Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule — but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her — even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
“Each sleeping tree,
Dreams green dreams;
The barren mountain
wakes in blossom”
We start the story off in the gloomy town called the Protectatre. The description of the town was pretty good. Straight off the bat there was a feel that this was not a town you would want to live in. It had a very old world vibe about it. I was really engaged with the beginning of the story. I felt invested in Antain and his story from the start, however there were many characters that I felt frustrated with.
My favourite characters by far were Luna, Fyrian and Glerk. They really made the story. Without their perspectives and their input throughout the story I would really have struggled to finish it.
The overall plot was great. An amazing Idea that I personally haven’t seen done before, although that doesn’t mean much. I loved the idea of babies eating starlight and moonlight and that they do end up happy.
I felt that for a middle grade it was a very dark book. I do have younger girls that I am thinking of when I read these types of books, to give them references when they are a confident reader but are unable to find a book they are excited about. Usually they range from 7 year olds to 10 year olds.
I did like the story overall, however I wasn’t completely engaged and unable to put the book down.
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 6/10