail, the details weren't over kill so I enjoyed reading all the descriptions (so unlike me). I could imagine everything vividly while reading. I also need to talk about that perfect and clever writing, Erikson is so fucking talented that it's ridiculous. “High house shadow, and a knife in the dark. A new game's begun, or the old one's just turned.”The characters?well there was many and when I say many I'm not even joking. A few stood out to me and I'm currently storing them in my book boyfriend harem. My favorite of all was Toc the Younger, I really have a thing for disfigured men I just find them so goddamn precious so i adored my one eyed solider. fanart by Zsoszy on deviantart “Toc the Younger, last representative of the Claw on Genabackis, one-eyed and half his face scarred by fire.”I also love the marshmallow aka Kruppe. I loved his POV & I also loved his third person talk.Rake was probably the most badass character ever created.“Anomander Rake, Lord of the Tiste Andii, who are the souls of Starless Night. Rake, the Mane of Chaos.”One thing I found extremely annoying was in the ebook edition Toc's name on nearly every page was spelt incorrectly.. Here's a few examples.“Lorn smiled. 'You'll be sharing it for the next few days, Toe the Younger. We've a long walk to Pale.''Six, seven days,' Toe said. 'I expected you to be mounted.”And another..“Toe's frown deepened, then he sat forward, his every muscle tensing”And again..“And I was, for a time. Tell me, Toc the Younger, am I speaking to a Claw, or to a soldier of the Second?'Toe's eye narrowed. 'That's a tough question.”And again.“Toe's expression was grim”Honestly my expression would be grim if I was called toe aswell. Sometimes I thought it was a new character named toe, but it was in reality just horrible editing.. Get your shit together editors !And if my screaming and fan girling isn't enough to get you to read this book then your the one who needs to be punched. Recommended to all adult fantasy fansPreview;Okay so this book promises lots of blood, death & heart shattering goodness.BRING IT THE FUCK ON! Like I have HUGE expectations & this better contain badassery.If this meme is incorrect I will punch someone.New note: The meme was actually incorrect so now I feel stabby. I was not shocked or saddened enough in this book and that was my only issue.

  • Markus
    2018-10-11 23:18

    "Now these ashes gave grown cold, we open the old book.These oil-stained pages recount the tales of the Fallen,a frayed empire, words without warmth. The hearthhas ebbed, its gleam and life's sparks are but memoriesagainst dimming eyes - what cast my mind, what hue mythoughts as I open the Book of the Fallenand breathe deep the scent of history?Listen, then, to these words carried on that breath.These tales are the tales of us all, again yet again.We are history relived and that is all, without end that is all."Dark times have set upon the Malazan Empire. Nine years ago, the Emperor Kellanved was murdered and his most loyal followers purged by a ruthless and ambitious woman called Surly, formerly the Commander of the Claw, now known as Laseen, 'thronemaster'. Under the rule of their new empress, the Malazans have spread their empire across the known world, and now the war rages in distant Genabackis. With the Siege of Pale coming to an end, Laseen's attention turns towards Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities...The first tale of The Malazan Book of the Fallen takes place almost exclusively in the cities of Pale and Darujhistan, and their immediate surroundings. Yet despite of that, the book manages to encompass an enormously wide range of different characters and storylines, all occurring simultaneously. And not only that, but all the time, the reader gets subtle hints that are easily missed about events yet to come. Of course, Steven Erikson has become rather infamous for all this.The characters were pretty standard. There were a few I enjoyed greatly (most importantly Adjunct Lorn, Kruppe and Anomander Rake), another handful I liked well enough, and a whole lot I found to be completely one-dimensional and uninteresting. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, for such a situation must be expected from a book with as many characters as this one.The writing style is a matter for debate. I know many people like it (and I've also heard that there is a lot of development throughout the series), and while I wouldn't call it bad, I cannot say that I liked it either. Erikson's style, as stated by the man himself in the introduction, is both fast-paced and dense. That made this feel like a book I should have been able to read a lot faster, but where I had to force myself to go very slow in order to avoid missing anything. So sometimes reading the book caused a minor headache, not because it was confusing (I actually don't think it was), but because I had to read it like I would a university textbook. Looking away from all that, though, the writing itself is okay. Not particularly impressive, but still good. The chapter introductions, however, were simply amazing. I always like quotes and excerpts from in-world texts introducing chapters, and when those come in the form of poetry, it's even better.Let me talk a little bit about the setting then, which is by far the greatest strength of this book. The continent of Genabackis is a land of many different nations and cultures, and it seems that each and every one of them has a developed history. From the Moranth to Darujhistan to the lands of the Pannion Seer, Erikson has created a setting that's astonishingly enjoyable to read and learn more about. Add to that the Tiste Andii, the T'lan Imass, the Jaghut and all the other non-human races, and the fact that there's a whole world out there waiting to be explored and nine more books to do it, and this reader for one is definitely happy with the latest fantasy universe he's been given the chance to see.I also felt like there was an advantage in having read the whole Chronicles of the Black Company before venturing forth into this series. Glen Cook is according to Erikson his most important source of inspiration, and it is already quite easy to see connections between the two series in this first novel. Genre-wise Erikson follows in Cook's footsteps and both the setting, the writing and the characters are similar to the ones found in the world of the Black Company.So in the end, I really liked Gardens of the Moon. There were intriguing stories, fascinating legends of old, epic duels between powerful wizards and mythic creatures appearing from the realms of the gods. I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped I would, but pretty close to how much I expected I would. It is still far too early to see if this series will become one of my favourites, but I certainly intend to find out.Malazan Book of the Fallen reviews:#1 Gardens of the Moon#2 Deadhouse Gates#3 Memories of Ice#4 House of Chains#5 Midnight Tides#6 The Bonehunters

  • ❄️Nani❄️
    2018-10-22 16:41

    Now THIS is what I call a pleasant surprise. I’m very tempted to jump right onto book two butFirst order of business: recharge brain battery. ~~~~~~~~~<<<<<<~~~~~~<<<<<<~~~~~Let’s... DO THIS!

  • James LafayetteTivendale
    2018-10-20 21:25

    I am jealous of many of my Goodreads friends working their way through Malazan, so I have decided to do a re-read alongside them. I will do the recommended reading order this time too including ICE's books. :) x

  • Orient
    2018-09-26 18:33

    Reread 2018.01.04-26. Wow, loved this book even more. It was awesome meeting the characters I love from the first read, everything got clearer and all the tiny clever bits which weren't spotted the first time - blew my mind 😱💜Original review 2016.11.12-23Crokus studied Moon's Spawn instead...'Do you see its oceans?' Apsalar asked.'What?' He turned.'Its oceans. Grallin's Sea. That's the big one. The Lord of the Deep Waters living there is named Grallin. He tends vast, beautiful underwater gardens. Grallin will come down to us, one day, to our world. And he'll gather his chosen and take them to his world. And we'll live in those gardens, warmed by the deep fires, and our children will swim like dolphins, and we'll be happy since there won't be any more wars, and no empires, and no swords and shields.Oh, Crokus, it'll be wonderful, won't it?My first encounter with Malazan world was reading the great review of Evgeny (thanks for the rec, friend :)). The review and the blurb really gripped me, but I was reluctant to start reading because the series contains ten books and I’m quite terrible in long-term relationships with books (with some exceptions! *sends love to Sigma Force (J. Rollins) and Kate Daniels (I. Andrews) <3 *) But I’m glad that temptation proved to be powerful enough to start my playdate in Malazan world. Btw I would like to thank all the faithful fans of Malazan books, who helped and supported me through my adventure in GotM. You’re the best, thanks! :)Ah, “Gardens of the Moon”. To say it in one word – it is epic. Also it’s multilayered, sometimes difficult, but always gripping and surprising. I would like to spend one day in Mr. Erikson’s head, to know how the hell he manages to create such books as “Gardens of the Moon”. When I started reading GotM, my first reaction was – wow, this will be smth peculiar. The gritty atmosphere was great as dark sorcery ages, humor, twists and scheming made this books a roller coaster for me. The unpredictability was awesome <3 The story is told from different POVs. There are no good or evil characters, the characters can be both good and bad and it doesn’t matter are they Gods, Soldiers, Empire's agents, spies, some ancient monsters or assassins, I could expect almost anything to happen to them. Though at first I had some problems with remembering who’s who and sometimes I had to read more pages to know why smth happened. But eventually I got used to it as peculiarity means skill almost all the time. Well, I eased the problem of remembering names by creating my own nicknames for remarkable characters :) GotM’s cast ( the product of my crazy mind):Captain P aka Captain ParanQuick B aka Quick BenFat lady with a spell (this one I found in the book already :)) aka TattersailCute hell doggies aka Cute hell doggiesMiss Special aka SorryLass aka the AdjunctMr. Bony aka ToolAmun Ra aka Anomander Rake (he reminded me of Geralt, the Witcher <3)Mr. Pastry (that’s the gem of Lee, thanks for the help ;)) aka KruppeI liked them a lot and I definitely rooted for most of them. There were characters, too cute or having cool names already so I thought I didn’t have to give nicknames for them :) I want to mention Crone, she was so cool, shrewd and mouthy, I would like to have her as my comrade <3 As I mentioned before, I liked the gritty atmosphere a lot. The worldbuilding is just amazing. I adored the author’s skill to use imagination, creating Malazan world with depth and accuracy. GotM joins several important stories to make the whole picture. The book just sucked me in. I was amazed often to see how easily Mr. Erikson knits his story entwining magic, chaos, action, danger, friendship, some history spices, fighting scenes, scheming and love. I’ve already mentioned before that sometimes I felt confused as the flow of information wasn’t even all the time. It seemed that Mr. Erikson wanted his readers to sweat a little bit trying to reveal the secrets. It kept me on the edge of my seat as I never knew what to expect next and it was awesome. What I also liked is that he added some humor to the dark episodes to ease the tension. I still giggle remembering the episode when Captain Paran rode on his mare into the chamber of the Empress by accident.‘Did you imagine the Imperial Arch would exit in the stables, Lieutenant?''My horse was reluctant to make the passage, Empress.''With good reason.'Paran smiled. 'Unlike me, she's of a breed known for its intelligence. Please accept my humblest apologies.’I’ll definitely continue my playdate in Malazan world as I liked GotM a lot and I’m eager to know what interesting and mind-blowing stuff has Mr. Erikson prepared in further books :) Though, I think, I’m going to take a break from Malazan world for a while as I need to digest all the info and puzzle out my emotions regarding this book. P.S. Samir: The answer to your question is yes ;))) I’ll eagerly wait for the invitation ;)

  • Choko
    2018-09-28 23:31

    My second read leads me to believe that this is a series that only gets better with re-reading!!! I find myself needing to bump my rating this time to*** 4.44 ***so it isn't full 5 stars - this way I have space to bump it more the next time I revisit it:):):) A buddy re-read with the folks at FBR! Because once is never enough when it comes to Malazan!!!"..."Tell me, Tool, what dominates your thoughts?"The Imass shrugged before replying. "I think of futility, Adjunct.""Do all Imass think about futility?""No. Few think at all.""Why is that?"The Imass leaned his head to one side and regarded her. "Because, Adjunct, it is futile."..."*** 4 ***A buddy read with the Epic Fantasy Warriors at BB&B!!! Because we need to get our Evil Magic On!How the hell does a person do a review on a book like this??? This is the first book in a series, which in scope rivals WoT, SoIF, and TBC. I have found that on such books with multiple POV's and story arcs and multi-directional story-lines, it is almost impossible to even try an attempt at delving into the plot. So I don't think I am even going to try. "..."“Through the gamut of life we struggled for control, for a means to fashion the world around us, an eternal, hopeless hunt for the privilege of being able to predict the shape of our lives.”..."This little quote should give you all some idea of the tone of the book - it is dark, it is bleak and it is violent! With the first pages we are thrown into the action, no knowledge of what is going on or who the bad or the good guys are. We meet some of the main characters right away and see them later growing and changing through the years. This is where it really reminded me of TBC, where we hit the ground running as well, and all the characters had the potential to do good or bed equally. I think this is what makes this type of writing so compelling - you never stop wondering about the true intentions of the characters and the potential for betrayals and backstabbing are infinite. But this is also what makes the characters so human and relatable, since in real life we are all faced with "gray" choices - no black or white, no true right or wrong. They usually try, just like us, to do what they think is wright, until deeper understanding and seeing the bigger picture shows them which side of history their stories will be told on. "..."«Such is the irony of life,» Kruppe proclaimed, raising one pastry-filled hand over his head, «that one learns to distrust the obvious, surrendering instead to insidious suspicion and confused conclusion. But, is Kruppe deceived? Can an eel swim? Hurrah, these seeming muddy waters are home to Kruppe, and his eyes are wide with wonder.»”..."Kruppe turned out to be my favorite character, with his excessive flowery speech, spewing hyperbolies and riddles, and the obvious "more than he seems" place in the story. But I digress...So, this is the tale of the Malazan Empire, which looses its Emperor in the beginning of the book and now, nine years later, the Empress Laseen is trying to take over all the free cities on the continent of Genabackis, and two of them seem to be giving the Empire a hard fight. After a very questionable takeover of the city of Pannion Seer, where the Empress made obvious that she does not give a damn about who and what she destroys, as long as she appears to be the winner, killing off thousands of her own troops using mages and demons to do so, as well as keeping the disgruntled survives under her thumb. As one of her enforcers she uses Adjunct Lorn, my second favorite character of the book. She was "the job" and she tried so hard to kill the person inside of herself, in order to be able to keep on being "the job". I was fascinated by her and looked with anticipation for every moment she got some page-time. So, the Empress of this militaristic Empire, sends a team to try to destabilize and do as much damage as possible to the free city of Darujhistan in order to prepare it for a takeover. Even better if they can take it over with subterfuge or bribary, but they should be ready to do anything that is needed to accomplish their goal. Thus we get to meet the The Bridgburners lead by Whiskeyjack, the resident mage Quick Ben, Tattersail, the warrior mage lady, and the newly added Captain Paran, who seemed to be the character around whom most action seems to be happening. I would not call him the protagonist, because in this format I don't think there is a protagonist at all... There are many more characters on the side of the Empire, but it would be impossible to name them all. "..."No soul can withstand the sun's bones of light and reason dims when darkness falls - so we shape barrows in the night for you and your kin." "Forgive my interruption, then," said I. "The dead never interrupt," said the mason, "they but arrive.”..."The Free City of Darujhistan is described as a beautiful and prosperous city-state where a number of colorful characters live. First and foremost is the son of the city, the loquacious Kruppe, possibly a thief, who together with the members of the Thief Guild and the Assassins Guild tend to hang out at the Phoenix Tavern... Crocus is a young thief apprentice who unfortunately gets noticed by a god and his life takes on a very severe turn. They also have a City Council as well as a mage shadow council, The Alchemist being their leader, who seem to be the true strength behind the power in the place. Those are the Human players. This is where this book becomes complicated. We not only have humans, but we have a bunch of other races, ascendant beings, gods and Elder gods... There are levels of magical warrens, which are the places that give magical power to the adepts who have the affinity to them... All of the supernatural beings seem bored and all of them entertain themselves by entering into wars, games of power and influence, and of course, the lives and politics of humans. They choose individuals as their pawns and strive to affect the narrative in such a manner as to harm or diminish others of their ilk. I am sure, that almost I got the gist of the story and understood what is happening, there were details I either completely missed or went over my head. However, I am not discouraged and am sure that things will crystallize as the series develops."..."“Those whom the gods choose, ’tis said, they first separate from other mortals—by treachery, by stripping from you your spirit’s lifeblood. The gods will take all your loved ones, one by one, to their death. And, as you harden, as you become what they seek, the gods smile and nod. Each company you shun brings you closer to them. ’Tis the shaping of a tool, son, the prod and pull, and the final succour they offer you is to end your loneliness—the very isolation they helped you create.”..."So, overall, this story strongly reminded me of TBC and I feel that this made it easier for me to keep up with the action and not get lost in the forest from the get-go. I loved the world building and the characters were perfect for such a volume of action and developing legend for the series. Once past the middle of the book it read much quicker and it took a reader-friendly form. It all comes down to familiarity, which is always harder in the cases when the world and its systems are completely made-up and new to us. It is an Epic and Militaristic Magic and Gods world and if any of this sounds interesting to you, you should definitely give it a go. Only be prepared and in the mood to concentrate, because it does not spoon-feed you information and full attention to detail is needed. I personally am looking forward to the next volume!!!! "..."Self-righteous wrath had planted more corpses in the ground than an empire could lay claim to,”..." Mow I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a good book!!!!

  • TS Chan
    2018-09-29 22:43

    Apr 2017: Rewritten, spoiler-free review. Gardens of the Moon is the overture to The Malazan Book of the Fallen, providing just a glimmer of what this massive, grimdark epic fantasy tale has to offer, which was best described below in the author's own words. "Now these ashes have grown cold, we open the old book.These oil-stained pages recount the tales of the Fallen,a frayed empire, words without warmth. The hearthhas ebbed, its gleam and life's sparks are but memoriesagainst dimming eyes - what cast my mind, what hue mythoughts as I open the Book of the Fallenand breathe deep the scent of history?Listen, then, to these words carried on that breath.These tales are the tales of us all, again yet again.We are history relived and that is all, without end that is all."It was often said that The Malazan Book of the Fallen flings the reader, whom will be expected to work hard, into the deep end. Armed with this knowledge as it is, I was still not prepared for what was to come. Turn the first few pages and one will come across intricate maps, and a Dramatis Personae that has more names than a standard fantasy trilogy and this was just the first instalment. The characters were introduced at almost breakneck pace within the first few chapters as a sorcerous conflagration of epic proportions took place in a siege that one normally reads during the climax of a book. Structured into sub-books within a book, the second one opened in a completely new location with more new faces. Gradually though one can detect the inevitable coalescing of the various plot lines of all these characters onto a common path. By then, the story truly becomes engrossing, toil notwithstanding. It will be remiss of me, however, not to admit having to refer to the famous's thread on this series to assist me along the way. The narrative was also not made for breezing through. There's substantive weight and pathos in the manner of Erikson's writing, which was further compounded with a lot of introspection and philosophical musings. Each sub-book and chapter were preceded by an epigraph, in the form of poetry or a passage from various in-world literature, with an allegory to the main story. Even with the staggering cast of characters and its third person narrative, Erikson was able to imbue them with enough personality and individuality that made them memorable and, most of the time, relatable and likeable. It seems that the best kind of development always occur when people are thrown into a situation of conflict. I was particularly referring to The Bridgeburners in this case, a somewhat special elite squad within the Malazan Army, led by Whiskeyjack. The unshakeable love, loyalty and bonding between soldiers who have been through the horrors of war and insurmountable grief are truly compelling. The outer layer of sarcasm and humour threaded through their interaction with each other only intensifies the emotional resonance. Whiskeyjack, a man pushed to the edge, or, rather, the edge creeping on him on all side, a crumbling of belief, a falling of faith, leaving as his last claim to humanity his squad, a shrinking handful of the only people that mattered any more. But he held on, and he pushed back - pushed back hard. Quick Ben and Kalam, seeking to take responsibility from their sergeant's shoulders. It was their only means of loving the man, though they'd never put it in such terms.Then there is that one character that personified the terms awesome and badass. Every single scene he appeared in was among my favourites - be it an epic scene of great power and sorcery, or a quiet and intimate conversation that bespoke patient despair and frustration. Mane of Chaos. Anomander Rake. Lord of the black-skinned Tiste Andii, who has looked down on a hundred thousand winters, who has tasted the blood of dragons, who leads the last of his kind, seated in the Throne of Sorrow and a kingdom tragic and fey - a kingdom with no land to call its own.The other characters were by no means lightweight but were too many to have a special mention aside from those I felt were the most memorable. The Bridgeburners alone comprise a host of fascinating characters whom, besides the aforementioned Whiskeyjack, Quick Ben and Kalam, can be found in the likes of Dujek Onearm, Toc the Younger, Fiddler, Hedge, Mallet, Trotts, Antsy, Picker, and its latest addition Captain Ganoes Paran - a young noble whom as a boy proudly declared that one day he'll be a soldier and did end up as one against the advice of a certain weary commander. As for the worldbuilding, I cannot even begin to explain or describe how richly imagined the world of Malazan is. I have to use the term 'people' above very loosely to describe all the sapient beings that live on this world, which range from the humans, to various species both mundane and magical. The magic is complicated to say the least and my knowledge of it only extends to that of warrens (which also appear to be portals of sorts) granting the user the patronage of particular sorcerous abilities. This depends on which 'House' or magical species the warren is aligned to. With its exceedingly deep history which spanned a few hundred thousand years, there are warrens of Elder magic which are more powerful, wielded by the first ancient living beings of this world. Even the names of all these warrens are pretty complex. Then there is the Deck of Dragons - the coolest yet most difficult to comprehend divination tool I've ever come across - like tarot cards except that it's definitely magical and from what I've discerned so far, only people with certain talents are able to employ the Deck meaningfully. This review is written both from my initial impressions as well as my experience of reading this the second time around. As a rereader, I find that this book holds up very well for a revisit. With hindsight, one can better appreciate all the hints and foreshadowing and it makes for a slightly (only slightly) faster reading pace. For those who come into Gardens of the Moon and struggle with trying to understand the composition of characters and the intertwining subplots, my advice is not to try too hard. It will come together eventually and the payoff will be worth it. Of course, there is always the Malazan thread at to help. If you decide to embark on this journey through The Malazan Book of the Fallen (and I'll wholeheartedly recommend that you should), I bid you welcome to what may be the most rewarding hard work you'll ever undertake for the love of epic grimdark fantasy.This review can also be found at Booknest

  • mark monday
    2018-10-17 17:46

    i feel like i'm being pretty generous in giving this 3 stars. okay, it is my good deed for 2011. now don't say i never did nuthin' for you, steven erikson!the cons: so much, where do i even start. (1) the dialogue is a joke, a sad flailing uncomfortable joke, the kind that just goes on and on and i start to look away from the joke teller in embarrassment. corny corn, beyond belief. (2) and the characterizations - so flat! so trite. and when they weren't trite - just entirely unrealistic. there are literally no stakes to the character of Paran because he literally has no character. the attempt to establish him as a speaks-his-mind kinda guy falls totally flat when you see him act like a jackass to the number 2 most powerful person in the land and then to some kind of Master of the Assassins. he also acts like a jackass to GODS. there is a difference between admirable pluckiness and the kind of bizarre behavior that is a sign of mental unbalance. (3) i hate when non-human species act like humans in costume. that is lazy writing. or unimaginative writing, take your pick. this happens with at least a couple non-human species.the pros: the imagination on display. except for characterization, erikson's imagination is actually a little breath-taking. this is a fascinating and incredibly complex world. so many fertile concepts, just one after another, almost overwhelming at times. for example: an insane wizard trapped in the body of a puppet, running around various dimensions... about a half dozen non-human species, many of whom seem genuinely alien (the two i mentioned above being the notable exceptions)....a great sense of scope, of so many larger things happening throughout so many places... a floating moon palace! the world took a while to understand, but slowly but surely i was taken in and reading the novel turned from a frustrating experience to, in the last third, a truly pleasurable one. the last part of the novel was read in a big rush - i felt like i read my eyes out that night. in the end, despite my issues, i am now really looking forward to reading more of this series. besides, depth of character & excellence of dialogue are not absolutely necessary for my own enjoyment. also, the author clearly favors larger women. two big ladies are represented as very attractive, enticing even. that was unusual to read and i loved it. as far as the ladies go, i think erikson must have great taste!

  • Samir
    2018-09-25 19:45

    25.01.2018. Re-read update:A brilliant introduction to the greatest epic fantasy series ever. A bold statement isn’t it? And a true one, as well. ''Now these ashes have grown cold, we open the old book.These oil-stained pages recount the tales of the Fallen,a frayed empire, words without warmth. The hearth has ebbed, its gleam and life's sparks are but memories against dimming eyes - what cast my mind, what hue my thoughts as I open the Book of the Fallen and breathe deep the scent of history?Listen, then, to these words carried on that breath.These tales are the tales of us all, again yet again.We are history relived and that is all, without end that is all.''On my first venture into the world of The Malazan Book of the Fallen I’ve reached the beginning of book five and sadly had to stop because life got in the way (Don’t grow up, it’s a trap!). It took only three books to convince me that this series is on another level and there is nothing like it out there. Yes, I had troubles with GotM on my first try, but this time, it was a completely different experience. It was better in every way possible. The story was easier to follow and I wasn’t overwhelmed with the huge cast of characters. I took my time reading this, savoring every moment, soaking up the smallest details and realizing how many things slipped by me the first time; important hints regarding the characters and foreshadowing of the future events. Everything makes more sense now and I appreciate the writing even more. I made a great decision to start this series over and if you’re thinking about re-reading or starting this series, just do it, because this book holds a promise of a journey you will never forget.''Ambition is not a dirty word. Piss on compromise. Go for the throat.''30.10.2016. First read impressions:The Malazan Book of the Fallen is the series that can be found on almost every top ten list on fantasy book sites. And yet, opinions about this series are divided; some see it as the best series ever and some hate it, so i decided it was time to see what all the fuss is about.When I started GotM I was overwhelmed, I felt like I was dropped in the middle of chaos and soon I found myself standing on the precipice and thinking: ''What in the hell have I gotten myself into?!'', but, since there was no going back I took a leap of faith and boy, am I glad I did!Erikson's style of writing is an acquired taste but when you get the gist of it you realize how good it really is. It demands high focus and concentration so there is no skimming through pages here, everything is important and pay off is huge! If you pay attention you can notice subtle hints and clues that help you connect the dots in the story, really brilliant stuff!As I mentioned in one of my reviews, I need a hero to root for and I had a problem with that because I couldn't decide on one. This is not a classic Good vs. Evil tale, there are good and bad guys on each side so I ended up rooting for characters on both sides of the story so it's suffice to say that the characters in this book are masterfully written!I admit, I had some problems getting into the story because everything was so mysterious and it was a bit hard to track the large number of POVs but when I got used to it, everything came into place and it was mind blowing! I have yet to come across a story as epic as this one! In the end I understood the love-hate feelings toward this book. This is not an easy read and it requires a lot of your time and attention so I understand that can be off-putting but if you choose to invest your time in this book, you will be amazed how rewarding it is!

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2018-09-29 20:24

    "Every decision you make can change he world. The best life is the one the gods don't notice. You want to live free, boy, live quietly."Great advice anytime, but even better advice when your world is in a constant state of war. Living large as the younger generation used to say. I'm sure I'm at least a few years out of date with that term. I think someone "living large" is exactly who the universe is most attracted to, not that it is above toying with the occasional poor bastard who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. For it does seem as if something bad has to be happening to someone all the time, and it only seems prudent to make small arm motions. In the Malazan Empire neutrality is nonexistent. You must choose a side, sometimes a different one depending on the prevailing winds, but being in the middle just means the whole bristling array of creative weaponry is pointed at you instead of half. Even if you choose wisely your ability to stay alive long enough to drop the next generation of squalling infants is based more on dumb luck than skill. If I lived in Genabackis I'd be looking for the most inhospitable chunk of icy sheep shit encrusted land that I could find. I'd be thrilled about the sheep shit because that would mean that there is something shitting; ergo, something that could land in my stew pot. The point being, to be somewhere, that has little or no value...equivalent to say an Indian Reservation. The emperor is dead and the empress is intent on bringing all the city states under her control. There are The Crimson Guards, The Bridgburners, The Claw, The Tiste Andii, The T'lan Imass, and The Barghast to name a few of the military organizations and different cultures involved in this conflict. Did I mention this is an epic fantasy series? Is there magic you might ask? The air is absolutely nose twitching foul with the smell of casting spells. There are warrens that zip those of a magical aptitude from one end of the country to the other. There are mages, there are gods (bunch of ninnies), there are evil cast off creatures that are slumbering waiting for a chance to enslave the world, there are hell hounds, there are enchanted sword blades, magical coins, possessed marionettes, and assassins. I know, I know if I were reading this I would be thinking not for me. I'm not a Dungeons and Dragons kind of guy. I don't play video games. I don't as a rule read fantasy books. I absolutely LOVED this book; in fact, I loved it so much I think I may have been hit with a book love potion spell, so keep that in mind when you think about adding this to your reading list. I've read the reviews, and one of the main points of concern to those that did not like this book is the massive, record breaking number of characters that are thrown at you. It is true. It is as if you have went over to Steven Erikson's house and there he is with his group of geeky (to not type cast they could be employed people too) buddies and they have been engrossed in this role playing game for the last 10 years with evolving rules and characters and you are dropped right in the middle of their latest epic struggle expected to assimilated ten years of evolution in ten minutes. For the first few chapters my brain was reeling like a drunken sailor on leave in Shanghai. After I realized that I was drunk, I did what I always do when I find myself in such precarious circumstances. I relaxed and let Erickson's world flow over me, around me, through me, in me until suddenly everything starting clicking into place. For whatever reason Erickson with a few descriptive sentences locked characters into my head, so even when they disappeared for twenty chapters I could still remember who they were when they became crucial to the plot again. This could all be a residual symptom of the book love potion as well. I think another problem that might occur for readers is to read a bit and leave it for a week. I could see how threads of the plot would become tangled or lost and the frustration for the reader would increase exponentially. It is a book that might be assumed to be a light pleasure read and that would be a big mistake. I read this book every day until I finished it. Family must be attended to. Work was an irritation that had to be endured, but these imposed absences heightened my pleasure once I escaped back to the Book of the Fallen . I had to find out what happened to Tattersail. Like the Mazalan Empire there is no way to be neutral on this book. You will either love it or absolutely hate adore despise relish it. My fingers... are not... completely... under my control. I'll leave you with a scene from the book. "Whiskeyjack's gaze strayed to one of the beds, on which lay his armor and longsword. Rust stained the hauberk's tattered chain like old blood. The links were missing in some places, torn in others. In his bones and muscles the memory of that damage remained: every cut, every blow now haunted him with aches, greeting him each morning like old comrades."

  • David Sven
    2018-10-19 21:25

    This is my second reading of Gardens of the Moon. I’ve long suspected that the best way to read Erikson’s Malazan series is to read it again. I can now confirm that suspicion has been proved correct as far as this book goes. I loved rereading this book. There were so many times reading the series initially that I felt certain information and story arcs and characters just came out of left field. But having read this first book again I am astounded at the sheer level and volume of foreshadowing contained right from the beginning.As a first time reader it is almost impossible to conceive of the notion that the author trusts the reader to discover the mysteries of a story for themselves. One of the things I like about whodunit stories is the quest to discover the answers simply from the clues given in the plot. But even then, most such stories still end up withholding just enough information so that there was no way to discover the story from the clues. Well this book turns that idea on its head. You get ALL the pieces to the puzzle(s), and when you have enough pieces, Erikson assumes you also have the answers. Erikson spends very little time and often none with confirming whether you were right or not. Confirmation are mostly implied or inferred by dialogue and/or what happens next.I remember on my first read that I spent about a third of the book thinking “this guy couldn’t write to save his life.” But around halfway when I figured one of the mysteries of the book all by myself the penny finally dropped. Erikson was trusting me to figure things out, but I hadn’t been trusting him to give me what I needed. And from then I was hooked on the Malazan universe.Thankfully that first time around, during the initial phases of the book Erikson’s style of writing included some fantastic imagery as well as some of the most badass action sequences ever that kept me coming back. There are some fantastic scenes that you could paint in detail as picturesque snapshots I’m thinking in particular of the epic mage battle over the city of Pale with the sky fortress hanging overhead and waves of power reigning down carnage. I’m thinking of mage assassins battling on the rooftops of Darujistan. I’m thinking of lords of war free falling from the sky to engage their enemies. Dragons. Tyrants. A possessed puppet for goodness sakes! And my personal favourite for snapshot poses of pure awesomeness – Anomander Rake – with his two handed sword that sings with the sound of thousands of enslaved souls.Apart from the snapshot imagery – there are also some very intriguing characters. The Bridgeburners in particular Quick Ben. Then there’s Shadowthrone and The Rope and the Hounds of Shadow. And who can forget Magnanimous Kruppe who has a weak spot for pastries and employs his vast talent and magery to lift cakes and sweets vacuum cleaner style as he walks through the markets of downtown Darujistan.One of the difficulties I had the first time round is that I had trouble caring about any of the characters. Part of that maybe that there is such a vast cast and the narrative doesn’t impose on you who to side with in the conflict. But mostly I realise now was because I wasn’t paying attention. Very little of the detail in the writing exists purely for background or to simply set the tone of the book. Most of what you read is significant in some way. Erikson wastes few words. If a character briefly notices something in passing, it’s your cue to pay attention. By the time I cottoned on to this fact I had already missed so much and lost a lot of continuity. And I knew it. And I can tell you on this reread, the clues and the detail and foreshadowing I missed the first time round is staggering. I’m getting answers that alluded me through the series in this very first book. They were there hidden in plain sight all along!So, I say all that to say, this re read was a different and far superior, more enjoyable reading experience than the initial read. And the level of detail is such that I think I could read this again and still get further revelations. As such I am re-rating this from 4 stars to a very firm ...5 stars

  • Petros Triantafyllou
    2018-09-27 19:44

    Loved this to pieces. From characters and setting, to prose and pace, every single aspect of the book was magnificent. If I could give it 6 stars, I would.There's no point of reviewing such a popular book though, so I'll simply share some of my thoughts for people who have already read it. Spoilers ahead! PLOTWhile things seemed complicated at first, I knew that they would come together in the end, so I enjoyed trying to puzzle stuff together and figure out everyone's motives and whatnot. Unfortunately though, some things didn't make sense, and most specifically the Empire's plans. We are about to face our biggest enemy atm, the Lord of the Moon's Spawn. Let's just kill our own wizards instead before finishing the enemy! We want to hire the local assassins of a city to murder the city's leaders, so we will naturally assign this job to the only motherfuckers that we don't trust!We will free a Jaghut Tyrant in the hope that our enemy will be forced to face him, but we won't unleash the most powerful demon in our disposal in the same time to call it a success! No! We will send them one after the other to make sure our enemies manage to defeat them! MAGIC SYSTEMIt doesn't make sense at all. I loved it! Everyone is immensely powerful and scared of everyone else at the same time. It sounds stupid but it isn't - it keeps you on your toes at all times since you don't know what to expect, and who will come on top.CHARACTERS-Anomander Rake-That's the second baddest motherfucker in the history of bad motherfuckers. He's immortal, he's overpowered as fuck, and he doesn't give a fuck. -Ammanas and Cotillion-My favorite characters! Interesting to see how while both of them are Ascendants with immense power they know not to fuck with Rake. I had trouble with the mystery surrounding them though. One on hand, Erikson pretends like their identity is a huge mystery, while who they are is clear to the reader from the very first chapter. On the other hand, their actions didn't make any sense. What did they try to accomplish in the first chapter? Why did Cotillion withdraw from Sorry after managing to infiltrate the Bridgeburners?-Bridgeburners-The most interesting characters among them were Kalam and Quick Ben. I love how Quick Ben pretends to be an average wizard for the whole book, and in the end he just casually opens 7 warrens all at once and fucks things up. -Ganoes Paran-Disliked him in the beginning, but he kinda grew on me in the end. Dude had the weirdest psychological profile - clearly mental unbalanced, which made for some interesting confrontations with the Gods. -Phoenix Inn regulars-My favorite bunch of misfits, except Crokus whom I hated with a passion. Wanted to bitch-slap that little fucker with every turn of the page. Murillio, Rallick, Coll and Kruppe made the best team though.

  • Jody
    2018-10-21 20:46

    This was a buddy read with the gang at BB&B.Gardens of the Moonis the first book in Steven Erikson's epic Malazan book of the Fallen series. The word epic may be overused when describing some books, but that is not the case here. Erikson has created one of the most vast world's I have ever read. The amount of characters, magic system, history, plots and subplots is on a level of its own. My advice when reading this is just go with the flow of the book. If you try to remember every detail it can be overwhelming. I say this not to dissuade you. Just to prepare you for the immense awesomeness of this book.Erikson wastes no time dropping you into the action from the first page. The Malazan army has layed seige to the Genabackis city of Pale, but the empress has her sights set on a bigger goal. The city of Darujhistan. This is where most of the events of this book take place, and everyone from gods, mortals, mages, and Ascendants want to get involved. "If ever there was a dire convergence of great forces, it was now, and in this place. The gods were descending to the mortal soil to do battle, shapings were being forged of flesh and bone, and the blood of sorcery now boiled with madness born of inevitable momentum."As I said before the amount of characters in this book is huge, but it really wasn't as hard to keep up with everyone as I thought it would be.Erikson does a good job grouping the characters and giving most of them unusual names that are hard to forget. Names like Whiskeyjack, Quick Ben, and Kruppe.Erikson's ability to shape multilayered characters is genius. There are so many different personalities in this book. From the weird and crazy narrative of Kruppe to the powerful and mysterious Anomander Rake and everyone in between. I have my favorites, but they all stand out at some point in the story. The book is broken down into 7 sections, also called books. Each book is proceeding the last, so there is no missed time in between. The first few books are mostly sectioned with different sets of characters. This helps in getting used to all of them when they converge later in the story.There are many different powers at work throughout the book, and some of the gods and Ascendants like to be right in the middle of the action. In most stories you have two sides, good and bad. That is not the case here. Almost everyone has their own agenda, and will do what they need to survive, or influence someone to accomplish their goal."What I did was merciful. I used her, yes, but she knew it not. Can the same be said for you? Tell me, is knowing your being used better than not knowing?"Needless to say I loved almost every aspect of this book. It really is a beautiful read. Not just the action and immense story line, but the writing itself is amazing. I have more Erikson quotes written down in one book than I do in the last 10 books all together. That being said, I will list a couple more of my favorites before closing. "I'd hate to think," Kalam said, from the bed, "that evil was real, that it existed with a face as plain as the next man's.""Do you blame the knife, or the hand wielding it?"My only regret is that I haven't read these books sooner. I strongly urge everyone to give this series a try. You never know when you may just pick up your next favorite book that has been there all along. Just waiting on you!5 stars *****

  • Bradley
    2018-10-23 18:38

    What a delightful larger-than-life fantasy novel!I was prepared to assume that it was going to be filled with an army of confused characters mired in grit and blood and that I shouldn't expect too much from the first novel because the series gets seriously good later.I might have managed my expectations a bit too much, because I was delighted, instead. I've been a fan of the Final Fantasy RPGs since the first one, so I'm quite used to a lot of these tropes, plus I'm also a fan of the Cthulhu mythos, so godlings and demons raining down from the moon and infecting dreams, elder gods breaking through to the waking realm, and the dying souls of a race of immortals willing to give up everything for a final rest is all pretty much awesome. I'm ready to flip a coin and kill some doggies. :)The admittedly large cast of characters didn't seem at all confused, either. I rooted for all of them at different times and I was very willing and able to hang my hat on the magic system with all it's Warrens and barrows and subdivisions and unique associations of interested polities. (I jest, I jest. I really enjoy the idea that magic is associated with space outside of regular space, as implied in the naming system.)Best of all, though, other than the fairly cool poetry and very well thought-out world-building that's obviously much, much deeper than what we see here, was the fact that there was so much damn magic! I think I enjoyed learning how it worked as much as I enjoyed watching it blow stuff up. I was duly creeped out by the puppets, the abilities manifested by soul-hopping, the shambling dead, Luck, and so much more. My interest was definitely piqued and I'm rearing to go.I'm an old uber-fan of WoT and I've tasted quite a few other series. The one thing I see the most connection between, when it comes to like/like, is Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archives. That's high praise for both series, by the way. If you like one, you'll like both, even. :)I'm going to continue with this series with great joy.

  • Mayim De Vries
    2018-09-22 16:22

    Chapter 24: I am finished. On many levels.*Chapter 23: I wish to say I understand everything. Alas, I do not. Chapter 22: The most amazing thing about this novel is not the fact that it gives you the whole galaxies of protagonists and plotlines. The whole genius that has shaken so many readers with tremors of awe (count me in!) lies in how masterfully each of those shining stars is connected with the others and in how many minuscule surfaces of seemingly random details this is reflected. Chapter 21: Damn, this book has dragons that even I like and admire.Chapter 20: I want to know who the Circle Breaker is.Chapter 19: #sorrynotsorryChpater 18: Oh, I am one happy, fluffy bunny! Chpater 17: The fate of the Tiste Andii, the mercenaries of the spirit, is just too tragic to be comprehended. But then, you need love to have the zest for life, and what love can bloom in the darkness?Chpater 16: While I find myself bloodthirsty as far as Lorn is concerned, I still cannot warm up to the walking convergence.Chpater 15: Note to self: Never cross Anomander Rake. Also, if possible, try not to double-cross him.Chpater 14: These chapters fly by like crazy. I don't want this novel to end! Chpater 13: "They are not fleeing," Pearl said with a note of surprise. Note the stroke of genius to call a demon with a name fit for a Yorkshire terrier or a chihuahua. Chpater 12: I have forgotten to tell you that this book also makes me laugh. I dread the moment when it will break me like a piggy bank and the tears will flow.Chapter 11: I'll have you know Mr Erikson that I am now sitting at work surreptitiously reading your book under my desk. This is what you have done to me. Go for the throat, indeed. Chapter 10 Only now have I realised that I have no idea who the bad guys really are. I dislike the sorcerophobic upstart with all her retinue and the vendetta against the old guard but this might prove unfounded since the endgame remains a mystery. Chapter 9: Trying to decide which of the characters is the least dangerous is like organising a piranha beauty pageant. So, for now, I have contented myself with trying to guess who is double-crossing whom. Chapter 8: At this point, I know that this is not only a series to reread but to own in hardcover. Preferably with all the instalments signed by the author. Chapter 7: Coinbearer, huh? This has a lot of LOTR vibes to it. Chapter 6: As if there were not enough characters to love and hate, we get to meet new exciting ones. However, an alchemist, a thief, an obese mage speaking about himself in the third person (how endearing!), a dandified fop, and a killer are altogether outshined by none other than a raven!Chapter 5: My New Year resolution should be: always pick up a stray coin. Chapter 4: I think I have it all figured out, therefore, I foresee a lot of "what the hugs" coming my way. Also, I don't want any Bridgeburner to die (can I enrol, please?). Chapter 3: The intrigue is so thick and condensed I can use it as my bookmark. Making sense of that is happening is half the fun.Chapter 2: Normally you see a siege like that in the grand finale not casually flung at you in the second chapter!Chapter 1: I love this book already. What a great way to start the new reading year!* I am not going to even pretend that I could in any way give a pale shadow of justice to this book or indeed a whole series in a proper review. There are many better than me, here on Goodreads (and many of those I'm lucky to have among my friends), who managed to grasp and convey the sheer brilliance of what awaits those who open the Malazan Book of the Fallen. All I can give you is a chapter breakdown of my own falling.The Malazan Book of the Fallen:2. Deadhouse Gates3. Memories of Ice RTC4. House of Chains RTC5. Midnight Tides RTC6. The Bonehunters RTC7. Reaper's Gale RTC8. Toll the Hounds RTC9. Dust fo Dreams RTC10. The Crippled God RTC

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2018-10-10 17:35

    2nd Read March 2017This is still a bit of a complicated book with a lot of stuff in it and I'm glad I read it with BB&B so that we could discuss some of the things I wasn't quite picking up on. Problem #1 again is I don't think this is a good book to try and listen too. So much is going on and there are so many PoV shifts that it doesn't matter that the narrator is really pretty good it just makes the entire thing very hard to follow. So since I'm continuing on with this series I will probably have to physically read it instead of listen.Problem #2 is again the same as before on my first read. There are a lot of characters and PoV shifts and sometimes that makes it hard to keep track of. There is a pretty big world here with the history, cultures, gods, dragons, magics and much much more that it requires a lot of concentration. No a bad thing and I'm hoping as the series goes on it becomes more comfortable but as is it is a little bit of a hot mess at times.I did like this a little more the second time through. Things made slightly more sense and there are characters that I really like from different sides of the conflicts. So I'm not really sure that I'm rooting for a side but I am rooting for some of the characters.This will be my big epic fantasy read for 2017 so one book a month of this intricate series should be doable.Original Review Nov 2014This 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.Regrets: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. Hopes: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.Suggestions: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. you Damian, if/when I continue this series I will definitely look into it as this should make reading better

  • Apatt
    2018-10-20 23:28

    A year or so ago someone PM'ed me on Goodreads out of the blue, practically demanding why I haven't read the Malazan series. I was simultaneously pleased and annoyed, the former because somebody seems to think I am some kind of SF/F guru who can be presumed to have read every worthwhile book in these genres, the latter because it's a bit rude init? Still, a backhanded compliment is better than no compliment, or an actual application of somebody’s backhand on my person.Gardens of the Moon has a reputation for being a “tough read”, which is intriguing because fantasy has always seem easily accessible to me. I seldom select books which are generally viewed as challenging, usually I just like to kick back and read (my idea of leisure reading). Still, the Malazan series is often included in lists of all-time great fantasy novels*, and I do like to keep up with the genre Joneses. So two years after languishing in my TBR list Gardens of the Moon arrived at the top of the pile, I think it’s something to do with stars aligning.This is indeed a tough read, not in the sense that Ulysses orMrs. Dalloway are tough. Those are post-modern novels with experimental narrative style. While it is quite well written there is nothing particularly experimental about the prose style of Gardens of the Moon. The difficulty lies in how the author, Steven Erikson, throws the reader in at the deep end of his complex world. I could not make heads or tails of the prologue. Who? Why? What? I suspect that if I had simply soldiered on through the next few chapters things would have gradually fallen into place. However, I am somewhat impatient, I wanted to understand the book right from the first page. I already knew there are online sources for this series so I went to’s “Malazan Reread of the Fallen”, where they have done chapter by chapter summaries and analyses, which I found to be extremely useful. So I read their summary of the confusing prologue, and then went back to read Chapter 1 of the book, then read their summary of that chapter, the same back-and-forth process again for Chapter 2 and 3. By the time I was reading the fourth chapter the training wheels came off, I no longer felt the need to keep referring to Tor’s summaries any more. Gardens of the Moon is set on an unnamed world mostly dominated by the expansionist Malazan Empire. The narrative is told from multiple characters’ points of view, some working for the Malazan Empire, some working to defend their homeland against it. Fortunately for me, the novel is not about armies clashing on battlefields, but about individuals doing their duties for their side, be they spies, assassins, mages, alchemists, or thieves. Beside warfare on the mortal level, there is also a concurrent warfare between gods and immortals. It is not clear who are the “good guys” because there are central “POV” characters from both sides of the conflict, and they all have understandable motivations.A lot of modern epic fantasy series tend to be “low fantasy”, which simply means “not much magic", so little of it around that a lot of characters don't even believe it exists. Wizards and dragons seldom show up and when they do the mundane characters are generally flabbergasted. This current trend** seems to have started withA Game of Thrones and followed by the likes ofJoe Abercrombie’s First Law series andScott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard Sequence. The world of the Malazan series bucks this particular trend. Magic is everywhere in Gardens of the Moon, most fights involve magic usage, and at least half the characters seem to wield magic of some kind. The way magic functions in this series is quite interesting, magic requires a power source called “warrens” which are both power conduits and hyperspace-like shortcut passages. Gardens of the Moon features a huge cast of characters, so big that Erikson felt obliged to provide a “dramatis personæ” at the beginning of the book. Some detractors of the book say that the characters are flat or not well developed, this surprises me a little because some of the main characters are vivid, complex and believable. However, as there are so many significant characters that some are inevitably less successfully developed than others.Though this book is a little hard to get into once I became familiar with the setting and the characters I find Gardens of the Moon to be quite fast paced without a dull moment. I imagine the next book in the seriesDeadhouse Gates will be much less challenging because I am already familiar with the setting and the author’s style now. I can’t say I feel committed to reading all ten books in the series, but I am looking forward to the next one. Gardens of the Moon is a lot of fun and I am tempted to rate it at five stars but in all good conscience I cannot because it may require more patience, effort and concentration than some readers are willing to allocate. I have to admire Erikson’s moxie though, for writing such an uncompromising first book in a series, I like that he credits the readers with quite a lot of intelligence (probably excessive credit in my case!). It is a gamble which seems to have paid off as the series is one of the most popular of the epic fantasy genre.____________________________* Sample lists:** I suppose I could be wrong about this trend as I read a lot more science fiction than fantasy and may have gauged the trend incorrectly.Update Sept 2016: Tor's A Beginner’s Guide to Malazan Characters: Gardens of the Moon

  • ScottHitchcock
    2018-10-21 21:35

    The second time through what stood out to me was my own idiocy in not seeing certain things the first time through. I think the things that makes Erikson tough to figure out is the pure volume of information he's throwing at you. There's one particular reveal in book 2, which I was blown away by in the first reading, that re-reading this it was so crystal clear if I just read between the lines. Re-reading this two years later I was also shocked at parts I had forgotten completely. Part of that was I had no idea who some of the fringe characters of this book would turn out to be. The power of hindsight is mighty! It was fun being reminded why I love the Bridgeburners. Why Rake is flipping awesome. How entertaining Shadowthone, Cotillion, Kruppe and the twins are with their cloak and dagger banter. The compassion of WhiskeyJack and others. Quick Ben and Kalam along with Fid and Hedge and their bromances. The GOAT series holds up to a re-read. Original Review:I think the thing that made this so enjoyable was that I knew going in it would be a challenge. I embraced it and used the below references constantly at the start. I never felt lost and as the book went on I had to use them less and less but still did to make sure I had the story down. If you don't like this level of effort don't bother. However the payoff was insane. What an epic tale and this was only book one.

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2018-10-17 18:36

    ☢ And Thus I Signed My Death Warrant DNF Buddy Read (ATISMDWBR™) with some lovely people of slightly despicable book taste over at BB&B ☢☠ DNF at 75%. No comment.Friendly warning: grab a snack and get a drink, this whole lot of nuthin' should take a while.➽ This crappy non-review is dedicated to all those Brave Little Barnacles (BLB™) out there who went the nefarious way and dared NOT luuurrrrrve this book. Consider my subaquatic kingdom a safe haven from the Erikson Horde of Doom (EHoD™), who shall no doubt persecute you mercilessly for being more clear headed than they are showing such disgusting lack of judgement. ✎ Disclaimer #1: I had no shrimping idea this series had been inspired by The Most Wondrous Black Company before I started reading this delightful little book. Had I known about it, I probably would have added Gardens of the Silly Moon to my Bookshelf of Instant Oblivion and Spontaneous Combustion (BoIOaSC™) directly. Because one does not toy around with Glen Cook. Because Glen Cook is Glen Cook. And because Glen Cook is a God. QED and stuff.✎ Disclaimer #2: I have a Particularly Scrumptious Scapegoat (PSS™) to blame for the present debacle, my Lovely Decapods. Oh yes. This is all my Canadian Nemesis' fault, you see. He is the one who forced me to read kindly introduced me to The Lusciously Luscious Black Company, thus ruining me forever. ✎Disclaimer #3: I am slightly obsessed by The Most Yummilicious Black Company ← this in case you hadn't noticed. You are most welcome and stuff.✎Disclaimer #4: I must have read this book very wrong indeed, because despite its "you make me feel like a total moron" reputation, it didn't confuse me at all. Nope nope nope. Feel like a complete retard while DNFing reading this fantastically thrilling story I did not. Which is highly suspicious. And probably means I'm the biggest of them all. Retard, I mean. Which is impossible. Because we all know I am superiorly intelligent. Which leads me to the following conclusions: I did NOT read this book wrong, should be a member of MENSA and you, Charming Arthropods are, well, how could I put this gently…Not the brightest invertebrates this side of the Seven Seas, shall we say? You're not offended now, are you? Oh, good. ✎Disclaimer #5: boo. Why hello there.Sooooo, I was not going to rate this glorious masterpiece of fantasy literature here because I was scared shitless of the EHoD™ didn't want Erikson's hysterical lovely fans to feel insulted and stuff. Kindness, compassion and respect personified, that's me. But then I thought: shrimp it all to hell! Everyone hates me anyway! Let's be bold, let's be audacious, let's face death gleefully! Let's rate this most remarkable bookish endeavour two pathetic little stars! And here we are.Introducing…The Most Glorious Black Company…Decaf, Watered Down Edition! It won't make you cackle with nefarious joviality! It won't make your black, withered heart tingle! It won't make you want to redecorate your living room with severed heads on pikes! Or wear a necklace of chopped off penises in honour of your favourite goddess! It's diet in everything but in length! The dramatis personae list alone is probably longer than the last ten two books you read! Yay! It's beautiful! It's grand! It's bloody shrimping luxurious! And monumental, too! I lurved it so much I want to read it again! More or less.I wish I could say this book had been written by Glen Cook's evil twin. You know, the same guy who sometimes defiles My God's name by committing books I never read because they never existed because they are slightly sub-par compared to My God's magnificently ambrosial masterpieces? Yeah, that guy. Well it turns out I can't put the blame on that scumbag. Because it appears that Erikson really did write this book here. Which kind of sucks, because he seems to be quite a nice guy. I mean, he does mention Glen Cook and The Delectably Tasty Black Company in the preface of Gardens of the Silly Moon, which means he can't be wholly evil. It doesn't mean the stuff he writes is, you know, scrumptious and stuff, but it means that, even if I don't like the scrumptious stuff he doesn't write, I won't retaliate by slightly unleashing the murderous crustaceans on him. See, it's not ALL bad. As kinda sorta overrated I might find this book to be, Mr Erikson won't suffer the consequences, and die a slow, painful, horrible death via deadly shrimp. And the moral of this wonderfully fascinating paragraph is: ♫ Always look on the bright side of life and all that crap ♫At this point, you might find your little selves wondering whether there is a valid another reason that justify my misguided under-appreciation minor dislike of this exquisite little book here. Besides its being a pale copy of The Gorgeously Impeccable Black Company, I mean. Yes indeed, there is. There are, actually. "Are what," you ask? Reasons that justifies my misguided under-appreciation minor dislike of this exquisite little book here, you Silly Barnacles *tries to eyeroll herself to death* *fails miserably* *orders Fleet Admiral DaShrimp to take over with his most awesome compound eyes* Here goes:① Smells like teen spirit The Dazzlingly Sumptuous Black Company (view spoiler)[bet you didn't expect that one (hide spoiler)]. Yeah, yeah, I know, I got it all wrong here. This book is nothing like The Black Company of Utmost Scrumptiouliciousness. Absolutely not. We're dealing with soldiers here, for Shrimp's sake, not with mercenaries! Besides, the soldiers in question are fighting gods, not their slightly evil bosses with otherworldly powers. BIG difference. And it's not like there is a guy who is a super lite version of my Slightly Yummy Boyfriend Croaker (SYBC™) here, either. And his name is certainly not Whiskeyjack. As for somewhat creepy kids à la Daughter of the Night, there are none to be found in Gardens of the Silly Moon. Nope nope nope. Not a single one. Because the one called Silent Sleepy Sorry doesn't count. Oh, and by the way, some ill-intended people might remark that there is a slight similarity between some names in the two series, but I would never do such a thing. Oh no, not me. See? Turns out I wasn't entirely full of crap when I told you this book had NOTHING in common with The Best Fantasy Series That Ever Was And Ever Will Be (TBFSTEWAEWB™), aka The Amazingly Juicy Black Company ← this is case you were having doubts as to what series I might have been referring to. You're welcome. Why hello there.② This book might not be the cure to insomnia, but it's pretty damn close. Such beautifully unnecessary descriptions! Such delightfully overwhelming, utterly superfluous blah blah blah-ing sessions! Why have your poor characters do things when they can just talk about them instead?! I am so glad Erikson is such a kind, caring, charitable father author. It's so good of him not to exhaust his wretched offspring characters by keeping them busy with all kinds of active stuff all the time. It's much better for them to rest and ponder about the meaning of life. And it's much more relaxing for the reader, too. I so hate it when so much stuff happens in a book that I can't unwind and chill and take it easy while I'm reading. Boredom fests are such delicious, irresistible treats, I just can't get enough of them!③ This series is supposed to be a blood and gore fest. Oooh yes, it's terribly bloody. Oh my. And how gory, too. Yuck yuck yuck ew ew ew. This is positively loathsome and vile and repugnant and stuff. I am most completely and utterly disgusted (view spoiler)[What is this? Blood and Gore 101 for Care Bears or something? (hide spoiler)]④ Now. Something really bugged the shrimp out of me here. When I embarked upon this most amazing DNF read, I was told repeatedly not to get attached to the characters. Because Erikson is, you know, evil and stuff, and keeps killing his miserable children off and stuff. So "BEWARE DO NOT GET ATTACHED FOR IF YOU DO YOUR POOR LITTLE HEART WILL SUFFER HORRIBLY," my Dear Friends of the Despicable Book Taste (DFotDBT™) said. Right. Two things here:1) I do not have a heart so I couldn't care less. Ok, I do have a heart, but it's black and withered, so it doesn’t count.2) What the bloody freaking shrimp is the point of killing your characters (view spoiler)[yes, this is a REAL spoiler people, don't say I didn't warn you (view spoiler)[only to have them be reborn/resuscitated/soul-shifted/whatever??!! I guess I could have survived if this had happened just once, but three bloody shrimping times in a row?! First Hairlock, then Paran and finally Tattersail? You have got to be shrimping me. When you kill a character, you KILL a character! As in, you know, KILL DEAD NEVER TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE and stuff. You don't rip your readers off by playing Return of the Living Dead at your convenience! And what kind of a cop out is that, anyway? This is outrageous! This is not done! This will not do!(hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]To my utmost regret, I have to admit there are two things that I actually liked in this book (view spoiler)[oh please, don't faint on me now, we're almost done here (hide spoiler)]. I kid you not. First, the female characters are quite mouth-watering. So much so that it almost makes me regret I will not be continuing with this delightful series. (view spoiler)[Don't get overexcited here, my Lovely Arthropods, I said ALMOST (hide spoiler)]. Second, the action scenes are pretty good. Not that they last long or that there are many to be had, but yes, it is true, the five action-filled seconds to be found in the book are not entirely crappy and stuff. Tada!» And the moral of this Yeah Yeah Yeah I Once Again Dared Rate a Book I DNFed and Therefore Deserve to Die a Thousand Excruciating Deaths (YYYIOADRaBIDaTDtDaTED™) is: worry not, my Little Clueless Decapods of the Despicable Book Taste, for one day you too shall see the light, and realize you have been worshipping the wrong series all along!» And the other moral of this YYYIOADRaBIDaTDtDaTED™ is: feel like reading The Titillatingly Flavorsome Black Company of Utter Deliciousness yet? No? Calling the Goodreads Police NOW. [Pre-review nonsense]Rating: no bloody shrimping idea. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what murderous mood I'm in the day I actually write a review for this marvellous little gem.Thou art not dreaming, my Little Barnacles! I did it once again! I DNFed a book worshipped by millions of clueless people across the universe! Go me!►► Full Don't Blame me I am Most Completely Innocent This Debacle is Absolutely NOT my Fault Crappy Non Review (DBmIaMCITDiANmFCNR™) to come.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Kaora
    2018-10-15 18:28

    This was a tough book to get into.There is no spoon-feeding here. You are thrown into the world that Erikson created with no back story or explanation. Although there is a glossary of important terms and people. I suggest putting it to good use, like I did.Nothing is clear from the start, but once you start getting invested and reading between the lines, you start to notice how truly amazing this book is. There are a lot of characters, and despite finishing this mammoth book I feel like I have barely begun to scratch the surface of who they are.However there is a lot of action, and it is done well. After struggling with the start of the book I suddenly found I could not put it down. Stick with it. It will be worth it. I truly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one!

  • Jamie
    2018-09-26 17:17

    Gardens of the Moon is the first in Steven Erikson's gargantuan and oddly named fantasy series, Malazan Book of the Fallen. What's odd about it is that it took me THREE tries to get through this first volume. The first two times I tried, I got one or two hundred pages in and just lost interest, mainly because I was confused and didn't know what was going on. But the third time I tried it just clicked and I enjoyed it. Figuring out why this is the case took some thought, and I believe it boils down to two basic and interconnected reasons.First, Erikson has an extreme "show, don't tell" kind of style. The very first chapter dumps you head over heels into the middle of an epic storyline full of action, with hardly any exposition at all. There's no narrator saying "Okay, there's this nation called the Malazan Empire, and they've been engaging in a protracted military campaign against a group of allied Free Cities. We're going to enter the story as the Malazan forces prepare to attack one of these cities, which has formed an alliance with this one badass dude who controls a flying fortress. Now, let's talk about the structure of the Malazan military..."No, none of that. Instead, after a brief prologue where you eavesdrop on a few characters, you get action action action and you're left to yourself to figure it all out by paying close attention and making your own inferences based on what's said and done. This is mainly what put me way off balance on my first two attempts at reading this tome.The offsetting effects of show-don't-tell style are exacerbated by something else Erikson does: he eschews many of the typical fantasy staples that usually act as guideposts to new readers. There's a reason why not many books stray from the formula of a hapless youngster being apprenticed to an elder wizard or military veteran or adventurer or whatever who guides him through the world that has been opened up to both him and the reader. It allows the author to slyly provide exposition about the world by having the master explain things to the apprentice while the reader just sort of listens in. And going along with all that, other fantasy staples act as familiar sign posts and landmarks so that you don't get lost.Not so much with Erikson. Sure, his books have wizards and dragons and dudes on horseback slinging swords around, but in general Erikson's world is different enough that you don't necessarily know what's going on, and his staunch adherence to the show-don't-tell method means you gotta figure things out on your own. What's a "warren" and what does it mean when a wizard "enters" one to perform his hocus pocus? That's not explained. Figure it out. Or don't. It's all on you, hapless reader.But eventually I did figure enough of it out, and in time I began to see both Erikson's style and his kicking of conventions to the curb as good things. I enjoyed the story and the richness of the world that he was building. If I've got one complaint it's that at least in this book Erikson can't seem to help upping the ante with how powerful each character or threat gets. Okay, here's these really frightening and legendarily powerful Hound things and --oh, okay, this even tougher dude with a big black sword just killed three of them. Guess they weren't that tough. But this wizard is really powerful oh, no he just got stabbed in the neck by an assassin chick who's apparently even further to the right on the badassedness curve. Now here's a demon king fighting a dragon while a pissed off demigod is kicking over mountains like they were sandcastles RRRAAAWWWWOOOOEERRAAHH PEW! PEW! PEW!After a point it borders on ridiculous, but fortunately there are a number of more mundane (and more interesting) characters to tether things down a bit. I look forward to seeing where he goes with it all in the subsequent books.

  • Aristea
    2018-09-28 21:22

    The third read confirms 5 stars. This is one of the best fantasy series; not only the complexity and the world building awards this rating but also the characters' development and empathy is uncanny. Update on the review and casting choices on the blog! am looking forward to a lot of comments to sparkle the conversation! - - - This is a re-read of the Gardens of the Moon (GotM). Originally I gave this book 4 stars but this re-read made me love the series again, the details I noticed this time around were just more spectacular than ever. Where to start? I would say that this is a series born out of a game that was developed by Erikson and Esslemont. This means really that the world was fully developed and the understanding of the same is clear in Erikson's head and it shows.Now, this is a book that requires the reader to make an effort to genuinely understand this book. This is a complicated fantasy series yet a genuine gem. A high fantasy lover will appreciate this book and the series itself - I would go as far as to say that reading the first book of GotM will really determine whether you love the series or not. I felt in love with it, the details, the interaction among the characters, the plain(s) of interaction is all I was looking for in a fantasy book. The characters are so likeable - they have depth and development. Magic is there - possibly the only flaw of the book is that the magic is not really explained so you have to take it at face value, which is not a bad thing to do here. There are new races - Tiste Andii blew my mind and I am in love with Anomander Rake, like with half of the great characters here. There are gods - Cotillion is my other favorite of all times - who interact in the human world to achieve their goals; there are several levels of interaction that will open a brand new world for you. I am having a hard time to determine what to start with in discussing this book. All the elements I described above are essential to the success of this book. Let's start from how much I get involved in the GotM. When I really like a book, I have always created a brand new character which would be me and I would insert her in the story to be able to interact with the world I am experiencing in the book. And what would l love to be in this book is actually a Bridgeburner ("... a bridge of stone, lit by ruby flames") working with Whiskeyjack and his team. Quick Ben and Kalam just are the almost inseparable added value, those who run the risks associated with the god plain and successfully bring the crew out alive. And I would love an interaction with Cotillion (view spoiler)[ although not the way Sorry/Apsalar had it; a more interactive relationship let's say(hide spoiler)]. Captain Paran has an incredible story (view spoiler)[ a tool of the gods, freeing himself and interacting with Anomander Rake, surviving the encounter with the Hounds and creating a bond with some of them. Ah I get the chills just thinking about it(hide spoiler)].Sorry is just incredibly scary throughout the book and she will be essential to so many elements of the story you should keep an eye on her, if you can. The story is a story about conquest, an empire expanding its territory where it is not welcome, a military conquest; a story about political intrigue that goes way beyond the human plain, gods interact and love to interaction; this is a story about revenge and how to carry it with the most devastating consequences for the men and/or women responsible for the grief (in this specific detail, the series reminds me of the Count of Montecristo by Alexander Dumas; but only for this specific detail). A story where magic loses to gods but magic uses gods powers and ability (view spoiler)[ and I felt in love with the warrens, I thought it was a genius idea by Erikson(hide spoiler)], where mad puppets can interact with the world and become your new nightmare; a story in which fat harmless men are the best mages and spies you will ever encounter. The writing is also pleasant and you will find yourself vested in the lives and stories of all the characters, irrespective of which side you pick in the series. I can only wish for each and every fantasy lover to start the series and, hopefully, fall in love with it the way I did. This is a very high point of the fantasy community. I am also looking forward to when this series will become a TV show. I think it is time for this to happen (not a movie though I believe a movie would not be able to capture all the amazing details) and I wonder if there is a petition that can be signed. I am actually already mentally tripping into actors who could portray the characters - oh my. Yes, I will elaborate on my blog about this!What are your thoughts about the book? Did you love it? If not, what were your concerns about the series? I am genuinely interested in understanding why this book would not appeal!

  • edge of bubble
    2018-10-10 18:26

    Buddy read with my science partner, Sade. I was a shitty reading buddy here, disappeared right in the middle of the book for days, but she still didn't write me off of her will!I've heard a lot of stuff about this book before starting it. I was warned that it was hard, I would be confused, not to stop, to be patient and vigilant, no pain no gain. To sum it up, that the BOOK WILL MAKE ME IT'S BITCH! I was given guides to make reading easier too. So, I've started this book with dread and even made the mistake of reading the preface to see if it would gimme pointers. There was no pointers but a challenge! Author said, in so many words, that the weak would be lost in the sea of confusion or get by using spoilers , and the strong and the intelligent would prevail. Naturally, I started doing the CHALLENGE ACCEPTED dance. But I was so stressed, it was like trying to read a book while laying down on a bed of nails. I was sure that I was missing important stuff or not understanding the nuanced happenings. So I kept re-reading pages, trying to memorise the names... No enjoyment, just the dread. At some point, I said, fuck dis. Catching the nuances is what re-reads are for. I just let it go. Aaannnd... Voila! I loved stumbling around with this book!Why did I write that long arsed intro? Because I wanted to say, don't take your friends warnings and helpful advices out of context, and turn it into feeling intimidated and be an idiotic wussy like me! And don't turn this experience into a chore, like studying, by reading guides or other shit. Yeah, you'll miss a lot of stuff but you can always re-read to enjoy the hidden stuff or read the guides after the book.I couldn't decide what to rate this book. On one hand; we are given this incredibly beautiful and complex world with so many different factions, none of them falling into evil/ epitome of good clichés. Everything comes together in the end in an intriguing way, that made sure I'll read rest of the series. On the other hand; the journey to that ending was frustrating with so many different PoV's cutting into each other in a whirlwind. Author doesn't let you get your bearings or feel invested in a character till near the end of the book.After finishing it, I realised that the book itself was not that hard to understand. I had actually pretty good grasp of what is what. But the author tried to make it as confusing as it was possible. *brilliant. yet... condescending arsehat. there goes down a star*Conversation was a bit weird and stilted time to time and being the only source of getting any kind of information, it had to live up to a higher standard. *another star bites the dust*Battles, easiness of death, cruelty and the compassion were balanced well. Bloodthirsty but not too grim. *up a star**bridgeburners with hairlock*I liked the characters but I don't think I'd be sad if any of them were to die. I didn't care a wit about the ones who died either. There was no bonding, no putting myself in their shoes. There is this distinct barrier between the reader and the characters. *and we go down again* Buuut then there is Anomander Rake...*fans herself. he has his own star!*The way everything comes together and characters handle the situations is too nifty. Author even tried to make me accept this with making it so that this is a huge part of plot with the explanation of Oponn. But I'm just not feeling it. *strikes out a star*It has dragons! *up up we fly. wheee*^This one is a depiction of an actual scene in towards the end. So yeah. I loved this book! And if I didn't kill math, this makes a 4 stars rating. I was actually leaning towards a 3 stars rating... but... 4 stars it is.

  • Emma
    2018-10-22 23:37

    I went into reading this book like I was on an adventure and that is exactly what I got. Oh my! Where to start? For prospective initiates to the Malazan series I would recommend :- concentration- time- a notebook (large)- comfy sofa- plenty of snacksThis book gets 4 stars right now because of the amount of work it took to read it, but I reserve the right to upgrade later. I suspect the series is a 5 star read.I was on holiday this week and had no plans to read this book. In fact I had a nice selection of books all lined up and ready to go. Over the last year I have been noticing reviews from Goodread friends more and more of the Malazan series and every time I've checked out the synopsis, read some reviews, and acknowledged somewhere in my head that yes this series was on my radar, but no, now wasn't the time. Then I saw one more review and it tipped me over the edge. I downloaded the Gardens of the Moon and was starting 5 minutes later.It is not a light read but it is a rewarding one. I felt a lot like a student: taking notes, puzzling the pieces together, finding the clues, backtracking, re-reading, double checking. Just don't ask me to summarise the plot just now, or ask me any questions. Because the answers will be incomplete and have question marks of their own!This book gets easier as you go along. The first two parts were the hardest, trying to make sense of all the information, characters, contexts that are thrown at you. Reading this made me wish I belonged to a reading group dedicated to Malazan where I could ask really stupid questions and where we could discuss each part of the book as we went along.I don't believe the Malazan series, if this first is at all typical of the series, is a book to be read sporadically, nor rushed through. It needs to be read fairly steadily over a few days: it's probably the only way to hold all the threads together. But you also wouldn't want to speed through (we're it even possible) because you need time for the information to settle.I really loved this whole experience. It really felt like more than a book, more like the adventure I thought it might be. The next time I have a few days out by I will get to the next in the series.At least I can say I have one foot firmly planted on the Malazan path now. I'm gulping a bit at the thought of the next book, anticipating having to start almost all over again with new players and regions of the Empire. I will use this as a barometer of how ready I am. When I start getting the snacks in, routing around for my notebook, sharpening a pencil ( do people still do that?!) and scheduling a block of time where nothing much will be happening, then I will know I am ready for the next step in the adventure!

  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    2018-09-26 22:19

    Me: But... aren't you stressed about how many series you've started reading??Also Me: FUCK OFF SELF I LIKE BEING MISERABLE!

  • Carol.
    2018-10-01 15:37

    Malazan is an astonishingly great book.* Tremendous. Many of my friends love Malazan, giving this first book in the series an average 3.81 rating (way to bring it down, Sarah Anne and Becky!), and I love it too. It was great. Hugely great. Erikson takes the time to build the sense of each character, the workings of their daily life and the way they continued to develop over the course of the book was exquisitely detailed. The plot quickly ramps into action, with events building to a frantic pace that culminated in a moving climax. Each word carefully chosen, no detail irrelevant. The humor threaded through this book had me smiling and giggling as I read on the couch. This is one of those books you can devour in a couple of hours, it's so much fun.*This was a Totally Not Honest review, courtesy of a loaner copy by our friends at the South Central Library System.Initial review:(view spoiler)[let's be honest:never, never, ever again. Too many good books, too little time for a series this demanding, and I don't mean in a brain-stretching, feel-good kind of way. I mean in one of those professional, two-day work-seminars that is supposed to bring you 'personal growth' kind of way. (hide spoiler)]

  • Conor
    2018-10-19 20:17

    Gardens of the Moon is an ambitious, dense and challenging book. The reader is dropped into a world with thousands of years of history. A history of war, politics, violence and intrigue. A world where the gods themselves scheme and battle for power. Names, places and concepts are suddenly thrown at the reader without any attempt at simplification … and it was this difficulty that ultimately made this book so rewarding. If you can persevere through the challenges this book throws at you, you’ll realize that this is also a book filled with complex, interweaving narratives, deep world-building, a massive cast of well-written characters and gripping action that brilliantly sets the stage for the rest of the series. From the start Gardens of the moon drops the reader into a complex world filled with mystery and intrigue. Erikson makes no attempt to help the reader, instead trusting that they will be able to figure it out for themselves. Much has been made of this aspect of Erikson’s writing and it is possibly the most important element of this book, the beginning of a 10 book series. Having heard from so many of my friends that this was an incredibly dense and difficult read I think that my expectations ultimately worked in my favour. While I struggled a bit early on, by the mid-way point I felt that I had a decent grasp on the main plot (although there was still a load of stuff going on in the background that was hella confusing) and towards the end I really appreciated how the seemingly unconnected arcs were converging and how brilliantly they wove together in the finale.One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen about this book was about the lack of depth in the characters. While some of the characters, especially towards the start of the book, were unremarkable and somewhat repetitive I still thought the massive cast of characters in this book was handled well. Captain Paran and Tattersail started out as pretty uninteresting characters, however towards the end Paran improved and Tattersail’s plotline went in an interesting direction. The Bridgeburners were a likeable group of characters despite being a somewhat clichéd portrayal of tough, veteran soldiers with Whiskeyjack being an especially familiar personality. Anomander Rake was an enigmatic and intriguing character whose scenes were consistently amongst the most interesting in the book (view spoiler)[ and HE TURNS INTO AN AWESOME DRAGON!!!(hide spoiler)]. I thought the characters really picked up when the setting moved to Darujhistan and an interesting new group of characters were introduced. Kruppe, the cherubic egomaniac who likes to refer to himself in the third person and is much more than he seems. Croakus, the young thief with a romantic streak. Murrilio, whose integrity and skill with a sword belie his appearance as a fop. And Rellick Nom, the assassin clinging to the one last shred of honour that makes him human. The complex and ambitious story that Erikson tells doesn’t leave much room for depth or agency from his characters but they were still well-written and admirably played their parts in this epic story.The slow, hard-fought discovery of knowledge about Erikson’s world, politics and characters was extremely rewarding and among the best aspects of this book, however I was often frustrated by the lack of information about magic. This was especially important due to the prominence of magical battles in this book. With little knowledge of how magic works in this world or how powerful any given character is, encounters and battles between hostile mages were often needlessly confusing. At times it felt like Erikson just wanted to throw ina series of increasingly badass sorcerers, dragons and gods. While this book was slow and confusing at the start it picked up as it went along. By the time all of the important characters had been established half-way through I had been dragged into the story. It was especially interesting to see all the different storylines converging and overlapping towards the end. The intensity of the finale more than made up for the slow opening. While some aspects seemed somewhat forced and overdramatic (view spoiler)[ e.g. after spending half the book hyping up the Jaghut tyrant as an important plot point and central villain it was quickly killed off and a previously unmentioned demon brought in as a second, even bigger threat(hide spoiler)] it was still a suitably epic ending to this ambitious book. Erikson’s skill at writing taut battle scenes (view spoiler)[ such as Anomander Rake bodying aforementioned demon(hide spoiler)] was another cool part of this book and served to off-set the usually ponderous plot development. Overall this was a really enjoyable book and an extremely promising start to this series. I’d recommend this to any fan of fantasy. This book was often slow, confusing and difficult, and should not be taken lightly. However the development of ambitious, complex storylines, the extensive cast of well-written characters and the intriguing, slowly revealed world made this one well worth the effort.