Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, a new baby is left in the woods.  It's said to be a sacrifice to the witch so their homes will be safe, but those leaving the baby behind assume animals get it.  Little do they know there is a witch...

Algonquin Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 9th.

The witch takes the babies to the free cities where families are happy to adopt them.  She thinks she's saving the babies but she doesn't know that someone in the city that sacrifices them lives off sorrow.  She tortures people, affects the weather and does all she can to fill her black heart.  She hides behind a nun's veil but she's pure evil.

I really enjoyed this story.  There is good and evil, magic, and even love in the story.  When Xan feeds the child the starlight to keep her nourished only she doesn't notice how late it's getting.  Before she notices, she's fed the baby moonlight and that changes everything.  She can't put her out for adoption, she's going to have to raise her herself and show her to use magic.  Good idea, but it doesn't work out.  The girl finds her magic at age 5 and doesn't understand a thing about controlling it.  Xan puts a spell on her to slow her down and allow her some maturity first.

Meanwhile, the girl's mother is in a tower as a prisoner of the nun who loves sorrow.  She's learned enough not to feed the nun and she's learned some magic from the years of being alone.  That will come in handy.

The young man that didn't want to leave the baby in the woods has changed his profession.  He's a carpenter now.  He's also married and his baby will be the next one that will go in the woods.  He's made up his mind that he's going first and he will kill the witch.  His uncle sends the nun after him as an assassin.

With all that going on, don't forget the bog monster and the perfectly tiny dragon.  They have their parts in this story, too.

This is an excellent fantasy read that I loved.  Why don't you give it a try?

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