Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

After giving up on The Name of the Rose, I had no library books in the house to read. So, I turned to my Kindle and found an E-authored book to read! This was provided free by Tor as part of a monthly book club.

Published: 1999

Genre: epic fantasy

Length: 666 pages

Setting: various locations within the Malazan Empire

Summary: The Malazan Empire is expanding again, although the Empress is having a hard time holding all the pieces together. The army, under the command of Dujak Onearm, is about ready to mutiny. To keep them in check, the Empress tries to eliminate the Bridgeburners, an elite army unit. However, the members are too smart to fall into her trap. While the mortal fighting for Pale and Darujhistan continues, several Ascendants get involved in influencing the events. Anomander Rake brings his floating city, Moon’s Spawn, into play to defend the cities. Things don’t go as the Empress hopes.

Final thoughts: This is epic fantasy at its most epic. So many characters working on their own bits of the plot in various locations within the Empire, it was hard to keep them all straight. I usually like epic fantasy, having plowed my way through Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, but I had a hard time with this book. Even the magic felt odd and hard to follow. Then, throw in some Ascendants who seem to be gods but also mortal, and a couple of ancient races that may or may not be ready to fulfill a 3,000 year-old prophecy and I was floundering. I was always curious about what would happen next and how all the pieces tied together, but I felt like I was missing some thread tying it all together.

I did appreciate that we had several strong female characters that didn’t fall into bed with the first cute guy. My favorite character was probably Kruppe, who talked about himself in the third person and looked like a glutton, but was really an accomplished mage and spymaster. Even so, I don’t think I need to read the other nine books in the series (or 15 if you consider the six canonical books by Ian Cameron Esslemont). I can see why Tor gave out the first book in the series, though, because there’s quite a few more to buy if you got sucked in.

Title comes from: I think it refers to the Moon’s Spawn.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #97 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge, and an E in my Author Reading the Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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