Gardens of the Moon

by Steven Erikson

Tor, January, 2005.
Trade Paperback, 688 pages.
ISBN: 0765348780

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson Canadian author Steven Erikson launches a ten volume epic fantasy series with this incredibly complex and well-imagined story. After the Emperor died under mysterious circumstances years before, Empress Lasleen is now solidifying her power base and her tight grip on the countryside. She works to expand the borders of her empire using ground troops, assassins and spies. Dujek Onearm is a renowned military commander and he and his Bridgeburners now serve the new Empress. But the military plans sometimes make no sense to Onearm and he wonders if his men are being used for some other, sinister purpose. Ganoes Stabro Paran first saw the Empress' soldiers when he was a boy who dreamed of being a great warrior. But Imperial Service isn't what Paran thought it would be -- as an old soldier told him when he was a boy -- and he has many journeys ahead of him in both the physical and immaterial worlds as he confronts both Gods and men on his quest.

Gardens of the Moon has an unusually high number of characters and subplots -- even for an epic fantasy. Although it is the first book in a series, Gardens of the Moon reads quite well as a stand-alone. Mr. Erikson has a rich imagination and the rise and fall of the Malazan Empire is a gripping story, full of magic, betrayal, death, and intrigue.

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This review was published in the January-February, 2005 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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