Like the first book in the series, we are back in Bariwon. This time, we get to learn about Snapdragon, newly appointed Royal Guardian. We get to tag along while Snap and the rest of the new recruits go through training… and a few surprises!
While things seem peaceful, there is something sinister brewing below the surface. We get to see old foes and meet several new enemies that threaten the peace of Bariwon.
Snap and a group of Guardians are sent to a small village on the edge of a mountain range, a place where the ENTIRE population has vanished without a trace. Can they figure out what happened and bring the people back safely?
This is one of those books that I will keep a lot of the details to myself, as even the most insignificant detail could give something away. We are swept into a world of intrigue, adventure, mystery and even a little romance.
Will I recommend this book? YES, this is a fantastic book that will keep the reader captivated from the first page right up until the last sentence. I can’t wait for the next book in the series! Will I read more by this author? Most definitely, I thoroughly enjoy J. Lloyd Morgan’s writing style and how the story flows. I eagerly await the next installment in this series.
For those of you who have read J. Lloyd Morgan’s The Hidden Sun, the long-awaited sequel if finally here. Filled with intrigue, adventure and a little romance, The Waxing Moon will leave you reading long into the night. When the inhabitants of a small village in the north suddenly disappear, the people of Bariwon are left feeling uneasy. Trying to discover the fate of the townspeople, King Rayne sends a scouting party to investigate, but when the party discovers a secret passage hidden deep within the formidable mountains they discover things are worse than they feared. When the scouting party is attacked by a band of ruthless warriors, Snapdragon, a newly appointed Royal Guardian, is Bariwon’s only hope. As he unravels the mysteries of the tunnel, he learns of an ancient secret that could change the kingdom of Bariwon forever. I have to admit, I don’t usually read books in this genre, but I loved The Hidden Sun, and when asked to review The Waxing Moon, I was ecstatic. The characters are very well-developed. Snapdragon is definitely a surprise. In the beginning, his character is full of flaws. He’s reckless, easy to anger, and trying much too hard to prove himself to world. But as he begins his journey, his growth and change are evident. His character develops in a way that will leave you cheering for this young hero and anxiously hoping for his success. The story-line is paced to perfection, and the plot is very well developed. I give J. Lloyd Morgan five-stars and can hardly wait to read the next book in the series (The Zealous Star, coming 2013).
From reading the description on the back of the book, I thought I could figure out the book’s ending before I even started it. Yeah, like predictable. NOT!!! It had turns and twists, intrigue, and yes, captured my attention and kept it to the end. Great character development! The characters in the book were believable “real” people to me. And, I remember thinking while reading it at that certain spot, “Hey! Wait! This isn’t supposed to happen!” You’ll have to read it to figure out what I meant by that comment. If you are looking for something good to read, this is it.
I must admit that when I picked up this book I had no idea what to expect. I was in the mood for a castle, prince and princess story. I was delighted to find out that it was exactly what I wanted - with a lot more adventure mixed in than I had anticipated. It started out with a short history of the kingdom. You learn to like Eliana from when she’s small, along with her nursemaid and Priest Sherwyn. You love her father and his kindness to his daughter and to his people.
Then you add the villain. This book has a variety of villains. They’re smarter and more cunning than most villains. Personally I love Daimh. He’s a good-looking guy that loves himself more than anything and he’s not exactly a bright person. But he speaks up when it is most needed - even if its not often enough. His dad and the magistrate Caldre however are villains that you want to see brought to justice. You also have other villains that are bullies who enjoy using their positions to abuse others.
There are several tragic events in this book and you get hit hard with every one of them. The book was well-written and kept you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. It all comes to an exciting conclusion that you will have to read!
I’m pleased to share the following review of “The Hidden Sun” that was recently posted on Bookrated.com.
Sometimes it’s good to try different things. That totally sounds like something my mom would say to me. But it really applies here. I am not a big fan of medieval historical fiction. It isn’t the type of genre that I actively search out. When I started reading The Hidden Sun, I didn’t initially think I could get into it. However, once I started, I was hooked. Although this is a 300+ page book, I finished this book in a day. I wanted to know what was going to happen. Mr. Morgan throws in unexpected twists that made me more excited with each page. The author is a strong writer that doesn’t waste the reader’s time with unnecessary descriptions or events. Everything serves a purpose. I can honestly say this is one of the few books that I didn’t think, “this line could have been omitted,” or “why was this important?” Perhaps it is because Mr. Morgan has an English degree and he truly understands the power of words, or maybe he has an excellent editor (its probably a combination of the two).
This was a fascinating read. I am looking forward to the sequel this May. If you are someone who doesn’t have a thing for historical fiction, give this one a shot. Chances are this might change your perspective. And, if you are already a historical fiction junkie, this will be like manna from Heaven.
Steam factor: Think a satisfying lemonade. No innuendo or descriptive play-by-play.
Language: Mama would be proud. Leave the soap box alone cause this is a vulgarity free zone.
Suggestive material: None. I would love to say something witty here, but unless you are planning on overthrowing a kingdom, there isn’t much.
Overall: Solidly written and entertaining. This book could be read, and enjoyed, by young adults as well as grandmas. It is detailed and well thought out.
The publisher’s (Walnut Springs Press) take:
Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, she is destined to become queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc, while Rinan, her royal guardian, is forbidden to marry. Normally they could renounce their titles to be together, but these are not normal times. Abrecan, the malevolent governor of Erd, is determined to win the Shoginoc, thereby placing his easily manipulated son Daimh on Bariwon’s throne. Can Eliana and Rinan find a way to be together without jeopardizing the peace they are so desperately trying to protect?