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

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. On one hand, it did get a lot of attention when it came out, the series is quite well regarded by many, it won awards, and all that. On the other hand, there are those that really didn’t care for it, most reviews, even the favorable ones, warn that it is complex and confusing, and did I really want to look at the first book in a 10 book series?

It turns out, I did. It wasn’t an easy read, but it wasn’t tortuously difficult, either. The world is big and complex and sprawling, with everything from a viciously aggressive invading empire to gods to wizards to elder races to humans, and probably some I’m missing. Lots of things are hinted at or mentioned kind of in passing, and not really fleshed out (in this book). There are a lot of characters- a lot. That was one of the main issues I heard- hard to keep them straight. I didn’t really find that to be too troublesome, but I have read more than one epic fantasy with a broad cast. There’s plenty of action and intrigue and political and military maneuvering. There are friends lost and gained, not everyone survives, and the whole thing isn’t neatly wrapped up at the end. But it is the first in a series, so that shouldn’t be a surprise. It was also a fascinating and enjoyable story.

Was it perfect? Well, no. It is a debut novel, after all. It has it’s thin plot moments, and some of the unresolved parts felt particularly off (yes, I know- most are resolved later in the series). The writing was a bit long-winded in parts. None of it was enough to make me not want to finish.

I’m glad I finally decided to jump into this one. If you enjoy truly epic fantasy with vast and complex worldbuilding, and a large and varied cast, you might find this to your liking.

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The Demon’s in the Details, the third story in my urban fantasy series, The Yo-Yo Files, is now available.

Urban fantasy like the above not your thing? I also have scifi and fantasy stories available. Look here for the deets on all of them and where you can get them.

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