Published: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Saga Press
Pages: 576 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 3.5/5.0
A massive army on the brink of conquest looms large in a world where prophecies are lies, magic is believed in but never seen, and hope is where you least expect to find it.
Welcome to the Five Isles, where war has come in the name of the invading army of Sør Sevier, a merciless host driven by the prophetic fervor of the Angel Prince, Aeros, toward the last unconquered kingdom of Gul Kana. Yet Gault, one of the elite Knights Archaic of Sør Sevier, is growing disillusioned by the crusade he is at the vanguard of just as it embarks on his Lord Aeros’ greatest triumph.
While the eldest son of the fallen king of Gul Kana now reigns in ever increasing paranoid isolationism, his two sisters seek their own paths. Jondralyn, the older sister, renowned for her beauty, only desires to prove her worth as a warrior, while Tala, the younger sister, has uncovered a secret that may not only destroy her family but the entire kingdom. Then there’s Hawkwood, the assassin sent to kill Jondralyn who has instead fallen in love with her and trains her in his deadly art. All are led further into dangerous conspiracies within the court.
And hidden at the edge of Gul Kana is Nail, the orphan taken by the enigmatic Shawcroft to the remote whaling village of Gallows Haven, a young man who may hold the link to the salvation of the entire Five Isles.
You may think you know this story, but everyone is not who they seem, nor do they fit the roles you expect. Durfee has created an epic fantasy full of hope in a world based on lies.
The Forgetting Moon is one of those special books that I saw once and it never quite got out of my head. It haunted my Amazon wishlist for months before I finally got it, at which point I immediately started reading. This chunker took me a week and a half to finally finish, but it was worth it (despite my lower ranking).
The Forgetting Moon is the first novel in what I am anticipating to be a 5 book series. Judging by the current trend, each of the books will be named after one of five legendary weapons/objects introduced in The Forgetting Moon. The premise of the story is basically that the country of Sor Sevier is invading, pillaging, and conquering the other island nations who have wronged them in the past and the island nations are falling one by one. Gul Kana is in the process of being invaded, but their King is mostly cool with it because it will hasten the apocalypse. Of course, the story is MUCH more complicated than that because the warring countries are religiously divided as well. Throw in government corruption, manipulation, assassins, legendary weapons and secret sects devoted to Mother Mia the death goddess and you’ve got a stew of intrigue and murder.
The number of character perspectives is large, but manageable and I found that I liked most of them. Tala Bronachell, youngest sister to the King of Gul Kana, was by far my favorite for no other reason than she got to sneak around in the castle and spy on people, revealing some juicy details central to the plot. That she was also trying to save her poisoned friend was just another bit of excitement added to her story. Nail, though obviously very important, really didn’t click with me all that much. Yeah, I liked him, but I wanted more from his character, which I think I’ll get in the sequel. Overall, I was impressed by how much each character managed to change in this one single installment and I think I’ll grow to love or hate each person much more as the series goes along.
The Forgetting Moon was a strong series debut and I think the series as a whole shows tremendous potential, but it took me quite awhile to feel an emotional investment in the story. Despite this, I’ll absolutely be following along and am pretty excited about the next installment, Blackest Heart, particularly after the very dramatic ending. Man, I’m seriously questioning the fates of several characters, leading me to believe that those who were initially thought to be the Five Warrior Angels reborn might not have been. Fantasy fans that don’t mind the time investment of reading a book this size should definitely check it out because it was pretty awesome. I wasn’t left with a lasting emotional impact, but the story is quality stuff and promises a great deal of depth and character dimension as everything progresses.