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by author "Steven Erikson" in All Categories
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Gardens of the Moon
The Malazan Book of the Fallen 1
Length: 26 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discontent. Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, still holds out - and Empress Lasseen's ambition knows no bounds.
The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha'ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y'Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to this ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire's greatest champion, Dassem Ultor, was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. A place of foreboding, its smell is of death. But elsewhere, agents of a far greater conflict have made their opening moves.
All is not well in the Letherii Empire. Rhulad Sengar, the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, spirals into madness, surrounded by sycophants and agents of his Machiavellian chancellor, while the Letherii secret police conduct a campaign of terror against its own people. The Errant, once a farseeing god, is suddenly blind to the future. Conspiracies seethe throughout the palace, as the empire - driven by the corrupt and self-interested - edges ever closer to all-out war with the neighbouring kingdoms. And the great Edur fleet - its warriors selected from countless peoples - draws ever closer. Amongst them are Karsa Orlong and Icarium Lifestealer - each destined to cross blades with the Emperor himself. That yet more blood is to be spilled is inevitable....
Weakened by events in Darujhistan, the Malazan Empire teeters on the brink of anarchy. In the vast dominion of Seven Cities, in the Holy Desert Raraku, the seer Sha'ik gathers an army around her in preparation for the long-prophesied uprising named the Whirlwind. Unprecedented in its size and savagery, it will embroil in one of the bloodiest conflicts it has ever known: a maelstrom of fanaticism and bloodlust that will shape destinies and give birth to legends....
The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a fanatical tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all who fail to heed the Word of its elusive prophet, the Pannion Seer. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Dujek Onearm's Host and the Bridgeburners, each now outlawed by the Empress alongside their enemies of old, including the grim forces of Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, and his Tiste Andii, and the Rhivi people of the Plains.
It is summer, and the heat is oppressive, yet the discomfiture of the small rotund man in the faded red waistcoat is not entirely due to the sun. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city's streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways, but it seems the hunters have become the hunted. Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. Strangers have arrived, and while the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of hounds. All is palpably not well.
In Northern Genabackis, before the events recounted in Gardens of the Moon, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descend from the mountains into the flat lands. For one among them, Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove an extraordinary destiny. Some years later, it is the aftermath of the Chain of Dogs. Coltaine is dead. And now the untried new Adjunct, Tavore, must urgently raise an army able to withstand the forces of the Sha'ik's Whirlwind that are massing in Raraku, the few remaining veterans from Coltaine's march her only hope....
On the Letherii continent the exiled Malazan army commanded by Adjunct Tavore begins its march into the eastern Wastelands, to fight for an unknown cause against an enemy it has never seen. The fate awaiting the Bonehunters is one no soldier can prepare for, and one no mortal soul can withstand - the foe is uncertainty and the only weapon worth wielding is stubborn courage. In war everyone loses, and this brutal truth can be found in the eyes of every soldier in every world.
After decades of warfare, the five tribes of the Tiste Edur have finally united under the implacable rule of the Warlock King of the Hiroth. But peace has been exacted at a terrible price - a pact made with a hidden power whose motives are at best suspect, at worst deadly. To the south, the expansionist kingdom of Lether has devoured all of its less-civilised neighbours with rapacious, cold-blooded hunger. All, that is, save one - the Tiste Edur. For Lether is approaching a long-prophesied renaissance - from kingdom and lost colony of the First Empire to Empire reborn.
The Bonehunters are marching to Kolanse, and to an unknown fate. Tormented and exhausted, they are an army on the brink of mutiny. But Adjunct Tavore will not relent. If she can hold her forces together, if the fragile alliances she has forged can survive and if it is within her power, one final act remains. For Tavore Paran means to challenge the gods. Ranged against Tavore and her allies are formidable foes. The Fokrul Assail are drawing upon a terrible power; their desire is to cleanse the world - to eradicate every civilisation, to annihilate every human - in order to begin anew.
Many years have passed since three Teblor warriors brought carnage and chaos to the small lakeside settlement of Silver Lake. While the town has recovered, the legacy of that past horror remains, even if the Teblor tribes of the north no longer venture into the southlands. One of those three, Karsa Orlong, is now deemed to be a god, albeit an indifferent one.
It is a bitter winter, and civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain. Urusander's Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas. The rebels' only opposition lies scattered and weakened - bereft of a leader since Anomander's departure in search of his estranged brother. The remaining brother, Silchas Ruin, rules in his stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the Highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but he is fast running out of time.
Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told.... It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power…and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions.
It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power…and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas.
These are the voyages of the starship, A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life life-forms, to boldly blow the...And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback - think James T Kirk crossed with ‘American Dad'
An alien AI has been sent to the solar system as representative of three advanced species. Its mission is to save the Earth's ecosystem - and the biggest threat to that is humanity. But we are also part of the system, so the AI must make a choice. Should it save mankind or wipe it out? Are we worth it? The AI is all-powerful and might as well be a god. So it sets up some conditions. Violence is now impossible. Large-scale destruction of natural resources is impossible. Food and water will be provided for those who really, truly need them. You can't even bully someone on the Internet anymore.