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A few facts about this book:
- Title: Gardens of the Moon
- Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
- Author: Steven Erikson
- Published by Tor
- Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)
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WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK ONE?
1154th Year of Burn’s Sleep
96th Year of the Malazan Empire
The Last Year of Emperor Kellanved’s Reign
Gardens of the Moon opens with a young noble boy, Ganoes Paran, he approaches a Bridgeburner Commander and asks if it is true Dassem Ultra is dead. The soldier tells Ganoes to lead a life that the gods don’t notice before another Bridgeburner comes over to talk, the two discuss a few things one of which the fact Surly has changed her name to Laseen.
The Commander and Laseen exchange in some not so pleasant conversation, with sly threats and assertions that the laws against sorcery will not survive, Laseen dismisses him and leaves.
BOOK ONE | PALE
Chapters 1 to 4.
1161st Year of Burn’s Sleep – Seven years later
103rd Year of the Malazan Empire
7th Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule – Laseen rules now
A young girl is in the streets in Itko Kan next to a kooky old lady called Rigga, a seer, the two end up chatting though it’s all a little batty, Rigga grabs the girl claiming she will embrace Shadow, but that Rigga will preserve her by linking the two. Rigga is then killed by a passing soldier.
The girl then notices two men, and one is soon surround by seven hounds who he quickly sends after the soldiers. The two men are revealed to be Cotillion and Ammanas. Cotillion decides the girl will be of use in their plan against LAseen, he bathes the girl in shadows and they disappear.
There is a massacre, a Captain and the Adjunct Lorn are riding towards it to inspect what caused it. The two don’t know what happened, there is no invading force and its is a harrowing sight. The Adjunct Lorn then notice Ganoes riding through the bodies, they too call him over.
Adjunct Lorn asks what was responsible for the massacre, Ganoes explains it was done with teeth. Adjunct Lorn concludes that the attack was magical and a diversion from something greater while talking with Ganoes. Adjunct Lorn soon decides to take him on as an officer on her staff. Noticing that two huts are empty, a fisher girl and her father and that of Rigga are empty she asks for a search to be made and want details of all new recruits matching their description.
The girl having walked quite a way then takes the name Sorry and enlists in the Malazan Marines requesting a specific stationing.
Ganoes Paran is riding along contemplating life and the massacre when he comes across Topper, the Empress’ Chief Claw. Topper and Ganoes travel trough the Imperial Warren to the Imperial Throne room meeting with Laseen. Laseen makes a comment about remembering Paran from seven years ago, and send them away. Shocker Topper quizzes Paran about knowing Laseen but Ganoes reveals nothing.
Ganoes meets with Adjunct Lorn, he asks if they will stop their search into what happened Itko Kan and she advises it is to be looking into but not too closely.
Two years later in Pale, we meet Tattersail and Hairlock.
Hairlock is dying after the Siege of Pale, a destructive magical battle with the Moon’s Spawn. Tattersail thinks back to earlier that morning and the Seige of Pale. The battle was a mess, everyone is stationed around and the fight begins though they are soon attacked from behind killing many. Though, the Moon’s Spawn sustain heavy damage and retreat South withdrawing their protection of Pale.
Tattersail pulls herself from her own thoughts when several Bridgeburners approach her. Hairlock convinces Tattersail that the attack from behind was one of their own, Tayschrenn. To save Hairlock, Quick Ben soul shifts him into a puppet doll. Tattersail is then thrust into the Brudgburners plan when accepting to carry Hairlock Puppet, she is happy about this as she went vengeance on Tayschrenn.
Whiskeyjack, Kalam and Quick Ben voice their concern that they, and all the Bridgeburners are being setup to be eliminated by Laseen.
Tattersail opens herself to the Warren and performs a reading with the Deck of Dragons. She reveals two cards, the twin Jesters of Chance and the Knight of High House Dark and refuses to reveal another much to Hairlock annoyance. Tattersail then notices the presence of a spinning coin, and Hairlock does not, this gives her hope.
Paran is given instructions that he is to take command of Whiskeyjacks squad in Pale, namely because Sorry is also a part of that squad.
Tattersail conducts a Reading. She reveals several cards and believes from her reading that the Death’s Virgin is Sorry, She discusses this with Whiskeyjack. Whiskeyjack and his group try to figure out just who Sorry really is.
Paran is greeted by Toc the Younger, the two journey to the City during which Toc tells Paran that his own Clawmaster was garotted two days earlier.
Once in the city Paran meets several of the Bridgeburner soldiers, and then makes his way back to his barracks once in his quarters he is assassinated, by none other than Sorry. While slowly dying Ammanas and Cotillion discuss their ongoing vengeance scheme with Laseen and that something has entered their Shadow warren. Paran slowly gives into the blackness to the sound of a coin spinning.
Tattersail, Whiskeyjack, Quick Ben, Fiddler and Kalam all discuss Hairlock, they feel he is insane from his use of the Warren of Chaos.
They know of the massacre back in Itko Kan and suspect that Sorry had something to do with it and may be posses and on the side of the Shadow.
Fiddler has a bad feeling and the group is soon aware that an officer had been garotted and they suspect Sorry as the assassin. The group take off in a hurry.
Paran lingers by Hood’s Gate awaiting his inevitable death but is surprised when the Twins of Chance interfere. They explain they have long admired his sword (a sword named Chance) and the fact that is is far more subtle than a coin. Hearing a howl the Twins of Chance make moves to leave but before they do call the Lord of Death, Hood. Though the Lord of Death is busy and another comes they all agree for him he is to be saved but someone will have to take his place. The Twins leave.
Shadowthrone arrives with two Hounds of Shadow, Shadowthrone and Paran talk for a time and Shadowthrone decides it would be easier to let him live in order to find out who opposes Shadow. Paran one again succumbs to the darkness to the sound of a coin spinning.
Paran wakes in front of the Bridgeburners; they move him to safety. Kalam warns them to leave the doors open if a woman follows them.
Whiskeyjack and Dujek discuss their belief that the Empress is trying to kill off the rest of the Bridgeburners and the assignment to Darujhistan is the way to do it. Dujek tells him that if they somehow survive they can leave afterwards, free. Fiddler and Whiskeyjack imply that ten thousand soldiers are ready to rebel and should the Empress decide to outlaw Dujek, they would stand with him.
Paran is moved to Tattersail’s residence. Kalam, Quick Ben and Tattersail wait to hear from Hairlock, he appears but is being chased by Hounds. Realising Paran was saved by an Ascendant they ask Tattersail to take care of him while they leave for Darujhistan.
A Hound of Shadow chases Hairlock to Tattersail’s residence. Tattersail barely manages to avoid the Hounds attack, Hairlock tries to take its soul but then Paran appears awounds the Hound before it flees into the Warren of Shadow. Hairlock threatens both Paran and Tattersail, but she calls his bluff knowing there’s isn’t anything he can do against them without exposing himself to Tayschrenn. Paran and Tattersail both hear a spinning coin.
SO…WHAT DO WE KNOW FROM GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE?
It is really complex, likely to cause a heavy dose of confusion and will require more than one read..
You know, I really felt like I was following the books events well while reading it, and I guess I still do but going over it again for this post jus showed me how freaking crazy and entwined all the story threads are and are going to continue to be! So many characters have several names because they are all actively meddling in the world and not always with their own faces.
I was planning on going into a whole section on who we have met and the Houses but it can easily fall into spoiler territory and I don’t want to end up revealing to me or you true identities of people we are not yet aware of and plus you can just look at the Dramatis Personae.
I hope this helps, it was pretty helpful for me going over the details again in my head! I hope to get Book Two done in the next couple of days, so watch out.