The Emperor is dead!
So too his right hand - now cold, now severed!
But mark these dying shadows,
twinned and flowing bloody and beaten,
down and away from mortal sight ...
From sceptre's rule dismissed,
from gild candelabra the light now fled,
from a hearth ringed in hard jewels,
seven years this warmth has bled ...
The Emperor is dead.
So too his master'd companion, the rope cut clean.
But mark this burgeoning return -
faltering dark, the tattered shroud -
embracing children in Empire's dying light.
Hear now the dirge faint reprised,
before the sun's fall, this day spills red
on buckled earth, and in obsidian eyes
vengeance chimes seven times ...Gardens of the Moon is the first book of ten in Malazan Book of the Fallen, and the first in the Genabackis arc. It was released in 1999, and at just over 200,000 words, it is by far the shortest novel in the main sequence — although still a Doorstopper by any definition.Though still young, the Malazan Empire is already rife with conspiracy. The Emperor and his right-hand man, Dancer, have been assassinated by Clawmaster Surly, the head of the Claw. Surly ascends to the throne as Empress Laseen, from which she maintains the Empire's expansionist policies.Years later, the siege of Pale is reaching its conclusion on the continent of Genabackis. The city has held out for three years thanks to its high mage population and the help of the otherworldly Tiste Andii, their leader—the Ascendant known as Anomander Rake—and their enigmatic floating fortress, Moon's Spawn. In a costly climactic battle, the Malazans manage to damage and drive off Moon's Spawn and claim victory. The Bridgeburners, a legendary military company, is almost wiped out to a man, and their unofficial leader, Sergeant Whiskeyjack, learns that they may have been betrayed by high-ranking officials.Laseen's lust for power is great, however, and the Bridgeburners reluctantly find themselves sent to the city-state if Darujhistan, where they will attempt to soften up defences in the event that the city can not be persuaded to join the Empire. Joining them is the young and na´ve Captain Ganoes Paran, who remains unaware of the Bridgeburners' intolerance towards poor officers. The Empire is not the only force with its eyes on Darujhistan, however, as most of its enemies seem to be gathering there.In Darujhistan, a young thief named Crokus Younghand finds himself drawn into more intrigue than he ever expected; elsewhere, Adjunct Lorn, second only to the Empress, travels towards the city with a plan in mind; and in the shadows, the gods manipulate events to their liking.Followed by Deadhouse Gates.
—Felisin (B. 1146), Call to Shadow (I. 1. 1-18)
This book contains examples of the following tropes: