I’m back with my first review of the year, and with my first read of 2021 – Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. The Malazan books are something I have heard mentioned over and over again, with very mixed opinions, to the point where it felt like an almost mythical series. I had already planned on doing a series challenge this year to clear some of my TBR, and I decided that now was the time to dive into some bigger ones as well – both Malazan and Wheel of Time. I decided to start with the one that I was least sure of, and well… I loved it.
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.
However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…