Faith and Moonlight
by Mark Gelineau, Joe King
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Roan and Kay are orphans.
A fire takes their home, taking what little they had and ending the only life they’ve known. But during the fire, they save the life of an old Acolyte of Talan who gives them one chance to change their lives. One chance to gain entry into one of the great Razor Schools of Resa.
The School of Faith.
Beyond its hallowed gates, lie wonders and secrets they’ve never imagined, as magic pulses all around them. They are desperate to join the friends they meet there, but have only one month to earn entry.
As Roan excels, Kay struggles, and it becomes clear they won’t both pass the test.
They promised one another they would stay together, but is Kay willing to let Roan leave the life he was meant to have?
Does she even have a choice?
I was offered a copy of this novella by the authors, and I am pleased to share my honest review of this lovely first volume with my readers. This novella gets 3.5 stars from me, which means 4 stars on any other websites that do not accept half-stars.
The plot moved slowly but in a way that easily caught my interest. Despite the intriguing world-building, the story is not so much a conflict based story, but more of a character driven narrative. The Fantasy setting serves as an interesting stage for several internal struggles. The premise was excellent, there was depth in it too. Considering this is the first volume, I would understand that many of the unanswered questions could still be answered later in the series, and that the initial stage of world building would serve a greater purpose. However, I did feel, as a reader, that I was not fed enough information, which was a shame, because I was really interested to know more. The other issue is the fact that this novella feels more like an introduction than an actual full story – and I am not blaming the length of the book. Apart from that, Faith and Moonlight did pique my interest and made me curious to read the rest of the series.
The story is mostly focused on the orphans Kay and Roan. These characters are refreshing within the Young Adult genre, they feel extremely real and genuine. You might like them or dislike them, but I assure you that you will ‘feel’ something. Their actions and decisions, even if you don’t agree with them, suit their personality and make perfect sense. I was not as invested in any other characters, but I can imagine they might be relevant in the following volumes.
The Writing Style
This is a pleasantly well done third person limited narrative, multi-POV alternating between Kay and Roan. Transitions in time and plot development are very well done too. The story telling is excellent, very clear and expressive, it makes us jump straight into the mind of each character.