Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wanted to read this book for a long time since I enjoy epic/high fantasy but I was quite scared to take on this adventure. English is not my mother tongue but there was no other language option for me. I read in many websites and comments that this is a difficult book and I definitely understand why some people would not want to get into this story. I found a website which helped me a lot with going through Gardens of the Moon since they made a discussion over every chapter and explained things that either I didn’t fully understand or I completely missed.
Concerning the book though, it was definitely not as hard as I thought it was going to be. It is beautifully written! The language, the atmosphere, everything is done amazingly. Erikson has created a very complicated world that we only get a small glimpse of in this first book and characters that are not black or white but shades of gray. There is some very intelligent humour and the conversations that are taking place throughout the book and the politics are fascinating.
On the other hand, this is not an easy read. You have to be 100% focused while reading it, you cannot let your attention shift to other stimuli as you will miss an important detail. You might have to re-read some paragraphs twice and take notes (if this is helpful for you). Moreover, this book is pretty big. I personally really enjoy big books especially for fantasy series and Gardens of the Moon never gave me the impression of dragging out. Every paragraph had its purpose. As I mentioned, we only get a little information about the world that Erikson built but I am expecting to learn more about it as the series continues.
I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy series like Game of Thrones (I think I might actually like this series more than that of George R. R. Martin), but it could be quite challenging as it requires you full concentration
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