Like many readers, I struggled a bit with Gardens of the Moon, Steven Erikson's first tome in the Malazan series. Not that it's a bad book, it's merely a bit confusing at times. It hits you with about a hundred names and several storylines that do not touch each other very much before the last chapters.
So, does it all come together? Nearly. Does the book stand on its own to be readable as a novel in its own right? Very nearly, but not quite.
I'd recommend that you approach it the same way I did: Having heard so many positive things about the "good kind of chaos" of the Malazan series as a whole, I decided to read the first book with a view to continuing onwards to the whole series.
Am I going to continue? I suppose I must, now, in order to get the whole story.