Customer Reviews for

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 280 )
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5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended!

While waiting for the 6th installment of the Song of Fire and Ice series I decided to give this series a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find a writing style and story telling ability that renders a picture of the story without bogging the story down with countless d...
While waiting for the 6th installment of the Song of Fire and Ice series I decided to give this series a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find a writing style and story telling ability that renders a picture of the story without bogging the story down with countless details. Too many times I start a fantasy series and the first volume is dry and sluggish due to the over encompassing load of lineage and detail poured down your throat. This book doesn't pit Good vs Evil because the characters remain grey and are faced with moral choices and paths that make them choose between their own best interest and their allegiance to the group they are working with.
If you are the type of reader who enjoys a book that draws you right into a story line and doesn't weigh you down with over descriptive narrative then give this series a try
If you are the type of reader that needs to know that the assassin that was just introduced to the story hails from generations before him and need all the surnames and accomplishments of his forefathers and enjoy knowing that the grass he just made camp on was a rare mixture of 5 different types of foliage when none of it applies to the story then you probably won't like this series.

This series tells you just enough about the characters that they remain light and interesting and a bit mysterious. They are not the all knowing stereo typical maiden in the woods, knights in shining armor or long lost last person of a bereft magical family that must figure out how to use his power to save the world.

posted by Dire1973 on February 7, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

Flat Characters. Poorly described world. Skip it.

Erikson is definity no George R.R. Martin. Not even in the same galaxy. Here are the problems I found with this book. 1. Needs a prequel. It's easy to get lost and have no idea what is going on since no background is given on the many names, races, places thrown at ...
Erikson is definity no George R.R. Martin. Not even in the same galaxy. Here are the problems I found with this book. 1. Needs a prequel. It's easy to get lost and have no idea what is going on since no background is given on the many names, races, places thrown at you. 2. Poorly described topography. I felt like everything was taking place in a barren desert wasteland. I struggled to grasp what kind of world this was. 3. No reason to care for the characters. It was like watching a football game with two teams you know nothing about playing against each other and each having a role to play, but that's it. There was very little personality. Where Martin excels, Erikson fails. I couldn't have cared less who lived and who died. Most were expendable in my opinion. You rarely get into the characters heads. It's mainly following them from point A to point B with very little emotion. Tasks are completed and then it's time for the next one. Also characters could be described in more detail. Erikson is the anti-Jordan here. 4.A little too much magic. Sometimes less is more as in the case with Martin's series. Martin knows how to make magic count. Magic is so powerful and so frequently used, it becomes too commonplace here. All in all the characters are flat and the reader has no emotional investment with any of them. I even saw people who gave this book 5 stars make comments like 'Just don't get too caught up in the details'. You have to forgive quite a bit to try and enjoy the world of Malazan. I would pass this series up without question.

posted by Anonymous on January 7, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2005

    An emerging genius

    Its a great read. The synopsis made it sound so, but you never know for sure until you pick a copy up. I was overly impressed by what I read. Very different from what fantasy I normally read. Interesting sub plots and swings of current. I did get a little lost as to who had what powers some times, but I believe that might have just been my interpretation. It does jump around a lot and I wish I could have rooted for a couple characters a little more. But the author was too busy setting up the very necessary story line to give time for the reader to indulge that kind of thought. It keeps you on tilt so that you're not sure exactly who you want to come out on top in the end. I liked it a lot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2004

    Wheel of what? MOVE OVER! for STEVEN ERICKSEN

    Mark these words. This series will go down in history. (GARDENS OF THE MOONS, DEADHOUSE GATES, MEMORIES OF ICE, HOUSE OF CHAINS) and still going. How about this: (Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners) an elite group of assasins. (Chain of Dogs) an Exodus of 30,ooo Refugees across a continent. Crusification by the thousands and a horrible betrayal. T'Lam Imass, Sorry, Anomander Rake, Daughters Lady Envy and Spite, Ascendents(mortals who attain Godhead) and GODS(who go mortal)... 2 friends of thousands of years, one forgets the death he reaps, the other remembers the pain they share. In the end one shall die and betray an eternal friendship. THE CHAINED GOD AWAKENS......These books are WAY BEYOND the scope of Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind and the like. THE MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN series is without EQUAL. If you don't believe me then just look up the author on the Internet AND find the reviews.(By the way he comes from Great Britian, the U.K.) TOR has just gotten the rights to the books and released the first one GARDENS OF THE MOON in hardback but the rest can be found in the U.K. (STEVEN ERICKSEN)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Good beginning to a 10 book series...

    Empress Laseen and her Claw assassins rule absolute. However, Anomander Rake, Lord of the Tiste Andii, gives a few bloody confrontations. Through all the blood shed and death, Laseen still looks to other lands, her mind set to conquer. ....................... The High Mage Tayschrenn betrays his troops. He has no idea that Tattersail, the sorceress in command of the Second Army's wizard cadre, knows of his betrayal. She watches her men die, seethes, and plans. At her side, unwanted, is a marionette. Its wooden body holds the soul of the wizard Hairlock. Hairlock is a wild card. He faces even the mule-sized Hounds of Shadowthorne. But Tattersail wonders if he is friend or foe, sane or not. .................. The old Emperor's élite, known as the Bridgeburners, are led by Sergeant Whiskeyjack. The have a 'recruit' named Sorry, around the age of fifteen, whose very presence makes the troop's mage tremble. She is believed to be a pawn of the gods. ......................... **** These are but a few of the characters this novel follows. The plots are many, with even more sub-plots. The story jumps around often, making it difficult to keep up with what is happening and where. Yet each section is full of magical battles, as well as, battles by blade. As things get hot, the book shifts to 'Part Two' with new characters to learn and more plots to view. They will eventually all mesh together for even bigger and more exciting battles. .......................... All-in-all, this is an action packed fantasy, though long-winded at times, that will ignite your imagination as few others. ****

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2004

    A long time SciFi/Fantasy Reader/Writer

    Better then Jordan, much better then Goodkind. The series is already on to book 5 as of this writing, although they are released much slower in the United States. I bought the first one a few years ago in Canada and it has great writing and more importantly a great story and characters. Complex and satisfying. Get it or be saddened.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2004

    Steven Erikson - best fantasy author

    This book is excellent, as are the other books in this series (there are five in publication so far in the UK and Canada). These books are excellent, with a greater depth than anything else, whilst being readable and (increasingly in the later books) having a real sense of humour. An epic storyline, great characters, brilliantly written and Erikson is producing them at a respectable rate with no detioration in quality. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    Gardens of the Moon: Book One of the Malazan Book of the Fallen

    If you are into Jordan, Martin, & Goodkind, you will love this new series. I have been fortunate enought to have read the first 4 books of this series, because they were originally published in England. This is BY FAR the best series I have ever read (see above). Steven Erikson's writing style takes getting used to (remember when you first read the Hobbit?), but after you get used to it, you will be hooked. His novels have so much action and detail, and the characters are all amazingly well written. The lands of the Malazan Empire are unlike any you have read so far. Deep in majic, mystery, and battle, these books take you to a land that you can't believe. I don't know how he does it, but Mr. Erikson has created a series that is unlike any other. Do yourself a favor and get this book. Then be prepared for a ride!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    Gardens of the Moon: Book One of the Malazan Book of the Fallen

    I agree with what Jim said. This is some seriously powerful reading! I also got the series, and it has some of the most interesting characters, plots, and majic scenes of any series ever. And the books just keep getting better. After each book, I kept saying, 'That was the best yet!' And then the next one is better. The 5th one is coming out in England in March, and I already have it preordered. It is the most innovative & creative writing I have ever read. get this book, and you will LOVE this series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2002

    A Possible Rival for Martin

    Yes you read it right! George R.R.Martin, the man who has written my favorite fantasy series,Song of Ice and Fire has rival to his throne!Who is the Rival you may ask? The rival's name is Steven Erikson and his saga is called Gardens of the Moon. This epic fantasy novel was unforgettable masterpiece! Erikson's world-building skills has launch him into the ranks of Martin,Hobb, Clemens and Goodkind in this novel.Gardens of the Moon concerns a terrible war being waged between Malazan empire under brutal reign of Empress Laseen and immortal Anomander Rake and his formidable Tiste Andi.This war is fought with both armies and magic.This novel concerns the epic battle between these forces for the city-state of Darujhistan. This book is filled with scenes of brutal combat, sinister intrigue and powerful dark magic and sorcery.Unforgettable characters inhabit this wartorn world like Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of bridgeburners who serve the Empress Laseen and not knowing that she plots to betray them and have them killed.Paran, a young nobleman sent by Laseen and her ruthless Adjunct,Lorn to betray the noble bridgeburners and who insteads helps them.Anomander Rake, a immortal being fighting the Malazan empire for his dying race.Crokus younghand, a teen thief of Darujhistan who finds himself unwilling pawn this battle.This novel also has scenes of scheming and menacing gods who possess the bodies of mortals and manipulate the world to the own ends.And did I mention the action sequences? There are fight scenes in here to put the Matrix to shame! Plot twists as you see betrayal and treachery are the norms in this world where noble soldiers are targeted for death by their own rulers and young woman who can become souless killer.Erikson's world is a intricate and complex as our own as he slowly gives you it's history and his magic system is also very unique as he gives you scenes of conjuring of demons and ancient evil to do bidding of various sorcerers, assasins and powerful gods.I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series:Deadhouse Gates to see if this series will beat Song of Ice and fire as the best fantasy in print!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2014

    Incredible series. One of the most complete worlds with the bes

    Incredible series. One of the most complete worlds with the best cosmologies (origins/definitions of the gods) I have ever read. Also one of the most intensive reads. Do not start if you are weak of heart, these are huge books with tons of characters and lots things happening.

    Only down side is the first book can be a bit jarring. It reads like you have picked up the 3rd book in a series (I checked more than once when I read it) because there is so much history behind what is happening that the characters and writer treat as "already known by everyone". Eventually you will get all the background details but not all of them in this book.

    Flat out the best Fantasy Military series I have ever read, possibly the best Fantasy period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2014

    While waiting for the 6th installment of the Song of Fire and Ic

    While waiting for the 6th installment of the Song of Fire and Ice series I decided to give this series a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find a writing style and story telling ability that renders a picture of the story without bogging the story down with countless details. Too many times I start a fantasy series and the first volume is dry and sluggish due to the over encompassing load of lineage and detail poured down your throat. This book doesn't pit Good vs Evil because the characters remain grey and are faced with moral choices and paths that make them choose between their own best interest and their allegiance to the group they are working with. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 28, 2014

    Honestly, I didn't expect this book to be this good.  The title

    Honestly, I didn't expect this book to be this good.  The title is kinda misleading, but the story in itself is pretty awesome for me.  I got totally aborbed in the book just only a few pages in.  Granted that there is some complexity to the names, their positions, their powers, the names of the places and historical references - it isn't so different as GOT.  You also get to eventually familiarize yourself with each of these great characters.  Even with such complexity, you can see each of them a play critical role in the story.  I like all the characters, each having their own story yet are drawn together for one simple goal of winning against evil.  I'm still finishing this book, but I can't stop talking about this book to my friends!  It's a great fantasy story and I'm looking forward to reading book2.  Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2014

    Entertaining

    Enjoyed the story and the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    Yia

    Patrols here and moves on.

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  • Posted June 19, 2014

    Don't be fooled by the high ratings some people gave this book!

    Don't be fooled by the high ratings some people gave this book! Please don't waste your time with Gardens of the Moon like I did... I couldn't even finish it. It was so hard to read, because not only was there no character development, so you didn't care what happened to anyone, but the plot was so confusing I rarely knew what was going on. I really tried to push through to see what others obviously found appealing about this book, but in the end, I just gave up..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    A true masterpiece with great characters

    A true masterpiece with great characters

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    This book can be a bit to get your head wrapped around at first

    This book can be a bit to get your head wrapped around at first but stick with it, the payoff is fantastic! I've read each of the ten novels at
    least three times now, they all are really that good; exceptional writing, exceptional characters, all contributing to a truly great series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    You have to checkthis out!!

    This is a great book! I find it hard to stop reading! Once you start reading, it really is hard to put down!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Amazing series

    Was awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Lost and bored

    I am750 pages into this book and i surrender. It jumps around constantly, i do not know what is going on and i really do not care.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Overwhelming. Great writing, great story, but overwhelming. It's

    Overwhelming. Great writing, great story, but overwhelming. It's all over the place. Too many people and too much happening all at the same time to possible follow it and understand it. Yes I loved the books, but they need edited, cut in half, and organized. I'd take Glen Cook books any day over these.

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