The Forgetting Moon (Five Warrior Angels #1) by Brian Lee Durfee #fantasy @canelo_co

37798283A royal family in chaos, a country under attack, a prophecy of lies. Magic, betrayal and epic battles
War has come to the Five Isles. A merciless host driven by the Angel Prince, Aeros, has its sights on the unconquered kingdom of Gul Kana.

Its ruling family are fractured. The newly crowned king reigns in paranoid isolation, and his two sisters have troubles of their own. Jondralyn wants to prove her worth as a warrior, while Tala has uncovered a secret that may destroy the entire kingdom.

Hidden at the edge of Gul Kana, however, is Nail. An orphan taken by the enigmatic Shawcroft to a remote whaling village, he is now a young man who may be the salvation of the entire Five Islesโ€ฆ

A dark and epic fantasy perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence, Brent Weeks and George R.R. Martin.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
NetGalley eARC 752 Canelo Fantasy: Epic/Dark January 22nd, 2018 (August 30th, 2016)

A genuine question: how do you review 752 pages of pure remarkable because I know not!? Haaaalp!

The Forgetting Moon is truly one of the most satisfying fantasy books I, personally, have read. It was by no means an easy read because I highlighted more passages than I ever have before- so detailed and fully formed out was the worldbuilding and its intrigues that I had to use my brain. Turns out, it enjoyed being used again! ๐Ÿ˜€ It was like receiving the whole of civilization in a perfectly bundled 700+ page edition with all its wisdom within it.

Religion and faith are what form the overall plot and the main conflict in this book. With the scene set, the wide cast of characters takes over to form the journeys we embark on as readers in this tale of life and loss, discovering truths and uncovering lies, testing of loyalties.


There are those that bring Absolution- for they believe they have the right to do so; those that await for it- for theyย believe what comes after will benefit them; and those who wish to avoid it- for the threatening Absolution is nothing but a lie and harbinger of death in its wake.

One big, juicy Absolution coming right up!

Basically, take one of the most epic fantasies you’ve read, buff it up a notch and you got yourself The Forgetting Moon. A motherload of epic.

I know, you’re reading this review and by now are probably thinking- cut the crap, girl and tell me what makes this book so epic!ย 

Everything… The characters, the writing, the scenes, the descriptions, the pace, the fullness and richness of it all…

Each and every character is imperative to the story and to the progress of storyline. Their personalities, decisions, actions push the story onwards with great momentum. Each with their own special brand of common sense, narrow-mindedness, wisdom, stupidity, madness, vileness, cruelty, kindness… Chapter to chapter, character to character the exploration of minds, agendas and aspirations is so fulfilling I could not help but be swept away into the whole web of life and death, blood and tears, guts and gore…

“Yet the truth was, in battle, most men, some even fully knighted, were a disgrace. They pissed themselves, shat themselves, then found themselves stuck to the pointy end of a better man’s sword.”

There are royalty and common folk, bishops and a vicar (cough- assholecough), there are soldiers and fishermen, merfolk, grayken and fey, gladiators and oghuls… there are even ‘turbocharged’ horses- I kid you not! People both young and old, fierce and weary. Imagine a world full of people- you have it. Imagine a world full of emotions- you got it.

As for character development- there is tons of development with some, like the princess Jondralyn who wants to burn the dresses (not literally!) and become a gladiator. There’s also Nail, whose development is slow going in this book but over the course of the series I imagine it to be the most magnificent, indeed. Good things take time!

Other characters are so set in who they are and what they do that they fit their bill perfectly without any further developmental requirement… And because this is a bookย surrounded by the great religious conflict, you can only imagine the clash and theย reluctance of some of the characters to… you know… take on board anything other than what they were brainwashed with. I love it!

So, to summarise the characters in this book- they are all equally important, not only in how much/often they appear in the storyline but with how they influence the plot and progress of the story. After all, you can’t playย a game of cards with an incomplete deck. I got to know each and every one of them- I can visualise them and tell you what each of them are like. I can tell apart the struggling youngster trying to make sense of it all, I can tell you the ones with big hearts, I can tell you who’s most likely to make you laugh, the ones who will make you cry and cringe and spit in anger…

What a great start to a series The Forgetting Moon is… the story starts from many frayed ends and fronts and as such there is a lot to take in… Imagine a jigsaw with its pieces fluttered about various locations- they all have their specific importance and they all need to come together to form that complete picture. Hand on my heart- information is delivered with perfect timings at all times. I had no problems following who was where and why- it was easy to follow and because it was easy to follow, the consistent feeling of foreboding never left me. Not once. It still hasn’t left me because dayum- I need to know what happens next!

How does an author create a masterpiece of epic proportions? Well- by thorough research, by having a clear view and idea of what it is they are trying to create.ย  And if they can write with purpose and soul- all the better. Durfee reallyย managed to squeeze it all in there- the pain, the joy. The humour, the mourning… Descriptions of scenes, settings, and even dialogue offered me many layered observations.

The gladiator matches, all and any battle scenes, trudging through the mountains, dealing with assassins, learning how to fight- Durfee has simply mastered moderation. Don’t get me wrong though, when a scene is gory, it’s bloody gory! What I mean by moderation is- how often and how lengthy the scene is. Detailed yet not overbearing. My favourite kind of balance.

“The ground was a-littered with the drift and crimson carnage of a human storm.”


What more can I say? I had an absolute pleasure to be able to read this book and if ever there is a comparison with authors such as Lawrence and Martin done right- this is it! Epid, dark, grim fantasy. I couldn’t even possibly begin to tell you about each character in detail- we’d be here forever. I couldn’t even beginย to tell you of all the adventures, battles and scenes- we’d be here forever and a day. And yet- again- everything is seamless and purposeful!

I worried starting this tome of a book whether it was going to manage in keeping my interest. I needn’t have.ย The Forgetting Moonย took me on a hell of a journey, and I am hungry for more. MOOOAAARRR I say!

The Forgetting Moon on Goodreads | Amazon UK | USA | Book Depository


  1. Oh wow, this sounds amazing. I love a good story based around religious beliefs/conflicts. Unfortunately the page count and large cast means I am unlikely to read this. I really enjoyed reading your review though and seeing how much you loved it. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, CJ! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was worried myself that it was going to be a bit too much for my brain but needn’t have worried. For the page count/complexity reason, I have been putting off starting Game of Thrones… now I feel like I could give it a go… have you read GOT? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course I have – I’m a Stark! ๐Ÿ™‚ After the first 3 episodes of the first season of the TV show I NEEDED to know more. So I went and bought the full set of books that were out and read them all one after another. It took me about 10 months to read them all because of how complex they are and because of the HUGE cast of characters. My illness wasn’t as bad as it is now, so my memory was better. They were still difficult to follow though and I relied on the wiki a lot! They are exceptionally good though, so worth the effort. Do you watch the TV show? I think it would be easier to follow the books after getting to know the characters from the show.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Stark… I swear, this is the coolest surname to have! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          I have watched the show, indeed… I remember getting on the bandwagon about 3 seasons in… I sat at a cafe and the table next to me were discussin it and I thought- what is this Game of Thrones everyone is raving about!? Imagine! ha… but yeah, have been following the show ever since… I actually do think it’ll be easier to follow the books having seen the show- it’s like a little cheatsheet! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah… i totally have to start reading the books soon… still a bit daunting tho ๐Ÿ˜€


  2. How do you review 752 pages of pure remarkable? Well, the answer is: like this! This was a very cool review! And the book sounds awesome, which pretty much shines true in your enthusiastic review! Thanks for sharing this one ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not fond of hefty tomes because there’s often too much filler and boring stuff included and I end up thinking more often than not that the novel could easily be half as long but this is most probably THE exception. Thanks to the big page count it was able to balance its pacing, not going to fast or to slow and take its time to build the world and characters in a detailed and addictive way. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Boy you do know how to sell this one! I’m normally wary of 700+ pages books because they tend to have a lot of filler words/chapters and it can start dragging, but this one sounds fantastic. Thorough descriptions and a whole lot of epic? Yes please! I’m definitely keeping this one in mind. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not sure how I have not heard of this!? Or do not remember hearing of it, but thanks to the this effing incredible review, I am not likely to forget of it any time soon! Good grief.. make me want to toss all current reads aside why don’t you!?

    I think you review reminds me od how I felt when I discovered GoT. Each character and action was so significant! It was a bit much at first but then I found myself craving it. Same here maybe? ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahahaha… yeah… it really did play all the card available in fantasy and mixed the grim and evil with good and youthful fun.. I swear the seldom dialogue in between the young characters in this book made me laugh so hard… but yeah, that will then be balanced off with some literal intestines hanging out… but, truly, the worldbuilding is admirable!

      I think having read this book, I am now more happy to go into GoT because I always felt like I wasn not cut out for tomes?! If that makes sense… but having emerged happily from the other side with this one, I really want to tackle GoT soon! Sooner rather than later, even!


  6. Ah I loved your excitement for this from the start of this review. This sounds so epic (there’s no other word for it) I love how complex the characters sound. And gosh your writing is beautiful in this review- I mean: “the story starts from many frayed ends and fronts and as such there is a lot to take inโ€ฆ Imagine a jigsaw with its pieces fluttered about various locations”- WOW! This book sounds stunning- I WANT IT. Seriously wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, this sounds like an absolute winner! Your fangirling is making me want to go get it and start reading it this instant to be honest xD The title and cover alone were super intriguing, so I can only imagine the plot.
    I love how epic and rich and just wonderful it is, and how it compares to the behemoths of contemporary fantasy. Not many are able to achieve that!
    700+ pages are really, really intimidating so kudos for finishing it. The fact that it’s so long and still kept an amazing pace tells a lot about the author’s talent. If you don’t put your readers to sleep after that many pages, then you’re doing something right indeed!
    Amazing review, Liz, and I’m so glad you loved this ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Sophie! ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re so right… the really solid tomes are hard to come by… There’s nothing worse than having to finish a book and realize that at least 100-150 pages of it was just unnecessary fluff but in this case it truly did just all have a purpose. I can’t believe there’s more to come- it’s like- a wow, what a story! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Turbocharged horses!!! I’m glad to see that this behemoth was well-worth your time. Love that absolutely everything about it was brilliantly developed and you’ve definitely caught my attention for this title. Onto book 2!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Fantastic review as always, Liz. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lashaan! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you would enjoy this book as well… now, indeed, wait for book 2.. and I think the good thing with this series will be- even though it may use the age old fantasy elements, it also stands apart quite nicely so I don’t think there’ll be a case of me scartching my head with book 2 trying to figure out what happened ‘previously’ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, I was so worried about reading this once I discovered the page count- hahaha but it all worked out pretty well in the end. Great tome with very engaging storyline!
      Who knows, one day a mood may strike where you think- what I need now is a really thick, fat book to read! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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