Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 6, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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A stunning debut novel about a girl who is half dragon, half human, and wholly herself.
As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile-but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.
Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by A Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make.
My imagination held hostage
The woods are a magical place, one that the people in A Creature of Moonlight have been taught to fear their whole lives. These woods come and go, moving forward and backward gobbling up or giving back land on a whim. It even has a taste for young girls on the cusp of womanhood! Treacherous sounding isn’t it? These young girls frequently disappear into the woods never to be seen again. Except once one particular girl does return. Sounds like a place full of magic, danger and temptation to me – I was all in.
Marni lives in exile at the edge of the wood in a small hut with her grandfather the former king. Learning why these two are in exile is all part of the slowly unfolding mystery in A Creature of Moonlight. With a lush descriptive prose and a vengeful young heroine I couldn’t help but be entranced by this world and most of all its magic. The writing style and tone of this book it quite unlike many of the other young adult books that are coming out today. The pace is slower and the prose style just feels different. It required some thought and there is a lot of inner dialogue and descriptions from Marni as in the first quarter of the book she observes more rather than interacting with people. Some might find it takes a bit of time to adapt to, but I flowed into it with ease as I literally felt Marni was telling me the story rather than I reading it.
Good girls don’t play in the woods
The magic of the woods and the creatures within it remind me very much of elemental or fey spirits. Everything seems to have magic. The trees, the flowers and all of the creatures. Some float on the wind and there is a lady that knits and weaves magic from everything around her and indeed this is something Marni learns to do as well. Pulling moonbeams and light together with pine needles and moss and whatever other bits of the world to create beautiful new creatures or to even knit a vengeance upon her enemies.
Why, hello tall dark and devious
Marni eventually finds herself in the castle and we see a possible romance developing between her and a powerful but young Lord, Edgar Ontrei. But Marni is determined not to let anyone dictate how she is going to live her life and what she is going to do in order to achieve her goals, not even some ravishing man who makes her laugh, especially when she knows he has ulterior motives. Even though there is some romance I have to stress that this is just a side focus and by no means the main plot at all so you love hungry readers should know that going in – this is not in the teen fantasy romance category. It is very much a coming of age story.
Blood is sweet and vengeance bitter
A Creature of Moonlight has some overtones of darkness to it that I really loved. I always think of anything reminding me of fey as something that cannot be trusted and here I got to see Marni as she learns all about who she is, what she really wants, the truth and who can be trusted. An excellent read and the author says it was written as a standalone folks so snatch it up and enjoy because you get some actual freaking closure for once at the end of a YA novel!
*gasp* This book was provided by the publisher! No worries though it’s an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. Cover art displayed courtesy of the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This post might also contain affiliate links. To view my full Blog Policy, click here.