Friday, October 28, 2022

Today's read... Blood Moon Prophecy by Dilani Kahawala

Magic and evil creatures and much more are promised to abound in today's read. This is the beginning to a new series, which hit the shelves a week or so ago. It takes a nod toward South-Asia and is said to be quite the ride...perfect for action fans.

So, let's just dive right in!

by Dilani Kahawala
Cedar Street Press
Young Adult Fantasy
464 pages

Eleven years ago, Tilly Nyx did something she wasn’t supposed to. As a result, her mother was killed. Her village was destroyed. Her sister disappeared. And an ancient horror sent her into hiding.

Now sixteen years old, Tilly is determined to go home, even though she doesn’t know where home is or how to get there. All she has is the map that her mother made her swear to protect with her life.

Tilly soon finds herself plunged into the world where it all began—a world of oceans, sailing ships, and feuds between ancient magical families. She joins a fleet in search of the secret that her map holds, the secret that has been guarded by her family for thousands of years.

As Tilly learns how to cast sprites and make potions, she and her three friends must follow the trail of murky clues left by her ancestors before time runs out. But the closer they get to their destination, the more Tilly learns about her true identity–and everything is not as it seems.



Fast-paced is an understatement in this rich fantasy, where magic, mystery, and adventure abound.

Tilly is treated like a servant in her second-cousin-or-whatnot's home, but after being dumped in Central Park at five-years-old, she should just be happy he took her in. Her memory of her past is sketchy, at best, but she knows to meet a man at the park on a certain day when she's sixteen. Instead of showing up for the meeting, the police escort her to find him dead. When she arrives back to her current home, everyone is pressing her to give them a map, one she promised her mother she would hide, but chaos soon breaks out, the world changes completely. Suddenly, people are fighting with magic, horrible creatures want her dead, and there's an entire world she never knew existed, but she has to enter to stay alive. Escaping on a ship to help a commander find the only tool left to stop evil from taking over everything, she finds herself caught up in the middle of saving worlds and, finally, discovering the secret behind her past.

Beginning with a very grabbing, intense scene, this book shoots off and doesn't stop for a single, tiny breath the entire way through...and at around 460 pages, that's a long, intense ride. And it's well done. The writing sits, close and tight, making every moment and word count. This isn't only in the action, however. The world building is also rich, extremely imaginative, and...well, very original in so many ways. The author leads the reader into an elaborate world, where sprites enable magic to be wielded, and there is always more to discover than meets the eye. The South-Asian flair comes through with grace, making this a world to enjoy.

Family and friendship are key in these pages, and without it, the heroine wouldn't have a chance. There's a lovely bonding of a hodge-podge family as Tilly meets friends, and they are forced to stretch all of their capabilities in order to achieve their goal. It is wholesome and heartening in a way, which makes readers wish they could jump right in...except for the very dangerous parts, of course.

There are quite a few characters and subplots, which work out well and promise much to come in the upcoming books...and if they pack just as much, this will be quite the series. While the action and world building definitely had me, I was a little distracted by the similarities to the entire Percy Jackson/Harry Potter trope and wasn't sure why the entire adventure suddenly had to become a type of school on the ship. While this is for the young adult audience, there were quite a few times where it felt more like an upper middle grade read with a little lack on character and background depth. Still, it was well written and definitely draws in. There is so much happening and so much still to explore, and I am excited to see where Tilly and her band go next.

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