Review: Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson

February 20, 2014 2014 Read & Review, 2014 Reading Challenge - Review, 2014 Reading Challenge - Series, 5 Stars, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Fantasy - Grimdark, Flights of Fantasy, Hardback, Military Fantasy, recommendations, series, unlikeable main characters, War & Recovery, woman warrior 0 ★★★★★

Review: Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson five-stars
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #1
Published by Tor/Forge on June 1, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Military
Pages: 494
Format: Hardcover
Buy at Amazon
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.

There are no words. I just don’t have the words to describe this enough to get out a review.

I don’t have the words to express my relationship with Gardens of the Moon.

I am…my mind is BLOWN.

It’s genius.

It’s intimidating. The sheer scope of what was going on is amazing. There’s so much going on and I don’t know what to even say. The world is so textured and layered.

There are ten books in this series. O_O

I went through a gamut of emotions – the emotional roller-coaster had me strapped down and didn’t let me off until the end.

The sheer…magnitude of the book was on the scale of what I [previously] would have thought to be impossible.

During my reading of this book I felt confused, I felt astounded, tired, irritated, exhilarated, exhausted, engaged, exasperated, drugged, emotionally traumatized…and totally at Erikson’s mercy.


Dangerous women. One of the things I loved was that the book is chock full of Very Dangerous Women. Erikson doesn’t pretend that women are the “weaker sex.” In this book, women are simply the other sex. And damn. A lot of the women were more dangerous that the men.

So confusing. This book’s magnitude is immense. It’s confusing. But not in a way that allowed me to stop reading. Instead my brain was set on fire and I wanted to SCREAM when I didn’t get the answers I was looking for.

So much. There is so much going on. And it’s all SO RICH and TEXTURED. And Erikson left a lot of loose strings. SO MANY loose strings and it was with both a terrifying eagerness and sinking dread that I knew I had to continue on.

Still – the ending was satisfying if abrupt. Which surprised me. With ten books in the [main] series, I expected the ending to be an irritating cliff-hanger. But it wasn’t. It was surprisingly satisfying while still herding the reader forward towards the slaughter next book.

But not satisfying enough. I NEED book two NOW. RIGHT NOW. My GOD. The hoops I have jumped through to get this damn book to me has been insane. My book budget met Malazan and then died. O_O



No Responses to “Review: Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson”

    • MrsJoseph

      I’d say do it. I avoided this series for a long time myself: It’s everything I don’t like. It’s long, drawn out, military focused with a lot of political intrigue. And a lot of death.

      But I couldn’t stop reading. It was too good. I said “screw it” and started buying the rest of the series.

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