Series: Bitter Moon Saga, Book One
Author: Amy Lane
Genre: High Fantasy / Bisexual / Young Adult
Length: Novel (280 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (2nd Edition) Dreamspinner Press (September 27th, 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Big Glowing Hearts
Blurb: Torrant Shadow and Yarrow “Yarri” Moon grew up sheltered in Moon Hold, a place where Torrant’s goddess gifts were meant to be celebrated, and love of any form was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, in Clough, within a stone’s throw of Consort Rath, having beliefs of that sort will get your family killed.
Grief-stricken, Torrant and Yarri are suddenly alone against the elements and a world that would rather see them dead than see them safe. Torrant’s goddess gift, which had previously been used for truth and healing, must be honed for violence and protection if either of them are to survive. When Torrant, Yarri, and their new friend Aldam reach safety, will Torrant be able to put this part of him aside? Or will Triane’s Son grow to fight the forces that forged him?
Review: Good Goddess of Joy and Merciful Gods!
I’ve read a book that managed to bewitch me and keep me enthralled in its spell from start to finish yet again. Honestly, I’ve been a fan of Amy Lane’s writing from her first book. She never stops surprising me with her writing skills and the numerous genres she covers with her imagination. This time she’s granted us a wonderful epic fantasy.
This is the first book of Bitter Moon Saga and there are three more to follow soon. The main characters around whom this saga orbits are Torrant and Yarri. Torrant is the adoptive son of the Moon Hold and he and his mother have been living there ever since he was a little boy. His relationship with Yarri started when he was eight and helped his mother deliver the little girl. Ever since then Yarri is not only the Moon Hold’s most precious child, she’s also Torrant’s main focus in life. He literally never lets his eyes off of her, playing with her, looking after her, and doing anything in his power to make her smile. Their childhood life in Clough is a dreamy one, filled with love, joy, and laughter. It ends though in bloodshed.
Enter Consort Rath, an unspeakable evil man who has cast war on the deity of the gifted, the wanderers, the outcasts and exiles, the women, the magic-makers, the midwives, Triane’s Son Rising the forbidden lovers, and the sensually free. They are hunted down, ridiculed for their faith, and shamed for who and what they are. They are people who live in fear. One place in this country though has opened the doors of their hold to every chased soul. The Moon Hold.
Concepts and ideas are taken from reality and spun in an almost magical way to fit this fantasy. The politics and beliefs of our society are masterfully included in this tale and the results of them upon the people described in a most explicit way that doesn’t hide its horrific effect. The fear, the hatred, the agony of living you live hidden and half, the need to do something even when you know there’s nothing you can do. The guilt that comes with failing… Every single thing is excruciating and the evil is relentless on its path.
This is how this story begins. This is how Torrant’s and Yarri’s childhood life ends and their innocent days are ripped from them forever. This is how they are forced to abandon the only home they ever knew and start a most dangerous escape, battling the winter’s elements, starvation, and sickness to relative safety. This is how the fiercest gift the Goddess has given him demonstrates itself in the form of a predator that has a single-minded purpose. Protect Yarri at all cost. Even if that means he’ll lose himself into cold heartless vengeance in the process.
Torrant is an amazing character that it’s almost impossible not to adore. He has this deep profound love for Yarri that drives him to do the impossible. He’s violently ripped from his gentlest side and thrown into cold viciousness. He’s gifted with the ability to make the truth come forward; force his will upon others, and an angelic voice. This is his gentle side, his charm, and it’s quite irresistible. He’s also gifted with a predator that lives inside him, a clod hearted creature bound to the wild instincts of nature. Torrant could easily be described as two people, two different characters living in one body.
The pain he suffers from seeing his entire family butchered is so powerful that changes him profoundly. Not to mention that it is heart wrenching for us as readers too. You can only imagine what Amy Lane has done with all that pain. This is an amazing ability this author has, I think it’s her trademark, making you feel every emotion she so chooses so deeply that they leave you weak in their path. I can honestly tell you that I felt something akin to a fist sizing my heart, my stomach churn, and my eyes involuntarily shedding tears I had promised I would not let fall this time. The vastness of emotions involved is enormous. They are so powerful and they hit you with such force you’re left stunned in the aftermath.
As for this world’s she created, that is pure art. The description of this world is awe-inspiring. The magic feels… pulsating, the elements almost alive, like sentient beings, vibrant. It was a wondrous place and I quite loved it.
This novel was quite large and whole, but it’s only the beginning. It leaves you with a hunger and longing. When you reach the end, two things happen simultaneously. One you realize you’ve read an entire 280 pages novel in no time without even understanding it. Two you feel like screaming “nooooooooooo” because it’s ended just when you think that now this story starts. Triane’s Son Rising is the epilogue of an epic journey, one you cannot wait to travel.
For me this book was perfect and I can’t wait for the next one. Recommended? Not only that, I think it’s a must read and ought to be on everyone’s to-read list.