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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 Three - 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 three discussion.


Travis Sinard | 15 comments Short chapter, but very entertaining. I remember thinking Erikson will show no mercy to his readers after being subjected to the last few pages. Genius!


message 3: by Chaz (new) - added it

Chaz | 297 comments That feeling that no one is safe is one of the best things about this whole series and Eriksen seems to establish it early.

Paran is in way over his head and his two years of preparation for this mission go right out of the window when he meets his first Bridgeburner, Picker. And yet those who meet him, with the exception of Topper who he consistently antagonises, seem to at first dismiss but then very quickly see some merit in him: Lorn, the agent in Genabaris, Toc the Younger, Antsy and then the Ninth soldiers Mallet, Hedge and Trotts. This list of folks represents interests at all levels of the Malazan machinery with very different agendas.

Also, Toc the Younger is a very different type of Claw than we've met or heard talked about yet. Colour me intrigued.


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

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
I felt bad for Paran. It's early in the series, but I was already growing attached. I guess I'd better not do that.


Maggie K | 106 comments we learn very quickly in Erikson world that anyone is fair game


Linette | 152 comments Just finished this chapter, and I'm now starting to feel more comfortable with the characters - it's not as much work as before to follow their stories. Not that I could have named even ONE of the warrens yet, lol. Except maybe Chaos as that name is familiar at least.
Then I got to the end of the chapter and went (view spoiler)

Things are getting interesting :)


message 7: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
So much information in this chapter I missed last time as well. Brilliant stuff.
I'm trying to be extra careful here with the info, but I think everything I say is pretty much there in the chapter if you're looking.

So we know now the deal Quick Ben made with Hairlock to soul shift him. Hairlock gets to escape death of a sort and in return he become's Quick's "Snake in the hole." A mage spy to try figure out what the Empress' game is.

And Paran's career, which has basically been to hunt down a possessed Fisher girl takes a turn for the worse. If we hadn't figured it out by now, we get confirmation at the end of the chapter that Cotillion has possessed the girl - maybe apologised to her by calling her "Sorry." We meet Ammanus and Cotillion again (Cotillion having a more feminine voice these days)- they have there own Warren (guess which one). They have a score to settle with Laseen...

Interestingly they both seem to have missed the sound of the spinning coin - but Paran hasn't...hmmm

The reading of the deck that Sail does for Tay makes a lot more sense now as well. The Virgin of death is identified by Sail as "the recruit" ie Sorry - she has blood on her hands but is blindfolded - particularly poignant at the end of the chapter(interesting that she doesn't tell Tay she knows who this is).

Beside her we have the Assassin of High House Shadow (a new house) - Sail hears the sound of hounds when she plays that card - where have we heard hounds before? - So we have enough info now to be able to infer who the Assassin of High House Shadow is in the deck as well as who his master, Shadowthrone, is.

Then Oponn's card gets played as we've already seen - who has entered the game because he/she doesn't like all the manoevring going on by gods and men and intends to interfere. And then Sail identifies the last card as the city of Darujhistan.

For re-readers, anyone recognise that (view spoiler)


message 8: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
The other interesting thing I missed the first time round - Whiskeyjack is not fully confident with Quick Ben's plan on using Hairlock to try figure everything out. Quick's feelings are hurt because WJ infers that he's going to get them all killed - that he has history of getting his friends killed. There's a history referred to where Whiskeyjack chased quick Ben and a Cabal of mages across a desert. Quick Ben makes the point that he survived that encounter - to which whiskey Jack quickly points out that he was the only one of his Cabal who survived. Oowwww!


Renny Abraham (renny2077) | 49 comments "Someone - something, I should say - has entered our Warren. Uninvited. My Hounds hunt."

Took me a while to figure this out even after I finished reading the chapter. Erikson really makes you wrack your brain.

Can we assume that Sorry has been taking out all the previous Captains sent by the Empress to command the Ninth?


message 10: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Renny wrote: "Can we assume that Sorry has been taking out all the previous Captains sent by the Empress to command the Ninth?"

I hadn't thought about that, but it seems like it could be a good possibility.


message 11: by Igor (new) - rated it 5 stars

Igor (igork) | 13 comments As I read this book just few months ago and it's not yet time to re-read it, I really enjoy your comments, kind of brings me back to the book itself.


message 12: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (last edited Jan 03, 2013 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Renny wrote: "Can we assume that Sorry has been taking out all the previous Captains sent by the Empress to command the Ninth? "

Good observation. We can certainly speculate. I also thought of her when Tayschrenn sends an officer to give his commiserations to the Bridgeburners, who ends up dead shortly after.


message 13: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Yes that is a good question. One i hadn't thought of. To be honest, given the mood of the Bridgeburners, I had assumed it one or a number of them doing the killing of an officer, as none of them are surprised by it, even lay bets on it. If it wasn't something they would conceive themselves doing (ie if it is Sorry only) I wonder if they would not ask more questions.
Of course it could be that they all would like to do it and now assume of of their own has Hoods Hairy Balls to take on the task.


message 14: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I LOVED this dialogue between Topper and Paran:

'Captain,' Topper said quietly, 'greater men than you have died for less. The Empress expects obedience of her servants, and demands loyalty.'
'Any reasonable ruler would have the expectation and the demand the other way round.'


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

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I think this is also poignant:

Pushing through the crowd, he felt a growing sense of something that caught him completely off-guard: insignificance. A lot of arrogance had been drilled into him, from his days as a boy among the nobility through to his time at the academy. That arrogance now cowered in some corner of his brain, shocked silent and numb.


message 16: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "I think this is also poignant:

Pushing through the crowd, he felt a growing sense of something that caught him completely off-guard: insignificance. A lot of arrogance had been drilled into him, f..."


Yeah, he's now among soldiers who have had their illusion stripped from them - and he's behind the eight ball on that count.


message 17: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Renny wrote: ""Someone - something, I should say - has entered our Warren. Uninvited. My Hounds hunt."

Took me a while to figure this out even after I finished reading the chapter. Erikson really makes you wrac..."


Ah, what did you figure out - was it about the Hounds? or was it that he referred to "something-someone?" Erikson doesn't waste words. I won't say more other than you have enough info to make a guess at what/who "something-someone" is. You'll find out anyway - but I just love how Erikson picks his words.


Hanne (hanne2) | 228 comments i quite like Ammanas and Cotillion right now. are they just going to continue to stroll by at the end of every chapter for a few lines to add to the mystery? (no need to answer that, i'll wait and see)


Steve (cardzrool) | 44 comments David Sven wrote: "So much information in this chapter I missed last time as well. Brilliant stuff.
I'm trying to be extra careful here with the info, but I think everything I say is pretty much there in the chapter ..."


As to your spoiler, yes I thought the same thing


Steve (cardzrool) | 44 comments The intrigue thickens. I'm amazed the Empire can function. We get glimpses into the struggle of leadership and betrayal of the original Emperor, and now so with his murderous (?) heir/usurper?

I'm curious how all this motivates the military, especially the enlisted Bridge burners. So far no mention of 'spoils of war', so why do they, especially the veterans, remain loyal (to Paran's point)? Even the high mage Bellurdan, who was given leave to bury Nightchill defends Tay when 'Sail begins to rail on him.

A complex web indeed


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Steve wrote: "so why do they, especially the veterans, remain loyal"

The loyalty appears to be based on the men's history with their commanders. So it's the commander's and Fist's loyalty to the former Emperor that held the army. So the question, which the new Empress would be worrying about, did that loyalty transition from loyalty to personality to loyalty to the idea of Empire - given the Empire isn't that old either.


Aildiin | 39 comments The more of the Malazan( be it the Erikson or Esslemont) you read the more you will realize the marines are like "band of brothers". They are fiercely loyal to each others when it is needed and as David said they are loyal to their commanders, past that they don't really care much. So the question of loyalty of the army to the empress is one of loyalty of the commanders to the empress...


Renny Abraham (renny2077) | 49 comments Steve wrote: "The intrigue thickens. I'm amazed the Empire can function. We get glimpses into the struggle of leadership and betrayal of the original Emperor, and now so with his murderous (?) heir/usurper?
..."


Fear of the Claw.


Jamie D. Hmm... I liked Paran. It's going to be like A Song of Ice and Fire in that regard - main characters being in expectantly killed off. I do like that though. Makes things very unpredictable.


Michael Cattigan (thebookloverssanctuary) | 3 comments Catching up with the chapters now: three of four done this week.

I'm liking Tattersail but wondering about the importance of her size: it's been mentioned a couple of times and I don't know whether its just a random physical feature or going to be developed later.

Hairlock the possessed marionette is just cool, dangerous and inherently creepy.

I'm fascinated by the Deck of Dragons too: a form of tarot style reading? Some cards seem to be symbolic of characters on the physical level; some seem to invoke directly Gods; there seems to be a sentience within the deck itself.

Paran hasn't really appealed to me. He appears self centred and lacking in empathy. I don't know, maybe it is the effect of his training and manipulation by the Adjunct and he does mention that he feels he is losing his true identity beneath the masks he had been forced to wear.

Whiskey Jack and Quick Ben exude cool!

And Sorry is deeply disturbing.

Was it my imagination or were both Paran and Sorry described as having eyes older than their years? Nope, just checked, they do both have old eyes. Does this suggest a balance between the two characters? Has Paran been possessed (if that's the right word) as much as Sorry?


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Sam wrote: "Has Paran been possessed (if that's the right word) as much as Sorry? "

One of the themes that's highlighted in the poem at the beginning of Chapter one is how boys march off to war bright hearted and come back cold as iron

"the boy walks
another soldier, another one
bright heart not yet cooled
to hard iron"

Paran carries this theme - he starts off eager to be a soldier like WhiskeyJack - but after seeing the carnage in the Fishing Village and Gerrom where he is being literally peppered in gore by feeding birds - it changes him.
The book also really brings home the theme that the loss of the young either in death or the loss of innocence is the worst crime of war.

For example, in this chapter we have Tattersail talking to a young recruit

"A pang of regret hit Tattersail upon meeting the boy's bright, eager gaze. Chances were, he'd be dead within a few months. The Empire had many crimes staining its banner, but this was the worst of them."

Agree with you about WhiskeyJack and particularly Quick Ben - and what's not to like about a possessed puppet?


message 27: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Paran, like Sorry, is still pretty young but in his case his eyes are old because of how much carnage he's experienced. Between his aristocracy and being an officer he really doesn't have humanity or feeling of brotherhood.


message 28: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Oh and that's a great question about Sail! At least for it makes her warm and cuddly inspite of her awesome power. Terribly stereotypical of me! But she's warm, loving and not a lean mean killing machine.


message 29: by seak (last edited Jan 06, 2013 09:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

seak | 129 comments David Sven wrote: "Ah, what did you figure out - was it about the Hounds? or was it that he referred to "something-someone?" Erikson doesn't waste words. I won't say more other than you have enough info to make a guess at what/who "something-someone" is. You'll find out anyway - but I just love how Erikson picks his words. "

It's (view spoiler) Obviously I'm still guessing though.

Also, since Topper is Half blood Tiste Andii (view spoiler) It's not a huge thing, but I'm just curious.

One more thing, since I'm into spoiler tags today. Did anyone notice the crows (view spoiler) It's in the back of the book's glossary, but sometimes you have to be wary since they can spoil things. Although I've also noticed that spoilers tend to actually help my reading of this series. :D


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
@Seak - Agree on your first spoiler.
Not sure about Topper - I didn't think about that, but yeah, possibly - though not necessarily maybe. Good Pick up. And I did notice the crows which I missed the first time.


message 31: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Crows or Ravens?


message 32: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Paran hasn't really appealed to me. He appears self centred and lacking in empathy

LOL. Sam, I felt exactly the same way on my first read. I also found him annoying in a whining 'why me' kind of way. If I look back through my old posts in another group I am not his biggest fan ;)


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Crows or Ravens?"

Ravens - right you are


message 34: by Lori (last edited Jan 06, 2013 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori That makes more sense. (view spoiler)


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

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Spoiler tags Lori!


message 36: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori ARRRRGH I thought I was in the open discussion!!!! SORRY


message 37: by Juniper (last edited Jan 06, 2013 04:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Juniper (juniperx) | 237 comments Lee wrote: "Paran hasn't really appealed to me. He appears self centred and lacking in empathy

LOL. Sam, I felt exactly the same way on my first read. I also found him annoying in a whining 'why me' kind of w..."


I like Paran, and I have to disagree based on what I have seen this far. You can tell that he initially is a naive young man, eager to prove his worth - but over the course of time, as he sees the horrors of war, I get the impression that he abandons the idea that the military life is honorable; that it more than anything is a waste of time.

Whenever he ponders the reasons for his doing what he's doing, what the empress has him doing - he seems disgusted by it and silently desiring to leave that life behind.

By the time he enters Pale, he is far less arrogant than earlier, and very careful. He is desperately insecure, partly because he has no idea of how to behave in his new role as captain, partly given the history of captains of the Bridgeburners. He clearly is lost. I thought him very sincere at Knobb's, for instance, he came across as very genuine there.

It would be interesting to see what effect facing his own mortality, as at the end of the chapter, would have on him, should he survive.


message 38: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I know this is going to sound like i just agree with everyone, but...... I agree with you Kat. This time round.

One of the things that completely caught me on my second read was how strong the Ganoes character was. I originally thought that he allowed everyone to push him into things and he just whinged about it. This time round, i am reading a completely different character. He was very strong willed with Lorn, was not cowed in front of the empress, even sitting upon his horse in her throne room. Handled Mallet and the troops well at Knobb's as you;ve said.
So, I do have a completely different opinion of him this time round.

I often thought in my first read why a lot of people liked him, thats why I laughed when I saw Sam's comments.


message 39: by Juniper (last edited Jan 06, 2013 05:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Juniper (juniperx) | 237 comments I understood that much, Lee. I was responding to Sam's comment by responding to yours... probably should've responded to Sam directly, hehe.

And yes - you're right. That's what I like about him - he dares speak out, even when the answer might not be what he wants to hear (to Lorn, about being bait).

I have to say Erikson impresses with his ability to, with such small efforts, display character growth; take Paran's second meeting with Topper, for instance.


message 40: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I think the scene at Knobb's adn when he leaves did it for me. I remember the stabbing well enough, but I didn't remember his first meeting with the Bridgeburners. I posted earlier how he suddenly feels insignificant. It must have been quite a shock to a Noble born, getting all that he wanted to be treated with such disdain. But not completely unexpected I would imagine. Remember the previous Emperor had a bit of a culling of Noble born officers and the nobility were only just again starting to try their hand at controlling the military, by sending their sons.


message 41: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt | 46 comments I liked Paran the first time around. I think Kat and Lee hit on it, he was very blunt and pretty much said what he felt, damn the consequences. He was needling Topper from the get go.


message 42: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
Yeah. I was sad Palan died so quickly.


Steve (cardzrool) | 44 comments I'm down with Kat regarding Paran/the first meeting with the Bridgeburners in the tavern. He came across as the OIC that every grisly veteran enlisted BB hoped they would get; smart, cock sure but perhaps malleable enough to be molded into a good leader.

Can we assume the assassin is Sorry? She isn't mentioned by name, rather Cotillion and Ammanas are, and only two figures seemed to be standing above Paran as the chapter closed


Juniper (juniperx) | 237 comments @ Steve

I assumed it was Sorry. She is their puppet, after all, and they appear to have arrived to watch the assassination (or shortly after it took place) rather than execute the kill. They comment on the assassin's work as sloppy.

Also, one of them asks the assassin, "So, this is the man Lorn sent to find you?", which suggests the assassin is Sorry.


message 45: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Steve wrote: "Can we assume the assassin is Sorry? She isn't mentioned by name, rather Cotillion and Ammanas are, and only two figures seemed to be standing above Paran as the chapter closed "

And Cotillion is speaking in a girl's voice

and the voice seemed to come from a girl, or a child, yet he knew it was the voice of his killer.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Another thing I've noticed upon this reread of GotM, is that there are so many important references to the history and personages of the Malazan Empire that helps the reader to begin assembling a timeline. I would encourage new readers to particularly pay attention to these bits of history as it provides some context and can also help better understand the novel's characters (and, dare I say, shed light on motivation).

Reading these first few chapters of GotM is like peeling an onion, things become revealed one layer at a time, and you have to be careful that something that seems innocuous on its face isn't discarded prematurely, as everything seems to have meaning. Toward this end, I strongly encourage new readers to consult both the 'Glossary' and the 'Dramatis Personae' liberally, almost to the point of memorization. The brief descriptions and definitions are critical to building a solid foundation as one enters this series.

Chapter Three is where we first meet 'Picker', one of my favorite characters! I also loved Paran's first interactions with the Bridgeburners, albeit not a long episode, but the reader can tell that they realize that Ganoes Paran is different than their previous officers.


message 47: by Mpauli (last edited Jul 10, 2013 02:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mpauli | 245 comments Chapter 3 or as I like to call it Foreshadowrama. There are 2-3 sentences in this chapter, that blew my mind. I'm feeling like a five-year-old who was left overnight at a candy store. I stuffed so much sweet SE-candy into my stomach that I'm bursting to explode, feeling a little sick, but am extremely happy.
Unfortunately for the first time readers, all these cool sentences are going into the spoiler section.

Let's start with the poem of the chapter. It's about the Thelomen Tartheno Toblakai and it basically says: "Don't fuck with them!"
At the moment we know that Bellurdan is a Thelomen. On top of that warning from the poem about normal TTTs, Bellurdan is also a High Mage. Wouldn't want to mess with him.

Speaking about High Mages. I was confused by one line Paran was thinking about, when he assessed the Pale situation, before meeting Toc, the Younger.

He'd heard the rumours, here and there. Five dead mages, two of them High Mages.

5? Have I missed something here? A'Karonys and Nightchill are the two HMs, the remaining casulties would be Calot and Hairlock. Who's the fith? Or was there a mistake?

Besides that I had a lot of warm feelings, when we met up with more Bridgeburners. (view spoiler)

This whole chapter was way easier to read this time around. At the first time, I was sidetracked with getting to know all the names, putting faces to the names and so on.
This time I just could enjoy a card game with some old friends, rolling my eyes at Trotts calling the same game again, as he always does.

(view spoiler)


message 48: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Mpauli wrote: "5? Have I missed something here? A'Karonys and Nightchill are the two HMs, the remaining casulties would be Calot and Hairlock. Who's the fith? Or was there a mistake?"

Knowing Erikson it's a built in mistake/Chinese whispers from a limited POV - there were 5 mages down if you count Tay who was in a coma - or the rumour may have exaggerated that Tattersail's cadre totaling three mages was decimated even though Tattersail actually survived.


Erikson ability to organise information is mind boggling. And all these little in-jokes and gags he leaves lying about. I'm enjoying your brain exploding moments. I like the way your mind thinks.


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