Gardens of the Moon Book Reviews

Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson Book Summary

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. 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.

However, 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...

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order--an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Book Name Gardens of the Moon
Genre Epic
Language English
E-Book Size 1.77 MB

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erikson) Book Reviews 2023

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Getting better. I’ve read this book 3 times now and it does get better with each read. I think the thing that amazes me most is the magic. It’s certainly powerful but it’s not so fantastic it overwhelms the story. It is a very bleak story and my one complaint is it feels like you’re not sure ho you’re rooting for or have a full understanding of the players involved. That being said I’ll continue to read and hopefully get a better understanding.

Shows signs of promise. I've burned through most of the great fantasy series lately and was excited to get in to this one. I've never not finished a book, but this is the first book to make me put it down and move on. I found the storyline slow to develop, characters are varied and interesting (good use of grey characters as someone else pointed out), but the book is... complex. It can be hard to follow what's going on and this problem is compounded by the language used. All in all, I got just over halfway through and stopped when I realized that I was reading not because I wanted to but because I was bored and needed to read something. That is a sign to me that I need to find a better book.

Easily The Best. I have made a habit of reading epic fantasy books since I was in middle school. This is the best series by far. Gardens of the Moon is just the first book in a series where the author (Erikson) does a fantastic job creating a world that feels like it could never end. His background as an archaeologist comes in handy when, through out the series, we continuously visit monuments built by extinct people from dead, mostly forgotten parts of civilization. If you are a fan of political fantasy, this series is rife with governments betraying people, soldiers, and other politicians. To cap that off, there is some tension building between the gods. There are epic mage battles, horrifying acts of war, some love, and just about e everything you could ask for in between. At the very least, read just this one book. You'll read the next one without me having to ask.

No plot. Couldn't finish it. I got 1/3 of the way through and stopped. No plot, no main character. I felt like I was reading a documentary on a place no one cares about.

Gardens of the Moon. Not a bad book. Hard to keep everything straight in the fist third of the book with so many plot threads. I like the fact that I got halfway through the book and still didn't know who was "bad" and you was "good". Effective use of "grey" characters. Many unanswered questions at the end of the book, too many if you ask me. I'll give the second book a shot and see how it goes.

A terrific start!. This is a wonderful blending of the high fantasy of Tolkien, and the dark, gritty distopia of George R R Martin. The middle ground finds you in a world where magic is very much alive, and there's a blade with your name on it waiting around every corner.

Yes, it's hard. Yes, it is worth it.. Finishing this series was the most rewarding literary journey I have ever undertaken. After Game of Thrones reawakened my love of fantasy fiction, I have since read almost all the modern epics --Wheel of Time, Farseer, Acacia, Amber, etc. And every time I took one up, I would try to read Gardens of the Moon first, and could not get past the prologue and first chapter. I mean literally must have been half a dozen times. Too slow, too jumbled, too much this too little that... Until my last foray. I persevered and trudged through, like a Bonehunter, never quite understanding what the hell was going on, but rejoicing in what tidbits of glory I could gain here and there, laughing and crying and bleeding the whole time through. This is a hard book. Erikson not only does not spoon feed you the answers to the million questions you'll have as you go, he actually doesn't even endeavor to try to answer most of them. I mean, for the majority of the whole series, I had no idea what the hell was really going on, but whatever it was, I was ecstatic to be part of it. Like a high fist, Erikson expects you to just do your job and march through the story, btch and moan and jest and kill to your fullest, live it to the fullest, whether you are intelligent enough to follow all the webs, or are just content enough not to get too tangled in them. And if you do just that, maybe you'll see the glory that awaits you when that job is done. And if not, at least you would have made some friends, gained some wisdom, killed some demons, and saved some gods. And of course, WITNESSED.

An Unbearable Slog. Gardens of the Moon is, I can only assume, an attempt to create a fantasy epic that mimicked the feeling of trying to read a textbook that’s missing every other chapter. There’s so much being glossed over and so many names and places thrown out without context that I stopped several times to double check that I hadn’t picked a book in the middle of the series by accident, and I constantly had to reread passages after losing focus. Maybe I could’ve gotten past that if the POV characters were engaging, but for me they elicited apathy at best, and loathing at worst. I really tried, but this was the first and only fantasy novel I’ve ever started that I couldn’t force myself to finish.

Review. Difficult read. Complex, maybe too self-referential; bleak but not depressing. Great imagery, character development, and world building. I recommend it.

Gardens of the Moon. Excellent! A little hard to follow at first, but then hard to put down.

Excellent.. If you are negative about this series, or this book, you really have no idea about what's going on. This series takes place on an epic scale, involving countless characters, and a whole bunch of different kingdoms and empires. This is the most epic series available today, and I just can't see how people don't like that.

Absolutely wonderful. Well paced, action packed, intriguing, some tones if humor and engaging. The characters are fleshed out well and are thoroughly enjoyable. The only slight that exists would be the beginning of the book and all abundant terminology and nomenclature that comes with learning and introducing a brand new world. It might make starting the book a bit difficult but absolutely worth it. Give it a go.

Dear Publishers Weekly. Oh, How you have Fallen to the wayside. . . No depth? . . NO DEPTH? Don't make me piddle in my pants! Your review of Erickson's first book in his masterwork series makes me want to bang my head against a wall, repeatedly. . .

The journey. This book is the beginning of a grand journey that will take many months, and many rereads to fully grasp its entirety! I have almost finished the latest book "forge of darkness", and am about to reread the entire series for a second time! It is kinda like one of those great movies that you can watch over, and over, and still see something new each time! The first book is pretty much character development, and introduction to the world, or worlds rather, and can be a bit much to chew on at first! But once you get a handle on the style you absolutely will not be able to put them down! For those of you just starting the series. I envy you that you can burn through all the books without waiting for the next one to be published! Happy journeying!

Too slow.... I've read thousands of books, and this is one of the few I will walk away from in frustration. The character development is too slow, and too haphazard. The plot hasn't even started to unfold after a third of the book. I suspect I'll give it another try at some point, but not right away. I believe there is something here, but I couldn't find it...

Fantastic. Depth, action, originality. An incredible story!

Epic is an understatement. My wife bought me this book on a recommendation from a guy who worked at Barnes & Noble's because I was in between release dates for Steven Brust's Dragaeran novels. My initial reaction was that the writing was a little clumsy and cluttered with characters that appeared abruptly and disappeared without being fully developed. The consequence made the book(s), all 10 of them (and yes, I read and enjoyed them all), difficult. At first, I just persevered and used these books as filler while waiting for the "real" story about the Dragaerans to be released. This outlook diminished quickly as I read this first novel and was gone before I had finished it. The clumsy, clunky writing style started to make sense and I started to develop a nagging suspicion that this writing style was the consequence of something that has little to do with writing and everything to do with fantasy storytelling on a massive scale: Dungeons and Dragons. By the time I had finished the second book, Deadhouse Gates, I was convinced that I was reading the chronicles of an epic fantasy campaign. The market is flooded with D&D based novels and I've read a few in the last 30 or so years. This is unlike any of those. In fact, if I weren't an old gamer since 1980, I wouldn't have made the connection; the writing is that good and subtle. In fact, I only confirmed the connection long after I finished the final novel because I was so convinced that the confirmation was little more than a formality to satisfy my assumptions. Even if you hate D&D, this set of novels is so good it is likely to change your opinion about that hobby. The scale of the universe is so massive that it takes a concerted effort to grasp and wrap your mind around it. I can't express the sheer enormity of the scope of this story sufficiently. It must be experienced. I'll say that again; In order to fully appreciate these novels they aren't read, they're experienced. It's this property that places these novels beyond the reach of what is considered the standard for epic fantasy storytelling. The scope of Tolkien's posthumously published Silmarilion, or Martin's Fire and Ice (aka Game of Thrones) are grand and set the standard but those works are made small when placed alongside The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Best in Class, Best in Show. Nobody writes fantasy as well as Erikson, and nobody in fantasy writes politics, economics,magic, dragons, monsters, ecology, archaeology OR human nature as well as Eriskon. Pick any of them and he’s the pinnacle. What you end up with is the best fictional work of asymmetric warfare ever written. With zero spoonfeeding, no class, philosophy or religious type is spared the lash of historical comeuppance. Readers looking for affirmation of any kind will find his work to be “lacking character develpment”, “lacking explanation” and with “an unclear plot direction”. Everyone else will think it’s close to the best fantasy out there, or just the best fantasy period. There’s Tolkein, Erickson, and everyone else.

Entertaining..... yet. The story has much intrigue and promise. However, the author seems to have focused so much on creating a grandiose universe and neglected cohesion and character development. I read it to end hoping it would get better, it never did. Great story from the outside, no substance on the inside.

Terrific. Hang in there. It took me a couple tries as it's very different than a lot of fantasy I've read, especially G.O.T.M. But...when you "get it" these books become impossible to set down. A truly impressive world.

Great grand wonderful. Loved it you will have no idea what's going on through most of the book but it will take you to the end faster than you thought possible and trust me it will all make sense in the later books it is so fun.

People can't read.... Why all the negativity? I understood everything that was going on through the whole book and loved it, some of the most detailed characters I've red about. Note this isn't one of those book where you can read a couple of pages and come back 2 weeks later and know exactly what's going on you have to be a fairly consistent reader and not skip around in the book, if you do you WILL be lost. Excellent series I recommend it to everybody who knows how to read ;)

Slow beginning--decent mid--great ending. The world building takes awhile, but the book starts getting pretty good in the middle. Erikson has an odd style in this book where he just continues on as if you know all the terms he uses. Some may like it; some may not. Honestly it was a bit frustrating throughout the beginning--not knowing what he was talking about, but as you read on the picture becomes clearer. Some of the fight scenes were pretty awesome, though they were a bit short: still good. I enjoyed the book and have even higher hopes for the rest of the series now that I've finished the foundation. Definitely worth reading.

What a disappointment. I have read hundreds of fantasy novels over the last 25 years and this was one of my least favorite. I purchased the book based on some positive online reviews and favorable comparisons to other series that I have read and enjoyed, such as The Game of Thrones series and Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy. Comparing this steaming pile of dung to those epic fantasy novels is laughable. As hard as I tried I could not finish the first book, Gardens of the Moon, stopping after reading about 80% of the book. The plot is complex, but not written about in enough detail to understand and really become immersed in. Many characters are introduced, but none are very well developed or interesting. I can't say that I gave a rip about any of the 20+ characters introduced in the book. This is just not a very well written fantasy novel-not entertaining, compelling, funny, really nothing other than a test of willpower to finish it (I failed). I would strongly advise against purchasing it.

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Summary of Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

The Gardens of the Moon book written by Steven Erikson was published on 01 June 2004, Tuesday in the Epic category. A total of 870 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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