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Conqueror's Moon (Boreal Moon Tale) Paperback – October 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Series: Boreal Moon Tale
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; New Ed edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007123205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007123209
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,390,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her latest epic fantasy, the first of a new series, May (The Many-Colored Land) introduces legions of characters, few with any substance, but her inventive use of magic and well-conceived plot will sweep readers along. Prince Conrig of Blencathra hopes to unite the four kingdoms of the island of High Blenholme, in disarray after three years of disastrous volcanic activity, and crown himself emperor. Intent on launching a daring attack on the kingdom of Didion, Conrig secretly allies himself with the treacherous Lady Ullanoth of Moss, a powerful sorceress. Ullanoth expects to rule not only Moss but also as Conrig's empress. Conrig's current wife, the strong-willed Princess Maudrayne, suspects Conrig's infidelities, and punishes him by keeping her pregnancy a secret. Conrig's father, Olmigon Wicantor, the mostly ineffectual High King of Blencathra, consults the oracular severed head of the Emperor Bazekoy to learn how to redeem his reign. Following the oracle's advice proves tricky for the dying Olmigon. The novel, presented as the memoir of a former spy with magical talents, neatly concludes Conrig's first campaign while leaving plenty of room for sequels.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

May is a competent writer but an outstanding world-builder, and in the latest example of her work the settings are frequently more interesting than the plotting. On a large island continent, where the nonhumans who taught magic to humans still dwell, four kingdoms have squabbled for decades. As the book opens, they threaten to go right on squabbling. But the balance among them has been upset by extended volcanic eruptions, which have destroyed crops and threatened starvation in three of the kingdoms. Only Moss, usually poorest of the four, hasn't changed. Conrig of Cathra, heir of the erstwhile richest kingdom, abetted by the seductive sorcerer-princess of Moss, has a plan to unite all the kingdoms under his rule. But plans depend on people, who have a habit of going their own ways rather than someone else's, and Prince Conrig soon finds himself in trouble. Quality work, certain to be demanded by May's fairly substantial audience. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I highly highly recommend this book and the entire series.
Even though the plot looks interesting and the writing is decent, I could not get into this book because the entire first 30 pages is a GIANT INFO DUMP.
I don't need you to tell me he is honest, I could tell by the fact he already didn't take anything.
Claudiu Saftoiu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By rick cash on February 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In a genre marked by bloated, badly-written, and over-hyped series, Julian May's newest novel is a much-needed breath of fresh air; "Conqueror's Moon" is the real deal. Unlike some of her present-day contemporaries, she can actually write. And (note to said contemporaries): she also researches, infusing her world-building with truly original ideas. Her magic system alone is worth the price of admission. Also, she demonstrates that one can write solidly entertaining fantasy without being a clone of Tolkien or McCaffrey. The prose reminded me of a cross between Zelazny and Katherine Kerr (Deverry novels), who I consider two of the finest stylists in fantasy & SF literature. Forget Goodkind & Jordan; get this book now--then join the impatient wait for the next book in the series!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By V. K. Lin on September 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For years, Julian May was my favorite author. Her Pliocene Exile tetralogy remains the pinnacle of epic fiction in my mind. I enjoyed the Galactic Milieu tetralogy as well, and attributed some of my small disappointment to the sheer scope of the tale. Finally, the Rampart Worlds was entertaining, tongue-in-cheek with fleeting moments of the type of musical prose that had enraptured me with her writing years before. But now... now I must admit that I think Ms. May is fading from her peak.

While Conqueror's Moon was a solid work from the genre perspective, she fell far short of my lofty expectations. She's a good writer, that much is certain. Better by far than Jordan or Goodkind or Newcombe... and there is always the possibility that her editors have hacked and slashed some of her narrative. But her "decline" is not dis-similar to that of Terry Brooks'. "The Sword of Shannara" was fine, lively, colorful writing. Subsequent books, while perhaps more intriguing from a conceptual and storytelling standpoint, lost the magical descriptions and mood-setting narrative of his first work. He succumbed, IMO, to the commercial muse.

May's latest work is not that corrupt. The world is interesting, original. The magic is fresh and new (for the genre-- although I can't help thinking it is the watered-down "fantasy" version of the space opera metapsychics from her Pliocene and Milieu series). But the storyline is fairly ordinary otherwise, and her characters (usually one of her great strengths) are quite uninteresting, almost cardboard thin. There is little evolution in them, little growth in this first book... They just are, and static, and not that interesting.

Moreover, the music is seemingly gone.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By booksforabuck VINE VOICE on March 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When Didion not only rejected Cathra's claim of sovereignty, it executed the ambassadors, Prince Conrig of Cathra decides to claim the sovereignty by force. Of course, there's the little matter of getting an army across the high and well-defended mountains that separate the two nations, but Conrig has a plan for that--a plan based on the magical powers of the beautiful Princess Ullanoth. In return, she asks his support in her plans to be the next Queen of her own kingdom and plenty of money. Of course, a more fertile relationship isn't to be ruled out either--if Conrig's current wife can be dealt with.
Conrig's plans would have failed quickly if not for the efforts of a young servant--Snudge. Snudge has a wild magical talent--one that even practiced mages cannot detect. The talent allows him to detect enemies spying on the prince--and track them to their hiding places. On one spy he discovers a stone that allows invisibility--a powerful tool for a spy or for a commando.
Author Julian May offers a fascinating world and magical system. The political infighting and backbiting all ring true. Unlike much fantasy, May doesn't portray a battle of good against evil. All of the major characters, with the possible exception of the thief/spy Snudge, are morally ambivalent. Cathra's desire to conquer its neighbor may have been motivated by Didion's murder of the ambassadors, but Conrig would have attempted the conquest without the excuse. Although May's world is more real as a result of this decision, it also distances the reader from the action. Since we don't really like any of the characters (again with the possible exception of Snudge), it is hard to care too much whether Conrig's military adventure is successful or not.
The sympathetic character of Snudge and May's strong writing work, however. I found myself getting emeshed in the story and wanting to find out what would happen next--even when I found the characters largely unsympthetic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on December 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
With his father dying Prince Conrig of Cathra dreams of uniting the four kingdoms of High Blendholme under his rule. Working towards that end, he has enlisted the aid of the beautiful Conjure-Princess of Moss. But, there are many dangers ahead, and Conrig’s plans may require him to take steps that he never thought he would have to. There are enemies and competitors aplenty on High Blendholme, just as there are schemes and schemers. Can Conrig pull of the dream of uniting the four kingdoms under one king, and at what cost?

Overall, I found this to be an entertaining story. I agree that there are no truly sympathetic characters in this book, except perhaps for Deveron Austrey. But, in spite of that, the interesting magic of the book, as well as the high adventure of the battles and whatnot, truly carry the story along. I found this book to be a strong beginning to the series, and I hope that its full potential is realized. As such, I do recommend this interesting and entertaining work of fantasy.
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