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Publisher: ibooks (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: January 2004
ISBN: 0743479831
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Fantasy/SF
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:  

House of Moons Chronicles, Book I
By K D Wentworth

    Ibooks has created quite a name for itself with reissuing old classics and here is one from 1994 that blends SF with fantasy and manages to fit a story into one slim volume. The Kashi live a privileged life atop their mountain, blessed as they are with the gift of mindspeaking and their golden looks. Young Haemas Sennay Tal is the daughter of one of the High Houses and on the cusp of coming of age, where she will inherit as her powerful father’s only child. But something has gone terribly wrong, and she is on the run in the Lowlands, accused of her father’s murder. While her stepmother and cousin plot and scheme, and a Searcher is sent after her to bring her back to stand trial, she will instead find out about a misuse of power that might bring an end to the whole planet.

    This is a tale with many issues at its heart. The misuse of talent to treat those less gifted as slaves, and the way in which women are treated by the Kashi as well as the dangers of a lack of respect for one’s environment all combine to make a compelling read. If the book has a fault it is that it is rather linear, and for such a delightfully Dune-like scenario of plotting between the Houses it would have been great to have a longer and more complex novel to read. The reader is plunged into the thick of things straight away, and the planet and its inhabitants slowly reveal themselves throughout the book. This is on the whole a good plan, for it eliminates the need for appendices and lengthy introductions. By the end of the book the stage is well and truly set for the rest of the series, so watch out for book two House of Moons when it comes in the spring. Different? Not really, but well done, well realised and compelling.