Cover Image: Star Mother

Star Mother

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Member Reviews

4 stars.

I absolutely loved the concept of this book and I thought it was executed really well! The idea of celestial bodies being the focus of religion definitely appealed to me, and I was super intrigued by the lore and worldbuilding throughout the book. The writing style was gorgeous and some sections of the prose absolutely blew me away.

Whilst I did love the majority of this book, the central romance didn't interest me as much. I loved both of the characters separately, but they didn't seem to have that much chemistry together. This softened the ending a little bit for me and made it a bit less emotional, especially when a long period of time was glossed over. 

Overall, however, a highly enjoyable read that definitely makes me want to read more by this author!
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I really wanted to love this book because the synopsis sounded intriguing. Yet, I felt a bit underwhelmed. I like Ceris. She has suffered through many hardships. However, the story tended to drag from the middle to the end. The romance was also very underwhelming. Still, I recommend this fans of Emily R. King, Sarah J. Mass, and Chantal Gadoury.
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I had such a great time reading these books! And it was really great to read them back to back because they each focus on a character who was important to the other-the Star Mother, and the Star Father, and how each one finds their happiness-with someone else! Such great reads!

I really enjoyed the mythology of these books, of the Sun and Mother Earth being gods, and the Moon being a demi god, and how the stars are the children of the Sun and a mortal woman. There were some pieces that I was a bit confused about, but it was really interesting to learn.

Ceris was a really great character to read about. I really enjoyed her journey, of becoming the Star Mother, and then surviving that, going back to earth-and having 700 years pass. There's ups and downs, family to meet, and important facts, and it was a really great story!

And then there's Aija, who is stuck on the family farm while the war is going on, when the Sun is gone-and there's a strange man in the river. I really enjoyed watching their story progress, because the cost to be together, it took determination and cleverness, and sacrifices, to get what they both wanted! But oh, I the bargains with the demons were infuriating!

I really enjoyed reading these books, and I can't wait to read more by Charlie N. Holmberg!
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I received an eArc of this work in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much to the author, NetGalley, and the publisher 47 North for the opportunity.

I loved both books in the Star Mother series for different reasons. Both are epic works of new and original mythology that are woman-focused and feature breathtaking world-building, heart-breaking plots, and incredibly interesting characters.  I actually read Star Father first, and  while there were not too many spoilers in that work related to this story, I do recommend reading this one first.

This is the story of Ceris Wenden and her epic journey from odd village girl to beloved mother and mythic icon. Through her journey themes of love, loss, motherhood, and sacrifice are explored. I absolutely loved Ceris' choices as a person out of her own time, and her unfailing persistence to achieve her goals. The world building was proper epic fantasy, and the way that time is used is appropriate when dealing with the issues of gods and their mortal interactions. 

Overall this is a sweet and bittersweet story and good if you are in the mood for both epic adventure and romance that gives you the warm fuzzies.
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Star Mother is the story of a rebellious girl from a small town, who decides to volunteer to be a star mother, to give the opportunity to the man she loves and with whom she is engaged, but who does not reciprocate her love, to be happy with the woman he has chosen... even knowing that star mothers don't survive childbirth.  
This is a beautiful story of love and sacrifice, worthy of being ranked alongside the classic fairy tales we all know and love.
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There is telling stories and then there is story making. Each book tells a stories about the characters. What they go through and how they make it through. I love books and the stories they tell because of the journey. And then there is story making. Star Mother is story making. A world and story so beautiful that it is something more. It's lyrical and the way it is told, touches your soul. I really didn't know much about this going in because I knew it was a Charlie Holmberg book, and I would love it. But I was not ready for how much it would impact me. Charlie has told some amazing stories, but none like this. This was truly something beautiful in itself. The way everything unfolded and how the story was told had me engrossed the entire time. It was this fantastical history in the making that I wish it was true. It was definitely a story about the stars.

It's hard to talk about the characters because of how each one affected this story. For once, the characters take a back seat and the story is the main focus. Ceris' story was amazing to follow and her journey is unforgettable. If I would have actually read the summary then I wouldn't have been surprised by Ristriel's entrance but alas, I was. I loved the way he entered the scene and how his story was woven with Ceris'. The battle of the Gods and how they are unknowingly at the center of the conflict. I was also obsessed with the Sun God. I adored each and every character of this book and of their story.

Overall, Star Mother by Charlie N Holmberg was absolutely stunning. I hope that everyone who reads this story has the same impact that it had on me. It was beautifully crafted and unbelievably breathtaking. I can personally say that this is one of Charlie's finest story telling and I will absolutely read again. The characters are obviously important since it is their story but it's really the writing that stands out in this book. I highly recommend this to everybody.
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A truly unusual but engaging story that takes a different approach to stories of mythical "gods" and mortals. Heartfelt, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. A new favorite from Holmberg!
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Tale of Love, Promise, Sacrifice, of a Mother of Stars, Earth Mother's forgotten son, and the north star.

The children of the Sun only can be born through a mortal mother, and no mortal woman could survive the birthing of a star. That is a great honor to be a star mother!

Ceris is an ordinary girl, her path was already set before, marry, have a mortal family, lead a mortal life, and die as any mortal would. Chosen by a god never was an option, but what if no one volunteered, would the Sun punish?

"I thought making love to the Sun was the most unbearable pain I would ever experience. Giving birth to His child was far worse."

Amazing read! This was a very beautiful, touching, and heartwarming story. The writing style and the way story goes fascinating, engaging. The strong and pleasant characters are very well created. The end was unexpected and I'm going for book 2, Star Father instantly.

Undying Thanks to 47North via NetGalley to give me a chance to read Star Mother (Star Mother #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg, I have given my honest review.
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Star Mother has two of the best opening lines that I’ve read in a while, so kudos to Charlie Holmberg for that feat alone.

This story reads like an old, beloved fable. The lore is inventive and interesting, and some things are strange and don’t make sense. Her village barely changes in 700 years? At face value that’s nonsense, but this story isn’t plot driven; it’s a very languid read. I don’t think it’s even character driven. The heart of it all lies in the concepts, and thus I think it’s one of those books where what you take away from it greatly depends on what you’re bringing in with you, and the journey that you take with it as a reader. There’s a lot of symbolism and it requires a lot of reading between the lines. So even though the language itself is quite simple, this is an adult novel. It’s about finding your way, sacrifice, motherhood, and how life can be a very circular path. Not a page-turner, but if you’re someone who can relate to it on an abstract level, it may linger with you long after you finish it.
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I love everything that Charlie N. Holmberg has written and this book was no different. A lovely, soft fantasy with just enough magic and a beautiful folktale style story that had me hooked from the very beginning. The plot explores love and family in such a way that wrenched my heart more than once and I was simply in love with the characters.

Charlie mentioned on her Instagram once that if you need a book character to love, you just create one...well, she's gone and done it. I have a definite book crush on Ristriel. To be perfectly fair, I kind of fell in love with The Sun as well.

This book gave me all the feels. It filled my heart and then smashed it to pieces. And I was totally cool with it. Just so much love for this story. Charlie Holmberg can write her grocery list on a piece of paper and I'm sure I would be enthralled by it. She just has a beautiful way of words and I love every world and character she creates. What a magical power she has to create.

I'm very much looking forward to Star Father, the next book in the series...though I am extremely curious how the story will continue. Regardless, I'll just be happy to immerse myself in this world once again.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *
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I have absolutely LOVED everything I have read by Charlie N. Holmberg and eventually plan to read every single one of her books. So I was beyond thrilled to be gifted her newest duology, Star Mother (published Nov 2021) and Star Father (pub date March 8, 2022). I will be reading Star Father after the new year, as it fills a prompt for my 2022 book challenge 😊

When stars die, a mortal is given the great honor of mating with the Sun to give birth to the next star. Giving birth to a star kills the mortal mother, but her family is giving great blessings and the star mother moves on to a paradise afterlife in honor of her sacrifice. Ceris, betrothed to a young man whose heart belongs to another, volunteers to be star mother after her town is chosen, but unexpectedly Ceris becomes the first birth mother to survive. 

I think this book will be well loved by those who are liking the recent mythology/god trend I’m seeing in books the last few years (Circe, A Thousand Ships, Song of Achilles, etc). I am not super into this theme, so this wasn’t my favorite out of the books she has written but I still greatly enjoyed the never-ending creativity that Holmberg is able to craft for each of her universes. The ending was very beautiful. 

Grateful to Netgalley for the e-ARC of Star Mother!
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In a world where Gods, Demi Gods & Godlings exist with & among areas of humans whether they realize it most the time or not. Most people worship the Sun  & when called upon by a blazing pyre that lights itself by the sun in the church signifies their town has been chosen to pay a tithe  of a woman when needed to bear the child of the Sun that is a star when a star dies. Stars are what keeps the world turning & the Gods alive though the stars are not immortals The downside is the woman does not survive this birth as it is impossible to birth a star & live, but her family & town is honored by her sacrifice. This is the story of one woman who had been chosen to mate with the sun & bear a star.  Her thoughts, trial & tribulations her ending & becoming. This is the first book which I read after the second but they are both standalone as  it were. The tales are beautifully written & wonderful tales withh rich visualizations  of the characters & worlds this goes into desire, needs wants & how far you will go & who you will sacrifice to get what you want.& whether that is good for self or the larger picture. I caught a characters major deceit, lets see if you can! .A good read & thoughts to ponder
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This book wasn't really for me. It had a vague Inheritance Trilogy vibes in the way it was told. It was very fanciful and detached, if that makes any sense. It was a nice enough story, and the writing was fine, it just wasn't very riveting, and I wasn't very invested in the characters because we aren't really given an opportunity to know them, which made it hard for me to care about the plot.

I'm going to read the next one because I actually got that ARC before I got this one, but otherwise I wouldn't.

It's a quick light read if you like fantasy and don't want anything terribly deep or involved.
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This book was just brilliant (pun intended 😉)

This story took over-used tropes and spun it in a way that was truly ethereal and unique. The lore was so well incorporated and the world building was fantastic. It wasn't too detailed, but written well enough that you could picture everthing and every "not-thing", as Ceris would say.

I absolutely loved the characters, their story was heartbreaking at times, I teared up more than once, but I also felt so much joy. Gosh, I have truly never read something like this before, my mind can't produce coherent sentences to express how much I loved it. 

Besides the characters ( Ris ♥️ ), my favorite part was the visuals. While the setting of the Heavens and the Sun's palace was unreal, I could still so clearly imagine it. I just loved it so muuuuuch 

All in all, this was amazing. I love the story telling aspect, I loved the warmth and comfort this book brought me, not to forget the wisdom in it. This book is perfect if you enjoyed Stardust! 

plot: 5⭐️
characters: 100000⭐️ i loved Ceris so much, my God
romance: 8⭐️ it was soft, no graphic spice, only allusions to it. But it was just so so lovely

Thank you to Charlie N. Holmberg and WunderkindPR for sending me an ARC of this book ✨
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WOW.  (I could actually just leave that as my review.)  
The Magic system in this book is great. Gods, demigods, godlings, and mortals set the stage for what promises to be a fantastic fantasy novel. The world building is beautiful, the details are written exquisitely it was so easy to get transported into the landscape as Ceris made her journey. 

The story it’s self starts kinda sudden. The fist few chapters pack a lot of information and it moves the plot to the point I wasn’t sure there was anything left to tell. A very wrong assumption on my part. 

What surprised me the most about this book was the writing. To put it simply this book is beautiful. The writing is lyrical and poetic. Heartbreaking in places, hope giving in others. I found myself sobbing at the end. Not because the ending is sad, but because of the culmination of all the undertones written. The struggle of not knowing where you belong, a mother wanting nothing more than to just exist with her child, choosing and recognizing the difference between two people you love and what part they play in your life. 

I’m not sure this review can do any justice to the experience I had while reading this book but I hope it’s enough to get it on everyone’s radar.
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I really enjoyed this. I have read a few of Holmberg's books, and like this others this one did not dissapoint. The world she builds is interesting and different enough to be appealing, and I liked the characters and the progression of the story. I will definitely be recommending this to our customers
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The language in this book is really vivid and imaginative. The characters are fun, the pacing is great and the story is brilliant.
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[sobbing, choking on tears] Oh Miss Holmberg...!

Do you ever discover an author whose backlist you love in its entirety and whom you can't get enough of, and then you casually forget just how prolific of a writer they are until they whip out a new fantasy romance duology at once, which you only hear about because you luckily receive an eARC out of nowhere? Cause I sure do.

Star Mother - where do I begin describing it? The best I can think of as far as comp titles go is Robin McKinley's work, due to its introspection and soft, pensive romance. And this absolutely is a romance, or what I like to call romantic fantasy, with lovely, cliché-defying characters, ride-or-die alliances, and a bittersweet ending that came as a surprise, but did Ceris as the most adorable protagonist on earth justice. (As a disclaimer, this is not a "fated mates" kind of book, but rather the portrayal of a woman who experiences different types of love; love for her child, her family, and romantic partners).

The novel's ending comes as a surprise, I'll be honest with you, but feels all the more like the conclusion to one of Grimm's fairytales. Very seasonal, hopeful, feminine as well as feminist. That being said, I can't believe Holmberg still flies under the radar of most of my reader friends, when she's successfully sold various of her book series internationally (this new set of novels absolutely deserving the same acclaim). So, a reminder: Follow your favourite indie authors on their socials, or you'll miss out on fresh book releases.
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Personally, I hated this. I found it rather offensive in its portrayal of female characters as existing solely to bear children and serve the more powerful men in their lives, and the worldbuilding was slow and never expansive enough to make the settings or characters come to life.

However, my students will likely find this a potentially fun option for their independent reading projects, especially if they like books like Twilight. So despite my own misgivings, it may end up on my reading list.
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Beautiful, poignant, full of imagination and above all hope, I think describes this story perfectly. Ceris is a heroine that is very easy to like as she's brave, curious, perhaps a little naive and definitely stubborn. She is a character who understands what it is to love and indeed her love is not limited but all encompassing and at times my heart felt like breaking for her. Her journey from ordinary mortal on the cusp of everything that life could hold is marked by sacrifice . I loved that those who ruled the heavens became even more human with very obvious feelings as this story unfolded. A slow burn romance makes this hopeless romantic very happy but perhaps the way Ceris could be pragmatic enough to open her heart which in turn resonated and indeed influenced other characters is what leaves me very much looking forward to the next book Star Father. This works as a standalone but I'm very excited to continue this celestial journey !
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from NetGalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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