Review Blog

Aug 10 2012

Moonlight and ashes by Sophie Masson

cover image

Random House Australia, 2012. ISBN 9781642753799.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Pushed into acting as a serving girl by her step-mother, taunted by her step sisters, Selena is determined to keep her promise to her mother, not to leave her father, a weak man who won't stand up to his second wife. Told by her dying mother that she is a Moon Sister, whose magic has been banned in the country, Selena finds that a magic hazel twig leads her into dangerous adventures with a handsome friend of the prince, a werewolf and young Mancer boy.
The retelling of fairy tales is a favourite genre of mine and I found that this beautiful version of the old Cinderella tale was very difficult to put down. Selena is a strong heroine who doesn't wait for a fairy godmother to wave her magic wand. Instead she uses her own magic and determination to find a dress for the ball where she meets the handsome Prince (whose actions are not as handsome as his face) and his friend Max. Through her skill and determination she sets out to rescue herself and her friends when they are thrown into the Mancer's dungeons. She must use her magic and her intellect to help the kingdom and save the Emperor when an evil plot that a section of the Mancers, who control all magic in the kingdom, is uncovered. Masson's vivid description of the Moon Sister magic and the idea of a hazel twig as a magical tool are quite compelling.
Young girls in particular will love the story of a young woman who is prepared to leave the man she loves in order to fulfil her destiny and who is always compassionate and caring for the people around her.
A compelling story with plot twists and a feisty heroine, Moonlight and ashes will appeal to readers who like adventure, romance and an action packed plot.
Pat Pledger

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