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.
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The other problem was the difficulty in getting used to the 'rules' of Steven Erikson's world. The magic was never explained, never made clear, so there was no way to say, okay, this is what they're going to do, or even to decide whether someone's actions seemed to fit. I seem to recall reading something lately that was impatient with needing rules for magic, and to some extent I agree, but... Usually I would like to be able to piece things together in advance, or at least try to. I don't mind being wrong, but apparently I do find it difficult having no idea.
Still, once I got into it, I didn't want to let go of the book. I'm not sure about the people who say it's badly written: it seemed fine to me, though the writing style wasn't exactly distinctive. There are a lot of characters, but only occasionally do they get too much to track. I assume some of them are going to become clearer later in the series, which I'm looking forward to -- I hope to see more of Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake, for one thing. And I want to know what happens to Sorry.
It is a big investment of time and brainpower to read this book and keep up with it, but ultimately I returned my mother's copy to her and told her to try again. It is worth it.more
So many "did that just happen?" moments. I would recommend this series to any fantasy reader.
My one complaint - the covers. I was so hooked on these books I brought them everywhere. But so embarrassed by the covers that I put brown paper grocery bag book covers on all of them. Yup, just like back in middle school.more