Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009)

Subterranean Press

Posted on:
Tuesday, March 06th, 2012
Author:
Tony Geer
Posted in:
Fantasy, Malazan, Steven Erikson, Subterranean Press
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Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon is the first book in the epic fantasy series The Malazan Book of the Fallen. It was first published in 1999 by Bantam Press in paperback and the series was completed nine books later with The Crippled God in 2011.

The world of Malazan was created by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont in 1982 for a role playing game and both authors later decided to write their own series of books set in the world that they had built together.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is very similar to the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin which was recently translated into the hit HBO series A Game of Thrones, but it takes the complexity and scale up quite a few notches. The cast of characters is huge, plot threads are many and complex, with events in one book sometimes only being fully explained a few books later. Characters’ motives are always hidden not only from other characters in the book, but also from the reader. There is little to no expository dialogue, and you truly have to work hard sometimes to figure out what’s going on. These books are without a doubt a difficult read.

Whenever I finish a Malazan book I feel like I’ve completed a series of difficult mental gymnastics and I have to take a break from reading, or read something much simpler. I’ve read the first four books of the series and decided to it was a good time to take an extended break from the series before I start feeling like it’s too much of work.

Gardens of the Moon opens up in the final stages of a years-long war where the Malazan Army is trying to conquer one of the only two remaining free cities on the continent of Genabackis - Pale. We’re immediately dropped into the middle of the action, getting a quick introduction to some of the characters that will play major parts in the following few books, a quick look at some of the tactics that the Malazan army has been adopting, and a vicious introduction to the magic system (see illustration #2 below). Pale eventually falls, incurring significant losses to the Malazan Army, and the battle then proceeds to Darujhistan where most of the action for the rest of the book takes place.

About the Illustrator - Michael Kormarck

Michael Kormarck has an interesting background - he’s been, at times, a projectcionist, children’s book publisher, designer and Flash animator, all before becoming one of the best fantasy artists working in the industry today. And the most amazing part of it all is that he’s self-taight.

He has a gritty, unique style that manages to look realistic without being overly so, and his compositions and layouts still manage to remain fresh to me after reading and seeing the covers of so many fantasy books. He’s worked for publishers like Daw Books, Pyr, Solaris, Subterranean Press and Tor Books and entertainment companies like Blizzard, Blur Studios and Electronic Arts.

About This Edition

This edition of Gardens of the Moon saw a long delay before finally being published, most of it due to the artwork taking longer than expected. This is something that I really have no issues with when you see what the outcome is: richly textured, highly detailed illustrations capturing some of the key moments in the book. Had the artwork been rushed and of poor quality, we would have been much more upset, so I think it’s a reasonable compromise.

It has long been sold out and rarely pops up on the secondary market, so whenever it does, it sells for a few times the publishing price as there’s always high demand.

Book two, Deadhouse Gates, is available for preorder on the Subterranean Pess website, but I have it on good authority that Subpress is down to the last thirty or so copies, so if you want a copy you’d better hurry.

 
Illustrator
Michael Kormarck
ISBN
978-1-59606-145-3
Pages
560
Paper stock
80# Finch
Publish Date
June 2008
Limitation
500 signed, numbered hardcover copies; 52 signed, deluxe-bound copies, in a custom traycase

Pictures of the Signed and Numbered Limited Edition

The following are pictures of the Signed and Numbered Limited Edition from Subterranean Press.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) cover shot #1 with Michael Kormark illustration of Anomander Rake, the Tiste Ande, and his sword Dragnipur.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): cover shot #1 with Michael Kormark illustration of Anomander Rake, the Tiste Ande, and his sword Dragnipur.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) cover shot #2.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): cover shot #2.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) cover shot #3.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): cover shot #3.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) dust jacket removed.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): dust jacket removed.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) dust jacket spread, front.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): dust jacket spread, front.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) dust jacket spread, back.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): dust jacket spread, back.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) dust jacket spread across.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): dust jacket spread across.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) the book out of its jacket.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): the book out of its jacket.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) view of the spine.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): view of the spine.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) nothing fancy on the endpapers.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): nothing fancy on the endpapers.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) signature page with Steven Erikson's signature and limitation number.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): signature page with Steven Erikson's signature and limitation number.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) close-up of  signature and limitation number.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): close-up of signature and limitation number.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) title page.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): title page.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) map of the city of Darujhistan.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): map of the city of Darujhistan.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) map of the continent of Genabackis.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): map of the continent of Genabackis.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) list of illustrations.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): list of illustrations.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) content page.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): content page.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) dedicated to Ian C. Esslemont, co-creator of the Malazan universe.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): dedicated to Ian C. Esslemont, co-creator of the Malazan universe.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) chapter heading.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): chapter heading.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) illustration #1: young Ganoes Paran witnessing the sacking and burning of the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City with Commander Whiskeyjack.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): illustration #1: young Ganoes Paran witnessing the sacking and burning of the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City with Commander Whiskeyjack.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) illustration #2: Quick Ben, Kalam and Whiskeyjack come across the remains of the mage Hairlock.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): illustration #2: Quick Ben, Kalam and Whiskeyjack come across the remains of the mage Hairlock.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) illustration #3: Quick Ben and Kalam.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): illustration #3: Quick Ben and Kalam.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) illustration #4: Onos T'oolan kills a Barghast tribesman in front of Adjunct Lorn.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): illustration #4: Onos T'oolan kills a Barghast tribesman in front of Adjunct Lorn.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) illustration #5: The Warren within Dragnipur.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): illustration #5: The Warren within Dragnipur.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) illustration #6: Raest, the Jaghut Tyrant, fighting Silanah Redwings.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (2009) (Subterranean Press): illustration #6: Raest, the Jaghut Tyrant, fighting Silanah Redwings.

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