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Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)
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SERIES—List & Discussions > Malazan Book of the Fallen--GARDENS OF THE MOON: Finished Reading (*SPOILERS*)

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message 1: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
Here's a general topic for people who have finished reading Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson.

WARNING: SPOILERS LIKELY!


message 2: by Bob (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bob (bobwill) | 40 comments Looking forward to reading thoughts on this book and series. Read this book about 5 years ago so some of the details are a little fuzzy, but I distinctly remember that I could not get into the story at all. I did not find the characters compelling and the sorcerer puppet was a little ridiculous. Now, I've always been told that the series gets better and better as it goes along, but I've never found a good reason to move on to the 2nd book. Maybe someone can change my mind.


message 3: by Ken (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments Yes, Bob Hairlock was a strange character.
I liked but it was very much a first book. I read it a couple of years ago and he had a few plot points that went nowhere, he seems to have fixed his problems in later books.

IMHO Gardens was the weakest of all the books. The second book Deadhouse Gates is one of my favorite reads and my favorite of the series thus far.


Brian | 7 comments I read this four or five years ago as well; I really enjoyed it, until the end which felt like it came from left field. I’ll give it a re-read and see if I feel as lost this time around.


Helen I stayed up reading til gone 1am last night as I was only 60 pages from the end. Bare in mind I could hardly pick it up this time last week as it wasn't gripping me.

I loved it. Yes, the puppet was ridiculous but I decided to think of it as more menacing than silly. The characters appealed to me and I came to care about them. I found myself willing them to survive. Initially, I didn't like swapping characters (pov) as I felt I didn't know any of them but this passed by book three. As we swapped I'd quickly become caught up in the new twists and turns.

Now I'm throwing myself into my real life book group's read so I don't carry on without you lot!


message 6: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "I read this four or five years ago as well; I really enjoyed it, until the end which felt like it came from left field. I’ll give it a re-read and see if I feel as lost this time around."

This is a first-time read for me, but I also felt like part of the ending came out of left field--the Azath, Pillars of Innocence. No mention of this power before.

I may have to look over the last sections again, but I don't recall what happened to Tool after he was in Kruppe's dream.


Helen I don't remember pillars?


Maggie K | 298 comments as you get farther into the series, some of those things will make more sense, even the monkey!


message 9: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
Helen wrote: "I don't remember pillars?"

The Azath is/are referred to as Pillars of Innocence by someone. Don't have the book here right now so I can't tell you by whom.


Helen I've resisted reading on, only just. Have got to squash a Drenai in first.


message 11: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
Helen wrote: "I've resisted reading on, only just. Have got to squash a Drenai in first."

I read Drawing of the Dark for the March discussion after finishing Gardens of the Moon, but now I'm set to start Deadhouse Gates. However, I'm also leaving on vacation, so I'm not sure how far I'll get...


Antonis (antonakis) | 43 comments I just finished this awesome and amazing book half an hour ago. I loved it. I have 2 questions though:

1. Isn't there a Darujhistan army at all and if so, where is it and its commanders? I know that Darujhistan is a city based on commerce with mostly economical and political power but I can't imagine it surviving for so many years upon years without an army. So where is that army, what with the Empire closing in and everybody knowing about it and the fate of Pale? Shouldn't the generals and commanders of such an army feature prominently on the political scene? I've grown to trust Erikson strongly but this question can't escape my mind.

2. I still haven't figured out the title of the book. What does "Gardens of the moon" refer to? Sure, we have a Moon's Spawn and we have a lot of garden action, especially at the end, but I don't get what the title is about. Is this another Erikson trick that will make sense only after reading some more books of the series?


Maggie K | 298 comments It did not have it's own army

I don't have my copy handy but iirc there is a scene between Crokus and Sorry in the epilogue where those words are used


message 14: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
Antonis wrote: "I still haven't figured out the title of the book. What does "Gardens of the moon" refer to?"

At the end of Chapter 19, Crokus and Apsalar/Sorry are talking and she says (speaking of the moon), "Do you see its oceans?...Grallin's Sea. That's the big one, The Lord of the Deep Waters living there is named Grallin. He tends vast, beautiful underwater gardens. Grallin will come down to us, one day, to our world. And he'll gather his chosen and take them to his world. And we'll live in those gardens, warmed by the deep fires, and our children will swim like dolphins, and we'll be happy since there won't be anymore wars, and no empires, and no swords and shields. Oh, Crokus, it'll be wonderful, won't it?"


message 15: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
Antonis wrote: "Isn't there a Darujhistan army at all and if so, where is it and its commanders?"

I think there is a city guard, but no actual standing army.

Take a look at the poem at the beginning of Chapter 2. It says, in part, "Two cities remained to contest the Malazan onslaught. One stalwart, proud banners beneath Dark's powerful wing. The other divided--without an army, bereft of allies--The strong city fell first."

Pale being the first city and Darujhistan the second.


Antonis (antonakis) | 43 comments Great observations on both accounts! Especially about Grallin's gardens, I went over this part without giving it much notice, thinking it sounded important but didn't make much sense for that moment.


Helen Me too Antonis, I remember thinking that Apsalar was being seer-like but not linking it to Gardens.


message 18: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3148 comments Mod
I also think, though not explicitly stated anywhere, that the title also has some reference to Moon's Spawn. Did that structure come from the moon? We know its inhabitants are not of this world.


message 19: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 513 comments Mod
I read this for the first time a year ago; just decided it was time to tackle BotF. At the time, this book almost did me in -- so many different characters, races, ideas that I started getting frustrated with the author (really? another race? can't we just get on with the ones we already have?!). I've really enjoyed this re-read, though. The characters, particularly the Bridgeburners and Kruppe, are engaging. The idea of a creepy puppet wizard is unique, but I have to say that I'm glad he's gone. The comment about Grallin's gardens on the moon also struck me this time, I hadn't caught it the first time around. I find myself looking forward to the rest of the series -- I hope to make it past book 3 this time.

And so it begins ....


Maggie K | 298 comments Kathi wrote: "I also think, though not explicitly stated anywhere, that the title also has some reference to Moon's Spawn. Did that structure come from the moon? We know its inhabitants are not of this world."

nope, but RAFO!


message 21: by Tani (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tani | 132 comments Just finished! I was very happy with the ending. So much action and drama happened in the final third of the book that it really made up for the slower start that I had with it. I'm still not a big fan of how often the perspective changes, but I did grow fond of all the different characters.

One thing that I do hope gets better as the series progresses is the characterization. Sometimes I felt like the conversations and realizations that the characters had came out of left field. I'd like to see a little bit of a smoother flow develop that way as the books progress.

Still, I was very happy with the book, and I'm really looking forward to book 2, although I'll be squeezing some other stuff in between. And I'm glad to be reading this with other people. It definitely helps with picking up on some of the nuances, like the title. I never would have connected that conversation with the title!


Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 24 comments Just finished and loved it. Getting Deadhouse Gates tomorrow.

I had originally thought Anomanda Rake might represent evil because he is referred to as the Son of Darkness (a name he does not like). But darkness and light are ambiguous here -- the demon lord used light -- and after listening to Rake confide in Baruk about his wishes, desires, and his sadness, I find I like him a great deal. Looking forward to seeing more of him.

I also hope to see more of Kruppe, whose power is still a mystery to me. Having someone refer to themselves in the third person usually fails to grab me, but in this case, given Kruppe's (projected) persona, I think the third person fits him perfectly.

Wondering what will happen to Rallick and Vorcan now that they have entered the Pillar of Innocence.

And I'm also very interested in Quick Ben's history. He opened seven warrens. Wow!

Still don't understand the relationship between Elder Gods, Modern Gods, Ascendants, and mages. I'm guessing Elder Gods are the gods of the peoples who once populated the earth. Does that make Rake an elder god? Where does he fit in?

Are Ascendants modern gods or are they on their way to becoming gods?

And are any of the gods really gods or just called gods because of the powerful warrens they control?

So many questions.


See you in book 2 discussions.


message 23: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John | 15 comments Xan, you should already know what Maggie's going to say: RAFO! :)

You'll see plenty more of Rake, and after you polish off the 10 books of the MBotF, there's a trilogy in-progress from Erikson that goes way back in the world's history to focus on the Tiste (particularly including Anomander) and the Elder Gods.

But anyway, pretty much all of your questions are answered eventually. With regard to the gods, I was struck by your question "are any of the gods really gods or..." because, well, what does it mean to be a "real" god? :) Anyway, yeah: RAFO.


Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 24 comments Thanks, John. Good to know those questions will be answered. As to the gods, I'm wondering if they can truly die, nothing more than that. I guess that's my definition of god here :-) The twins certainly seemed to fear the sword and the hounds. K'ruk (?) seems to have died in the sense that he no longer matters -- no people who believe in him. Just thinking out loud.

The trilogy sounds like something I will be reading.

And, yes, I will RAFO.


Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 24 comments I wanted to add that Rake has his own moral code, and it seems founded on what others might call honor. I'm thinking of the way he treats the mages of Pale versus Darujhistan. The mages of Pale abandon their city (and Rake), and look what happens to them. The mages of Darujhistan do not abandon their city and Rake sends Serrat to protect Baruk, and in the middle of fighting the demon lord takes the time to tell Crokus to go help Baruk, because he's rather busy at the moment. Like him or hate him, Rake has a code he lives by and it is not all about himself. At least that is how I see him at this point.


Maggie K | 298 comments yup-it all eventually makes sense, so RAFO


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