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Author Topic: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One  (Read 11027 times)

Offline Arry

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Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« on: January 04, 2014, 05:06:07 PM »
OK, When trying to decide how to go about the discussions for this, I thought it would be nice to do a recap. There's no short/easy recap. When I look back through, its so hard to know what is important and what isn't at this point. So, I'll show what I did come up with. I'm not sure if I will do this every time or not.

Prologue - Set in Malaz City

A young Ganoes Paran is standing on the wall of Mock’s Hold watching the Mouse Quarter burn. Worth mentioning is the state of the city and empire. The Emperor is missing. The First Sword of the Empire is dead (Dassem Ultor) supposedly because he betrayed a god. A bridgeburner wonders at how this boy three thousand leagues away came across this information. The Bridgeburner (Whiskeyjack) warns Paran to not become a soldier.

Quote

“Every decision you make can change the world. The best life is the one the gods don’t notice. You want to live free, boy, live quietly.”

“I want to be a soldier. A hero.”

“You’ll grow out of it.”


Erikson, Steven (2004-06-01). Gardens of the Moon: Book One of The Malazan Book of the Fallen (p. 26). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.


Paran’s willful disregard of the suggestion makes us suspectknow he will be a soldier in the story to come.

The Mouse Quarter is being “cleaned” (burned) by the orders of Surly. Surly has evidently named herself Empress and changed her name to Laseen (which Paran recognizes as meaning Thronemaster). She is a Claw (which is described as “acolytes of the cult”). She has put in place laws against sorcery. And she clashes with Whiskeyjack and he warns her that when the Emperor returns, he will put a stop to her.

So, what is Laseen’s (Surly's) motivation for outlawing sorcery?




Book One - Itko Tan

Here we see an old woman and a fishergirl watching soldiers ride in. The girl seems excited by it, but the woman show hatred for it and talks about losing 3 husbands and 2 sons to war. She has 5 candles to hold their souls. The old woman  suddenly grabs her and  prophesied that the girl will be the last one to hear her talk and that the old woman would be the last to talk to the girl:

Quote
“Across the sea the Empress has driven her knife into virgin soil. The blood now comes in a tide and it’ll sweep you under, child, if you’re not careful. They’ll put a sword in your hand, they’ll give you a fine horse, and they’ll send you across that sea. But a shadow will embrace your soul. Now, listen! Bury this deep! Rigga will preserve you because we are linked, you and I. But it is all I can do, understand? Look to the Lord spawned in Darkness; his is the hand that shall free you, though he’ll know it not—”

Erikson, Steven (2004-06-01). Gardens of the Moon: Book One of The Malazan Book of the Fallen (p. 33). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

The old woman is killed. Two men stop to talk to the girl. One’s face was shadowed within his hood. Then there 7 Hounds suddenly appear. (the mens names Ammanas and Cotillion). She hears their names, and now they must use her. Shadows over take her.

--

The Adjunct to the Empress (Lorn) is viewing the decimation in Itko Tan. Soldiers, people, horses were all slaughtered by wolves. She comes across Ganoes Paran who is brutally honest in his description of the way things are. He had recently been assigned to the regiment there, but sh reassigns him to report to her. She sends him to investigate in the neighboring town because she said the massacre was a decoy, that there was a sorcerous event. When he gets there everyone is gone, and the soldiers at the constabulary were all suffocated and surrounded by pigeons.

Sorry enlists and requests to be assigned to Dujek Onearm’s host.

Topper shows up and takes Ganoes though the Imperial Warren to report to the Empress. Topper is surprised to learn this is not the first time that Ganoes has met the Empress.

Chapter 2

Battle in Pale. Dujek has said they will attack Moon’s Spawn. during the Battle, Tayschrenn attacks the other mages. Tattersail survives because Calot sacrifices himself for her. The remnants of the Bridgeburners show up. Turn what’s left of a dying Hairlock into some creepy possessed marionette. When Tattersail reads her cards, she plays the Knight of High House Dark and Openn, the twin jesters of chance. On this card, there is a spinning coin that Hairlock does not see. Something about this coin gives her hope.

Chapter 3

Paran is made Captain to Whiskeyjack’s squad, where the captains don’t last long and often die of a dagger to the back. (since Moons Spawn). Paran is assassinated by Sorry (Cotiliion). Shadowthrone (Ammanas) appears briefly and complains about something entering the Warren of Shadow.

Chapter 4

Tattersail and the other Bridgeburners. We learn that Shadow’s throne had been empty for millennia until the Emperor and Dancer’s deaths. They suspect that Shadowthrone and Cotiliion are the missing Emperor and Dancer.

Paran awakes at deaths door (or rather Hood’s Gate), but the Openn twins interfere and say someone close to Paran will have to die to replace his death.Shadowthrone agrees to let him live to figure out who opposes his plans. Paran awakes, the Bridgeburners are shocked and carry him back to barraks.

Hairlock is being chased by Hounds through the warrens. The bridgeburners and Tattersail agree that Sorry likely was the one who tried to kill Paran The Bridgeburners need to leave, so Tattersail is left with babysitting duty of their new and near dead Captain.

A Hound chases Hairlock out of the warren, and tracks him down to Tattersail’s room. Tattersail tries to hold him off with her magic/shields. Hairlock gets out of his box to try to steal the Hounds soul, but Paran wounds it, and it flees. Paran can also hear Tattersail’s spinning coin.


Overall reaction.
Really enjoying this. Curious to see how Paran fits in with his new crew. Also, love all the intrigue, who’s siding with who? Who is up to what? What are the gods doing in all of this?
What really happened in Itko Tan?

The implication that perhaps Cotillion and Shadowthrone are Dancer and the Emperor, paired with the fishergirl being turned into an agent of Shadowmaster. I had thought she was Cotiliion, but then this made me wonder. Or is she just a puppet? Well, obviously she is a puppet. But if she is Cotillion and they think Dancer is Cotiliion, is that the same thing, or are there varying levels? My current theory is that she is just a puppet of Cotillion's.

I am actually listening to the Name of the Wind while reading this and because of that, I found some minor similarities between the gods in the and the Chandrian in NotW. Nothing major, or anything I would have noticed/thought of if I didn;t have both stories going at the same time, but I did find it interesting.

Anyway, so what are other people thinking at this point? Are you having the same reaction? Do my assumptions make sense to others, or are there other theories/impressions out there?

:)



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Offline eclipse

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Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 06:37:55 PM »
There were two amusing scenes I liked the two guards on duty and one says to the other "you got a thing about stating the obvious"  and Fiddler with his short sword on the rooftop and Dujek reaction to it  :)

The Deck of Dragon card Scenes are excellent it really feels like the card are coming alive the way the author describe them

Theres a lot of sweaty characters in this novel,   you could have a drinking game round it  ;)

I don't like the word Dammit it sounds too modern, Damn it reads better for me  minor nit-pick

Hairlock what a character the insane little puppet (I did notice on page 128 That Hairlock a non-human was glistening with sweat? I think Erikson has got a thing for sweat  ;))

This is a  fun read
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 06:40:08 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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Offline Evazorek

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 10:37:48 PM »
This book is great; I am really enjoying it. I have almost finished the book but thought I would chime in with my thoughts on the first section.

The book really confused me at first but I figured a ten novel series would need a certain amount of introduction and set up to make the pay off worth it. I enjoyed following Paran's progression through all of this and how he seems to have found himself part of something much larger then he can really comprehend at this stage.

The battle with the mages is great, I really enjoyed that section and it seems the power of magic in this setting is incredibly devastating when used against people. I think the warrens as a magic system is really cool and I look forward to being able to talk about it more as the weeks go on. :)
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Offline Idlewilder

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 01:05:21 PM »
Not had a chance to properly start my reread yet, so I will come back with more once I have, but just going on what I remember of my first read through and a brief look at the start again; I loved Paran as the main character at this point as there is just something very relatable about him in what is a very unusual and densely packed fantasy world. He helps ground the narrative at the beginning so that we don't get too lost. In many ways it feels a little like being thrown into the middle of a much greater narrative from the beginning (for example, what if A Song of Ice and Fire began at the end of the Battle of Blackwater and we were left to keep up) and characters like Paran help to keep it from running away from the reader.

In terms of scenes at the beginning, Hairlock's, erm...halved...body and his transformation into the puppet was easily the most memorable. Erikson has a very descriptive and macabre sense of humour that translates well onto the page. Very unlike a lot of other epic fantasy writers in that he is genuinely quite witty and loves his black humour.

On the Shadowthrone/Emperor and Cotillion(The Rope)/Dancer, I did spot this rather interesting poem that opens the novel (and with it the series) that may be a bit more telling than it seems at first glance:

The Emperor is dead!
So too his right hand - now cold, now severed!
But mark these dying shadows,
twinned and flowing bloody and beaten,
down and away from mortal sight...
From sceptre's rule dismissed,
from gild candelabra the light now fled,
from a hearth ringed in hard jewels
seven years this warmth has bled...

The Emperor is dead.
So too his master'd companion, the rope cut clean.
But mark this burgeoning return -
faltering dark
, the tattered shroud -
embracing children in Empire's dying light.
Hear now the dirge faint reprised,
before the sun's fall, this day spills red
on buckled earth, and in obsidian eyes
vengeance chimes seven times...
 -  Call to Shadow by Felisin


There's always more than meets the eye to this series...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 01:07:10 PM by Idlewilder »
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Offline Geekory

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 01:56:02 PM »
Thank you Arry for posting the little summary. I found the beginning hard to follow but it looks like I understood most of it. I'm listening to the audible version and there’s no indication of the sudden change in POV and scenes, barely even a pause which is disorienting.

I find the Hairlock puppet amusing and I’m not quite sure what the warren are other than part of the magic system. It took a while but the intrigue is starting to get interesting.

It was hard to get into but I’m starting to enjoy it.

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Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 07:58:47 AM »
Have got through this, although I'm struggling a bit, and have nearly given up on several occasions. Doesn't help that I've got a proof copy of The Emperor's Blade, and I'd far sooner be reading that!

I also like Paran. It's him that's keeping me reading, in truth. I've been trying to put my finger on why I like him, exactly, and I think it's because he's been noticed while doing what so many of us do at work: trying to make himself look good. He's may not be the best candidate in other ways, but he's caught the eye by virtue of a strong stomach, a good horse, the ability to put a brave face on things, and a little BS.

Offline DBASKLS

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 06:52:31 PM »
Ok so, I'm finding this a reasonable easy read in terms of the language is OK, the characters are interesting, the settings are good, I like a bit of magic etc. However, I'm not sure I'm very clear on what's actually happening! But I'm happy to carry on reading and hope all becomes clear later!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 07:57:00 PM by DBASKLS »
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Offline xiagan

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Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 07:41:41 PM »
No idea where to start this post... there is so much going on, so much to speculate about and so many questions unanswered... oh well. :)

Since you, the reader, don't get most of all the subtleties and foreshadowing in the beginning. I guess after the book/the first few books it pays to go back and read the start (and the poems/songs/prophecies) again - like with the Wheel of Time's prologue about Lews Therin.

It's quite dark, which is okay, only the generally hopeless and desperate atmosphere is a bit thick for my liking.

I, too, like Paran and I think Windy hit the nail on the head with this:
I loved Paran as the main character at this point as there is just something very relatable about him in what is a very unusual and densely packed fantasy world. He helps ground the narrative at the beginning so that we don't get too lost.

The book reminds me on Glen Cook's Black Company but it's characters are easier to relate too, which makes it easier to read.

Onwards! ;)
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Offline Arry

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Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 10:49:42 PM »
It's always interesting to see how different people react. :)

There's always more than meets the eye to this series...
Yep, it's always fun to discover hidden things that get lost on a first read, or remember back and say "Oh yeah!"

The book really confused me at first but I figured a ten novel series would need a certain amount of introduction and set up to make the pay off worth it.

I agree, it's good to keep in mind this is a huge story. We may have been just dropped in, but eventually, it will come together.



Like others, I like Parran. And Hairlock is a creepy little puppet guy, gotta love that. I don't find it too dark or desperate, but then given my usual tastes, that would be a surprise if I did. :)
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Offline michaelramm

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 02:52:58 PM »
I am still really liking Gardens. I am still wholly confused to the big picture, but since it is the first quarter of the first book of 10, I am sure it will be made clear. I like the writing and the humor, as well. I love when an author can inject subtle humor into fantasy. Erickson does it well, Sullivan does it well too.

I cannot wait to see what is store in Book Two.
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Offline eclipse

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Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 05:20:40 PM »

On the Shadowthrone/Emperor and Cotillion(The Rope)/Dancer, I did spot this rather interesting poem that opens the novel (and with it the series) that may be a bit more telling than it seems at first glance:

The Emperor is dead!
So too his right hand - now cold, now severed!
But mark these dying shadows,
twinned and flowing bloody and beaten,
down and away from mortal sight...
From sceptre's rule dismissed,
from gild candelabra the light now fled,
from a hearth ringed in hard jewels
seven years this warmth has bled...

The Emperor is dead.
So too his master'd companion, the rope cut clean.
But mark this burgeoning return -
faltering dark
, the tattered shroud -
embracing children in Empire's dying light.
Hear now the dirge faint reprised,
before the sun's fall, this day spills red
on buckled earth, and in obsidian eyes
vengeance chimes seven times...
 -  Call to Shadow by Felisin


There's always more than meets the eye to this series...

Thats very clever, I normally skip poems in books
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Dessembrae

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 05:29:55 PM »
 Don't skip any poems in Malazan.  ;)

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 12:51:06 AM »
I have come to admit defeat.  That being said, I honestly didn't really try.  This will likely be a series that I read in the future, but I just find myself not wanting to read it all right now, and I have too much to read to force myself into something.  For some reason the notion of book rape comes to mind  ???

Anyway, I'll be back next month with bells on.
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Offline Arry

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Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 04:39:50 PM »
Don't skip any poems in Malazan.  ;)

Ahh. Why am I not surprised to hear this ;)

I have come to admit defeat.  That being said, I honestly didn't really try.  This will likely be a series that I read in the future, but I just find myself not wanting to read it all right now, and I have too much to read to force myself into something.  For some reason the notion of book rape comes to mind  ???

Anyway, I'll be back next month with bells on.

 :'( Sorry to hear that. But then, from what I heard before we started, I expected there would be some dropouts. No worries about it and glad to have you join us next month! :)
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Offline michaelramm

Re: Gardens of the Moon - Week 1: Prologue and Book One
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 02:21:06 PM »
I am going to stop Gardens of the Moon. Not because I don't like, I really do. But it takes more of my attention than I can give it while reading Prince of Thorns, Theft of Swords and Assassin's Apprentice.

I kind of figured 4 books at a time would be tough, but Gardens is such a DEEP read that I am going to postpone it to a later time this year when I can fully dedicate more of my attention to it.
Currently Reading: Malice, John Gwynne; Leviathan Wakes (Expanse 1), James SA Corey; Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter
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