I had seen the four-in-one book that this was in for quite some time, but had never bought it. The other day, though, after a bad day, I decided I was going to buy myself a book. And, I decided, why not slurge and get 4 books for the price of one. So, I did.
For some, coming to grips with a challenge means passing another milestone along the road to maturity. For others, it's a matter of life and death. For Findabhair (pronounced "finn-ah-veer") and Gwen, the joint heroines of 0. R. Melling's The Hunter's Moon, however, the challenges come from all directions. Fantasy-loving Findabhair dares to sleep on sacred Irish ground and is stolen by the King of the Fairies. Gwen, her more practical Canadian cousin, sets out to rescue her with the help of a leprechaun in a battered Triumph and a businessman with red hair and freckles. What makes this story sing is the ease with which Melling alternates between fantasy and reality, making her readers, like her characters, "Comfortable with both." Add generous helpings of suspense, romance, humour, and atmosphere you could cut with a knife, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable yam by an author with impressive command of her material, writing within the tradition of Irish folklore and legend
This is a modern fairy tale. The two girls live in what could very easily be this year, but they have always dreamed of something more. One summer they decide that they are going to trek across Ireland, where Findabhair lives, and track down the portal to the faery world. The two girls set out to find something that they are not sure exists, and along the way find adventures of their own. On a night that they decide to sleep in sacred Irish ground, Findabhair is taken from her cousin, Gwen. Now, for Gwen, it is not about finding the doorway to the faery realm, it is about finding her cousin.
Most of the story is told about Gwen. It is she that sees the things that make up the story. Finn appears from time to time, but it is Gwen that has the most to do in this novel. She makes friends along the way, and the story plays with common ideas that have been represented about the magic folk. Both of the cousins are readable, and not the common damsels in distress that stories normally portray. There is a nice blending of females and males in this book that makes it readable. It could be something that attracts both sexes to it.
When you look at it, it is not a very long piece of work, but a lot happens in a very short time. There is never really a dull moment, as the fairy king is often playing tricks on Gwen, and you never know when it is going to happen next. Once again, I must point out to all the fantasy by-standers, that there is even romance in this book, although I don't think it is necessary, it might attract you to reading this!
I enjoyed this book. Hopefully I will read the next one soon, but I am not so great at reading trilogies and things one right after the other.
I also enjoyed this book a lot but found that, towards the end, the story tended to stall a bit and stray from the constant fast pace it had up to then. From the very begining I liked the main character of Gwen and her cousin. Like Kailana, I enjoyed that these weren't two TSTL heroines that waited around to be rescued. I especially liked Gwen for this and for her courage to go after her cousin, even when it was clear that she did not want to be rescued.
I can't get into it so as not to give away the ending but I found the last banquet turn a bit into a fantasy movie cliche. Nonetheless the figthing after that was handled pretty well and the ending, although again a bit of a cliche, will leave most people happy.
All in all a nice little read, fast paced and a great heroine make this a 4 out of 5 for me as well.
I can't wait to get into the follow up, The Summer King.
Dance Chica's Review
I originally bought this based on Kailana's recommendation and I'm glad I did. Melling is a great storyteller! I was completely caught up in the world of Faerie. Her descriptions were sweeping and flowing; infused with myth and legend. Sometimes they were a bit much, but overall I enjoyed them. She created a great cast of characters. One of the best parts for me was the heroine. Gwen was a great heroine that grows so much as a character. When we first meet her, she’s the sensible one who follows after her energetic cousin, but as the story progresses, she learns to do things on her own. This leads to her discovering her own strengths and independence. She was resourceful too, and while she did make mistakes, she learned from them. I really liked her fiery personality. There’s romance in this too which I found compelling and the overall story was imaginative. If you like faerie tales with a bit of magic, romance and suspense, you’ll probably like this. Also, if you liked Holly Black’s Tithe, I think you’ll find this enjoyable. Melling’s world is a bit more detailed than Black’s and the language a bit more flowery, but it's still compelling, and I found Melling’s characters more likeable than Black's. There’s a sequel to this out titled, The Summer King. I’m really looking forward to more adventures in Faerie. 4.5 out 5.