Saturday, April 4, 2015

'here the stars were closer, the colours brighter, the goods and evils starker, than they were on earth'

The fate of Plenilune hangs on the election of the Overlord, for which Rupert de la Mare and his brother are the only contenders, but when Rupert’s unwilling bride-to-be uncovers his plot to murder his brother, the conflict explodes into civil war. To assure the minds of the lord-electors of Plenilune that he has some capacity for humanity, Rupert de la Mare has been asked to woo and win a lady before he can become the Overlord, and he will do it—even if he has to kidnap her.

En route to Naples to catch a suitor, Margaret Coventry was not expecting a suitor to catch her.
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Plenilune, I feel presumptuous even thinking that I could accurately and intelligently review this novel, but I would like to share my opinion on the book in hopes that others will pick up the story and form their own opinions.

You will either love the writing style or you will extremely dislike it. I loved it, obviously. It was a bit wordy, very descriptive, but from a girl who loves L.M. Montgomery I cannot balk at such a style. It is not Montgomery-ish really though.

Jennifer Freitag writes with description, yes, but also with a fervent, powerful, action based tone throughout the story. It is not a meandering walk through the nature of P.E.I., but the descriptive and full bodied tone of Plenilune and her war lords, ladies, and painfully beautiful landscape.

I began the book assuming I would enjoy it, as I had liked The Shadow Things, Jenny's (if I am not too presumptuous in calling her Jenny) first novel. This novel was quite different though, and I was expecting that. It was planetary fiction, and not historical fiction, for one, and for another it seemed, at least from the excerpts she had shared on her blog, to be even better, being her sophomore novel and so she obviously had had time to hone her craft even more.

But this was very different than even what I was expecting. And while in the abstract I was rather dubious about the whole thing, all doubts left me when I had the book in my possession. I knew I could bury myself in this book and world and be astounded at the fierceness and passion of this book.

The characters are larger than life. They are man, but more. More capacity to love, to hate... more passion, more patriotism, more heroism, more devilment, just more. No wonder Margaret both hates and love Plenilune and its inhabitants.

Image Courtesy of: The Penslayer
There is a lot in this book (after all, it is 659 pages... should this be the new Brick, not Les Miserables?) There is a smattering of Victorian England, lots of nature, war, evil, love, passion, fear, there is a ball, horses, hunts, many beautiful dresses, Austen-couldn't-have-done-better wit, (IMO, so don't hurt me...) talking foxes, faith, God, graceShakespeare, and Songmartin... just to name a few.

AND there are more books to come on Plenilune. Which is good because Plenilune..... somehow I get a feeling of homesickness thinking about Plenilune. For all the danger, strangeness, and... Plenilunar-ness of the whole thing I don't know that I'd mind living there. At least for a while. It sounds like earth but more, rather like the characters were earthlings but more.

Lest it seem this book has no flaws, I will briefly state that, at least for me, sometimes the description got in the way of the story, but it really helped to make a clear picture of Plenilune. It was obvious how real this place is to Jenny and I loved getting to know it as well.

Though you may feel worn out by the end of reading it, I believe it is worth it. It is full-bodied wine, strong meat, but all the better for being so. So,,, to summarize, I recommend it. Though unique and not for everyone, if this book is for you, it will take hold and not let go.

//for a look at the world of Plenilune and some of Freitag's works-in-progress, check out her Pinterest boards//

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