Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan, but she has been forced to turn from her duties, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save herself and her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating Tribe, strays across her path that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…
Now evil is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By breaking Clan Law and forming an alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and battle the forces that threaten to destroy them all.
After reading all of the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast and quite enjoying it, I knew I just had to get a copy of Moon Chosen. Before I launched into Cast’s new novel, I was already expecting brilliant world building and interesting characters because that’s exactly what I got when committing myself to reading the copious amount of books in the House of Night series, which was utterly addictive and while I normally struggle to read series with more than three books, that one definitely had me hooked. While I didn’t enjoy Moon Chosen as much as I had hoped, I felt that it was still a really intriguing fantasy and would appeal to people who are heavily into that genre and don’t mind a longer, more dense read than a lot of other YA out there.
For me, the thing that made me unable to fully immerse myself in the novel and find myself wrapped up in it was the sheer amount of it. I felt that this book could have been two hundred pages shorter and still would have sufficed, if not been improved, because a lot of it felt unnecessary and like some parts were somewhat of a page-filler. The writing was incredibly dense in parts and difficult to follow because of that, which is sometimes typical of high fantasy, but for me it meant that I couldn’t fully connect to the story despite how much I wanted to love it. Because of that, it often felt like there wasn’t much happening and the pacing was slowed because of the writing style, however, I really enjoyed the ending and I felt the last hundred pages were worth the slight struggle earlier on.
Perhaps my favourite thing about Moon Chosen was how in-depth the world-building was. What I was most thankful to find was that there wasn’t any info-dumping about this new and strange world, rather we were dropped straight into it and immersed in the magical, alluring landscape. While it took a little while to fully understand the way this society functioned because of the way information wasn’t clearly laid out and rather intertwined into the story, I felt that it was far more interesting to learn these things along the way and pick up bits and pieces from the characters rather than having the information shoved down our throats. It also enabled the plot to keep progressing rather than coming to a halt as something was explained, meaning the pacing was fairly consistent throughout — but I still would have liked the pacing to be a little faster on the whole.
For me, although the characters were all quite interesting — my favourite being our main character, Mari, because I admired her bravery and willingness to do things for those she cared about — the real thing that drove this novel for me was the plot. I loved how everything was centred around different tribes and what it means for something to be your ‘destiny’, and I really enjoyed the climatic scenes that drew this novel to a close. While Moon Chosen was a relatively slow read a lot of the time, the last few chapters absolutely blew my mind and made sticking with this 600-page novel completely worth it.
Ultimately, Moon Chosen is an intriguing fantasy novel about the impact of secrets and the consequences of misplaced trust that will make you want to keep reading until the very end. While this novel might not be for everyone, if you’re a fan of high fantasy and don’t mind slow pacing from time to time, I definitely recommend checking it out!
To celebrate the release of Moon Chosen, I’m giving away one paperback copy of this book! The giveaway is open to all Australian residents and will finish at 11.59pm on Wednesday 30 November. If you’d like to have the chance to win this book, please comment down below with your email address! The winner will be notified via email by December 6. Good luck!
Have you read Moon Chosen yet, or any other books by P.C. Cast? Do you enjoy reading fantasy? What’s your favourite fantasy novel? Do you hate info-dumping too? Do you struggle reading novels if they’re slow-paced? I’d love to know!
Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!