This book I am sharing today is a special one and not just because of what I have to say about it.
I had the pleasure of meeting with the author during last month’s Fan Experience via Salt Lake Comic Con. Nerdy conventions aren’t just about celebrities and cosplay after all. I like to head down Artist Alley to admire all the talent, then check out all the author booths; it’s one of my favorite things about the Con.
When I attended the Con, this book had not been officially published yet. I had the chance to buy it just days before the initial release – four days, to be exact – as a special Comic Con edition. Another bit that makes my copy distinctive is the title page.
Not only is it signed by the lovely Shean, but it was with pleasure I bought the second copy EVER sold. From what I understand, there was a beta group of ARC readers, so I wasn’t the first (or second) to read it, but I hold the second printed copy sold and that is not nothing.
On to the book!
Title: The Feather and the Moon Well
Author: Shean Pao
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Synopsis: Legend tells of a sorceress, The Willow Woman, who lives within a white tower outside the King’s city of Ethcabar. The Willow Woman owns a vast hoard of strange and curious items, and if you bring her something precious to add to her collection, she may grant your wish … or curse you.
But when a vile Lord from the sixth Hell learns of The Willow Woman’s powerful gifts, he sends the demon Barbarus to bribe her. By peering into her magical Moon Well, The Willow Woman glimpses an astonishing future – one that promises to bring her joy, though it could plunge the world into war and chaos.
A story of selfishness, friendship, betrayal, and hope, the Feather and the Moon Well is a magical tale built within the fringe of Irish mythology.
(verbatim from the back of the book)
About the Author: She is such a sweet lady. For real. One of the nicest people you will ever meet. As for her writing, what can I say about Shean Pao that she can’t say for herself? See her full bio here.
First Impression: It’s been awhile since I have dug into a tale of epic fantasy. This could prove fatal… or amazing!
I knew nothing of Irish mythology going into this, so it was basically a ‘learn as you go’ process. I probably still don’t understand half, so perhaps some research is in order. This lack of knowledge did not stop me from enjoying the book, however.
Shean’s prose is… is… there are no words in my vocabulary to describe it. The imagery is exquisite. So much so you feel like you are there, in this fantasy world. She really gets into the heads of her characters, bringing them to life in your mind.
Although Anarra (The Willow Woman) is the main character, I became attached to the demon Barbarus. He is a relatable character built with rich words and specified action. You always know what is happening with him.
Anarra – not so much. She’s out of touch with reality – by her own design. A lonely immortal, she sought to erase her past and time itself passed her by as she bends the world to her will. Her status is inconsequential, though. What is the point of being a goddess if you can’t comprehend the world around you? It’s frustrating!
Don’t take that to mean Anarra isn’t relatable. She is as confusing and complex as any mortal, even likable at times. But I wish she was more aware of the world around her, like Barbarus.
Final Thoughts: Toward the end, I began to understand Anarra a little better and since this is the first book in a projected series, I look forward to the continued journey and the ultimate conclusion.
My Suggestion: If you live for fantasy novels, pick this one up. It will make a nice edition to your collection. This is her debut novel and she makes quite an entrance, for sure! If you are unsure whether fantasy is for you, look for it at your local library or borrow it from your fantasy-loving friend.
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Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review and all opinions contained herein are my own and in no way reflect the ideas or opinions of people or sites I may reference. This is intended for entertainment purposes only.