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Torc of Moonlight Paperback – September 21, 2009
2016 Book Awards
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is set in Hull and East Yorkshire, around the Vale of Pickering. From an archaeological perspective, this area is rich in sites, from high status chariot burials, dating to the Iron Age, back to wetland Mesolithic (6000 BC) occupation.
Nick is at university, superficially studying English but more importantly playing Rugby. He is transfixed by a very studious girl called Alice, who is studying history. At the same time he suffers strange blackouts and memory losses during which he apparently commits violent acts. Meanwhile, lustful lecture, Leonard, is suffering from paranoia and there are hints that he has been involved in some sort of witchcraft. Then there are haunting flashes from Romano-British times, in which a violent and lustful warrior seems to be seeking escape from his place in the past.
The writing is exceptionally elegant and well-crafted. The story is compelling, gradually gaining momentum and building suspense. It is clear that the characters from different times and places are connected in some way and that those in the present are being used by forces from the past. Yet the reader cannot be sure exactly whose intentions are good or bad, nor of exactly what the links are and certainly not of how the story will be resolved.
I particularly like the interweaving of archaeological evidence of votive offerings of swords deposited in watery sites in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age. Also the concept of water - or indeed any reflective medium - as a portal between the Earthly world and that of the gods or ancestors.Read more ›
Nick returns to Hull University after the summer break and things are pretty downbeat. His girlfriend has left him. His housemates have nothing in common with him and if his grades don't improve he'll be out of university on his ear. A rugby injury leaves him angry and aggressive and he alienates his few remaining friends. Add to this his increasingly erratic behaviour and it's clear Nick has a problem.
When he spots Alice in a lecture he is immediately drawn to her. Strange other worldly events soon begin to unfold.
Torc of Moonlight is no light snack it's a gourmet meal. Acaster weaves rich descriptive language into the plot. She seasons with diverse and interesting historical detail.
Spice is added with an arrogant and ancient spirit hell bent on revenge.
I've always been fascinated with sacred places and the author compelled me to want to explore these in more depth. It's clear that she knows her subject. She weaves in several plot strands and the characters are interesting and well developed. However, this is no light read. The plot nuances are subtle and you have to give this book your full attention. If all you want is action, violence and explosions then this one is probably not for you.
An intelligent, interesting and well researched novel that was a pleasure to read.