Published by Luna on November 1, 2005
Also by this author: Thunderbird Falls, Walking Dead, Demon Hunts, Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Closer to Home, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, Silence, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar, A Scandal in Battersea, The Hills Have Spies, The Bartered Brides, Dragon's Teeth
In an isolated land where the lure of the "Moontide" leads to shipwrecks, a woman is torn between obeying her father or her king. When she chooses to follow a Fool, she discovers magic she'd never expected . . . at a price that might be too high . . .
Struggling under the curse of a dead comrade, Clirando, a warrior priestess unready to face the powers trapped within her, must face "The Heart of the Moon" to reveal what has been hidden . . .
In "Banshee Cries," ritual murders under a full moon lead Jo Walker to confront a Harbinger of Death. Maybe this "gift" she has is one she shouldn't ignore -- because the next life she has to save might be her own!
Three short stories of the supernatural and the moon during winter.
“Moontide” (Five Hundred Kingdoms, 1.5)
“Banshee Cries” (Walker Papers, 1.5)
Mercedes Lackey‘s “Moontide” is mostly well-written with a clever young woman who takes charge of her own destiny and thwarts the kingdom’s enemies. I have one niggle about it. If Moira only has a few capsules to contact the countess, why is she using them up so fast? I do love that she doesn’t care about the Fool’s deformity!
“Do not think overmuch of what they are not.”
Tanith Lee‘s “The Heart of the Moon” starts with a bitter betrayal and leads to a penance of sorts, a challenge for Cliro that she must win during the Seven Nights on the Moon Isle. Nor does it seem that Cliro is the only one who must face a challenge and a penance.
It’s an interesting tale of betrayal and discovery of one’s self, and Lee weaves a curious story. It made me think of Mediterranean warriors and heroes of Ulysses’ time.
I don’t see where Araitha has a leg to stand on. She was the one in the wrong. As for Zem. Yes, he could have handled it differently, but he too had done much to try and help.
C.E. Murphy‘s “Banshee Cries” brings Joanne and her mother together again, giving Joanie new insight into her mother and her reasons for abandoning Joanne. The action is the Blade, the banshee, that is referred to throughout the series, so you don’t want to miss this one if you’re following the Walker Papers. This is also the story where Joanne goes from being a police mechanic to a police officer.
This short annoys me. Yeah, I appreciate getting this bit of background, HOWEVER. Joanne’s mother is so angry with Joanne for not knowing why she died or all about her magical powers, and yet when Mommy chose to give up and die for the four months that Joanne spent with her, Mom didn’t say anything to her about what was going on. So WTF does she expect? In all those four months, Mom didn’t pick up on the fact that Joanne is totally clueless about all this?? Argh.
The Cover and Title
The cover is gorgeous and feels more like a fairytale with its muted blues and browns and a woman in a long, flowing, white gown, her hair blowing in a stiff breeze, standing on the edge of a cliff above the shining sea, and looking up at the biggest full moon, a few fairytale-ish clouds drifting across its face. It’s an interesting title that blends too well into the moon, but I do like the artistic effect of the double Os in the word moon. Very nice.
The title is the time of year and a full moon, the Winter Moon that plays an important in each tale’s world.