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Gardens of the Moon

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Gardens of the Moon
GM cover US tor 2009
Publication information
Series Malazan Book of the Fallen
Publisher Bantam Books (UK & Canada)
Tor Books (USA)
Released 1 April 1999
Pages 712 pp (Bantam paperback)
496 pp (Tor paperback)
ISBN ISBN 0-553-81217-3
(Bantam paperback)
ISBN 0-765-31001-5
(Tor paperback)
Followed by Deadhouse Gates

Gardens of the Moon is the first novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series. It was written by Steven Erikson in 1992–1993 and first released on April 1, 1999 in Great Britain and Canada. It was later released in the United States on December 28, 2004, and has been re-released in multiple editions and in many countries.

Like all of Erikson's Malazan books it has multiple layered storylines that usually weave together. At the lower level is an eclectic group of Darujhistanies who are just trying to solve their own problems. Then there is the expansionist Malazan Empire whose armies and their allies the Moranth are trying to conquer the last remaining Free Cities of Genabackis; Pale and Darujhistan. Pale falls quickly to a massive sorcerous enfilade, but at the cost of many of Empire's best. The Malazans then turn to Darujhistan which proves much harder to take. At a higher level there is also a power-struggle at the top level of the Empire as the Empress tries to consolidate her reign. And above that still the Gods and Ascendants with their own machinations.

The book features a large cast of characters. With major focus characters being, on the Imperial 'side': Ganoes Paran, a young nobleman turned army officer; Whiskeyjack and his elite soldiers the Bridgeburners; Tattersail, a military sorceress and divinator and Adjunct Lorn, the Empress's personal agent. Opposite them are those of Darujhistan: Kruppe, Crokus and the rest of the Phoenix Inn Regulars and Baruk, the High Alchemist with the rest of the T'orrud Cabal. Meanwhile Anomander Rake in his floating mountain fortress: Moon's Spawn; Shadowthrone, the possibly insane ruler of the Warren of Shadow and Oponn, the Twin Jesters of Chance are the major featuring Ascendants who each have their own motives.

Front matterEdit


This novel is dedicated to I. C. Esslemont.
Worlds to conquer, worlds to share.


Editions [show/hide all]Edit

UK editions
Trade paperback523Bantam (1 Apr 1999)0593044703978-059304470422.9 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
Mass market paperback736Bantam (16 Mar 2000)0553812173978-055381217617.4 x 10.6 x 4 cm
Mass market paperback768Bantam; Special edition (12 Feb 2008)0553819577978-055381957117.8 x 10 x 4.2 cm
Hardcover544Bantam; 10th Anniversary edition (5 Nov 2009)0593065069978-059306506823.6 x 15.8 x 4.8 cm
US editions
Hardcover496Tor (Jun 2004)0765310015978-076531001924 x 15.8 x 4.2 cm
Book club hardcover640Tor; SFBC edition (Jun 2004)0765310015978-076531001921.5 x 14.5 x 3.5 cm
Mass market paperback688Tor (Jan 2005)0765348780978-076534878416.8 x 10.4 x 2.8 cm
Library binding Hardcover688Tor (9 May 2008)1435270282978-143527028216.8 x 10.4 x 3.6 cm
Hardcover560Subterranean Press (30 Jun 2008)1596061456978-1596061453
Trade paperback496Tor; 10th Anniversary edition (12 May 2009)0765322889978-076532288322.9 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
Bulgarian editions
Trade paperback624Bard (2004)??21 x 14.5 cm
Czech editions
Trade paperback576Talpress (2002)8071971936978-807197193120 x 13 cm
Trade paperback576Tapress; Reprint edition (4 Apr 2008)8071971936978-807197193120 x 13 cm
Dutch editions
Hardcover599J. M. Meulenhoff (May 2000)9029066431978-9029066433
Trade paperback607Luitingh Fantasy (Jul 2008)902452847X978-9024528479
French editions
Trade paperback592Buchet Chastel (16 Mar 2001)2283018404978-2283018408
Trade paperback586Calmann-Levy (22 Augt 2007)2702137784978-270213778924 x 15.4 x 4.2 cm
German editions
Trade paperback800Blanvalet (1 Aug 2000)3442249325978-344224932920.6 x 13.5 x 5.6 cm
Hungarian editions
Hardcover493Alexandra (2003)9633684552978-9633684559
Italian editions
Hardcover602Armenia (2004)8834417429978-8834416808
Polish editions
Trade paperback604Mag (Oct 2000)8387968366978-838796836618.5 x 11.5 cm
Hardcover598Mag; Collector's edition (2004)8389004755978-838900475824 x 16.5 cm
Romanian editions
?544Tritonic (May 2008)9737332296978-973733229520.5 x 14 cm
Russian editions
Hardcover704ACT (2002)5170110146978-5170173105
Hardcover768EKSMO (2007)5699206337978-5699206339
Spanish editions
Hardcover (part 1)300Timun Mas (Oct 2004)8448033876978-844803387323 x 16 cm
Hardcover (part 2)320Timun Mas (Oct 2004)8448033884978-844803388023 x 16 cm
Trade paperback512Idea Factory (11 Nov 2009)8498005094978-849800509723.4 x 15.7 x 3.8 cm

From Amazon and other sources.

Appeared in other languages under the following titlesEdit

  • Dutch - De Tuinen van de Maan
  • French - Les Jardins de la lune
  • German - Die Gärten des Mondes
  • Italien - I Giardini della Luna
  • Polish - Ogrody Księżyca
  • Spanish - Los jardines de la Luna

Publisher's summaryEdit

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake, lord of Moon's Spawn, and his Tiste Andii. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the Siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out and it is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand...


Now these ashes have grown cold, we open the old book.
These oil-stained pages recount the tales of the Fallen,
a frayed empire, words without warmth. The hearth
has ebbed, its gleam and life's spark are but memories
against dimming eyes - what cast my mind, what hue my
thoughts as I open the book of the Fallen
and breathe deep the scent of history?
Listen, then, to these words carried on that breath.
These tales are the tales of us all, again yet again.
We are history relived and that is all, without end that is all.[1]

Plot summaryEdit

Gardens of the Moon
Dramatis Personae Prologue
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Chapter 7
The Mission
Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13
The Gadrobi Hills
Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16
The City of Blue Fire
Chapter 17 Chapter 18
Chapter 19
The Fête
Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 Chapter 23
Chapter 24


The novel opens in the 96th year of the Malazan Empire, during the final year of the Emperor Kellanved[2].

Young Ganoes Paran witnesses the sacking of the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City[3], where Surly, commander of the Malazan Claw (intelligence organisation), is flushing out unregistered sorcerers and executing them. Paran also witnesses a confrontation between Surly (now calling herself Laseen, or 'Thronemaster') and Whiskeyjack, commander of the Malazan 3rd Army, where their mutual dislike is confirmed[4]. Paran wants to be a soldier when he grows older, to Whiskeyjack's disapproval[5].



...In the eigth year the Free Cities of Genabackis established contracts with a number of mercenary armies to oppose the Imperiums advance; prominent among these were the Crimson Guard, under the command of Prince K'azz D'Avore (see Volumes III & V); and the Tiste Andii 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.
  In retrospect two observations can be made. The first is that the Moranth alliance of 1156 marked a fundamental change in the science of warfare for the Malazan Imperium, which would prove efficacious in the short term. The second observation worth noting is that the involvement of the sorcerous Tiste Andii of Moon's Spawn represented the beginning of the continent's Sorcery Enfilade, with devestating consequences.
  In the Year of Burn's Sleep 1163, the Siege of Pale ended with a now legendary sorcerous conflagation…

Imperial Campaigns 1158 – 1194
Volume IV, Genabackis

Imrygyn Tallobant (b.1151)

Seven years pass. We learn that the Emperor and his close ally, the assassin Dancer, have been assassinated and Laseen now rules as Empress. However, shortly after Kellanved and Dancer's deaths two new demigods (Ascendants) have appeared in the pantheon, Ammanas (Shadowthrone) and Cotillion (The Rope), who have seized control of the House of Shadow and are now plotting the death of Laseen. Cotillion possesses a young fishergirl living in the Itko Kan province of the Quon Tali continent and has her join the Malazan 2nd Army, under the name of Sorry, fighting on the Genabackis continent, as part of a long-range scheme to get her close to the Empress. Ammanas unleashes the terrifying Hounds of Shadow to wipe out a nearby Malazan cavalry regiment to draw attention away from the sorcery used in the area. Adjunct Lorn, personal aide to the Empress, is not fooled and recruits none other than a Lieutenant Ganoes Paran to help her track down the missing fishergirl.


Two more years pass. The Malazan 2nd Army under High Fist Dujek is besieging the city of Pale, one of only two Free Cities left in the Malazans' path. Pale is holding out thanks to an alliance with the powerful Anomander Rake, Lord of Moon's Spawn (a floating fortress), commander of the non-human Tiste Andii race, and his own allies, Prince K'azz D'Avore of the Crimson Guard and the powerful human warlord Caladan Brood and his troops. D'Avore, Brood and their troops have been drawn off to the north by renewed efforts of the Malazan 5th Army to capture Blackdog Forest, leaving Rake vulnerable to attack. However, Tayschrenn, the most senior mage in the Malazan Empire, takes advantage of a sorcerous attack on Moon's Spawn to kill two of Empire's other High Mages: Nightchill and A'Karonys. Of the mages involved in the attack only Tayschrenn and Tattersail, commander of the 2nd's mage cadre, survive. Moon's Spawn was driven off in the battle and fled to the south. Pale falls and the Malazans' allies, the Moranth (creators and suppliers of explosives), sack the city. Unbeknownst to Tayschrenn, the Bridgeburners (an elite sapping unit, of whom the demoted Sergeant Whiskeyjack is de facto commander) manage to save the soul of a dying mage, Hairlock, and transfer it to a new vessel, that of a puppet. Tattersail agrees to help them expose Tayschrenn's treachery.

During the same period, Ganoes Paran has been traveling by ship to Genabackis. Topper, the Clawmaster visits Paran via Warren delivering orders for him to take command of the Bridgeburners. Arriving at Genabaris Paran travels by Quorl (a flying creature) with the Green Moranth to Pale.

Dujek sends the Bridgeburners to Darujhistan, last surviving of the Free Cities, to lay the groundwork for the Malazan attack. The newly-promoted Captain Ganoes Paran arrives to take command of the squad, but is almost immediately killed by Sorry. Amazingly, Oponn, God of Luck, intervenes and arranges for Paran's resurrection.

Tattersail helps Paran return to health.



What windfall has brushed our senses?
This rocking thunderhead that scraped
the lake's placid waters
and spun a single day's shadows
like a wheel that rolled us
from dawn to dusk, while we
tottered our tender ways…

What windlass crackles dire warnings?
There in the gentle swells that tossed
a bobbing cork our way
with its fine magenta scent wafting
like a panoply of petals
that might be ashes
in twilight's crimson smear…

Rumour Born
Fisher (b.?)

We are introduced to Kruppe whilst he is having one of his dreams. In it he tells his audience of beggars that the coin will fall that night.

Crokus Younghand robs the D'Arle estate at about the same time as one of the members of Darujhistan's Assassins' Guild, Talo Krafar is ambushed by an unknown foe. As Crokus makes his getaway, Talo, who is mistaking the thief for his assailant, takes a shot at him. At that very moment, Crokus hears a coin fall and bends to pick it up, which saves his life. He is then pursued by those who attacked and killed Talo, escaping again and again through sheer luck. His pursuers come to the conclusion that an Ascendant is meddling.

Circle Breaker, a spy for the Eel, observes a meeting between Turban Orr and councilman Feder.

The Great Raven Crone visits the alchemist Baruk on behalf of Anomander Rake to arrange a meeting between them. Whilst there, Baruk allows her to observe as councilman Orr calls on him. Orr wants Baruk to support his intention of issuing a proclamation of neutrality. The alchemist declines and Orr tells him that even without his support the motion will be passed as he has secured a majority in favour.

To avenge a friend, Rallick Nom lies in wait to kill Lady Simtal but at the last minute, influenced by Oponn, kills her lover, the councilman Councilman Lim instead. This inadvertently scuppers Orr's plans as he no longer has a majority.

In the meantime, more members of the Assassin's Guild have come under fire from unknown assailants.

Anomander Rake visits Baruk and agrees an alliance with him and his fellow Cabal members.

The MissionEdit

Into Darujhistan

'Into Darujhistan' by Corporal Nobbs


Marionettes dance afield
beneath masterly hands —
I stumble among them
crossed by the strings
in tangled two-step
and curse all these fools
in their mad pirouette —
I shall not live as they do
oh, no, leave me in my
circled dance —
these unbidden
twitchings you see
I swear on Hood's Grave
is artistry in motion

Sayings of the Fool
Theny Byle (b.?)



I dreamed a coin
with shifting face —
so many youthful visages
so many costly dreams,
and it rolled and rang
'round the gilded rim
of a chalice
made for gems

Life of Dreams
Ilbares the Hag

Anomander Rake sends Tiste Andii mage assassins to take out Darujhiustan's guild. Quick Ben releases a demon, but it gets killed in minutes by the skilled mage assassins and Rake.

Also, Crokus visits the D'Arle girl and returns her jewels. After a discussion, she lets him go. Sorry watches him.

The Gadrobi HillsEdit


Beyond these thin hide walls
a child sits, before her on worn silk
a Deck is arrayed.
She cannot yet speak
and the scenes before her
she's never before seen in this life.
The child gazes upon a lone card
named Obelisk, the stone grey
she can feel its roughness in her mind.
Obelisk stands buried in a grassy knoll
like a knuckle protruded
from the earth, past and future.
This child's eyes are wide
with terror, for cracks have appeared
in the stone of stones and she knows
the shattering is begun.

Outrider Hurlochel,
6th Army

The City of Blue FireEdit


Rumours like tattered flags
wind-snapped and echoing
in the streets below
told the tale of the days upon us…
'Twas said an eel had slipped ashore
or not one but a thousand
under a jagged moon that might be dead,
'twas whispered that a claw scraped slow
on the city's cobbles, even as a dragon
was seen sailing high silver and black in the night sky.
'Twas heard, they say, a demon's death cry
on the rooftops on a night of blood, even
as the master's hundred hands lost
a hundred daggers to the dark,
and 'twas rumoured then, a lady
masked highborn had offered to unbidden guests
a fête to remember…

Rumour Born
Fisher (b.?)

The FêteEdit


The Flaying of Fander, She-Wolf of Winter, marks the Dawn of Gedderone. The pristesses race down the streets, strips of wolf-fur streaming from their hands. Banners are unfurled. The noises and smells of the market rise into the morning air. Masks are donned, the citizens discard the year's worries and dance across the day into the night.
    The Lady of Spring is born anew.
    It is as if the gods themselves pause their breath...

Faces of Darujhistan
Maskral Jemre (b.1101)


As the novel ends Crokus, a Bridgeburner named Fiddler and the Bridgeburner assassin Kalam volunteer to take the former Sorry (now called Apsalar) back to her homeland of Itko Kan and they depart (their story continues in Deadhouse Gates). Meanwhile, the 2nd Army has rebelled against Laseen's increasingly unrealistic commands. Now called Dujek's Host, the 2nd Army has called for a truce with the Tiste Andii and the Crimson Guard. Dujek is also concerned about the declaration of Holy War called by the Pannion Seer, whose empire is advancing from the south-east of Genabackis. Darujhistan has evaded conquest by the Malazan Empire, for now, but may be in danger from this new threat. Elsewhere, it is confirmed that Seven Cities has begun a mass-uprising against the Empire.


Although published in 1999, the novel was written in 1991–1992, eight years before the rest of the series and a number of minor inconsistencies can be found between this volume and the following. Orfantal, one of the Tiste Andii, changes gender between Gardens of the Moon and Memories of Ice, and the pre-ritual T'lan Imass are referred to as the T'lan, whilst the correct name is Imass. The former error was corrected in the US edition of the novel, but the latter one was not.

Cover galleryEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Introduction, UK MMPB
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue p.3, UK MMPB
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue p.4, UK MMPB
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue p. 6-8, UK MMPB
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue p.8, UK MMPB
List of abbreviationsPaginationsHow to reference an article

External linksEdit

Gardens of the Moon on Wikipedia

Malazan Book of the Fallen Gardens of the MoonDeadhouse GatesMemories of IceHouse of ChainsMidnight TidesThe BonehuntersReaper's GaleToll the HoundsDust of DreamsThe Crippled God
Novels of the Malazan Empire Night of KnivesReturn of the Crimson GuardStonewielderOrb Sceptre ThroneBlood and BoneAssail
Kharkanas Trilogy Forge of DarknessFall of LightWalk in Shadow
Bauchelain & Korbal Broach Blood FollowsThe Healthy DeadThe Lees of Laughter's EndThe Wurms of BlearmouthCrack'd Pot Trail

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