Tag Archives: Gardens of the Moon

Reflecting on Gardens of the Moon

Have you ever read a book that left a big impression on you even a few years after you read it? One of those books for me is Gardens of the Moon. I read it four years ago, but when I think about it, I remember the incredible worldbuilding, cultures, and characters.

The world is unique. It’s been developed from the ground up, and has a fully fleshed out history. There are so many different cultures spanning continents. And Malazan Book of the Fallen does span several continents. It’s a global story that lasts for many volumes. I’ve only read two. The characters are colourful, imaginative, and far too real. Even though they may be a completely different species than humans, they feel real when I read the books.

I did a review reflecting on my memories of the book on video. Take a look.

I think you get the message that I love how this world has been developed. I want to get back in it and spend more time there. And you know what? This is a book that I want to reread sometime in the future. I can’t say that for many books.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

My Favourite Author Is Better than Your Favourite Author

I was surprised when I saw this article.  I had no idea this was going on.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because fans can be very aggressive online and bash anyone who disagrees with them.  I can understand a little bit, because I’m a sports fan, and I’m a very loyal fan of the Edmonton Oilers.  However, books are a different kind of thing.

A Game of Thrones

vs.gardensofthemoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

In one corner, we have the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series that spawned the Game of Thrones TV series.  He is George R. R. Martin.  In the other corner, we have the author of Malazan Book of the Fallen, a Canadian author who goes by the name of Steven Erikson.  They’re both authors of epic fantasy that have very similar themes.  They’re both violent, militaristic, epic war fantasies.  They’re both incredibly long.  They’re both gritty and dark.  But there’s one big difference.  A Song of Ice and Fire isn’t finished yet.

I have read the first two books of A Song of Ice and Fire, and am currently reading the third.  I’ve read only the first Malazan book.  Although they’re similar in theme, they are totally different in atmosphere.  I find myself getting immersed into both worlds very easily.  I also find myself getting confused with characters if I’ve left the series for too long between books.  I’ve forgotten most of the character names for Malazan, and there are many.  They both have huge casts of characters.  They’re both pretty amazing series.

But the fans seem to be at war with each other.  They seem to think the authors are competing against each other, as well.  But according to that article, it’s far from true.  Erikson and Martin have talked to each other several times and are rather surprised about their fans’ behaviour.  I’d have to say I am, too.  In the world of epic fantasy literature, there’s room to enjoy both series.  You don’t have to insult others because they like a different book than you.  Since I like both, I can’t understand this feeling.  I’ve read books I don’t like, but I don’t declare war on the people who do like them.  Honestly, it’s not worth it.

So, if you are one of these crazy fans, I have one thing to say:  They’re just books.  Just enjoy them.  Your personal tastes are just that, personal.  You don’t have to get upset if someone has their own personal tastes.

Personally, I really enjoy Gardens of the Thrones by Steven R. R. Martin.

Book Review – Gardens of the Moon

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson is the first book of the epic fantasy The Malazan Book of the Fallen. It’s a lengthy series, so it’s quite an undertaking to read all of it.  And I’ve only just started.

This book was a difficult one to rate.  It’s Steven Erikson’s debut novel, and I could see some flaws early on.  However, my attitude toward the book changed dramatically as I continued to read it.

Gardens of the Moon takes place mostly on the continent of Genabackis amidst a campaign of expansion and domination by the Malazan Empire.  The world was developed for a GURPS campaign by Erikson and his friend Ian Cameron Esslemont, and Malazan Book of the Fallen is a novelization of that world.  The world is completely original.  Unlike other fantasy novels, the cultures and races are unique to this series.  There are no elves, dwarves, ogres, and so on.  Instead, you get the Tiste Andii, T’lan Imass, Jaghut, and more.  Humans are the main race, however.  Wizards and gods take a major role, as well, but they’re not exactly what we would normally expect. Overall, the world is incredibly imaginative.

The ensemble cast of characters is vast.  Ganoes Paran is kind of the hero, though he doesn’t seem to be very heroic.  He’s a soldier thrown into a situation he wishes he wasn’t in.  Tattersail is a powerful mage with many insecurities.  Lorn, the Empress’ Adjunct is also an incredibly flawed character.  Sergeant Whiskeyjack, Kalam, Quick Ben, Crokus, Rallick, Kruppe, and more make some very colourful characters who aren’t always what they seem to be.  That’s one thing that made this book so interesting to read, the reader doesn’t know what to expect from the characters.  They are very well developed through the book, and we never quite know who are really the good guys and who are the bad guys.  With few exceptions, the line between good and bad is blurred very much.  While the characters are strong, it was very confusing for the first quarter of the book.  There were so many characters that I had a hard time keeping everyone straight.

The story has two sides to it.  In the beginning, I found it difficult to follow.  I had no idea what was going on.  But as the plot moved along, things became clearer, and I could understand what was happening.  Basically, it’s a large empire trying to conquer the biggest city on the continent of Genabackis.  But it’s not that simple.  There are many individuals who change their positions, the “good” seem to ally themselves with the “bad,” and so on.  It was incredibly unpredictable.  That should be expected, since this was based on a GURPS role playing campaign.  That’s what made much of this book so amazing to read.  You never knew what was going to happen.  Main characters die, sometimes unexpectedly.  We never know more than the characters know.  It’s like we’re going along with the ride, joining in the action.  It makes it much more exciting.

Like I said before, this was a difficult book to read.  For the first quarter of the book, I wasn’t impressed.  It was maybe going to get three or three and a half stars at that point.  But the rest of the book was a solid four and a half to five stars.  So, what do I rate it?

Four and a half stars.  Recommended to any fantasy fan, especially those who want something new and refreshing.