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The Moonlight War Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B012IVZQAM
- Publication date : July 31, 2015
- Print length : 315 pages
- File size : 1402 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1514847949
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,829,345 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I've read SKS Perry's Darkside books, and this one is less humorous and more like an Eddings or Gemmel adventure. There is still snark and funny dialog, but this reminds me of the classic adventure fantasies. Big monsters, characters with regrets, magic, a coming war, lordlings and excellent sword fights.
Some language, some sex, some violence but not over the top, not gory, not gratuitous.
Definitely recommended for people who like action adventure, sword & sorcery novels. Looking forward to the next one in the series.
The story begins with several different POV characters being introduced. First we get to met Tasha O’Brienne, an Omai master swordsman and an outcast who has earned the sobriquet of Hasa-Ni-Do due to an event in his past. There’s Roclyn MacNaramara who moonlights as a highway robber self-titled "The Dark Gent" as the love of his life ruined his life and name. Princess Setanna, niece to the Kel-tii king, and who thirsts for affection & attention from her uncle but is deprived of it for reasons she has no clue about. There’s Conner of Lanford, an old master-at-arms just two months away from retirement and who’s forced to undergo a journey at his lord’s bequest, shepherding his lord's son Brenn Shaunsie along the way. Lady Malaki is a seer who happens to be on the same mission for needs beyond her own. Lastly there’s the Ashai group and their lord Myobi who is as mysterious as they come and has an agenda which no one knows about. There are a few other characters (Kieran Brannigan, Mikhy) who seem minor at the start but come into their own as the story progresses and are sure to have major roles in the sequels.
The story focusses on a nameless land which has two people come together, the Kel-tii and the Ashai who are facsimiles for the Irish & Japanese people. They have been previously been at war but now have an uneasy truce and have come together for the prosperity of both. The story begins when an expedition is planned for Kildonan with travel along the Cowcheanne Way to discover what happened to the three missing caravans and the fighting platoon who have disappeared around there. They will however to overcome mutual distrust and find out what exactly happened to the previous expeditions while also trying to stay alive.
The story while seemingly a sword and sorcery quest novel is a bit more than that. Think of it as a cross between Raymond Fiest and David Gemmell, epic fantasy plot meets heroic fantasy characters. The author makes each character distinct with separate background stories before eventually kickstarting the main plot. Also the plot takes a while to get going for the aforementioned reason of the author setting up each character. However from then the story pretty much goes into an action overdrive as our protagonists meet with various challenges during the journey. Some are created by the mutual distrust between both cultures, others are created by whatever or whoever has been haunting the Cowcheanne Way.
The main plus point of this book is the characterization, the author really goes out of his way to give us a big character cast and makes them three-dimensional folks. The plot line also hints at quite a few epic things that might have occurred in the past and might lead to bigger things in the future. While some might accuse the author of utilizing this book as set-up for the sequels and eventual saga. They would be partially correct in that thought, but it's not entirely so. I thought the author tried his best to find a suitable balance between the action and story setup. Lastly the action and plot pace are directly proportional to each other, as soon as the action begins, the pace picks up and then the readers will be racing to its explosive climax. The action sequences quite reminded me of the claustrophobic scenes in Aliens if they were occurring above the ground.
Lastly a major drawback of the book is that author very conveniently tries to make different characters couple up romantically, while one or two would be understandable, but when it occurred more than three times, it just felt incredulous. However for some readers, it might be easy to go with the flow. For me it all seemed rather too convenient happenings than occurring organically. Another drawback was that there's not much of world-building showcased and for those readers wondering about the Kel-tii & Ashai people/cultures, will have to wait for the sequels to learn more about the dual cultures as well as the reason of their animosity. The world-building definitely takes a backseat to the characterization and action and that detracts quite a bit from the story.
Think of this book as the Drenai series meets Predator if written by Raymond Fiest. For me I very much enjoyed the read in spite of the drawbacks that were present. I will certainly look forward to the sequel whenever it gets published to find out what happens next to the surviving character cast.
I'm not a huge fan of Perry's Darkside series, though I like them well enough. This book, though, caught me. It's epic fantasy, with a world-threatening ancient evil, faced by a mixed bag of fighter types and so on. But it's not the same old same old. Perry pushes (and sometimes subverts) cliche tropes into something new.
Three caravans and a legendary fighting platoon have disappeared along the Cowcheanne Way, and now it's up to the folks assigned to protect the next caravan to figure out what's going on. Tasha O'Brienne is already a legend, a fighter of reknown, possibly not quite human, drafted and manipulated into security detail. Roc MacNamara is a veteran cavalryman, now a fallen noble living by selling his skills. Lady Setanna, niece of the king, has to live up to the legacy of her dead father and lead this expedition. Conner of Lanford, master-at-arms and suffering from well-depicted PTSD, is weeks from retirement and now sent on this probable-suicide mission. Malaki, a young seer, has disquietingly unclear (and sometimes disquietingly too clear) foretellings regarding the fate of most on this expedition. And then there is the mysterious Lord Myobi, an old enemy of Tasha's, who may know more about what's happening than he lets on.
(And a host of other characters who are in this book developed not quite as much, but clearly will become important in subsequent ones. Also, as a note, there are a good variety of nonwhite characters. While the female characters get somewhat less page time than the males, they are presented as having their own motivations and interests, and two are POV characters. All relationships in the book are resolutely hetero.)
Perry does a good job making all of the many characters distinctive and developed. They are all likeable--there is grim here, but not dark--determined and capable in their different ways. In particular the relationships among them are well done. They are professional colleagues, recognizing each other's competence, depending on each other; and despite disagreements, generally like and respect one another.
It's unusual these days to see a cast of a fantasy novel who are reasonably well-adjusted adults working together for the greater good. For me, this makes them much more relateable and likeable. They are complex and messy just like real people, doing their best to get a job done.
The worldbuilding is a fun East-meets-West mashup of Eurofantasy and Japanese feudalism. The political and personal rivalries between the factions make for good plot frictions. Perry paces the developments and revelations about what is happening to the caravans quite well, interweaving the larger plot into the personal lives of the characters, and building what seems to be a simple monsters-are-attacking plot into a grander, epic situation. I can't go into it more than that without giving the story away. The pace of the reveals is one of the strong points of the book and I wouldn't want to wreck that for a new reader.
It's fast-paced, a page turner, but sometimes feels a trifle rushed. The political relationship between the Kael-tii and the Ashai is not as thoroughly built as it could be, sacrificed, perhaps, in favor of character development. (Which isn't a bad thing, obviously! But I wanted it all.) A spot or two more description of the political situation might have gone a long way.
From a production standpoint, the text has a predictable number of typos and such, but the ebook file comes in clean (I bought it as an epub file; Kindle may be different).
The biggest strength, tied into the characterization, is the sense of humor. All of the characters are different from each other, but as many competent people do, they deal with a tough situation by being light about it when necessary. It's not a laugh-riot comedic book, but Perry has a good sense for when to have a character be sarcastic or dry about the situation.
If you like epic fantasy with a lot of verve, you will like this book.