Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

Marni has lived most of her life in a small cottage with her Gramps.  She is known as the flower girl because of her garden and her way with plants.  But people also know that she and Gramps have an unusual back story.  Gramps used to be the king of their country but he gave up his throne to protect Marni when her uncle killed Marni's mother.  Marni's mother was one of the many girls called by the forest for a life of freedom.  Most girls who run away to the forest never come back but Marni's mother did return with Marni, who was sired by the dragon of the woods.  The people in the country fight a battle to keep the woods at bay but each year the trees travel a little further into people territory and the current king, Marni's uncle, thinks she might have something to do with the advancing forest.  When Gramps dies Marni has no choice but to go to court and take up her rightful position as princess even though she is torn between her human and wild side and even though she knows her life is in danger and the trees begin encroaching by leaps and bounds.

I'm still digesting this book because it's not as straightforward as it sounds (and it doesn't sound all that straightforward, does it?).  I like the story and the characters, probably most especially the Lord of Ontrei.  I found Marni's stubbornness frustrating at times while also appreciating her strength and desire to control her own destiny.   The thing that is holding me back just a little is the writing style.  I would only recommend this to strong readers because the writing is lyrical and expects a lot of the reader to go on faith and piece things together before all of the world is revealed.