Gardens of the Moo


Journeyed there and back again
No. It's not a typo.

I've just finished the first of the Malazan books. Or rather the first of the Malazan audiobooks has just finished.

The biggest surprise was hearing the words "We hope you have enjoyed our presentation of.."

Is it just me or was that a massive WTF? I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the journey, it was a highly detailed world and some characters that, whilst not stunningly original, were very likable. I did enjoy it. But it just stopped.

It's kind of put me off continuing... convince me BFB peeps... convince me...

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
You should continue.

If I remember correctly GOTM (yeah, I just did that) was written 15-20 years before the rest of the Malazan main series. As such, the tone is way different, Erikson's writing style less well developped, and his skills in forming a story still rudimentary (the last bit explaining the rather abrubt ending). Although there are some deviants (cough @TomTB cough), any sensible fantasy lover would agree with me on this.

Therefore: go and read/listen to the second book. It is to the first book as chess is to checkers. Rugby to American Football. Bacon to ham. Seriously, go do yourself a pleasure and continue the series.


In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
If I remember correctly GOTM (yeah, I just did that) was written 15-20 years before the rest of the Malazan main series.
It's something like 10-13 years. He was writing it in early '90s. GotM was originally a film script, but it didn't sell. So he adapted it to novel and even in adaptation that movie angle shines through, what with all the non stop action.
Deadhouse Gates (2004) is a completely different thing, where Erikson showed off his writing chops that he's been honing for 10+ year. It's miles ahead as far as the writing skill is concerned.

I was lukewarm toward GotM but absolutely loved Deadhouse Gates. By the end of the book Erikson has reduced me to emotional trainwreck, and I give him major props for that.
So you should read DG at least @wakarimasen, it's completely different to GoTM.


Journeyed there and back again
acknowledgement of the abrupt ending and knowing that about spacing gives me more inclination to try one more at least... I think. Any other opinions...? (@TomTB I'm looking at you)

Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
GOTM is one of my favourite Malazan books, I can't remember a lot about it apart from really enjoying it and it had a great atmosphere.

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
It took me awhile to come around to Gardens of the Moon but I think I read it at least 3 times while waiting for other books in the series to be released. I say stick with it.


Journeyed there and back again
The next book is one of the best of the series. Definitely keep going!

That being said, I loved GotM as well.

Also, aside from GotM, Erikson really know how to end a book. The last 200 pages of his Malazan books are incredible.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't think I could've handled the audiobook of GoTMoo. I spent so much time referencing the glossary/character list, to not just this but pretty much every book in the series, that I think I would've lost a lot of things going the audio route. Saying that I have contemplated audiobook for my reread, which I plan on doing at some point between here and retirement.

GotMoo was, however, one of my favourite books in the series. Books 1, 3, 5 & 7 are the ones I'll go back to if I do reread .. they're the ones I recall most vividly and shape my feelings towards the whole Malazan experience. I think with Moo it was possibly a case of right book right time, but I absolutely adored the setting, the complexity, the depth, the excitement and the scope of it. I'd not read anything like it and I lapped it up. Maybe my opinion might change on a reread, but more than likely, it would reinforce my opinion that certain folk (cough, @Silvion Night, cough) are talking bollocks when they say this is (one of) the weakest books in the series.

The follow up book, Deadhouse Gates was quite a disappointment ... the story started to aimlessly meander to the point i started to lose interest, but WHAM, book 3 reinvigorated my adoration for the world/setting/story .. then Urgh book 4 (plodding along), then WOW book 5 (the best of the lot ... Tehol!!!).

Anyways, I'm just rambling, where am I going with this, what was the question? ... oh yeah .. Malazan is a series every single fantasy fan should read. There'll be plenty of highs and lows along the way, but the second you read the last sentence of the last book I can guarantee you'll look back and be gobsmacked at the journey you've just experienced!


A Poet of the Khaiem
As it turns out, I'm in the middle of GotMoo right now (a re-read, but I didn't finish the series the first time around--maybe 7 or 8 books? I forget). It's better than I remembered it being. It's stronger than a lot of other writers' first novels. But there are some things that I find, not irritating so much (not anymore--I did the first time around), but less than ideal. I think he gets better though.

It's not hard to see why it didn't get made into a movie: there are 92 named characters, if I counted correctly. And that's just the first book! A fairly complicated movie would have a third of that cast.


Journeyed there and back again
Yeah I liked Gardens of the Moon a lot also. Wouldn't have continued if I hadn't.

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
GOTM was written somewhere around 1990, and the rest after it was picked up as a series (say around 2001 onward).

Also: Gardens of the DRAGONCOW.

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
One of the few moments of merit that Kingquoter bequeathed unto us. Behold the MAJESTY.