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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 Two - NO SPOILERS

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

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Chapter Two discussion thread.


Maggie K | 106 comments By no spoilers do you mean at all or just not future spoilers?


message 3: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Future chapters and the rest of the book. Discussing the chapter openly is fine.


Lori where can those of us who are doing a series reread discuss?


Lori Never mind!


message 6: by Maggie (last edited Dec 31, 2012 08:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie K | 106 comments This chapter is where everything becomes so chaotic scope wise....hard to digest what actually happens here! Everyone seems to think Tayschrenn is responsible though....

This Battle of Pale is important to pay attention to, it's one of the main mysteries of the series.


Travis Sinard | 15 comments Finished this one a couple if minutes ago. Lots if action and tons of new characters. Good seeing the slightly over-powered Anomander again. One of my favorite things about this series happens first here too. The deck of dragons. Good stuff.


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Chaz | 297 comments I liked the transition from the immediate aftermath of the battle to the morning of. It takes a couple of paragraphs to work it out.

At this early stage Havelock is really unlikable and yet we see him allied with Whiskeyjack who is clearly supposed to be someone we root for. What does it mean that Havelock is so odious yet seems to be on the "good" side?

W'jack's comment "Good at dying" could be read as callous and uncaring but the real anger and grief behind comes through strongly so we know he isn't uncaring at all but simmering with rage.

This battle is possibly the only one in the whole series that doesn't really work for me. It does declare that there is a lot of power in this world but the 2nd army seem to be doing nothing at all but standing in formation while they are ripped to shreds by the sorcery flowing around them. I guess this is to do with our viewpoint being amongst the mage cadre but it certainly doesn't make us think highly of Dujek's credentials as a military tactician and leader. Of course the strategy and its foreseen consequences seem to be the (intended?) work of Tayschrenn.


Traci | 34 comments That was one of the first things that threw me about this series. Trying to figure out the "good guys" from the "bad guys". I couldn't figure out who was with who, and why, and how... Usually there's a clear line. Even with a series like GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire, it's usually pretty clear who you're supposed to side with. Erikson is the best author I've seen at throwing this idea aside. And one of the reasons this is my favorite series. There are heroes and villains on both sides. And there are heroes who are capable of ruthlessness. And villains capable of mercy.

Chapter two of Gardens is one of my favorite chapters of the entire series. The imagery here is what sucked me in. And I started to suspect I might have just found a new favorite - still had no idea how crazy it would get though.


Maggie K | 106 comments the introduction to the deck is important too....we meet the Twins of Luck and their spinning coin


message 11: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
I haven't quite finished the chapter yet, but I've learned I don't want to stand near Mages.


message 12: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Chaz wrote: "I liked the transition from the immediate aftermath of the battle to the morning of. It takes a couple of paragraphs to work it out."

I'm apparently slow. When the battle started and Hairlock is cut in half, I had to flip back and realize I had been reading a flash back. Because I was like, again? Man that guy has bad luck!

I'm going to blame it on that I started the chapter before dinner and took a break, and finished it afterwards and not that I'm just an idiot. Because it seems pretty obvious now. lol.


message 13: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Chaz wrote: "but the 2nd army seem to be doing nothing at all but standing in formation while they are ripped to shreds by the sorcery flowing around them"

I got the impression that they were relying on the mages to protect them. Tayschrenn protected himself and bounced Anomander's magic off himself onto his men - great protector you are Tay. Even Tattersail opted to protect herself instinctively than cover the men who sought protection around her hill. Sail ends up disgusted with herself for hogging her protection - inferring she could have done more for the men, though at some risk.


message 14: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Yeah. They talked about "fair trade" a bit.

I think the idea is that the soldiers protect them, from other soldiers when they are fighting and the mages are supposed to protect their soldiers from other mages in turn.

Obviously the mages did a terrible job in this battle. Tayschrenn seemed to do so on purpose or at least without caring.

As David said Tattersail does so more on survival instinct and regrets it later.


message 15: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt | 46 comments Rob wrote: "Chaz wrote: "I liked the transition from the immediate aftermath of the battle to the morning of. It takes a couple of paragraphs to work it out."

I'm apparently slow. When the battle started and ..."


It wasn't just you Rob. On my first read through, I had to go back and read this part again for the same reason. Erikson was very subtle with this transition.


Renny Abraham (renny2077) | 49 comments Anyone figure out how the Deck of Dragons work? I really wanted Tattersail to pull out the next card. Why did she hold at Oponn? Seeing into the future can only be a good thing.


message 17: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Ctgt wrote: "It wasn't just you Rob. On my first read through, I had to go back and read this part again for the same reason. Erikson was very subtle with this transition. "

Well that makes me feel better! lol.

Renny wrote: "Why did she hold at Oponn?

To me it seemed to be because the card was favoring the Lady.

"The Lady held the upright position, her male twin's bemused stare upside down at the card's foot. Thus the thread of luck that pulled back rather than pushed forward-the thread of success"

Plus the spinning of the coin is apparently significant. That read to me as a sign of good luck for Tattersail.

I liken it to Mat Cautheron's luck in WoT for any of you that have read that series. He hears the dice rolling in his head while things are unsettled then when they stop, he knows something significant has happened to him.

Maybe she was trying to hold onto potential good luck it by stopping the reading there, thus leaving the coin spinning?

She also seemed to think stopping there gave her more information than Hairlock who seems oblivious to the spinning coin.


message 18: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Jan 02, 2013 11:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Renny wrote: "Anyone figure out how the Deck of Dragons work? I really wanted Tattersail to pull out the next card. Why did she hold at Oponn? Seeing into the future can only be a good thing."

I got the impression that Oponn threw a spanner in the works of all the games being played by the mages and the Empress. The Deck is more than seeing the future - (view spoiler)


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Chaz | 297 comments @David Sven & Rob: I guess my question would be if all the battling is between mages, why are the soldiers even on the battlegield? They are not described as doing anything other than dying in large numbers.

I suspect this is just a matter of our deliberately narrow POV though so only a minor quibble. If we had more perspectives we would have a clearer idea of where the main killing attacks came from which I suspect we're supposed to be in some doubt about.


message 20: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt | 46 comments Concerning the Oponn card; "With these two cards, she already knew more than they did."

She had a small advantage and wanted to keep it.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Chaz wrote: "@David Sven & Rob: I guess my question would be if all the battling is between mages, why are the soldiers even on the battlegield? They are not described as doing anything other than dying in larg..."

Its still the soldiers who are the ones conducting the siege, taking and occupying cities and then establishing the new rule. There are only so many mages and when both sides have them they are generally busy keep each other off the soldiers.
Think of mages as the heavy artillery - very destructive, but you can't run a war with just them.
Also the Malazan's have more than one front - so there weren't normally that many mages at Pale - They had to pull the others from elsewhere to try and bring things to a close quickly.


Linette | 152 comments Finished this chapter today. I'm a new reader so not going to speculate on what it all means just yet. I found this chapter a little tougher to keep on top of what was happening in places - seemed to jump around a lot more than the first chapter - more confusing, but I think I still have a handle on it all. I think part of the confusion is that the author calls the same person by different names - ie, one paragraph it's 'Tattersail' and the next paragraph it's 'the sorceress' - takes a beat to connect that it's still the same person, I'd like it better if it was consistent most of the time although in the beginning it is good to be reminded that she is a sorceress.

I liked the creepy little Hairlock - eew. And yes, when I read about the spinning coin I also think of Mat from WoT and his spinning dice - understood immediately what the coin meant because of that (I think anyway). I also liked the image of Moon's Spawn hovering over Pale, and it retreating listing to one side.
Somehow I am thinking that Tayschrenn has been made such a horrible villain that there is probably another side to the story with him, maybe he's not really so bad. Time will tell.


message 23: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
This chapter has such fantastic imagery. You could probably paint the whole chapter in detail in a single painting. Moon Spawn in the sky, on fire, the 15 foot Ravens, Annomandaris with swirls of Elder magic coming down, The Malazan soldiers rotting in their armour. The 3 hills with the mages, the demon ripping Nightchill apart, the bridgeburners crawling out of the tunnels, a possessed puppet, spinning coin somewhere in the background


message 24: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Linette, the thought of a moon sized ball listing off to one side, limping away with smoke pouring out of it, does make an interesting visualisation eh?
Just image the bloody shadow that thing would have made, played havoc with the tomato production in Pale I bet.

The Deck of dragons are interesting, the mages that use them seem to be able to glean quite a lot. You'll notice that each time Sail looks at the cards she sees something new, which tells us that they are more than just plain old Tarot cards. The coin spinning on Oponn's card was a new feature for Sails. It is a little bit like the dice sound in WoT.

We were introduced to some warrens in this chapter.

Thyr is Tattersails warren
Mockra was Carlots warren
Kurald Galain is elder magic based on Chaos (sounds a bit hard to handle and direct)

We met quick Ben who appears to have pulled off some magic not done for thousands of years and opened a warren that Tattersail didn't recognise.


message 25: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I found the way Hairlock refused to come out and reveal what he knew interesting. He always tried to have someone else say it. Why?
When they had their meeting he kept hinting at Rake, but wouldn't say it and was happy with Carlot finally said Anomandis.

On his death bed, he doesn't come out and accuse Tayschrenn, but kept asking Sails to think about which way the attack came from.


message 26: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Tay doesn't want the other mages to know exactly what/who they are about to take on that morning - I suspect because he knew it was going to be a close call and is mostly relying on Moon Spawn/Anomandaris choosing to withdraw instead of just wiping the board with their arses - which he ended up doing for the most part. Maybe Tay was thinking some of the mages wouldn't be on board with a plan like that. So Hairlock knows or suspects, but its not his place to shoot his mouth off - Calot figures it out though and has no problem laying it all on the table. Thats my take on it anyway.


Steve (cardzrool) | 44 comments was it Tay who determined where each high mage would be positioned in the attack?
Also, the effects of the battle field magic is mind bending. while it seems to be traded attack for attack against the weilders, often times there seems to be more damage on those not engaged. then Rake breaks it off and it seems like an abandonment of Pale.


message 28: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I think most of the attacks are general area effect with lots of splash damage. But Sail(I think) notes that Hairlock was cut in half by a surgical attack. And where did the demon come from?


message 29: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Yes Steve, Right at the end of the meeting, Tayschreen advices he will set the positions.

Tayschrernn swung round slowly, putting his back to Hairlock and the others. 'Empress Laseen's orders,' he said, without turning. 'Our colleagues come by Warren. When they arrive, I will detail the positioning. That is all.'


Traci | 34 comments Lee wrote: "I found the way Hairlock refused to come out and reveal what he knew interesting. He always tried to have someone else say it. Why?
When they had their meeting he kept hinting at Rake, but wouldn't..."


I see Hairlock being like Othello's Iago. Or Thor's Loki. There's the satisfaction of showing off how much smarter he is than everyone. And he doesn't want to get his hands dirty.


Andreas | 5 comments Who actually spins the coin?


Steve (cardzrool) | 44 comments I'm trying to limit my comments to new observations from the second reading. It isn't easy, but I can summarize here my general impressions. This is an entirely new perspective, and in some ways more enjoyable. The sense of awe felt the first time isn't duplicated (I wasn't expecting that either), but I chuckle at the organizational skills SE brings to his characters and hooks and smile often knowing what I know about characters and the timeline now.


message 33: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Andreas wrote: "Who actually spins the coin?"

The coin represents Oponn who is "The Jester of Chance" - so the coin is like her/his icon.


message 34: by Chaz (last edited Jan 04, 2013 08:45AM) (new) - added it

Chaz | 297 comments Andreas wrote: "Who actually spins the coin?"

The god Oponn. Oponn is sometimes referred to as the Twins and is manifested as the Lord and the Lady, the push and the pull of luck and is in some sense a two-in-one god. He/She is the god of luck, chance and uncertainty.

The sound of the spinning coin, which is just beyond the edge of hearing, is a sign to those who are sensitive to it that Oponn has involved himself/herself in events and that it continues to spin means that there continues to be uncertainty in the outcome of current events. When the coin stops spinning some fate will have been decided one way or the other.


message 35: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
I like your explanation Chaz


Hanne (hanne2) | 228 comments i'm surprised that there are no comments on the wooden marionette. having magic that can turn someone into a wooden marionette (and a talking one at that) is quite interesting... and raises quite a few questions.

my favorite scene of this chapter is definitely the "Paperwork is a nightmare when you've only got one arm" turn in the conversation.

i'm wondering why Dujek was feeling so guilty and fearful before the bottle though. what did he already know upfront?

Linette wrote: "Somehow I am thinking that Tayschrenn has been made such a horrible villain that there is probably another side to the story with him, maybe he's not really so bad. Time will tell. "
I agree! too obvious! i'm not falling into that trap :)


Renny Abraham (renny2077) | 49 comments Hanne wrote: "i'm surprised that there are no comments on the wooden marionette. having magic that can turn someone into a wooden marionette (and a talking one at that) is quite interesting... and raises quite a..."

It was more like transferring his soul into a wooden marionette. And yeah, its ancient and powerful magic. I <3 Quick Ben.


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Chaz | 297 comments Renny wrote: "I <3 Quick Ben."

Me too.


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Hanne wrote: "i'm wondering why Dujek was feeling so guilty and fearful before the bottle though. what did he already know upfront? "

I'm thinking he probably knew what they were about to take on. I don't think any of those in the know were happy about it, but they were desperate. And what does the Empress care if thousands of lives are lost- she's safe and sound somewhere else.


message 40: by Chaz (last edited Jan 04, 2013 03:10PM) (new) - added it

Chaz | 297 comments David Sven wrote: "Hanne wrote: "i'm wondering why Dujek was feeling so guilty and fearful before the bottle though. what did he already know upfront? "

Dujek may have led men into battle a thousand times but he is a good, nay great commander and it must weigh heavily on him every time he asks his men and women to lay their lives on the line.


Roberta | 13 comments This chapter generates so many questions, I love it! Even if it gives very little answers. The motivations of the characters are hinted but not explained and the Deck of Dragons is so fascinating, with the cards that change at every reading.


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seak | 129 comments I'd forgotten Tattersail is like over 200 years old and then she talks about being there when the old Emperor rose to power (this is the 105th year of the Malazan Empire!) and how Dancer slit Mock's throat.

I love how this is history made real - they quite the poem about Caladan Brood and then they're actually in a war against him. And then there's Anomandaris who everyone's deathly afraid of. I just love that history that he's created. Did I mention that? :)


David Davies | 67 comments Damn it, every time I decide to make a comment I realise it links to occurences and information from later in the series and gives away spoilers *sniffle*


RuthAnn | 3 comments Just finished the chapter. I thought it was pretty chaotic. I'm not sure 1. Who is fighting the war or 2. Why they are fighting it. Can anyone clue me in?


message 45: by David (last edited Jan 05, 2013 12:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Davies | 67 comments The malazans are fighting the forces of Pale (a city state on the Genabackis continent) and the lord of moons spawn who is allied with Pale. The malazan empire is fighting because they are expanding the empire and conquering the city states (think of them as roman conquerors).
There are other Malazan armies on the continent further north who are also fighting the tiste andii legions (lord of moon spawns people) and crimson guard mercenaries who are allied with other city states.


message 46: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori David wrote: "Damn it, every time I decide to make a comment I realise it links to occurences and information from later in the series and gives away spoilers *sniffle*"

That's why I'm afraid to comment!


message 47: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
David wrote: "Damn it, every time I decide to make a comment I realise it links to occurences and information from later in the series and gives away spoilers *sniffle*"

Spoiler tags are fine


Susan Barlow There's a small example here of the clever way in which the characters are interwoven in Erikson's writing. Notice how Tattersail's former lover is Mock - the same Mock presumably who gave his name to Mock's Hold from the Prologue.


message 49: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "There's a small example here of the clever way in which the characters are interwoven in Erikson's writing. Notice how Tattersail's former lover is Mock - the same Mock presumably who gave his name..."


Oh I totally missed that!

You refused the Deck once before, the night before Mock's throat was opened,, the night before Dancer and the man who would one day rule an Empire stole into your master's – your lover's – Hold. Would you deny that a pattern exists, woman?


Susan Barlow @David

Can you tell me why Pale actually fell? The Malazans had been laying siege for 3 years with no progress. Suddenly Moon's Spawn leaves and there's ready access to the city gates? Was it the Claw infiltrating the city and defeating the Pale wizards who did this?


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