Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
High fantasy is cool. Fantasy this high is a little hard to take.
The Gardens of the Moon is book one of the “Mazalan Books of the Fallen” series, which is ten books long. And unlike most fantasy series, it is actually complete! (Jar Jar Martin and Robert Jordan, I’m glaring at you both.) So based on a lackluster recommendation from LT, I decided to give it a try.
The reign of the Empress is in decline. Assorted ancient demons, demi-gods, and other mega-powerful beings are involved in some complex scheming to… bring about or prevent the end of this dynasty, or some such. A few different unlikeable characters skulk around the kingdom unleashing Yu-Gi-Oh level magic powers against one another.
I wanted to like the whole affair, and some of the sequences involving troupes of flying assassins, their summoned minions, and high wizardry were pretty cool. But ultimately, I didn’t like any of the characters, or identify with this collection of Level 50 Immortals and their power struggle enough care enough to proceed past this volume.