Gardens of the Moon

Gardens of the Moon

, Book # 1
Tor Books
April 1999
Mass Market Paperback
July 3, 2019 July 22, 2019

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.

About the book

I haven’t read a lot of Fantasy in the last few years, in fact maybe in my whole life, but I would like to start reading more. At home, I only have The Chronicles of Ice and Fire dated 2002 (the first time I read it) and frankly I don’t want to read it for the third time since I will have to read it again when the sixth book (maybe never) will be published; the Avalon saga, also already read but it didn’t thrill me that much; The Sword of Shannara of which I have only one book and the Malazan Book of the Fallen saga of which I have two. So for continuity I decided to reread Gardens of the Moon. Yes reread because I have already read it. And you may ask, why do you read it again if you have already read it? Because in the heat of finding a saga similar to The Chronicles of Ice and Fire, in 2010 I bought the first two books of the saga (and because as usual, there were discounts) and I immediately read the first one. But, and this is why I stopped reading fantasy, I didn’t like it at all. I was looking for something epic like Martin’s books, but alas I didn’t find it.

Now, it’s been a long time since I read Martin’s last book (5 years?) And so I think it’s the right time to approach this genre. I must say that I can appreciate this book more now, the first reading was quick and I skipped some pieces and maybe it was a good book now because I don’t remember anything except some scenes and therefore I can appreciate it better.

This saga, written by the Canadian author Steven Erikson, is divided into 10 volumes, of which, as mentioned, I have two. In Gardens of the Moon we have the introduction of some characters that I loved and others that I don’t like that much (Tayshreen I’m looking at you). We are in a fantasy world in which the Empress Laseen, who exists but cannot be seen, wants to conquer the free cities and annex them to the empire. Something happened in the past because before Laseen it is said that there was an emperor who was killed by her. In this volume we are in Pale, one of the free cities that falls into the hands of the Malazan army. Later the conquest is moved to Darujhistan with the introduction of new characters, both human and non-human and even gods.

As I said before, I didn’t like the book in the past, but now I have to change my mind because at the time I wasn’t ready to read fantasy books and so I abandoned this genre. Now I must say that “distant worlds”, wolds that aren’t real, governed by magic and chosen people to be heroes of a book attracts me a lot as a plot and so I’m trying to find books that can have this kind of plot. I still don’t know if this saga is one of that type, but for now I like it anyway.

I increased the stars from the first time from 3 to 4. Honestly, in the past, I gave 3 stars to give an evaluation, but I shouldn’t have given it since I didn’t actually read the book.

I have to say that my favorite characters are the gang of thieves and assassins of Darujhistan, Kruppe, Crokus and Rallick Nom. But I also like Paran, the first character that we met in the first book.

The map of Genabakis (where Pale and Darujhistan are located) is not very clear. Or at least it’s not in my version of the book. I will certainly continue with the second book, I don’t know when yet, but I hope soon.

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