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on March 28, 2011
Not a romance, but a fantasy romp with romantic elements, The Night Holds the Moon held my interest from first funny page to the satisfying conclusion. I read this lengthy novel in one sitting, ending at 5:15 AM, because I couldn't stop. The storyline is solid, the background and story world fascinating, and the characters believable, lovable, and just plain fun.

(Warning: spoilers below.)

Two very different women find themselves and grow into their roles in a kingdom ruled by a decadent queen and rocked by political strife. Elzin is a lady in waiting to the queen and an unrepentant floozy, who is accidentally chosen as the Saire, or Keeper, of a magical flute that's only ever before been handled by well schooled, well bred, noble-blooded virgins. To escape the queen's fury, she goes on the road, playing the Saireflute before the common people and winning their support at the instigation of Caldan, a strange Northern count who's taken this fun-loving but naive young woman under his cunning wing.

This brings Elzin into conflict with Castandra, Caldan's nearly-grown daughter, a sorceress who's well aware that her behavior is watched and judged by the Southern court around her. At first Castandra isn't certain why her publicly celibate father has any use for Elzin. But as she grows to understand the cynical depth of the political machinations with which he's surrounded them, not sparing his own family, Castandra finds in Elzin not a friend, but her future.

Colleen Thompson and Parke Roberts deliver solid, journeyman prose with some poetic elements blended in. There were some places I had to stop and re-read a few sentences to be certain I was following the chain of this sweeping story, places where plainer writing might have kept the pathway more clear. But that plainer writing would have detracted from the story's beauty, and I can't help but be reminded of the old writer's advice of "Never apologize, never explain." It's possible this duo made the proper choice.

This self-published novel has fewer typos, editing goofs, or formatting errors than many professionally published books I've read. It's common now to admit that such undesirable features are difficult to avoid at any house, but Thompson and Roberts have thrown down a formidable gauntlet with this effort. Kudos to them for an overall memorable and enjoyable story.
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on June 25, 2012
I bought this book because one of the reviews said the writing was excellent, and I have to agree that it contained many beautiful and sometimes graphic turns of phrase.
I read a lot of unknown authors searching for those that I will want to read again and again, and one of my criteria for re-reading is a satisfying way with words - a delightful surprise in any book, but especially so in the less expensive offerings here on Amazon. This one is definitely a re-read.
So, things I liked about this book:
- a fast pace, combined with concise descriptive writing, made it a gripping read.
- believable characters that developed though the book - natural dialog.
- an interesting plot that was not too predictable and even had a few surprising twists :-)
- it is light hearted but intelligent - no pretense at being deep and meaningful, but not totally silly either.
- pretty good editing.

However there are some areas where there is room for improvement:
- some of the mystical/magical episodes seemed unnecessary or maybe just unexplained.
- there was room for a bit more character background and development.
- I nearly didn't buy it because of the cover! In my opinion it makes the book look more light-weight than it is.

Overall, a good read, and I would certainly buy another by the authors.
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on May 7, 2012
I'm so happy I found this book! *wipes a tear* This is excellent! The writing easily brings this story to life. The world is imaginative, fresh and original. There is the perfect amount of detail and a fast-paced plot. I'm about halfway through and loving it so much that I had to write a review. The voice of the writer(s) is bright, detailed, rich, imaginative, intelligent, funny and witty... and the characters are wonderfully flawed. Great dialogue! The whole read is like being sucked into a Mayazaki film!

I read a lot of fantasy and I'm absolutely abhorred by the quality of the writing in most books. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The writing, oh the wonderful writing! The author's voices will suck you in. I can't even tell that it's 2 people writing. It also has the perfect amount of romance, adventure, and solid plot.

BUY IT! BUY IT NOW!!! *click click click*
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on May 29, 2012
If you're looking for a fantasy that's not formulaic and a story you can really sink your teeth into, this is the book. I have to say, it's been a while since I've read a book that surprised me at every turn, but this one did. The characters are anything but stereotypes. Forget the virginal heroine and the sparkling white knight. Beyond the plot, the writing deserves its own mention: "...far below, she glimpsed the sea as it lashed the rocks, a mad drayman flogging an unmoving horse." I'm looking forward the the next book from the authors.
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on December 28, 2014
Loved the book. Enjoy reading all of Colleen Thompson's books. Love the suspense and have a difficult time laying them down once I start reading.
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on August 11, 2014
had a hard time getting through this book. too long boring in much too much changing story lines. had a really hard time with th all the names did no t enjoy this book
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on April 9, 2014
Interesting plot sometimes hard t grasp. I was stuck to stay to the end! It seem it leaves an opening for another book.
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on October 18, 2013
Well written but not the kind of story I enjoy reading. I did read the whole book though No other comments at this time
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