Author: Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
I want to say that I believe this book is a “middle grade” book, but regardless…I loved it. Every once in a while I pick up a middle grade book that catches my eye (let’s be honest, they all have amazing covers) and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
I loved how magical this book was from the very beginning. The characters were all so original and I fell in love with them throughout the book. Not only does this book teach that sometimes we have to deal with the consequences of our actions, but it also teaches that you should always believe in yourself, and trust your heart.
While reading this, I loved seeing how Luna grew with every page. This book was fantastic in the aspect of character development. Each character had their own personal issues, which I think is a very important detail. Not only did I love each character, but they also had their own very in depth back stories which added a lot to the story itself. Xan has a very long history due to the fact that she’s hundreds of years old, Glerk the swamp monster is original in his own way. Gentle and kind and a lover of poetry. Fyrian the “simply enormous dragon” is just absolutely the cutest and has a wonderful, bubbly personality regardless of his traumatic past. Books like this are my favorite. Plus, I feel like it’s hard to find really “magical” books nowadays. So it’s always nice to find one that I enjoy.
The only thing that I ended up disliking about this book was how some parts were really drawn out. I honestly feel like some parts of this book could have easily been left out, and there were times when I would have to put the book down for a while just because I was beginning to get a bit bored…and only because certain things were dragging, not because the story was horrible!
All in all I really enjoyed this book and I think it is perfect for young readers!
I gave this book a 4/5 stars!