Moon Phases
by Stephanie Chambers

"'All of these years and none of you noticed? Father knew.'"

Magic versus reality. Creativity versus tradition. These are two of the themes in this colorful fantasy novel. The town of Kraal is still reeling from the murder of Malesh. Lumaris is the next in line to the throne. Half-human and half-Magicker, Lumaris is the first royal human to rule in over three thousand years. Now that the emperor of Enace wants to add Kraal to its reign, Lumaris will have to forge new friendships. With any luck, the powerful magickers might just prevail.

The main character is well-drawn, quick-witted and a worthy heroine. She does not back down easily and refuses to give in to her enemies, even when all seems lost. Clever and conniving, Queen Lumaris casts a powerful glow. Supporting characters are also believable, most of whom have their own individual character arcs and motives. Lines between friend and foe are well-played here, and the author does a good job leading the reader to sudden reveals. The dialogue between the characters provides much of the exposition and helps the reader follow along with the twisting, turning plot line.

Dragons, demons, elvins, humans, and Magickers make up this vibrant cast of characters. Shapeshifting, magic spells, and talking swords also add to the fantastical story, proving the author to be a very creative storyteller. Themes of feminism and female power also permeate the storyline and will appeal to young and old alike. The length of the fantasy novel is just right, allowing the reader to easily digest the layered plotline without weighing them down with too many pages. Characters come and go, and time periods and settings change throughout the book, requiring much focus on the reader's part. Fortunately, the story is entertaining enough to keep the reader engaged throughout. Chambers is an ambitious writer with a highly imaginative storyline. This is a well-written and engaging fantasy.

Return to USR Home