Upper MIddle Grade, Young Adult

Witching Moon

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Book Information

Title: Witching Moon
Author: K.E. Bonner
Publisher: Belle Isle Books
Genre: Fantasy | Historical | Adventure
Publication Date: April 27, 2021

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There comes a time in the wee dark hours when nearly all living things lie down and silence falls; Mama Jane called it the dead of night….
It is when spirits rise up to see to any unsettled dealings and inner sight is the strongest.


Witching Moon Synopsis

Once in an eon, when the Earth eclipses the moon on a winter solstice, an immortal is born under a witching moon. Anne has always had the strangest feelings—memories she couldn’t place; strangers she inexplicably yearned for.

After she rescues the enigmatic Phillip from a shipwreck, her comfortable life on the island of Cusabo is shattered, and the mystery of her destiny starts to fall into place. Anne leaves behind the life she’s always known and sets out with Phillip on an arduous journey to Amaranth, where her ancient family awaits her. But the path is dark and daunting, and Anne’s powers have only just begun to manifest.

Witching Moon Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Taking place in 1865, near the end of the American civil war, K.E. Bonner’s Witching Moon opens to a young girl rescues a man from drowning in a shipwreck using her extraordinary gift for healing. This rescue leads to Anne having to leave her life and comfort zone of Cusabo Island and venture to find the home she has dreamed about. On this venture, she leads more of the world and her world, grows into herself and her powers, finds friendships and family and discovers what lengths she would go to get where she’s been drawn to in her dreams.

Anne is a young woman who grows up on an island, in a place where she can explore barefoot and free, but in her dreams she dreams of another life, another girl and in another place. Anne has compassion, and is smart. While she is learning of her history, she absorbs it all and takes things in stride. She makes friends and uses her compassion for people to guide her in making decisions. Often in her travels, she is faced with difficult choices. While she is young in this life, she is also an immortal and as the memories of her last life are revealed to her, she grows and develops more mature perspective on the world than a mortal teen would have. The other characters in this novel are all part of her story, her past and her future. But each one of them plays their role in her growth and her venture to find that place in her dreams. Phillip is strong and stubborn, Rory is sweet and brave and Rowan is understanding and kind.

While this book is targeted for upper middle grade, I would put it in the young adult section (I suggest readers aged 14-15). This book has violence and shows aspects of what it was like to escape slavery in it. While nothing is said in gross detail, I would want to audience to understand the more serious themes in this book. The pacing and writing were very good. There was ups and downs throughout the novel. I was hoping for more explanation of the magic system. I also was hoping for more lightness in the story. It has a lot darkness to it, while the ending had a lot of light within it, I was hoping some of that light would have been spread throughout the plot. I think the world building was good. I would question though the thought that Anne would have with traveling and the language barriers she would have faced. While I appreciate the lack of complication of that, it is not realistic to expect a young girl who doesn’t know how to read or write not to face any challenges with that throughout her journey from Cusabo Island to her ancestral home.

Overall, I think this book is good. While there are some issues I would have liked addressed in the novel, I think that Witching Moon is a great standalone for those looking for an uncomplicated fantasy adventure story they can enjoy as a Saturday afternoon read.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Belle Isle Books for sending me a free copy for my fair and honest review.

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About K.E. Bonner

K. E. Bonner was always the first kid to sit down during a spelling bee. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained why she had to study three times harder than everyone else. Being dyslexic taught her perseverance and kindness, her two favourite attributes. Ms. Bonner lives in Georgia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. When not writing, she loves to read, swim, explore new places, and meet fascinating people. If you have a dog, she would love to scratch behind its ears and tell it what a good boy or girl it is!

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