THE MOON SHINES RED (Heart of Darkness #1)

AUTHOR:  Pamela Sparkman

GENRE:  Fantasy

PURCHASE @ AMAZON

REVIEWER:  Pistol Annie

RATING:  5 Stars

BOOK BLURB:

The red glow of the moon washed over land and sea like a faded bloody stain. Everything was bathed in it, including him. A constant reminder of the curse that marked him before he was born. Every night he gazed at it like he was lured and haunted by it. It followed him, it beseeched him. It called out to him. Just once he wanted to see the moon glow as everyone else saw it. Bright and illuminating. But he knew that would never be possible.

The all too familiar feeling of despair suffocated him, like long gangly fingers squeezing his neck, cutting off his air. He fell to his knees and begged for the sky to fall on him. He had suffered long and tirelessly and he was desperate for it to end. And yet, he fought to breathe. He fought to stand back on his feet. Because fighting back was as instinctual to him as breathing. He had come too far to let his loneliness and despair get the best of him now. He was battle worn and weary, but he still had a reason to live.

Or so he hoped.

He stood back on his feet and he fought against the doom that hovered over him since the day he was born and he stared up into the darkened sky.

At the moon that shines red only for him.

He was cursed.

I should have stayed away from him. But I couldn’t. HE was my love…my life. And he just might kill me. So I guess that means…he may also be my end.


REVIEW

I’ve never been a big fan of the fantasy genre — at least I wasn’t until this favorite author made a 180-degree turn and headed in a very different direction.  And I willingly followed because her writing is that good.  Utterly spellbound, beguiled by, and swept up in this tour-de-force of fantasy, I devoured every word Pamela Sparkman wrote and begged for more.  I am not kidding!  Quite simply, she wowed me and convincingly gave me no choice but to venture into the world of mystical creatures, both good and evil.

In a faery tale that is guaranteed to enchant as prose and poetry meld, this journey begins when an evil curse is placed upon an innocent baby boy before his birth.  The King of Kaelmor broke the rules when he fell in love with a Faerie princess.  It had long been the mutual agreement that humans and faeries were forbidden to share romantic ties.  When their union produced a child, war broke out.  Both sides deemed the baby a mixed breed — unacceptable as an impurity.  And the poor child was never seen again.

When what is blue turns red, your child will bring man to his knees in sorrow

For they will not see the light of tomorrow

Let it be so until the mountains move and the rivers shiver

As soon as what’s been shrouded is revealed, all wicked souls will quiver

A refusal shall mark an age of tranquility

And the restoration of balance shall bring forth a remedy

In a different time and place, another innocent child accused of practicing witchcraft and using magic, along with her parents, is forced to seek refuge in a new and unfamiliar place called Mirova, a town that is the doorway to and from the land of Faery.  Unbeknownst to them, evil is now closer than ever, and life as Elin has known it will be lost forever.

Let the goosebumps begin.

As Lord Lochlan grows up banished from home and family, his life is filled with years of loneliness and sadness.  Until the curse can be broken, it carries an everlasting aftereffect preventing him from sharing a closeness with anyone — one touch brings tragic results.  His world remains a cold and isolated place until a small beauty surprisingly slips through a crack in the wall he has built around himself, and with her brings a little sunlight into his dark world.  When Elin requires protection, a kind and gentle Monk Searly brings her to the monastery where another lost soul resides.  The plot quickly advances at this point.  Lochlan becomes a protector, and he and Elin form a friendship that soon sparks deeper desires.  Intrigue, mystery and love are always at the heart of their story.

Always expect the unexpected!  With treachery and danger always a constant threat, survival is only a heartbeat away for both Lochlan and Elin.  Evil forces threaten at every turn, and soon Elin has been snatched by the enemy and Lochlan sets out on a harrowing journey to save her and return her to safety.  Long-held secrets are exposed that affect both their lives with shocking results.  Readers will be captured in a spell that wraps this couple in a finely woven tapestry of danger, fantasy and a magical love story.

A range of well-developed characters fill the pages of this fast-paced story — some you’ll love and others you’ll love to hate.  Good and evil battle it out in a fiery revolution that allows no escape as you fly through the pages.  With twists and turns around every corner, you’ll still be trying to solve the mysteries until the very end.  There are plenty of surprises as the author makes her way to the conclusion, leaving not a single question unanswered.

Impeccable writing by Pamela Sparkman makes for effortless reading, where she spins a perfectly paced plot within the realms of the Fae.  In a world beyond the everyday, few storytellers have the gift for so deftly arranging a fantasy or building a world so dynamically magical that it comes to life on the pages, but this author is the best at her craft and she made it happen.

Will both Elin and Lord Lochlan survive the spells cast so long ago, and find true love and a happily-ever-after under a bright and shining moon?  I’m not telling!  But where Elin and Lochlan’s story ends, another begins.  A character filled with morbid anguish, guilt and misery must fight his personal demons for his own existence, along with earning the forgiveness and love from others, in the next installment of the Heart of Darkness Series.  No release date scheduled yet.

Already the faeries are at the top of my “best reads of 2017” list.  Just goes to prove that faery tales aren’t just for the young — but the young-at-heart as well.  I hope you’ll give this book a look-see, along with Ms. Sparkman’s other books which are equally as enjoyable and well-written.

 

 

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