Fantasy Review The Dark of the Moon by E.S. Bell Brilliant, magic!

Centuries ago, dragons broke the old world and scattered the pieces across the oceans. On this new world of islands swathed in seas, sailors are kings, and the moon god holds dominion…

Selena Koren is the moon god’s most powerful Paladin; a skilled warrior and blessed with the most potent magic. She also bears the god’s terrible wrath. Ten years before, during the bloody Zak’reth War, Selena summoned the seas to destroy her enemy’s armada. The Zak’reth screamed and drowned and died, but so too did four hundred innocents. In its fury, the god smote Selena with a terrible wound: a crescent-shaped hole in her chest that breathes its icy breath every moment of every day so that she never knows warmth.

Now, her temple sends Selena on a quest to kill two powerful dark priests. This alone, she is assured, will close her terrible wound. The thought of killing without provocation rattles her soul but Selena can suffer the cold no longer.

Bloody, bloody Bastian
Killed the captain…

Sebastian Vaas is the world’s deadliest assassin. Bards compose ballads of his depravity; children sing rhymes in the streets. His bloody vengeance against the Zak’reth who murdered his family is legendary. But Sebastian is done with bloodshed. For the gold, he takes one last job and is stricken to learn his mark is Selena, the same warrior who sent hundreds of Zak’reth to their graves. Now he must choose—to murder the woman who ended the war, or betray the dark forces who hired him.

You will take a voyage…

With another war looming on the horizon, Selena and Sebastian, along with a motley crew of mute sailors and criminals, demons and dragonmen, sail across Lunos; across oceans where maelstroms wrought of magic and pirates threaten at every turn, and where the seas hold secrets in their dark depths.

Old secrets thought to be as dead as the dragons who broke the world, but are coming back to life…

The Dark of the Moon is Book I in the Chronicles of Lunos saga, an epic nautical fantasy

6 Paladin stars!

 

Warning: fangirling ahead of you. Read at your own risk 😀 

 

Some weeks ago Emma Scott dropped a bomb on her FB page: she wrote fantasy under another pen name!

As:

  • I love Emma Scott’s writing;
  • I love fantasy;
  • Said blurb mentioned pirates, Paladin, magic and other fantastical creatures;
  • I must have drooled on the cover and had to clean my screen afterwards

I NEEDED this book!

 

Now my own risk was of course disappointment as I had very high expectations….BUT I’m very, very, very happy to shout that it surpassed everything!

 

The plot was excellent filled with twists and turns, dangers, magic and a quest! I love quests. I love following the main character and looking after either an object, people or … Will they succeed or not? How? Avoiding many death traps?

 

Selena Koren is a Paladin and a Summoner. She is a rarity among her people the Aluren (adherents of the Shinning face) as they haven’t seen a Summoner in a thousand years. She can call the sea and use it as a weapon.

Cool you say? Yes and no. The last time she used the sea’s power she drowned the enemy but killed hundreds of innocents as she did not master her strength. Her god was angry. Very angry. He marked her with a moon crescent in her chest.

That should be cool, a new tattoo, right?

Well no as said moon is just a gaping hole in her breast. You’ve read it right She HAS A HOLE IN HER CHEST. Like a dark hole you can put your hand, arm, etc. into and it’s swallowed!!!  Once you take it back your hand will be frozen. Even more: Selena is cold all the time. Freezing. Even in Death valley she would not sweat a drop and be frozen. To sum it up: for ten years Selena Koren, formidable Paladin has never known heat.

 

She is shunned by her own people, called The Tainted One. She tried to heal as many people as she could as she also is an incredibly gifted healer but to no avail.

Nothing can change her people’s mind and nothing can assuage her guilt at having killed innocents.

Until… a message comes to her Island asking Selena to kill two powerful Baziras (adherent of the Shadow face), her people’s enemies. If she kills them she will be cured.

 

Selena will be forced to accept this dangerous mission and that’s where the quest begins. Finding these Baziras and killing them.

Of course it’s much more thrilling than what I summed up in two words, because:

 

  • the seas are filled with dangerous creatures and new ones have been created. They are HUNGRY! Expect epic battles and last resort moves to save Selena or her friends. Just hold fast to your seat and don’t forget to breathe you should be in the clear;

 

  • obstacles will divert Selena’s ship and she will nearly freeze her behind off in some icy island;

 

  • an enemy is lurking in the corner. He has the face of a very alluring and roguish captain but he is not who you think. Julian is Bloody Bastian or Sebastian Vaas. Feared assassin and hired killer to exterminate Selena after she’s killed one of the Bazira’s.

 

  • said Bazira to kill will not be who Selena expected to be and there will be interesting lessons and shocking truths to learn.

 

 

It’s now established that I loved the plot but I’m also in awe with the building of the universe filled with many creatures: Vai’Ensai (dragon men), Sirrak (shape-shifting creature from the Void, blood demons), Merkind, Dragons (extinct), Djinn… This world has its own gods with the Two-Faced God. The moon is “the avatar of the god and has two aspects: The Shining face and The Shadow face”.

See any topic here? Light versus Dark? Good vs Evil? Well yes and there is a big lesson too: you need balance in life. Good can’t exist without evil, light can’t exist without darkness.

 

I’m also impressed with E.S. Bell’s imagination as she created this whole vernacular and names for these fantastical creatures. That’s what I love reading fantasy!

 

Last but not least: the characters and their journey. Selena Koren is beautiful, kind, gifted, strong and cursed. How she wasn’t bitter and resentful at what happened to her I can’t fathom! She chose to stay in the light and not be swallowed by darkness. As she said:   . She is also tired to be cold and alone all the time. My heart ached at this injustice! She could heal everyone but her. “What a crock” said Sabastian. She is badass! The kind of heroine I love to read about.

 

 

Of course there is a love story. Or the begin of one. Or… not saying more.

Just know that Aluren are forbidden to love outside their “pool” and that captain Julian/Bastian is a handsome if disillusioned man. What happens when a dark hero meets a luminous heroine? Well let’s say they were attracted like Yin is attracted to Yan. Bastian is a conflicted hero. All in tones of grey with a bloody past. One I want to get his redemption through Selena’s love.

 

Side characters and friends are all adding layers to the story. Connor’s story has only been hinted at and I forecast a very interesting fate in book two. Skye is always in people’s minds and seems to commend their fates from afar like a master puppeteer. Here too I predict a greater role in the second installment. Some side characters will die, some will be sacrificed some… because this is genius fantasy!

 

I’m stopping here or I would write an essay about this story and all the messages she conveys too.

 

Just know that I found it bloody brilliant, that I recommend it a thousand times and the only thing I regret is… there is a second book coming (I do hope so) that has no publication date yet!

 

Emma Scott is extremely talented as contemporary writer and E.S. Bell is genius as fantasy storyteller!

 

 

Amazon buy link -> http://amzn.to/2fAejwR

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8 Replies to “Fantasy Review The Dark of the Moon by E.S. Bell Brilliant, magic!”

  1. I am reading this right now! It is as good as you say. I’m loving it. I want to keep reading, but life gets in the way. I’m looking forward to finishing it soon, though.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I hope you’ll get some free time to finish this story as it’s really gripping. I know the feeling though: why do we have to work, take care of the kids, do chores, etc? I’m really curious to read your review about it. Could you send me the link to it once it’s done? Thank you for reading 😉

  2. Awesome review! I cant wait to read this!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you!!!!! 😉 It really is awesome LOL

  3. Awesome review Sophie! Sounds like a crazy intriguing one!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Trisy and it is a very good one! 😉

  4. Fabulous review, Sophie! Eeeek, can’t wait to read this one!!!! Too many wonderful books are releasing this month.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      So true! I’m drowned in ARCs all fabulous. Why why do I have to work????? LOL

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