by K.E. Bonner
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 27 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 27 Sep 2021
Brandylane Publishers, Inc., Belle Isle Books
Once in an eon, when the Earth eclipses the moon on a winter solstice, an immortal is born under a witching moon. Anne has always had the strangest feelings—memories she couldn’t place; strangers she inexplicably yearned for.
After she rescues the enigmatic Phillip from a shipwreck, her comfortable life on the island of Cusabo is shattered, and the mystery of her destiny starts to fall into place. Anne leaves behind the life she’s always known and sets out with Phillip on an arduous journey to Amaranth, where her ancient family awaits her. But the path is dark and daunting, and Anne’s powers have only just begun to manifest.
“When a lunar eclipse occurs on a winter solstice, immortals are born. K.E. Bonner has written a story that’s hard to put down. With compelling characters and a quick-paced plot, readers are swept into a world that spins the ordinary with the fantastical so cleverly it’s difficult to separate the two. Protagonist Anne always knew she was different, that something was missing in the quiet life she led with Mama Jane and her patchwork quilt of a family.
There were too many memories she could only catch the edges of, and there was something potent and curative inside her that Mama Jane called her ‘shine.’ Anne is happy on Cusabo Island, but from the moment she finds half-drowned Phillip and passes her healing cure into him, it’s clear things are going to change. Weaving the mythical with the biblical, the common with the magical, the mortal with the eternal,
Bonner tells a tale of mystery, dangerous conflict, and more than a hint of romance. As immortal Anne begins a quest to reunite with her sister and bring the powerful forces of prophecy and healing together again, we lucky readers can sit back and enjoy the ride.” —Sandy Coomer, author of Available Light and director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony
“With a magical mixture of romance and historical adventure, Witching Moon brings heroic characters and an action-packed plot together in a book that will keep the pages turning and the imagination churning.”—Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, and other novels
“The action-packed Witching Moon grabs you by the throat and never lets you go as the magically gifted Anne sweeps you along on a heart-stopping, heart-tugging journey to find her true home and her true love. Witching Moon is a fantasy, but the emotions are as real as they come. Treat yourself to this unforgettable heroine and this unforgettable book.”—Kimberly Elkins, author of What Is Visible
“Young heroine and gifted healer Anne is as tenacious as the boot-sucking marsh mud on the barrier island where she grew up. Readers will cheer her on as she embarks on a perilous journey over land and sea in search of her beloved ‘selfsame’ sister, Rowan, and her rightful tribe on the magical island of Amaranth. Infused with the ancient vibrations of other worlds, Bonner’s first historical fantasy is a heart-thumping odyssey of self-discovery, danger, and most of all, love.” —Leslie Muir, author of The Little Bitty Bakery, Gibbus Moony, C.R. Mudgeon, and Barry B. Wary
“‘Deep in my bones, I always knew a part of me was missing.’ This is how K.E. Bonner begins her debut novel, Witching Moon. If you’ve ever felt lost or alone or out of place; if you love historical fantasy, especially one set during the Civil War; if you like adventure; then this book is for you. I love every description, especially those of the outer banks of South Carolina. This magical novel begs you to savor each page. Congratulations to K. E. Bonner on an exquisitely written and suspenseful book!”—Katharine Crawford Robey, creative writing instructor and author of Cardinal Coat and Other Stories, Hare and the Big Green Lawn, Where’s the Party?, and The Sleeping Bear Wakes Up
“Witching Moon is a rollicking adventure yarn and a hugely impressive debut. It is, at once, intimate and epic and is elevated beyond its genre trappings by a vivid sense of time and place. The exotic and enchanting locales aren’t just set pieces: they’re authentic-feeling ecosystems, brimming with well-drawn characters whose rich inner lives are every bit as fascinating as their daring, breathless exploits. This is the sort of book you want to pick up and read again as soon as you’ve finished it.”—Brendan Murphy, writer-director of Speakeasy, game writer of Republique and Marvel’s Iron Man VR
“K.E. Bonner’s Witching Moon renders the historical American South into a rich and magical land in which ancient immortals of myth confront a real and messy history. From the first engrossing paragraph, the reader is catapulted on a riveting adventure of the familiar and the fantastic with engrossing beings that have much to teach and much to learn.”—Stacey Margaret Jones, author of Mr. Catherine
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 46 members
The characterizations were well done. The plot was intriguing and maintained my attention. The pacing was well done, and held my attention. I really thought of story structure when I was reading this book. I truly believe the author did a really good job.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I’ve been looking for some fantasy books that I could enjoy that were less dense than something like game of thrones. This book definitely delivered. The main character Anne is thrown head first into a world she didn’t even know existed a day ago and finds out the truth about who she is. It has a nice blend of magic in the world we already know and understand. I was left feeling like I needed to know what happened after the end of the book. If you liked The Starless Sea I think you will enjoy this book
I found myself completely immersed in this fantasy, eagerly following Anne's journey. This was very well written. Set in the time of the Civil War, the author deftly weaves in the issue of slavery without moralizing. The writing us clean, the characters well written. I look forward to the author's next book. I received a free copy and am leaving my honest review.
It was as bewitching as foretold. Through the trials and frights, true strength shown like the stars on a dark night.
Absolutely beautiful, stunning, and perfect for anyone needing to center oneself. I really appreciated how much love was put into each stitch - and word - in this book. I felt like the author led me through a creative journey that assisted in reflection and mediation through thread and design.
Taking place in 1865, near the end of the American civil war, K.E. Bonner's Witching Moon opens to a young girl rescues a man from drowning in a shipwreck using her extraordinary gift for healing. This rescue leads to Anne having to leave her life and comfort zone of Cusabo Island and venture to find the home she has dreamed about. On this venture, she leads more of the world and her world, grows into herself and her powers, finds friendships and family and discovers what lengths she would go to get where she's been drawn to in her dreams. Anne is a young woman who grows up on an island, in a place where she can explore barefoot and free, but in her dreams she dreams of another life, another girl and in another place. Anne has compassion, and is smart. While she is learning of her history, she absorbs it all and takes things in stride. She makes friends and uses her compassion for people to guide her in making decisions. Often in her travels, she is faced with difficult choices. While she is young in this life, she is also an immortal and as the memories of her last life are revealed to her, she grows and develops more mature perspective on the world than a mortal teen would have. The other characters in this novel are all part of her story, her past and her future. But each one of them plays their role in her growth and her venture to find that place in her dreams. Phillip is strong and stubborn, Rory is sweet and brave and Rowan is understanding and kind. While this book is targeted for upper middle grade, I would put it in the young adult section (I suggest readers aged 14-15). This book has violence and shows aspects of what it was like to escape slavery in it. While nothing is said in gross detail, I would want to audience to understand the more serious themes in this book. The pacing and writing were very good. There was ups and downs throughout the novel. I was hoping for more explanation of the magic system. I also was hoping for more lightness in the story. It has a lot darkness to it, while the ending had a lot of light within it, I was hoping some of that light would have been spread throughout the plot. I think the world building was good. I would question though the thought that Anne would have with traveling and the language barriers she would have faced. While I appreciate the lack of complication of that, it is not realistic to expect a young girl who doesn't know how to read or write not to face any challenges with that throughout her journey from Cusabo Island to her ancestral home. Overall, I think this book is good. While there are some issues I would have liked addressed in the novel, I think that Witching Moon is a great standalone for those looking for an uncomplicated fantasy adventure story they can enjoy as a Saturday afternoon read.
Thank you to NetGalley and Brandylane Publishers, Inc. for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you read this book knowing its intended target audience of middle school age readers, then I think it works really well. The writing style/narration style reminds me a lot of "The Chronicles of Narnia" (it probably doesn't hurt that I am listening to those via audio-book currently). It was fast paced with just enough detail to flesh everything out, without going into so much detail that middle schoolers either wouldn't understand or would get bored by. There was plenty of action and I looked forward to picking up this book and was excited to finish the last 100 or so pages to see how everything turned out. I really enjoyed this book now and I think I would have loved it even more at that age. To be honest, I started out with some trepidation because of some of the other reviews I read. Again, read it knowing it is directed at middle schoolers. It is set toward the end of the Civil War (at least one reviewer didn't know what time it was based in even though it was mentioned a few times), and I have no idea why someone would think this wasn't appropriate for middle schoolers (I have no idea what they thought was "sexy" in this book). Not every book is for everyone person but it worked for me.
I want to first thank Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this lovely book. Please do not be discouraged from the reviews that are on goodreads. I honestly feel like people read maybe the first 5 pages and were like “nope” and there for gave it a bad rating. IF YOU DID NOT FINISH A BOOK, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE IT A STAR RATING!!! I know everyone has different opinions, but I honestly do not know how people could tear apart this book like they did with only reading a few pages. Which also has me confused because in the first few pages I was super into it! I was already intrigued by the cover and title of the book. It encompasses the book so well and is SO PRETTY. Our story starts with the witching moon, an eclipse that is also on the winter solstice which only happens every 200-500 years. On this day, immortals are reborn. Anne had no idea that this was her past, but when a shipwreck brings a young man to the shores of her island, she soon finds out that her power of healing isn’t the only thing that is different about her. She is apart of a different world where people do not die and if they do by chance, they are reborn under the witching moon. She is now getting flash backs of her old life and is determined to make it back to her homeland to be reunited with her twin sister. I love this book. I loved Anne and how she came from a small island where she grew up humble and her love for children. I thought her character was built beautifully and I felt not only connected to her, but also to Phillip and the side characters. Anne is such a strong hearted woman and I admire her strength during the book. I also enjoyed the fact that we got a glimpse of the underground railroad since this book is set during the civil war. It brought in a realistic aspect the book that I think the author was trying to show since this is not a full fantasy world. Also, the ship! I LOVED all the different places that our MC found herself in and even though she was in some horrible places, I loved the detail the author provided. If I had one complaint, it would be that I wanted more. I wanted more world building, more about Anne’s past life and the new life that she will have at the end of the book. I wish there were simply MORE. Even though I wish there were more, I do not think this was a good enough reason to rate this book poorly. If anything, I loved this book so much that I truly hope the author comes out with a second book to explain the universe that Anna finds herself in and the past that brought her death. Her home land sounds beautiful and I want to know what her new role in her kingdom will be. Overall, I loved this book. I am sad others didn’t because I truly do think it was wonderful. I would rate this more of a middle school read but if the author came out with book two I am sure there would be more details of Anne’s horrific past and maybe in the new love of her life. That could bump this book series up to a YA. I think we just needed a little bit more for it to be considered YA. I highly recommend this book and I am BEGGING for book 2!!!!
A witching moon occurs when winter solstice and a lunar eclipse happen the same night. It's a night when something special happens... But, I don't want to spoil the surprise! Anne knows she was taken in (adopted) by Mama Jane, but it happened when she was born (after her mother died), and she has lived with her adoptive family--mama, sister, and twin brothers--as if it was always meant to be. The remains of a shipwreck are found, and a body washes to shore, changing everything. But secret competing groups have been searching for her since before she was born, and every moment draws danger and violence closer to Anne and her family. The single mystery of Anne's short life is solved by a young man named Phillip. The visions and dreams she has always had about her echo or other self, is actually a sister, and only Phillip can reunite them. Anne is forced to leave her family to protect them from her pursuers. Many perils and adventures await, with both villains and heroes to people them. One thing alone is certain, you will never forget Anne's selfless generosity, or her quest to find the sister she is drawn to. This book is well sculpted to keep the reader guessing, thinking, and cheering-on Anne and her friends. Even when one event seems inevitable, it could be that you've taken your eye off another. It's a great story where personal and cultural motivations are questioned, but not at the expense of a terrific adventure! Favorite quotes: "I would’ve given a hot buttered biscuit for just a few more winks of sleep." "...squabbling with Ruth was like teaching a wild boar to fly: useless."