Tim Hicks's Reviews > Gardens of the Moon

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
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's review
Mar 06, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in March, 2011

First, this book needed a co-author, or a powerful editor in the John W Campbell mould. There's so much good stuff here that it's a shame the bad stuff drags it down.

Second, I think enjoyment of this book requires a commitment from the start that you know there will be ten books and you're going to read them all. I'm not one of those. If #1 is good I'll read #2. If #1 is so-so and hints that #2 might be better, no. Maybe it doesn't all fall into place until book 7 or 9, and there are too many good books out there for me to seek such a deferred payoff.

Complex plot, not-bad worldbuilding, nice range of characters and some good ones. But the magic? Feh! Much of it isn't even described. He raised his hands and big magic happened and the bad guy was gone.

As others have noticed, we are constantly being introduced in ten paragraphs to mighty character X who carries magical tool Y and has decades of experience as a deadly assassin. Then, three sentences later, X is wiped out effortlessly by the new character that just appeared with magical tool Z. If there are ten books in this series, this constant raising of the ante is going to have us destroying the universe every few pages and recreating it with a few changes so we don't have to explain anything.

Avoiding spoilers, I'll just say that the whole story of Sorry and the Rope is a book-long annoyance. The point of it may be explained in a later book, but I won't be reading it.

Summary: A strong attempt at a leap into masterpiece territory, but it didn't quite make it across the chasm and fell to its death.

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