Matt Larkin has done it again!! This short story is an amazing prequel or follow-up to Children of Sun and Moon. Both the characters and plot made me want this story to go on forever!! The only issue I have now is how to tell my husband that I’m in love with another fictional character–Malin!
The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. The King sends his niece Chandi along as handmaid to his daughter. Chandi has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. The Solars cost her everything she cares about, and now she wants nothing more than proof of their treachery so she can go home.
She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can’t match, powers that let her slip into places she’s not supposed to be. Of course, the more she uses her powers, the faster she becomes a lunatic.
When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor and stick close to him. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she’ll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart.
Truly, I had no idea what to expect from Children of Sun and Moon when I first downloaded it onto my Kindle. Author Matt Larkin asked me to check it out and, while I’m always up for a new adventure, I had to be honest and tell him that this didn’t seem like my usual fare. Let’s be realistic…no vamps, wolves, angels, demons, witches, mages, or other known-to-me supernaturals in the description. I gotta say, though, I essentially got my ass and expectations handed to me by this book…it was that good…
I’ll start with the characters, since I do love a strong female lead. Chandi was kickass!! A true fighter, this lunar knows exactly what she wants and goes after it. I love her. She is sassy and takes crap from no one, yet protects her family above herself. Ratna, her spoiled cousin who I nicknamed Bratty early on in the story, was incredibly well written in her annoyingness (probably not a word, but go with me) and Larkin did a great job of making me want to slap her entitled face. Naresh…ahhh, Naresh. I’ll admit that I had preconceived notions about the kind of character he was going to be. This was one of those rare moments in life when I’m glad I’m not always right. Naresh is a soldier…but so much more than that…
So the beginning of the book was a bit of a culture shock for me, I’m not gonna lie. The names, places, and even food are all Indian (not Native American) sounding, and I found myself stumbling over them just a little. I got used to them a few pages in, though, and they added richness to the story that I really liked. It was unlike any other world I’d ever read for so many reasons. Total originality points. A couple editing issues in the book caught my eye, but nothing so detrimental as to cause alarm–I just always like to mention them for those who are sticklers about those things. There were also a few fight scenes in the book which were a little too blow-by-blow for my personal taste. I generally prefer an overview to the “he ducked this punch while swinging his right arm in a hook and kicking so-and-so in the cojones” thing. Some people are into that, though, and that’s cool too. If you are, there’s a smidge of it in there–though not a ton.
Now, on to the true genius of Children of Sun and Moon: Larkin is an amazing storyteller. His writing is descriptive, yet keeps a quick pace with no wasted information clogging my already at capacity synapses. Maybe storyteller isn’t descriptive enough. Maybe I should say that Larkin is a storyweaver. His universe is chaos and brilliance and honor and destruction and love in once amazing place. I was completely captivated by the world that he crafted with the Solars and Lunars and cannot wait for the next book!!
Children of Sun and Moon on Amazon: Children of Sun and Moon (Skyfall Trilogy)