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Saturday, June 28, 2014

{Blog Tour} MOONFALL by Vanessa Morton -- with review and giveaway! #TalesFromTheLevant



Book Title: Moonfall
Author: Vanessa Morton
Publisher:WEBook Publishing
Publishing Date: April 29, 2014
Length: 241 pages
Source: Netgalley for honest review
Book Blurb:
When sixteen-year-old Rachav drinks the Moon Temple's forbidden wine, she hardly expects it to result in the death of a priestess. But when King Nur orders Rachav to serve the Queen of the Night—the kingdom's powerful goddess—as restitution, Rachav's identical twin, Zaron, has her own reasons for joining the priesthood and offers to take her twin's place.

But choices have consequences.

Now Rachav's family is in danger. As she uncovers the shocking reason why, she finds an ally in Salma, a brooding nomad who wields an ancient force powerful enough to destroy the entire kingdom. While the epic showdown rages above the city, Rachav plays a dangerous game of her own. Can she rescue her sister and right the wrongs of that fateful choice? Or will the king succeed and trap her in the doomed city?

This book was NOTHING like I had imagined. The blurb is dead-on in description, but the historical world I was whipped away to was amazing.

It takes a well-known story (not of the girls directly, but of the animosity between opposing factions) and delivers it in a well-woven way with a healthy dose of supernatural mysticism. Rachav sneaks a sip of ceremonial temple wine during a festival and it sets off a chain of events for her family that brings about devastation.

When Rachav sets off to find her friend (and intended!) Nuvi before he can sell his goats, she is lost in a sandstorm and found by Salma, a nomad. For nearly a year, she suffers from amnesia. When she begins to remember in a rush, she hurries back to Yericho to save her family.

While there is much going on between an evil despot who is obsessed with adding to his pile of riches and his harem, animosity between opposing factions, etc., the core of this story is family. I was outraged and annoyed at Rachav's family, from her selfish twin to her b*tchy sister in law to her disgusting brother. Admittedly, I approached her situation with a thoroughly modern mindset. When I thought about familial roles at that time etc., I was still outraged on her behalf, but understood completely that there is really very little choice. When she returns from her amnesia-laden journey, she is not welcome with open arms. Her brother is truly despicable and continues to be so even though Rachav has proven herself over and over.

I admired Rachav's desire to save her family, no matter the cost, and how dedicated she was to the cause and adamant that no one is left behind. This book was richly descriptive, well-written, and held my attention throughout. I liked every aspect of it including the highlights of showing monotheistic beliefs versus polytheistic and the clash of different cultures all in one hotspot of a cultural center. 


Vanessa Morton, a two time semi-finalist in the prestigious Genesis Writing contest, earned her BA in History/Politics from the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio and studied writing at UCLA. Vanessa lives at the family vineyard in East Texas with her husband and two daughters.  Exploring and volunteering at archaeological sites on three continents inspired her to write epic YA fantasy based on historical events. 
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