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 1991 and extensively revised over several years before first being published by Bantam Books[1] on April 1, 1999 in Great Britain and Canada. In 2000, it was nominated for a World Fantasy Award as one of the year's best fantasy novels.[2] On December 28, 2004, Tor Books released it in the United States, and it has since been re-released in multiple editions and in many countries.

Like all of Erikson's Malazan books, Gardens of the Moon has multiple layered storylines that weave together. At the lower level is an eclectic group of Darujhistanies who are trying to solve their own problems while the expansionist Malazan Empire and their allies the Moranth are trying to conquer the last remaining Free Cities of Genabackis: Pale and Darujhistan. Pale falls eventually 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 conquer. A power-struggle at the top level of the Empire churns as the Empress tries to consolidate her reign, all while gods and Ascendants apply their own machinations.

The book features a large cast of characters. The major Malazan characters are 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 the Malazans are citizens of Darujhistan: Kruppe, Crokus, and 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 with their own motives.

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...

Front matterEdit


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


No novel is ever written in isolation. The author wishes to thank the following for their support over the years: Clare Thomas, Bowen, Mark Paxton-MacRae, David Keck, Courtney, Ryan, Chris and Rick, Mireille Theriacelt, Dennis Valdron, Keith Addison, Susan, David and Harriet, Clare and David Thomas Jr, Chris Rodell, Patrick Carroll, Kate Peach, Peter Knowlson, Rune, Kent and Val and the kids, my tireless agent Patrick Walsh, and Simon Taylor, one terrific editor.



Show other languages

PublisherFormat/EditionFirst publishedPagesISBN-10ISBN-13
UK and Commonwealth — Gardens of the Moon
BantamTrade paperback1 Apr 19995230593044703978-0593044704
BantamMass market paperback16 Mar 20007360553812173978-0553812176
BantamMass market paperback, special edition12 Feb 20087680553819577978-0553819571
BantamHard cover, 10th anniversary edition5 Nov 20095440593065069978-0593065068
United States — Gardens of the Moon
TorHard coverJun 20044960765310015978-0765310019
TorHard cover, Science Fiction Book ClubJun 20046400765310015978-0765310019
TorMass market paperbackJan 20056880765348780978-0765348784
TorHard cover, library binding9 May 20086881435270282978-1435270282
Subterranean PressHard cover30 Jun 20085601596061456978-1596061453
TorTrade paperback, 10th anniversary edition12 May 20094960765322889978-0765322883
German — Die Gärten des Mondes
BlanvaletTrade paperback1 Aug 20008003442249325978-3442249329
Bulgarian — Лунните градини
BardTrade paperback11 Oct 20046249844831048978-9545840197[3]
Czech — Měsíční zahrady
TalpressTrade paperback20025768071971936978-8071971931
TalpressTrade paperback, reprint edition4 Apr 20085768071971936978-8071971931
Dutch — De Tuinen van de Maan
J. M. MeulenhoffHard coverMay 20005999029066431978-9029066433
Luitingh FantasyTrade paperbackJul 2008607902452847X978-9024528479
French — Les Jardins de la lune
Buchet ChastelTrade paperback16 Mar 20015922283018404978-2283018408
Calmann-LevyTrade paperback22 Aug 20075862702137784978-2702137789
Hungarian — A Hold udvara
AlexandraHard cover20034939633684552978-9633684559
Italian — I Giardini della Luna
ArmeniaHard cover20046028834417429978-8834416808
Polish — Ogrody Księżyca
MagTrade paperbackOct 20006048387968366978-8387968366
MagHard cover, collector's edition20045988389004755978-8389004758
Romanian — Gradinile Lunii[4]
TritonicPaperbackMay 20085449737332296978-9737332295
Russian — Сады Луны (Sady Luny)
ACTHard cover20027045170110146978-5170173105
EKSMOHard cover20077685699206337978-5699206339
Spanish — Los jardines de la Luna
Timun MasHard cover (part 1)Oct 20043008448033876978-8448033873
Timun MasHard cover (part 2)Oct 20043208448033884978-8448033880
Idea FactoryTrade paperback11 Nov 20095128498005094978-8498005097


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.[5]

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
Epilogue Pagination


The following summaries contain spoilers
Please access individual chapter summaries via the Chapter infobox


The novel opens in the 96th year of the Malazan Empire, during the final year of the Emperor Kellanved's reign.

Young Ganoes Paran witnesses the sacking of the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City, where Surly, commander of the Claw (the Malazan Empire's intelligence organisation), is flushing out and executing unregistered sorcerers. 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. Paran wants to be a soldier when he grows older, to Whiskeyjack's disapproval.



...In the eighth 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 and Laseen now rules as Empress. Two new 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 Laseen's death. Cotillion possesses a young fishergirl, assuming the name of Sorry, living in the Itko Kan province of the Quon Tali continent and has her join the Malazan 2nd Army, which is 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 Ganoes Paran, now a lieutenant, to help her track down the missing fishergirl.

1163 Burn's Sleep, two years later. 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 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. The decision is made to attack Moon's Spawn. During the battle, several of the Empire's High Mages are seemingly killed by friendly fire. Only Tayschrenn and Tattersail, commander of the 2nd's mage cadre, survive. Moon's Spawn is driven off in the battle and flees 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 commander) manage to save the soul of a dying mage, Hairlock, and transfer it to a new puppet vessel. Tattersail agrees to help them expose Tayschrenn's treachery.

During the same period, Ganoes Paran travels 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 Bridgeburners, but he is almost immediately assassinated by Sorry. Oponn, god of Luck, intervenes and arranges for Paran to survive. The Bridgeburners leave for Darujhistan without him.

Tattersail helps Paran return to health. Whilst recuperating, Paran foils an attack on the sorceress by a Hound of Shadow.



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.?)

Kruppe has one of his dreams in which 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 mistakes 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 to issue 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, Nom kills her lover, the 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 come under fire from unknown assailants.

Anomander Rake visits Baruk and agrees to 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 Bule (b.?)

Whiskeyjack and his squad then arrive on the northern shore of Lake Azur. Deeming their assigned task suicidal, Whiskeyjack informs the Bridgeburners that they will implement his own plan to infiltrate and bring down Darujhistan. Quick Ben, using his warrens, meets Hairlock, who updates him about events in Pale. Afterwards, Quick proposes something to Whiskeyjack and Kalam, which shakes both of them. The Bridgeburners then set about crossing the lake.

On the Rhivi Plain, Toc the Younger comes across the site of a battle between the guards of Adjunct Lorn and a group of Barghast. Meanwhile, the Adjunct and her remaining guards are making a stand but are not faring well. Lorn is saved by the arrival of Onos T'oolan, a T'lan Imass, and Toc, who has followed her trail. Lorn is angry that the T'lan did not meet up with her days earlier. Toc and the Adjunct ride double back to Pale, leaving Onos to make his own way.

Tattersail and Paran exchange what little information they have about the current situation and talk about how Paran got there.

Lorn meets with Dujek and they discuss local politics and the military campaign. Lorn has a private meeting with Tayschrenn during which she passes on the displeasure of the Empress with the unsubtle way Tayschrenn handled the attack on Moon's Spawn. Their discussion reveals that the Empress is getting rid of the Old Guard and that Tayschrenn is helping her in that. Dujek, however, is one of the exceptions and is not to be touched. Tayschrenn informs Lorn that Oponn may have involved themselves in events in Darujhistan.

Tattersail suspects that Paran knew about Lorn's coming and that he works for her. Lorn is sure that Tattersail is the sorceress responsible for the death of her parents and at dinner that evening challenges her. The situation is defused by Dujek and Tayschrenn who remind Lorn that she is the Adjunct and has to leave behind her personal grudges. Tattersail is shaken by the encounter. She returns to her quarters and confronts Paran with her earlier suspicions. After a frank exchange, Paran asks Tattersail to be his lover.

Lorn leaves Pale and meets up with Onos T'oolan, who reveals much about the T'lan Imass to her.

Crone flies high over the Rhivi Plain on her way to Caladan Brood.

Toc convinces Paran that the Adjunct’s mission is not isolated to Sorry. They decide to catch up to Tattersail, who has left for Darujhistan to warn Whiskeyjack. Due to the influence of Tool’s Elder powers, travelling by warren is too difficult for Tattersail. She emerges on the Rhivi Plain and is confronted by Bellurdan. He does not believe her opinion that Tayschrenn and the Adjunct plan to raise a Jaghut Tyrant. Their fight ends in a conflagration which also takes in the remains of Nightchill. From a distance, Tool identifies a number of warrens opened by Tattersail and Bellurdan, including Starvald Demelain, the first Elder Warren. He also senses a new presence. Paran and Toc later come across what remains of Bellurdan and Tattersail; Toc finds tracks of a child-like being heading northeast.

Crone reports to Caladan Brood in the Blackdog Forest about events on the Rhivi Plain and Darujhistan. Brood’s forces are winning against the Empire. Two days after Tattersail’s battle with Bellurdan, Crone survives an encounter with Hairlock, who has been incinerating Great Ravens with his Chaos Warren as he heads towards Darujhistan.

Tool and the Adjunct witness Crone's flight. Tool cautions her over complacency against the unknown powers.


Gardens of the moon by slaine69

Interpretation of Anomander Rake with Darujhistan in the background by slaine69


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

In one of Kruppe's dreams, the Imass Bonecaster Pran Chole, the Elder God K'rul, and Kruppe work together to bring about the rebirth of Tattersail to a Rhivi woman, which also involves the souls of Nightchill and Bellurdan.

Sorry is shaken up by the mention of the word 'Seer'; however, Cotillion then reasserts his possession. Sorry follows Kruppe to the Phoenix Inn, where she meets Crokus and where an incident identifies him as the coinbearer.

Baruk finds out from Crone that an unknown party, likely Malazan, is looking for the barrow of the Jaghut Tyrant, allegedly located in the Gadrobi Hills. Alarmed by this, Baruk requests help from the scholar Mammot and sends his agents, Kruppe and friends, out into the hills to observe any digging party. He tells Kruppe to take the Crokus along to prevent him falling into the wrong hands.

Quick Ben has a meeting with Shadowthrone and strikes a deal to eliminate Hairlock.

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

Crokus visits the D'Arle estate and returns the jewels to Challice. After talking for a while, Challice 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

Tool and Lorn arrive at the Jaghut barrow. Although Tool's recounting of past events wakes doubts in Lorn's mind about the wisdom of what they are about to do, she decides to go ahead as planned.

Kruppe and his group travel in the Gadrobi Hills. Kruppe tells Crokus they are working for Baruk and that they are trying to observe what has the crows in the area circling above.

Paran and Toc are following Hairlock's trail who is leaving dead Ravens in his wake. They are ambushed by the puppet and Toc is thrown into an unknown Warren. Quick Ben who was watching from afar, passes on the whereabouts of the puppet, to Shadowthrone who sends the Hounds who rip the puppet apart.

Lorn comes across Kruppe and his group and, not thinking clearly, attacks them unprovoked. The fight leaves Coll injured and Kruppe and Murillio unconscious. Eventually, realising that the fight had been unnecessary, Lorn extracts a promise from Crokus to tend the wounded and leave for Darujhistan the following day. Meanwhile, Sorry is closing in on them.

Having finished with the puppet, the Hounds turn on Paran but Rake appears and kills two of them with his sword, Dragnipur. He then tells Shadowthrone to call them off and also orders him to recall his companion, resulting in Cotillion giving up his possession of Sorry. After they have left, Paran touches the blood of one of the dead Hounds and is transported into the Warren of Dragnipur where he encounters a huge wagon, pulled by those slain with the sword. With Oponn's help he manages to free the Hounds, then finds himself back in the real world with the bodies of the Hounds now gone.

The totally disorientated Sorry stumbles across Crokus and the others. Coll recognise that she has been possessed and tells Crokus to take her to his uncle Mammot immediately.

Lorn and Tool enter the barrow and despite their own misgivings decide to proceed with releasing the Tyrant.

On their way back to Darujhistan, Sorry adopts a new name, Apsalar. Kruppe and Murillio are following them to guard Crokus and bring news of the Malazan presence to Baruk.

Paran encounters a band of Rhivi, amongst them a young girl who has the bearing of Tattersail. They disappear before he can investigate further. He then comes across the injured Coll and the two men strike up a friendship.

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.?)

Rallick meets an agent of The Eel who warns him that Ocelot has accepted a contract on Coll's life.

Rake and Baruk have a long meeting during which they explore the motivations for Rake's actions amongst other. Later, Baruk leads him to the sleeping Mammot and Rake points out that the scholar might have got too close in his research and might become possessed by tyrant.

Meese warns Crokus that he is wanted for killing a guard and advises that he and Apsalar remain hidden at Mammot's house. Unbeknown to all three of them, a Tiste Andii assassin is watching the house to kill Crokus when he leaves.

Kruppe and Murillio arrive at the Phoenix Inn. Murillio leaves soon after and is accosted by Circle Breaker who passes on a message concerning Turban Orr. Rallick meanwhile is hunting Ocelot.

Whiskeyjack tells Kalam to make a final attempt at contacting the Assassin's Guild. Quick Ben can not trace Sorry. Fiddler gives Whiskeyjack a moral talking to.

Paran arrives at the city gate with a delirious Coll. A guard organises a wagon to convey the injured man to the Phoenix Inn. Rallick thwarts Ocelot's attempt to assassinate Coll and kills the Clan Leader.

Serrat regains consciousness and realises she has been knocked out by someone as she was about to make a move on the coinbearer. She vows revenge and leaves by Warren. Crokus and Apslar have moved to the attic of the Phoenix Inn in the meantime.

A surgeon is attending Coll and Paran considers breaking his sword. Kalam arrives and Paran orders him to fetch the squad's healer immediately. Kalam returns with Whiskeyjack and Mallet who is able to save Coll. The Sergeant uses a device from the Emperor's days to get in touch with Dujek. They exchange updates on the current situation in Pale, Darujhistan and of Genabackis as a whole. Dujek is about to defy orders of the Empress and is intending taking on a new enemy, called the Pannion Seer. Paran agrees to stay with the squad but asks for Whiskeyjack to remain in charge.

Lorn and Tool take the Jaghut Tyrant's Finnest and return to the surface.

Crokus and Apsalar leave the Inn whilst Serrat is again foiled in her attempt to kill him.

Rallick reaches Murillio's room. His wound turns out to have been healed to the point of looking like a week old scar but he is weak from the loss of blood. Murillio has suspicions as to who is The Eel and leaves to find him.

Baruk also wants to meet The Eel and Kruppe agrees to arrange it.

Paran gets more information about Dujeks's plans from Whiskeyjack.

Lorn and Tool part ways as she heads for Darujhistan whilst Tool remains behind to observe the Tyrant as he emerges.

Crokus and Apsalar reach K'rul's belfry where they find the body of Ocelot. Observing Moon's Spawn, Crokus briefly sees five huge winged shapes leaving it.

The FêteEdit


The Flaying of Fander, She-Wolf of Winter, marks the Dawn of Gedderone. The priestesses 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)

Murillio accuses Kruppe of being The Eel but Kruppe uses magic to make him forget about it. Baruk realise that Mammot's nephew is the coinbearer although this does not seem to be news to the scholar. Rake confirms Mammot, too, will be at the Fête.

Circle Breaker swaps shifts with a fellow guard to work at Simtal's Fête. Lorn meets up with the Bridgeburners and takes over command which seems to anger Whiskeyjack.

Yet another attack by Serrat on the coinbearer is foiled, this time by someone whose voice she recognises. She is told that he is protected care of the Prince.

Raest leaves his barrow and is attacked by Silanah and four other dragons whilst Crone observes the fight from the air.

Lorn plants the acorn in a garden and goes in search of the coinbearer. Kruppe senses that Crokus has additional, outside protection. He also considers that his secret identity is about to be revealed but is not concerned.

Crokus and Apsalar are heading for Simtal's estate where, in the meantime, the Bridgeburners are reporting there for guard duty. Kalam threatens the barkeeper at the Phoenix Inn to tell the Guild to get in touch or else.

Baruk and Rake arrive at the Fête with Rake dressed as a dragon. Rake is introduced to Orr and Simtal but his name means nothing to them. Murillio and Rallick observe as Kruppe meets Baruk and his guest.

Orr realises that one of the guards is the spy he has been hunting for but before he can get to the man, Rallick provokes Orr into a duel. Murillio in the meantime seduces Simtal. The duelling parties move out to the terrace and Rake volunteers to be Rallick's second. The Bridgeburners recognise him and Whiskeyjack orders the sappers to keep something handy in case they need a diversion. Crokus is looking for Challice and Kruppe hands Circle Breaker a message from the Eel with news of retirement and reward for the agent.

The duel is over quickly as Rallick kills Orr with a thrust to the heart. Rake is introduced to the Cabal witch Derudan and mentions a threat close-by, but won't give details. Rallick informs Simtal that Orr is dead and that Coll will be reinstated. Murillio throws his dagger on the bed as he leaves, knowing he will be the last to have seen her alive.

Crokus kidnaps Challice.

Raest is swept away from his battle with Silannah into Kruppe's dream where he is attacked by Tool who severely damages the Tyrant. K'rul appears, offering Raest the choice of being killed by Tool or to accompany K'rul to the gates of Chaos. Raest chooses neither, instead escaping by transferring to another body elsewhere.

Paran and Kalam come across Sorry who is standing in front of an unnatural wooden block in a glen in Simtal's garden. She rebuffs an attack by Kalam but does not counter. Her odd comments cause Paran to get Mallet who confirms that Sorry is no longer possessed but that there is still a presence in her which has been protecting the girl. Mallet decides to help that entity, trusting it does not mean to harm Sorry.

Vorcan asks Rallick to come to the garden with her whilst Crokus finds out that Challice did not betray him but does love someone else. They part acrimoniously. Crokus then observes from a hiding place as Vorcan and Rallick speak to a Malazan spy called Kalam. The three are joined by two others and Apsalar. He hears how Vorcan accepts a contract from the Malazans to kill the members of the T'orrud Cabal then all leave, apart from Rallick who remains as his presence dampens the activities of the alien block which otherwise seems to be growing alarmingly. Rallick asks Crokus to warn Baruk about the threat facing the Cabal.

The Tyrant has taken possession of Mammot and is attacking the guests at the Fête. He is opposed by Quick Ben and the witch Derudan. When one of Raest's energy bolts hits Paran's sword, the Captain finds himself in another realm where Tool is battling the Finnest of the Jaghut. Once Tool is exhausted, Paran takes over. Their efforts give the Azath House time to mature enough, to then be able to take in the Finnest. Paran reappears at the Fête where Quick Ben unveils seven Warrens to combat the Tyrant. Just as he and Derudan have exhausted their sorceries, Hedge appears and throws a Moranth munition which leaves a crater where the Jaghut stood. As they observe in horror that Raest seems to be sembling again, he is taken in by the roots of the Azath House.

Soon after the sappers head off to blow up the intersections. Moments later, Kalam realises that this will ignite the gas supply of the city, incinerating all and everyone. He races off to stop Fiddler and Hedge.

Paran is briefly pulled into the Shadow realm, where he is attacked by a Hound but only wounded before the Hound releases him. He speaks with Cotillion and agrees to give his sword to The Rope which breaks Paran's connection to Oponn. Returned to the Fête, Paran leaves to go after Lorn.

On his way to Baruk, Crokus notices that Moon's Spawn now hangs over the city. He is observed by Lorn who releases a Galayn Demon Lord to go after Anomander Rake whilst she follows the coinbearer. Baruk and Derudan feel the release of the Demon and moments later, the death of two of their fellow Cabal members. Faced with a Demon Lord, Hedge and Fiddler have abandoned their plan and with Kalam run back to Simtal's.

Lorn's attack on Crokus is thwarted by members of the Crimson Guard. One of them enlightens Crokus about his role as coinbearer. Lorn escapes severely wounded but is killed by Meese and Irilta. Paran finds her and refuses to hand over the Otataral sword to Oponn who appear. Crokus in the meantime witnesses the battle between Rake and the Galayn. Rake kills the Demon then tells Crokus to go and assist Baruk who is in danger.

Baruk and Derudan are attacked by Vorcan but survives due to the interference of Serrat, who is killed by Vorcan, and Crokus who knocks Vorcan out by throwing bricks at her. Vorcan then disappears.

Coll overhears the Bridgeburner conferring with Dujek who tells them that the Host is now officially outlawed. He offers to help them get out of the city.

Rallick saves the injured Vorcan from pursuing Tiste Andii by entering the new Azath House with her. The Tiste decide not to abandon the quest.

Kruppe, Murillio and Crokus are reunited.


Mallet is worrying about Whiskeyjack's leg and Quick Ben is thinking of a scheme that will make the Sergeant howl when he eventually hears of it. The Bridgeburners are leaving by Moranth to join Dujek's Host apart from Fiddler and Kalam who, with Crokus, are taking the former Sorry, now called Apsalar, back to her homeland of Itko Kan. Circle Breaker, a fellow passenger on their boat on his way to retirement, observes as Crokus throws Oponn's coin into the water.


  • 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. Fans sometimes refer to these inconsistencies as "GotMisms".
  • The novel first saw life as a feature film script co-written by Erikson and Malazan co-creator Ian C. Esslemont. According to Erikson, the script primarily covered the events occurring in the last quarter of the eventual novel as well as the assassins' rooftop fighting sequence from earlier in the book. The tone was also quite different, with Erikson saying, "we were thinking along the lines of 1001 Nights, Indiana Jones style of humour… It’s deadpan jokes all the way through, that kind of thing." After failing to sell the script, Erikson began reworking the story as a novel and the Gardens of the Moon film script was eventually lost. Erikson and Esslemont also produced a second film script titled Blackdog Blues. A prequel to Gardens of the Moon, it covered the Malazan Genabackan campaign. The script still exists, but only on a large floppy disk and is compatible with an obsolete word processing program.[6][7]
  • Erikson's first draft of the novel was written over four and a half months on a Brother WP 500 word processor while "living in poverty on Saltspring Island" in British Columbia. Upon completion, his manuscript was rejected by several publishers. The original 1991 draft "began with the Siege of Pale. The prologue set in Malaz City was there, but nothing of the possession of Sorry, the Hounds, Shadowthrone, and Ganoes Paran." These elements were all added after Erikson took a second look at the manuscript while living in Dorking, England. Erikson worked on the changes in a pub called The Bush. This time with the aid of a newly acquired agent, Erikson found a home for his novel with Bantam UK. Follow this link for Erikson's detailed account of the writing and publishing process.
  • Gardens of the Moon was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2000.[8]
  • In his first attempt at writing Gardens of the Moon, Erikson presented the story from Anomander Rake's point of view. After writing three pages, he abandoned the draft as he came to the conclusion that his twenty-something self could not authentically convey the thoughts of a character who was several hundred thousand years old. He later found that avoiding Rake's POV gave the character a sense of presence and power that would have been difficult to duplicate with his own POV.[9]
  • Erikson cites Frank Herbert's Dune as an inspiration for dropping the reader into the story and forcing them to tread water for quite some time before they are able to piece it together. The "structure of Gardens of the Moon is ripped off straight from Dune.[10]

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External linksEdit

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