Faith and Moonlight
An Echo of the Ascended
by Mark Gelineau and Joe King
Young Adult | Fantasy | Novella | 80 Pages | Published by Gelineau and King in 2015
This book was received from Netgalley in return for an honest review
We’ve slain Rendworms with Elinor in A Reaper of Stone, battled terrible Ruins with Ferran in Rend the Dark, and uncovered the dark hearts of men with Alys in Best Left in the Shadows. And now we enter a world of honour and tradition; of swords and legends and the heroics of men, as we follow the story of our final two orphans, Roan and Kay in Faith and Moonlight.
Gelineau and King have once again raised the bar with this beautifully crafted and enchanting tale, a tale which has all the hallmarks of a traditional coming of age fantasy together with the flair and excitement which have become the mainstay of this impressive series of shorts.
Faith and Moonlight continues in the tradition of its predecessors as a wholly absorbing and vivid journey into this increasingly diverse world; one which introduces new characters, new places and new themes, and which once again leaves me in no doubt that I will be reading the next novella.
Roan and Kay are orphans.
A fire destroys their old life, but they have one chance to enter the School of Faith.
They are given one month to pass the entry trials, but as Roan excels and Kay fails, their devotion to each other is put to the test.
They swore they would face everything together, but when the stakes are losing the life they’ve always dreamed of, what will they do to stay together?
What won’t they do?Faith and Moonlight introduces Roan and Kay, two orphans left with little more than each other when a fire destroys their orphanage and leaves their small band of friends scattered across the lands.
Assisted by a stranger who finds himself indebted to them, Roan and Kay are taken to the School of Faith where the great and the powerful train to join the ranks of the infamous Razors. But before they can be accepted they must show they are able to ‘pierce the veil’, something which should have manifested long ago if was to present itself at all.
For Roan the skills of a Razor come easily, but as he goes from strength to strength Kay falls further and further behind. Going back to their old life is not possible and going forwards without the other is a fate neither want to comprehend. A month is all they have. A month to pierce the veil. A month to decide their fate.Faith and Moonlight is a wonderfully compact tale of friendship, love and survival, one which has all the strengths of the previous novellas whilst avoiding the pitfalls and clichés which so many young adult books fall into. Where the preceding Echoes uncover a world of darkness and terror, where nightmares roam the land and the greed and vice of men is ever apparent, Faith and Moonlight shows us a purer and more idealistic world. This is a landscape of heroes and legends and a noble cause, where brave warriors confound evil despite the underlying darkness which pervades even this novella.
Once again Gelineau and King have carved out a varied landscape in stunning, if brief, detail; a city bathed in moonlight with the Razor schools at its heart couldn’t be more of a contrast to Lowside of Best Left in the Shadows or the tumble down villages of Rend the Dark. From the reliquaries of the First Ascended to the architecture of the city, Faith and Moonlight weaves its spell of chivalric charm and, with notable links back to previous novellas, firmly establishes itself as part of Aedaron.
The characterisation in this novella is likewise the equal of those that have gone before it. Roan and Kay are two protagonists whose obvious love and affection for one another only contributes to the narrative, becoming a driving force for the storyline rather than an unnecessary aside. Forging friendships, mastering new skills and testing their own strength becomes vital to their existence in the School of Faith, bringing a sense of depth and diversity to their characters and creating two distinct voices.
With Faith and Moonlight, Gelineau and King have added a touch of beauty to their increasingly dark world. This is a tale which, despite some sinister undertones, benefits from a lighter heart and a steady pace; a brief but beautiful young adult novella.
Faith and Moonlight is another wonderful contribution to the Echoes of the Ascended series, one which is nothing short of the equal to its predecessors and one which I recommend to all those wishing to while away less than an hour in another world. This novella surpassed all my expectations and leaves me in no doubt of the authors’ place on my bookshelves.