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Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1) Hardcover – June 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 3,892 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sprawling fantasy epic of the Malazan empire at war with its enemies and itself, the first of a projected 10-volume series, Canadian newcomer Erikson offers many larger-than-life scenes and ideas, but his characters seem to shrink to fit the story. Perhaps they need to stay small enough for the reader to keep them all in mind. Jumping often between plot lines, the novel follows Ganoes Stabro Paran from his boyhood dreaming of soldiers to his escape from imperial service. Paran travels on journeys of body and soul, going from innocent to hardened rebel against gods and empire without losing his moral core. Other characters may go further, to death and back even, but none is as sharply portrayed. The book features a plethora of princes and paupers, powers and principalities, with much inventive detail to dazzle and impart a patina of mystery and ages past. The fast-moving plot, with sieges, duels (of sword and of spell), rebellions, intrigue and revenge, unearthed monsters and earth-striding gods, doesn't leave much room for real depth. Heroes win, villains lose, fairness reigns, tragedy is averted. Erikson may aspire to China Miéville heights, but he settles comfortably in George R.R. Martin country.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the first of a projected 10 volumes of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the Malazan Empire is up to its eyebrows in the intrigues of mage Anomander Rake and his sorcerous minions, the Tiste Andii. The empress Laseen pursues her grisly ambitions with the aid of the Ninja-like Claw assassins, but Erikson focuses on the grunt-level fighting of military engineers Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and the field-grade mage Tattersall, who are more than ready to go home, when the empress commands a battle in and around the Free City of Darujhistan. Erikson portrays this hurly-burly--something very like the Lord of the Rings' Battle of the Pellenor Fields--from the perspective of those who had to get out of the way of the charges and exchanges of spells and sometimes died anyway. It remains to be seen whether Erikson's excellent writing will carry through nine more volumes of this gritty, realistic fantasy in the manner of Glen Cook's Dark Company series. Wager on fantasy readers' robust appetites, however. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tor Books; 1st edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 635 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0765310015
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0765310019
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.81 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.36 x 1.55 x 9.62 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 3,892 ratings

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Steven Erikson is an archaeologist and anthropologist and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His previous novels in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series--Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains, Midnight Tides, The Bonehunters, and Reaper's Gale--have met with widespread international acclaim and established him as a major voice in the world of fantasy fiction. He lives in Canada.

Photo by Fazal Majid (Own work.) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
3,892 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

Rob Ert
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst novels I have ever read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2019
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Graeme Greenan
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars complicated and like nothing you have ever read before
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 29, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars I tried to like it, but failed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2018
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Gordon Wright
1.0 out of 5 stars Written by a 12 year old?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2019
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