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Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)
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Group Read - Gardens of the Moon > GotM - Chapter One - NO SPOILERS

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message 1: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
STARTING JAN 1ST - GROUP READ - CHAPTER THREADS

4 Chapters per week


Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 21 comments I know this might belong elsewhere, but I'm going to toss it in for all the members reading it for the first time in January.

Don't get discouraged by the first book!

Even Erikson says that it's difficult, and he even kinda sorta recommends people begin with the second since the story is more coherent (and the rest of the series was written almost a decade later).

If you're finding it dense, power though, because Deadhouse Gates will blow you away.


message 3: by Maggie (last edited Dec 28, 2012 02:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie K | 106 comments I loved re-reading how the fishergirl met up with Ammanas and Cotillion. The great thing about Erikson is all the tiny little details that all of a sudden turn huge later!


Lori I so agree! I feel much more compassion for Sorry this time around.


message 5: by Maggie (last edited Dec 28, 2012 02:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie K | 106 comments Also the meeting of Lorn and Paran, thus setting him on the journey that will....well, get him where he needs to be I guess! He kind of seems like an ass here...and certainly does manage to get the head Claw Topper PO'd at him.....

This chapter is clearly set-up, but chock-ful of nuts in the information category!

Fishergirl/Sorry is carrying some sort of nugget from Rigga, and something from Cotillion. Poor kid! WHatever it was, it was important enough to kill off a whole regiment and a whole village just as a distraction?
Then Paran and his sisters...one obviously capable, the other 'too soft'.


message 6: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Oi you! Are you getting me back for jumping ahead in your threads?


Maggie K | 106 comments all's fair! ')


Gail | 9 comments Noooooooo! I was waiting for the 1st. Now I'm behind already. I am always behind. *grumble grumble*


message 9: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I am waiting to Gail.


message 10: by Hanne (last edited Dec 30, 2012 02:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hanne (Hanne2) | 228 comments not alone gail! look at me playing nice and waiting until it's officially January first! although i did already have a peek to see how long those chapters are.
two more days!


message 11: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Sorry I was in between books and just had a hankering! As a matter I was a bit wary, since I don't do rereads at all - too many great books - but by the first paragraph I was once again hooked. Doncha worry, we'll all wait for you!


Hanne (Hanne2) | 228 comments no worries Lori! you can't always time books ending and starting that well.
i actually doubt i will keep to the four chapters a week myself (but shht, don't tell Lee :D)


Linette | 152 comments I haven't started yet either, trying hard to finish my current book by tomorrow night so I'll be ready to start!


Traci | 34 comments I think I'll time my chapters for the weekend. At least until I actually start reading again. And I can't stop. :)


message 15: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Actually Hanne you can start New Year's Eve night because we are on Australian time.


message 16: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Hanne, Gail read GotM in the spy room thus year where we had an active discussion, you can always use that thread if you get ahead :)


Travis Sinard | 15 comments Just finished the 1st chapter. Like meeting with an old friend. It's interesting to see how the "relationship" between Cotillion and Sorry begins and remembering how it evolved. No spoilers from me though. I'd forgot how courageous Ganoes was at first also. Gonna start the second chapter now. Having way too much fun!


Steve (Cardzrool) | 44 comments I bought the Kindle Ed of GotM to see if I can reread in this format. Only read the contents prior to the official first chapter. Was that cheating? haha.

I think I can the Kindle App will be just fine on my Nexus 7.


message 19: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Ok so here we go, chapter one.

So we got an introduction to the Bridgeburners, albiet a short one. We met Surly who changed her name to Laseen then became an Empress. The gap between the prologue and the first chapter seems to have been about 10 odd years as a young 12 year old Ganoes Paran goes from boyhood to gaining a commission in the military.

We met Cotillion and Ammanas who appear out of no where (we assume from a warren as we learn about warrens too). Cotillion has a poignent moment with a young fisher girl who he names Sorry and Ammanas loosens his hounds on the cavalry. Although it does seem that the slaughter was not something that Coltillion had planned.

Coltillion and Ammanas discuss revenge against Laseen, but using Sorry is a long term project to achieve this. Our tough Adjunct Lorn is not fooled easily and spots the chances that the fisherman and his daughter could be trying to infiltrate the army. It seems that Ammanas made a mistake by removing the fishing boat so that it would be assumed they were out fishing.

So a couple of interesting things to note in regards to policy. There has been a culling of the nobles in parts, especially in the military under the old Emperor, but under Laseen, the nobility are trying to get back into power. Laseen on the other hand is restricting all magic to use by Military mages only. It seems that mages are recruited and witches are killed.

We get our first view of the Claw and of a Warren. I wont even try to explain Warrens, except that they get you from point A to B in a short time, but aren't exactly a stroll in the park.

Hoods Breath, all this is chapter one!


message 20: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I remember reading this chapter for the first time and my head was just spinning - didn't have a clue what was going on. Things are lot clearer on the reread


message 21: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Another thing that makes more sense is the opening poems - I just skimmed them all the first time round.

"These tales are the tales of us all, again yet again"
very appropriate for a reread...again.

"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"

How the hell could you make sense of that the first time round? Of course its telling us to keep an eye on The Emperor and his right hand man - they might be appear dead, but they live in Shadow and are central to the story.


Travis Sinard | 15 comments My second read through is already more enjoyable. I understand what's happening and can follow better without getting bogged down. I also skipped most of the poems during my first read. Glad I'm reading them now. They're well written, also.


message 23: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I skipped all the poems too, I got nagged mercilessly by Shelley on my last read, she thought I was missing out on considerable information. I'll read them for sure this time, but I won't tell people on there first read that they are critical.

The prologue was alos good to get the overview of who is on who's side. This is relevant for the rest of the book, so i'll re-post it.

In the eighth year the Free Cities of Genabackis established contracts with a number of mercenary armies to oppose the Imperium's advance; prominent among these were the Crimson Guard, under the command of Prince K'azz D'Avore (see Volumes III & V); and the Tiste Andü regiments of Moon's Spawn, under the command of Caladan Brood and others.
The forces of the Malazan Empire, commanded by High Fist Dujek Onearm, consisted in that year of the 2nd, 5th and 6th Armies, as well as legions of Moranth.


message 24: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Jan 01, 2013 02:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "I skipped all the poems too, I got nagged mercilessly by Shelley on my last read, she thought I was missing out on considerable information."

I'm just starting to appreciate that now. The poem at the prologue for example basically tells us who (view spoiler) - and he further hints

'You see, lass,' Ammanas added, suppressing a giggle, 'we're not supposed to be here. There are names, and then there are names.'


I like the mother's lament at the start of Chapter 1
...the boy walks
another soldier, another one
bright heart not yet cooled
to hard iron


Erikson commenting on how war turns bright hearts into cold iron.

And combine that with young Ganoes Paran's words
'Adjunct, for the past seven hours I have been knee-deep in torn flesh and spilled blood....I'm not young any more, Adjunct."

Another poem to note is Rigga's prophecy to the fisher girl

"...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—'

Prophecying the girls possession by shadow and her later release by the Lord of Darkness - is later fulfilled by (view spoiler) How could I see that the first time round? There's no wasted words. All the clues are there to put things together yourself. Possibly only fully appreciated on a reread. The first time I was too busy complaining how Erikson couldn't string two story arcs together if his life depended on it - when in truth he was handing out all the pieces and answers to the puzzle in plain sight. Then I remember an "aha" moment when I put a few pieces together myself and it was very rewarding. But I see now I missed so much - a lot of it in those damn poems that made no sense - when in fact they hold the keys to a cryptic puzzle.

Veterans of the series will appreciate the introduction of Tavore Paran and Felisin Paran at the end of the chapter - important names for later books.


Traci | 34 comments I just realized how hard this group read is going to be. Not because I don't want to read these again. I do. And the schedule is going to work very nicely for me. No. Because how hard avoiding spoilers is going to be... I mean, in the first pages alone there are so many OMG moments for rereaders. Or as I like to think of it the moments that click. Like pieces that finally snap together. I will try my hardest though... I have had to quit a few group reads myself because of spoilers from other readers and I'd hate to do that to someone else... So...

The prologue. The first time I read this I was so lost. Not confused. Just lost. If you never reread any other part of this series twice I recommend reading this prologue again after you're done with the entire series. It's just a really nice moment.

First chapter. This is it. Your real first taste of Malazan and Erikson. Personally my first go around I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Or thought I did. But I didn't know as much as I thought I did.


message 26: by Chaz (new) - added it

Chaz | 297 comments I am reminded how much I loved getting thrown in the deep end. Of course this time around I know who these characters are and am loving all the foreshadowing that is going on.

Does the fact that Lorn is very quickly able to deduce what the real motivation for the slaughter was and what to look for next make Ammanas' and Cotillion's efforts to disguise their tracks look foolish? 400 dead and no witnesses and Lorn is onto you inside half an hour of showing up on the scene.

Also that prologue is really cool as Ganoes accidentally finds himself in the middle of a conversation between major players at a key turning point in history (Emperor missing in prologue; Ch 1 7 years later; 7th year of Lasseen's rule).

BTW Lee, the gap is 7 years, Paran is 19 in this chapter. Pale is another two years later in chapter 2 and Paran is 21.

In many ways ch1 is itself another prologue where things happen the significance of which we don't begin to understand until ch2 where a narrative begins after a two year gap which we will now follow for the rest of the book.


Renny Abraham (Renny2077) | 49 comments Done with chapter one. Loved the 'Aha' moments Although a reread for me, I still have a few questions.


1) Dassem Ultor - I thought Laseen had him killed. Paran indicates that he betrayed a god. Is this something we'll see in the later books?
2) "Dadda lost his last one - something in the deep waters took it and the whole catch too." - Reference to a (view spoiler)?
3) I don't understand the whole Rigga scene. How is she linked to the girl? and why? I assume its primarily self-preservation. But she prophecise what's going to happen to the girl.
4) How come Cotillion does not recognize a presence when he possesses the girl?
5) After Paran leaves Lorn's chamber, he hears a cough from the room. What's the significance of this line?


Renny Abraham (Renny2077) | 49 comments Chaz wrote: "Does the fact that Lorn is very quickly able to deduce...hour of showing up on the scene."

I just assumed that being close to the Empress, she would know everything that Laseen knows (or suspects).


Linette | 152 comments Finished the first chapter, started the second, last night. First time reading this for me. I didn't feel lost - but it was a lot of info and a lot of people to try to keep straight. You all are right, SE does let the reader make a lot of the connections themselves - I like that.
Characters are only lightly sketched at this point, but I like Ganoes. Looking forward to seeing where Sorry has gone...wondering what happened to her father.
I will be reading these updates with one eye closed, as I'm never sure if it's okay for me to read of the 'aha' moments re-readers are having...appreciate your efforts to avoid spoilers :)
Great fun so far, and happy there are so many more books ahead of me - bliss!


message 30: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Chaz wrote: "Does the fact that Lorn is very quickly able to deduce what the real motivation for the slaughter was and what to look for next make Ammanas' and Cotillion's efforts to disguise their tracks look foolish?"

I thought that was a little convoluted actually. Its not clear to me why she would think a Fisher and his daughter would have anything to do with anything. But I'll just have to suspend disbelief and put it down to her being smarter than me.


message 31: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1048 comments Mod
First off, these chapters are a lot longer than I was expecting. 4 chapters a week sounds a bit more daunting than it did when I decided to do this.

That said, I really enjoyed the first chapter. I kept flipping back to the beginning with the character list trying to keep people straight, but this chapter really grabbed me. I wasn't confused at all, but maybe that's because I don't know any better?

I've been reading the poems and enjoying them, but I'm sure since it's my first time I'm missing some of the details.

I'm looking forward to getting some more reading time in later tonight.

Oh and when you say "no spoilers" I assume you mean for stuff beyond the chapter being discussed? If that's the case, I'm calling David out on spoiling stuff by explaining poems and prophecy in the larger context of the series. :P

Not all of us are doing this as a re-read!

Maybe that stuff can be discussed in either another thread, or would probably be easier to simply make use of the spoiler tags like Renny did so we don't end with new people discussing in one thread and re-readers discussing in another.

I know there is a larger series discussion, so maybe some of these observations from re-readers can be kept there instead?

Maybe I'll just skip David's posts unless he learns to behave! :-D

To everyone else I appreciate how hard it can be to try to discuss something you've already read with those who haven't and not do spoilers. Good job so far.

I often have to ask leading questions of my friends about books I've recommended to them after reading so I can figure out where they are and don't accidentally spoil stuff.


message 32: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Renny wrote: "Dassem Ultor - I thought Laseen had him killed. Paran indicates that he betrayed a god. Is this something we'll see in the later books?"

Yes, but who betrayed who would depend on which character you asked. The unreliable narrator is the rule not the exception in these books.

I think Rigga did what she did as an act of mercy to the girl - what she does preserves the girls soul somehow.

"After Paran leaves Lorn's chamber, he hears a cough from the room. What's the significance of this line?"

She was stifling a laugh. She had just finished suggesting he not repeat the scene in Lasseen's throne room ie bringing a horse into it even via warren is apparently not the done thing. Topper lets him do it. Paran probably shouldn't have pissed him off while they were travelling there.


message 33: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
so where was Toppers horse? If the gateway went straight to Laseens room.


message 34: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Oh and when you say "no spoilers" I assume you mean for stuff beyond the chapter being discussed?

Just for clarification.

Because we have individual chapter threads, the 'No Spoilers' applies to anything forward of the current chapter. Spoilers of the present and previous chapters allowed.


message 35: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
1) Dassem Ultor - I thought Laseen had him killed. Paran indicates that he betrayed a god. Is this something we'll see in the later books?
2) "Dadda lost his last one - something in the deep waters took it and the whole catch too."
3) I don't understand the whole Rigga scene. How is she linked to the girl? and why? I assume its primarily self-preservation. But she prophecise what's going to happen to the girl.
4) How come Cotillion does not recognize a presence when he possesses the girl?
5) After Paran leaves Lorn's chamber, he hears a cough from the room. What's the significance of this line?


1/. For now all we know is that he went missing in Y'Ghatan and is assumed dead.

2/. Sure, could well be.

3/. Rigga certainly see's what is about to happen. She tells the girl that she is the last to speak to her. I don't think we do completely understand how it happens, there is magic aspects that SE doesn't explain. I have always assumed that she placed a link that allowed a small part of the fisher girl to remain after the 'possession' she had seen coming. Doesn't she talk about saving her soul?
I gave up trying to understand how all the magic works :)

4/. Maybe he has never doen it before and doesn't know what to look for. We don't know how good he is at this stuff.

5/. I agree with David, it has to be Lorn stifling a laugh.

'Lieutenant, I trust you won't repeat the scene in the Hall.'
'I doubt it'd earn as many laughs the second time around, Adjunct.'

Paran is very strong isn't he. I loved the way he came out and asked Lorn if he was bait at Gerrom.


Traci | 34 comments The problem I see with spoilers, and why I am finding it so hard to find a balance is: the hindsight of reading this for a second (or third) time. When we first read this we don't know what is going on. Who is doing what and why. As in the case of Rigga...

(view spoiler)

I'm not picking on anyone. I haven't figured out myself yet how to comment without spoiling it for other readers. It's a really hard balance.

As to the "Shadow" thing... I think it's alright to tell new readers to pay attention to the use of the word shadow in the first chapter...but (view spoiler)


message 37: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Ganoes is a huge surprise and has leadership qualities.

I do think Rigga saved an aspect of the fishergirl. Rope may know but doesn't care. I know it sounds silly but in the first meeting I feel for him. He's doing what he has to but also has compassion.


message 38: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "so where was Toppers horse? If the gateway went straight to Laseens room."

Topper didn't have a horse. They both walked the warren with Paran leading his mare. He then mounts and charges to get the mare through the gate


message 39: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Rob wrote: " I'm calling David out on spoiling stuff by explaining poems and prophecy in the larger context of the series. "

I'll try to behave better :) - Though probably on a first read, it's easy to discount and forget the poems and foreshadowing.


message 40: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1048 comments Mod
I'm totally fine with liberal use of spoiler tags by the rereaders. Of course this is more work for you, and no work for me.

I'd just prefer to see a bunch of posts I can't read rather than reading spoilers unsuspectingly.


message 41: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Oh right, of course. But then, unless Paran was to leave his horse in the Warren, he was always going to bring it into the Throne Room because that is where the Imperial Arch went to.


message 42: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Its not really any extra work Rob. Spoiler tags I think is the best solution for the rereaders. Part of the fun of rereading is reading with first timers so don't hold back rapping our knuckles when I/we misbehave. Ooowww!!!


message 43: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Jan 01, 2013 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Oh right, of course. But then, unless Paran was to leave his horse in the Warren, he was always going to bring it into the Throne Room because that is where the Imperial Arch went to."


Yes. But only Topper knew the horse would be an issue and only after he meets Paran. The fact he says nothing or makes no attempt at alternate arrangements for the horse says something about his contempt for Ganoes. From their conversation, it appears Topper was Laseen's goto man in eliminating the noble class. So Paran being a noble is an exception Topper probably doesn't approve of. And Paran pissed him off by threatening him(all be it subtly) while travelling in the warren. Although Topper probably already hated him for being a noble.


message 44: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie (thefancyoctopus) its already the second and I have not started yet! damn work!


message 45: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine (Christine01) | 11 comments Melanie wrote: "its already the second and I have not started yet! damn work!"

Don' t feel bad Melanie, neither have I lol..


message 46: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
That's why you have me to nag remind you Melanie.


Aildiin | 39 comments Don't feel bad I haven't started either, although it's still the 1st here...


Steve (Cardzrool) | 44 comments I had two a-ha moments (one safe to view, the other probably is a spoiler):
The grit and horror in the description of the battle scenes. To paraphrase:
'the young Lt and horse are covered in bits of bone, flesh, blood...'

Later Paran states [paraphrase]: 'have you seen the birds gorge themselves on the dead? When they are ripping out eyes, livers, etc. and bits are slung about...'

Second is (view spoiler)


message 49: by seak (last edited Jan 02, 2013 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

seak | 129 comments Okay, I see I'm already behind, but I did finally finish The Crippled God yesterday. I'd forgotten we're on Melbourne time in this forum. :)

So, a couple of things I noticed on the first chapter about myself and the chapter (I know some things have been mentioned already, sorry, no I don't mean Sorry, I just mean I apologize :D):

- This is like a completely new book reading it for the second time AND ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDING IT!
- Wow, those stanzas or opening poems or whatever you call them, really say a lot. I feel like these ones are a bit easier than later ones because they're mostly excerpts from historical texts, but still I never would have gotten them first time round. The one on the intro to the Pale book pretty much sums up chapter 2 even.
- I really didn't understand the importance of working to understand things in my first read. I had no clue that Sorry was the fisher girl for a long time in my first read even when Erikson pretty much throws it at you. Lorn even has suspicions about her joining up and what does she do? She joins up. He points you right there, but I was still in my typical fantasy book mode - waiting for things to be spoon fed to me.


message 50: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (Gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "This is like a completely new book reading it for the second time AND ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDING IT!

I know exactly what you mean.

@Steve - Ah Paran was getting peppered by the feeding birds - Very gruesome. I missed it. Thank you for pointing that out - I think.


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