Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
Read in April 2010
While reading this book, I attended a science fiction convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the author guest of honor, Brandon Sanderson, distracted me from finishing this first book of the epic fantasy series Malazon Book of the Fallen in a timely manner. In fact, I stopped reading at the midpoint and asked Brandon during a break between panels, if he had read the series. I explained I struggled to stay focused with the novel because the characters lacked depth and pull. He told me he recommends the series, but advises most readers to start with the second book. With this in mind, I pushed on to the end and enjoyed the last half of Gardens of the Moon.
Not only did the characters suffer from shallowness, but the world building paled to smoke and mirrors and rumors. For such a vast empire pushing for world conquest, I felt only smallness and emptiness, large chunks missing from the puzzle of history and geography. Thus, the motivations of key players revealed late in the game, made little sense and lacked punch.
The last ‘book’ (Book Seven – The Fete) redeemed the previous six by packing in action, duels, sorcerous fights, assassinations, and political maneuvering. Quite a climactic crescendo of discordant convergence.
4 thoughts on “Book Review: Gardens of the Moon by Erikson (3.5 stars)”
I’ve been wondering about this series for years – I look forward to your review of the second book. 🙂
I hate to disappoint but I decided not to continue with the series, even after acquiring most of the books in trade paperback, which I then donated to a local library book sale. I watched a year-long discussion of the entire series as a member of the Fantasy Book Club Series group on GoodReads and decided that the series just didn’t suit my reading tastes. Many of my GoodReads friends, though, rave about this series, so don’t let me stop you from trying it out.
Thanks for stopping by,
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