Rule Rumour Book Featured Book Audit A Tale of a Moonserpent

Featured Book Audit A Tale of a Moonserpent

Peril, adventure, Magic and romance: what more could you ask for from a high fantasy?

A Lunar Heir story follows a young witch (Araina), her guide (Sol), an elf and a dove on a quest through a barren and endangered land.

Everyone has their own reasons for embarking on the journey, from sol’s duty as a Soldier to Araina’s mixed bag of grief and low self-esteem. The book skillfully weaves compelling personalities and their authentic motivations with the plot of the story; everything blends well.

While Delivering grimoires and a magical artifact to a friend from a nearby witch community, Araina’s latent magical ability manifests itself. So it is the best choice for an important Mission that the clan must fulfill. A militaristic force is searching for seven magical artifacts hidden throughout the country to exercise even greater power. And something is wrong with nature itself, the earth and its plants are spoiled. Are these events related in some way?

Araina hesitates but is finally convinced to try to find the artifacts. She is accompanied by a soldier, Sol, who knows the territory. He is in charge of being a guide and a guardian. However, Araina will face unexpected psychological and emotional traumas on her own. Another assistant is Den, a little Elf flying on a pigeon. Araina had helped him out of a scrapyard on the way to the witch colony, and Den says he has nothing better to do than come. With the help of Pidgie, he can perform a quick aerial surveillance of your route in front of him.

But things are not going so well for Araina and her company. The landscape is dense with armies at war, thieves and enemy enclaves. And threatening ghosts. To make matters worse, supplies are scarce and life on Earth is almost impossible due to the spoiled vegetation.

Along the way, the characters grow, change and evolve through a series of challenges. They bond as a team and then have to face the grief of misunderstandings and betrayal. The gentle and slow romance of A Moonserpent Tale is perfect for these characters in this Situation.

The construction of the book’s world is thorough and thoughtful, and the description is haunting. For example, Araina, who has lived by the sea all her life, slips alone to visit a port:

 

“The witch closed her eyes and just wanted to hear, feel, smell and imagine that it was hers. She tried to imagine it with seagulls and harbor seals, and without the huge ships, the noise of loading and unloading, the tobacco trails and grunts, laughter and pinching in the air. The brilliance of the water, breaking the darkness behind her eyelids, almost led her there… ”

There is a lot at stake, both for the world and for the personal lives of the characters. Decisions always have real emotional and practical consequences, such as the emotional effects of finishing an enemy or a near-accident with peril. These people don’t just shake it off. They talk about their feelings, and these feelings inform future actions.

I doubtful that everyone, even the minor characters, had a complete backstory, but the details only unfold if necessary. Yet the narrative has a richness, because this context informs each step of the way.

This is clearly Araina’s story. It is a pleasure to see her evolution as she tries, fails and suffers consequences that correspond to her decisions. The reader takes root in her and deals with her struggles.

The book skillfully treats an omniscient point of view, always clear and never pulls the reader out of the narrative. The voice of the story has a wonderful, folkloric tone that perfectly matches the material. Each character also speaks in a voice that fits well with his personality and background. Den the elf is a rather capricious Charmer. “Pfft, I have to be more picky about job offers. But uh, it looks like Miss Moon Snake went through something else. If it doesn’t require a drink to party, you need to see what else is needed, general.”

Readers who like character-driven fantasy fiction like Lois McMaster Bujold’s fantasy novels will be impressed by A Moonserpent Tale. This is a thoughtful and entertaining story at the same time, a real pleasure to read.

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