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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen 1 by Steven Erikson, read by Ralph Lister. 

Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan Empire simmers with discontent. 

Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, still holds out - and Empress Lasseen's ambition knows no bounds. 

However, it seems the empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister forces gather as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand....

Conceived and written on an epic scale, Gardens of the Moon is a breathtaking achievement - a novel in which grand design, a dark and complex mythology, wild and wayward magic and a host of enduring characters combine with thrilling, powerful storytelling to resounding effect. Acclaimed by writers and critics alike, here is the opening chapter in what has been hailed a landmark of epic fantasy: the awesome Malazan Book of the Fallen.

©1999 Steven Erikson (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Gardens of the Moon

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Amazing on a second read

I read through the Malazan novels (all core Erikson and Esselmont ones) a few years ago. When I first read Gardens of the Moon, I was pretty confused. Partly because the authors intentionally avoid exposition, and partly because I wasn’t paying a great amount of attention (I was reading while travelling at the time). It wasn’t until the 4th one (House of Chains) that I felt I had a firm grasp on the world, political & pantheon situation, and world-building like the history and magic system. But it was extremely rewarding to get to the point where I felt like I had figured it out myself instead of having it spoon-fed to me.

I’m using the audio books as a re-read, and it really came together much more smoothly this time. There’s actually a lot more explanation of what’s going on in the first 4 chapters than I remembered, if you don’t get too bogged down in names or titles. And the writing really does flow to prompt your imagination just enough to tell the story while you can paint the rest of the scene around the dialogue.

My biggest critique for the audiobook is that the chapters swap character perspectives a lot. In the written novel, this is clear with paragraph breaks, but for this one it’s harder to follow because it’s only a 2 second pause. I think it would be better if they had paused a little longer. I’d advise new readers to be watching for when a perspective is changing, so that you can follow along a bit better. Otherwise the performance is pretty good.

3 people found this helpful

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Lots going on and it's amazing!

It was a little touch and go at first, there was so many characters and so much going on it was a bit hard to keep up at first, but by the middle of the book i was clear in who was who and where their alligences were, the twists and turns had me intrigued and I just couldn't stop.

3 people found this helpful

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Intriguing Fantasy with great world building

Loved it! At first you don't know what's going on since it is thrusts you into the middle of a complex plans with different players, but then you sort it out with the names the written mentions and distinct voices the reader uses.

The great world building of history, the way magic works and the ongoing war makes this a must read!

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rough start 2 a series

I found there were 2 many characters and not enough character development. Only character that seemed interesting was Cropper. For the majority of the book I didn't know what was going on cause it kept switching between seemingly irrelevant characters with no clear indication to audio listeners that the point if view switched. Also ad troubles finding the relations with these characters and who was against who. will try the second book after I read a summary of happened.

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amazing performance

so I originally read gardens of the moon and was left wanting more, I liked the characters and the world but the writing style kept me from being fully immersed.

I decided to give it another shot on audible and let me tell you it's fantastic. everything comes to life and immediately the world reached the level of grand scale and nuance the reviews rave about. The characters have distinct and interesting voices and are read with great cadence and intensity.

I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

5/5

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good series

Great series, good narration, but a bit hard to get into at the start. One of my favorite fantasy series, if a bit scatterbrained at times

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One of my top series to read

I read this series and now am listening on Audible for a second pass through. This book is the first for the series and a gateway into about 400 hours of amazing storytelling with deep characters.

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Hard to chew.

I had an impossible time trying to listen to this book. supposedly one of the top 10 fantasy books, but between the dumping of so many characters and sub characters names in the first 5 minutes of the ok and the determination of the author to show he knows big obscure words to say something simple made this book hard to get through.

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Terrible.

I've never read a shitter Fantasy novel in my life, such a waste of time and such a horrible narrator that talks as if literally every single character in this gargantuan world has the same personality.

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hard to keep track

a bit confusing, hard to keep track of everything that makes up the world and what exactly they are, but gets pretty thrilling if you can keep up.

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  • Andrew Oettle
  • 2019-02-14

Worth the confusion

It may be a little difficult at the start, but the depth and scope of the work is breathtaking. If you're at all lost the Encyclopedia Malazica is a good resource

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jaroslav Strnad
  • 2020-02-16

The first book of the best high fantasy ever

I have read all the books from this series and loved them all with a great passion for over 10 years. None the less I remember the first book to be kinda hard to follow, the world is rich and complicated and Erikson's style, though brilliant and evocative, can require some time to getting used to. I have read the books in my native tongue the first time (I'm Czech) and thus I was a bit unsure If I would be able to follow the complicated story in English while working at the same time. My worries were made void by the awesome narration of Ralph Lister who made the experience of listening to this audiobook an absolute bliss. He skillfully generated a plethora of voices to suit every character, thus making it very easy to listen to and to follow the story and dialogue. I full-heartedly recommend this book to any fan of fantasy to the point of considering it mandatory. If you feel overwhelmed at the start, please just carry on listening, it will all settle and you'll end up loving it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2019-05-24

Just as I imagined it.

I read the book many years ago and I found the voices were done perfectly. I'm a huge fan of the bridge burners and I'm glad they were represented so perfectly. Heading off to buy the next one right now.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joakim Blomgren
  • 2021-09-29

Stellar

The first book in the best book series ever. The Malazan is without equal in the world.
I was positively surprised by the narrator, easily one of the best I've heard. Great story, great performance

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wyn
  • 2020-07-09

Stunning!

For me this is the best fantasy series I have ever read, and I've read a lot! But so much more than a "just" a fantasy series..... Don't expect to be be spoon fed, this series makes you think! The scope and imagination of the story is truely mind blowing! The assessemnt of the human condition, politics, philosophy, economics, faith, religion etc is in turn poignant, humerous and often profound. The character development is awesome. I have prob been through this series 6 or 7 times in different formats (I travel alot), there is always something new to pick up on. The story line is never quite what you think it is going to be.

I have read reviews that critique the first book as discordan, jumping around and not easy to follow, but don't expect to get it all in the first book, the first 3-4 books run concurrently and themes and story lines only touched on initially are expanded throughout the rest of the series. I actually love the way Gardens of the Moon drops you in the middle of things and you have to just go with it.

The narration by both narrators is, for me, is great, there is a difference in style which is quite marked, but in a very short listening time I got used to the change and it didn't make much difference.

All in all just stunning fantasy!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joy
  • 2019-01-29

Could not get my head around it.

I just could not get my head around the storyline and the narrator was far from the best.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. Georgiou
  • 2022-03-24

Great story and narrator

Third time I listen to this book and every time it gets better. Great narrator as well, I don't know what other reviewers bubble about him not being good.

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  • richo247
  • 2022-03-13

best book series I've read

it's hard to get into the series to begin with, but it is 100% worth the time. I've reread this series 4+ times now.

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  • Oscar
  • 2021-04-25

fantastic history, worst execution and narrator

the history, and writing is awesome. The narrator is the worst I have encounter after more than 500 audio books. He does not know how to pronunciate vocalizing. For god shake, vocalize man, you should try to make it easier to understand and follow even running or training. I love english pronuncation, but this one is just not understandable because he does not vocalize. Most of the reviews that say they lost attention, this is one of the motives. Worst narrator ever, I never will buy a book with this narrator

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  • Shan Chung
  • 2020-12-31

when everyone is powerful, no-one is

why do you force me to write 15 words? do you want the rating or not?

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  • EVENAS N.
  • 2021-03-01

Je me suis ennuyé

Les personnages ne sont pas creusés
L’histoire est confuse et inintéressante
On est dans du d&d bas de gamme
Peut-être intéressant pour de jeunes adultes