With a field as crowded as heroic fantasy, a reader is entitled to know what makes the latest blockbuster worth his or her attention: but Bantam books are throwing considerable marketing weight behind Steven Erikson, because they clearly believe he is the Next Big Thing. They may be right--he has the breadth and detail of imaginative vision, he is able to create a world that is both absorbing on a human level and full of magical sublimity, and, above all, he can write.
Gardens of the Moon concerns the military campaign by the Malazan Empire to capture the last remaining Free City on the Gernsbackian continent. War is waged with conventional soldiers as well as powerful magicians, and gods mix with mortals in a complex, but rewarding, series of narrative threads that come chiefly out of the school of Feist's Magician, although there is also something of the flavour of Gavriel Kay's celebrated Fionavar books. The moon of the title is a wonderfully grand conception, a sort of floating mountain that moves through the skies of the war-striken continent, and is the home of the 'Son of Darkness'. The various magical battles are splendidly written, and the characters are well realised. Rewardingly mellow and fiendishly readable. --Adam Roberts
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"Erikson is an extraordinary writer. My advice to anyone who might listen to me is, Treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon. And my entirely selfish advice to Steven Erikson is, write faster."--Stephen R. Donaldson
"I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of imagination may be the high water mark of epic fantasy. This marathon of ambition has a depth and breadth and sense of vast reaches of inimical time unlike anything else available today. The Black Company, Zelazny's Amber, Vance's Dying Earth, and other mighty drumbeats are but foreshadowings of this dark dragon's hoard."--Glen Cook
"Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics on a scale that would approach absurdity if it wasn't so much fun." (Andrew Leonard Salon.com
"An astounding debut…has the potential to become a defining work in Fantasy." (Neil Walsh SF Site
"Steven Erikson is an extraordinary writer. My advice to anyone who might listen to me: Treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon." (Stephen R. Donaldson)
"There's nothing safe about fantasy like this: intriguing, complex, thought provoking, exceedingly well-written, and, for the intelligent reader, exhilaratingly satisfying." (Paula Guran Cinemafantastique
"Complex, challenging…Erikson's strengths are his grown-up characters and his ability to create a world every bit as intricate and messy as our own." (J. V. Jones SFX
"Gripping, fast-moving, delightfully dark, with a masterful and unapologetic brutality reminiscent of George R. R. Martin. Utterly engrossing." (Elizabeth Haydon)
"The experience of reading Gardens of the Moon is akin to being plunged into a full-immersion course in a heretofore undiscovered realm." (Jacqueline Carey)
"A brilliant book! Exciting, inventive, intelligent--frequently funny. A wonderful book to read and to recommend to others." (David Drake)
"I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of imagination may be the high water mark of epic fantasy." (Glen Cook)