Gardens Of The Moon (Malazan Book Of The Fallen: 1) By Steven Erikson


A few months ago I read and reviewed my first Erikson read and, as many of you who read my humble bloggage will know, I didn’t like it very much. So naturally I was apprehensive starting a massive series by the same author.
But, dear friends, I bit the proverbial bullet and ventured forth into book one of the Malazan series. And goodness me, what a venture it was.

The Malazan series has always been described to me as the height of Epic Fantasy. And the author’s Magnum Opus, so to speak.
Gardens of the Moon throws the reader into the deep and then proceeds to lead them on a vast voyage of discovery. The Empire are seeking more control and with Empress Laseen at the helm, it seems it won’t be long till the world Is in the palm of her hand.
Now, Laseen has her sight set on the City of Darujhistan, the last of the Free Cities of Genabackis. However the disbanded Bridgeburners (a veteran unit of the Malaz army) and an unlikely group of Darujhistan citizens will be moved like pieces around a board by the meddlesome Gods of the world, and Gods can be ever so unpredictable.
It has been described by many to be very much Influenced by Greek mythology.

Gardens of The Moon is the first book that I have read that has made me somewhat grateful to be a slow reader. Every detail is important and even if at first glance it doesn’t appear to be. Im telling myself that the questions I have upon finishing GoTM, will be answered in later books.
Erikson sets up a wonderful cast of characters against a backdrop that has wonderful worldbuilding, and adds a really exciting magic system to the mix. Talking of which, the system of Warrens (a source of magic among other things) felt to me, like a world within a world. And I had a horrible dream in which I was chased through one of these Warrens by a rather creepy sorcerer.
Needless to say that I was absolutely riveted by this book and the cosmic storytelling by Erikson. It has everything a fan of Epic Fantasy would love. Nuances that one will not soon forget and characters that you can really invest in and see the world through their eyes. As I write this I am reading book two (Deadhouse Gates) and I can happily say that I think I shall be spending a lot more time in Erikson’s world.
On a complete tangent, before I read this, I pronounced it Mah-lah-zahn, which makes it sound like a fantasy alternative to the clothing retailer Matalan. I don’t think that is the correct way but it made me, with my silly sense of humor, smile.
I loved Gardens of The Moon and that’s my truth.

This book is available now from Bantam Books

33 thoughts on “Gardens Of The Moon (Malazan Book Of The Fallen: 1) By Steven Erikson

  1. I always have to remind myself to not write off (ha!) authors after one bad book experience. Especially if the book is a first in a series, or first altogether. Glad this one worked out for you.

  2. I actually bought this last night following all our banter! Looking forward to it. I must admit it sounds like a readalong type of series. Are you starting book 2 already??

    • Awesome! Yes I am reading book two now, and I am absolutely hooked. The beginning part of book two has some bleddy hellup in un, adds more pieces to a very expansive world. I really hope you enjoy Gardens Of The Moon as much as I did. 🙂

  3. I remember that review, Willful Child, wasn’t it? Yeah, that one’s very different from Malazan. Interestingly, I was the opposite – I enjoyed the fun, light feel of WC but when I read this first Malazan book years ago, I didn’t connect with it at all. It made me reluctant to continue with the series. But like you I was glad I didn’t let the experience stop me from trying his other work!

  4. See I prefer being a fast reader and these books have always intimidated me. I love Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy but I haven’t read as many epics as I should or could because the tomes always look like such an investment. I think Mogsy said this author didn’t go over well with her but I might be mistaken. I doubt I’d every get around to then but glad your second experience with him was better than your first.

    • Oh believe me so am I. They are rather large books and I am looking forward to seeing how this epic tale unfolds. Failing that, I could probably build a small house with the tomes, or something. There are many times I wish I could read faster, but I know I shall always be a snail reader, or a sloth reader. Or a snail-sloth reader. 🙂

      • I think these would be better tackled for me via audio. I’ve come to realize the past few months I have more patience with some books that way that I wouldn’t otherwise have the patience to read.

      • Do you know what? I have never ever listened to an audiobook. I know I should and its not that I dont want to, it just hasn’t occurred yet. I would imagine the Malazan series is pretty damn good on audio too.

  5. It actually gets a LOT better after GotM. The book was written about a decade (I think) before the next one, and Erikson took some writing classes and grew as a writer in those years. By the time you hit book 3, Memories of Ice, he’s in full swing. You’re in for an amazing journey.

  6. My GotM story, despite the fact no one asked for it. I got into fantasy and had read nothing but GRRM and Abercrombie and followed the advice of all these forums to read GotM. Couldn’t figure out what was going on. A year and about 90 fantasy books later I try it again. This time it is easy as pie and I have no idea why I struggled so much.

    Long story short, its nasty learning curve applies only for non fantasy readers in my mind.

    • I think it was Paul Weimer who, in a conversation on twitter the other day, said something along the lines of its not a book to pick up if you are new to, or have never read epic fantasy before.

  7. Pingback: ‘January brings the snow’… a quick recap | Lynn's Book Blog

  8. I am quite sure I have a copy of this somewhere…I know it’s been recommended to me more than once. Why I haven’t read it yet is a mystery! Sounds like I should get on that!

  9. It’s great that you took the risk and got paid in full! I’ve added it to my Latest-TBR on Goodreads, will surely give it a go 🙂
    Great review Romeo. I was wondering, are you on Goodreads?

    • Iam glad I did. I am reading book two at present and am hooked.

      Um, yes, I think I am but I havent been on there for aaaaages. I shall have to sort that out.

      Hope you enjoy Gardens of The Moon 🙂

    • Thank you. The Malazan series is EPIC in the greatest sense of the word and the impact on me has been great even from just reading book one and four hundred pages or so into book two. I really hope you enjoy GoTM. 🙂

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