A 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 Isles…
A dark and epic fantasy perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence, Brent Weeks and George R.R. Martin.
|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! 😀 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 they 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!
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- asshole– cough), 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 book surrounded by the great religious conflict, you can only imagine the clash and the 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 play 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. And if they can write with purpose and soul- all the better. Durfee really 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 begin 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. The Forgetting Moon took me on a hell of a journey, and I am hungry for more. MOOOAAARRR I say!