Gardens of the Moon By Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon is the first of ten novels in Canadian author Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It was first published in 1999, and nominated for a World Fantasy Award.The novel opens in the 96th year of the Malazan Empire, during the final year of the Emperor Kellanved. A young boy named Ganoes Paran witnesses the sacking of the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City. Paran wants to be a soldier when he grows older. Commander Whiskeyjack disapproves, as does Claw leader Surly (Laseen).

From the book

of Mock's Vane. A century old, it squatted on the point of an old pike that had been bolted to the 
outer top of the Hold's wall. Monstrous and misshapen, it had been cold-hammered into the form 
of a winged demon, teeth bared in a leering grin, and was tugged and buffeted in squealing protest 
with every gust of wind. 
The winds were contrary the day columns of smoke rose over the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City.
The Vane's silence announced the sudden falling-off of the sea breeze that came clambering over 
the ragged walls of Mock's Hold, then it creaked back into life as the hot, spark-scattered and 
smoke-filled breath of the Mouse Quarter reached across the city to sweep the promontory's

Ganoes Stabro Paran of the House of Paran stood on tiptoe to see over the merlon. Behind him 
rose Mock's Hold, once capital of the Empire but now, since the mainland had been conquered,

relegated once more to a Fist's holding. To his left rose the pike and its wayward trophy.
For Ganoes, the ancient fortification overlooking the city was too familiar to be of interest. This
visit was his third in as many years; he'd long ago explored the courtyard with its heaved
cobblestones, the Old Keep—now a stable, its upper floor home to pigeons and swallows and
bats—and the citadel where even now his father negotiated the island export tithe with the harbour
officials. In the last instance, of course, a goodly portion was out of bounds, even for a son of a
noble house; for it was in the citadel that the Fist had his residence, and in the inner chambers that
such affairs of the Empire as concerned this island were conducted.
Mock's Hold forgotten behind him, Ganoes' attention was on the tattered city below, and the
riots that ran through its poorest quarter.
Mock's Hold stood atop a cliff. The higher land of the Pinnacle was reached by a switchback
staircase carved into the limestone of the cliff wall. The drop to the city below was eighty
armspans or more, with the Hold's battered wall adding still another six. The Mouse was at the
city's inland edge, an uneven spreading of hovels and overgrown tiers cut in half by the silt-heavy 
river that crawled towards the harbour. With most of Malaz City between Ganoes' position and the 
riots, it was hard to make out any detail, beyond the growing pillars of black smoke."

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