Children of Sun and Moon by Matt Larkin
The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. The King sends his niece Chandi along as handmaid to his daughter. Chandi has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. Still seething over the death of her lover during the war, Chandi accepts the task he gives her. The Solars cost her everything she cares about, and now she wants nothing more than proof of their treachery so she can go home.
She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can’t match, powers that let her slip into places she’s not supposed to be. Of course, the more she uses her powers, the faster she becomes a lunatic.
When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor and stick close to him. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she’ll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart.
This book unceremoniously ripped my heart of my chest, took a bite out of it, stomped on it, ran it through a blender, set it on fire, and then spit on the ashes… and I loved every second of it.
So can someone please tell me how this book has no reads/reviews/comments/love ANYWHERE? I got out my “independent authors are worth reading” soap box, and freshened up the paint, and added glitter, and hot glued some of those plastic gem things to it, but I didn’t want this review to involve any ranting, this book deserves more than that. I’ve put my soap box away… for now…
Now, where do I begin with a review of “Children of Sun and Moon?” Well, let me give you some facts. On March 1st Jena sent out an e-mail asking for reviewers. I read the blurb and replied “I’m in.” On March 3rd she sent me the file. On March 19th I started reading. It took me 16 days to open the file. Once the file was opened, it took me less than 12 hours to read the entire thing. By 4% (the first time you see a Macan Gadungan in action, in case you were wondering) I was hopelessly hooked.
In the beginning there’s some foundation laying going on. As a result you get a piece of the story, and then two months go by off screen. A little more and a year goes by off screen. Finally another piece and then two years go by. At this point I was like “NO! YOU HAVE TO STOP; I JUST KNOW THINGS ARE HAPPENING THAT I’M MISSING!” I’m still convinced that awesome things did happen while I wasn’t looking, but the story goes from foundation to epic so quickly that I’d have forgotten all about my early qualms if I hadn’t made a status update about them.
“Children of Sun and Moon” is one of those epic fantasy tales that I normally avoid. It’s the kind where things go so horribly tragically wrong all because of a few secrets and lies. It’s the kind where so much pain could’ve been avoided if people just sat down and came clean. Of course, in the setting, no one can just do this. There’s too much hurt on all sides of this war, and no one is willing to just let go and allow there to be peace. They’re too eager to grab and keep power, to destroy their enemies, and to propagate a war that’s been going on so long no one can really remember why it all started.
It should have been a real downer, and it was. It actually exacerbated my blahs yesterday something fierce. At the same time, it was also a deeply human tale that showed that even in tragedy, even in war, and even when people just plain old fuck up, there is still good in the world. (I originally typed food there, which would have also fit, but wouldn’t have been as important.)
I feel like I can’t really talk about the characters without giving too much away, but even the characters I didn’t like (I’m looking at you Ratna) were extremely well written. I literally typed a follow up about loving certain characters like 8 times, and it always ended up giving something away. What I can tell you is that even when the characters are doing something annoying and you’re like “I am so sick of this plot device” it all sorts itself out in the end. It’s not just a convenient plot device. You’re just going to have to trust me on this.
While the book doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, it defiantly left me wanting more. Just another thing to praise Mr. Larkin for.
This book gets 5 suns/moons, and it deserves every last one of them. Ok, now someone else has to read this so I have someone to talk to about it.