I had heard of this book so much that, as a fantasy writer, I decided I really should read a book that many have been calling one of the classic fantasy novels of all time. The book I’m speaking of is Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon, Book 1 of the Malazan Book of the Fallen.
I must say, first of all, that this book is not a light read. It was written well, but requires a great deal of attention to detail in order to keep all the facts straight. Perhaps most difficult was keeping track of the sheer number of players — pages of dramatis personae and then another long list of demi-gods, races and the like. I was very thankful for the reference lists in the front and back of the book.
I heard one person say they had read the book and then asked a well-known author (who shall remain nameless here) what they thought of the series, given how difficult the first book was to read. This person was told that the series truly is a classic, but it might be easier for readers new to the series to start with book two. Hm. Now I’m really curious.
As for my personal take on the book, I was surprised at the sheer volume of people and beings who had access to sorcery or magical powers. It got to the point where it seemed I could count on one hand those who didn’t have access to magic. If anything, that made the use of the supernatural a bit ho-hum.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the book is without merit. I’m just not sure this is going to be one of my favorite series.
How about you? If you’ve read any of the Malazan books, I’d be curious to hear your opinion — or your opinion of my opinion. 🙂
Gardens of the Moon
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
Author’s web site: http://www.stevenerikson.com
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