Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Ruby Key (Sun and Moon, Book 1) by Holly Lisle (5/5 stars)

This is the first book in Lisle's Sun and Moon trilogy. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I had read a couple of Lisle's older books back when I was in high school and remember liking them. Well I am glad I picked this up because it was a great book!

Gennadara and Daneth live in a small village called Hillrush and along with the other villagers struggling to maintain peace with the Nightlings, a race that can only emerge at night that is ruled by the evil and immortal Letrin. When Gennadara and Dan find there mother has caught a wasting illness, they seek to make a bargain with Letrin to save their mother's live. Little do they know that bargain they make will take them on a great adventure and force them into an age old struggle beyond their imagining.

This was a really well done book. All of the characters are engaging and interesting. Gennadara is especially intriguing; she is a somewhat timid girl with a core of strength and determination that is admirable. The world Lisle creates is interesting and immense; just the surface of this world is touched in this book with hints showing the larger struggle humanity faces against the Nightlings. Lisle does an excellent job describing the surroundings in a way that really conveys the dark and dank mood of the settings. In general the book is very well-written and Lisle shows great skill in creating a readable and intelligent writing style with excellent plot weaving.

There aren't a ton of action scenes, the majority of this book focuses on adventuring, but both the adventuring and action scenes are very well done. The whole time you are left wondering if Gennadara and Dan will make it in time to save their mother and this really propels the story forward making it hard to put down. You never know what fantastical creature will appear around which corner or what a character will do next. Lisle also adds a thread of humor into both Gennadara's and the Cat's personality that keeps the story from taking itself too seriously.

The best thing about this book is that it reminds me a lot of a good old classic fairy tale or folktale, with a bit more added. At first the story seems contained, but then it is broadened to deal with all of humanity. I just really, really, enjoyed it and couldn't find a single thing about it I didn't like. My biggest complaint is that now I want to read the next book in the series RIGHT NOW! It was a great book, suited for younger children as well as young adults and adults.

This book goes towards the following challenges:
- The Young Adult Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
- Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge
- 1st in a Series Reading Challenge

The Ruby Key (Moon and Sun)


  1. Great review. I really want to get to read this book and the cover looks amazing. (I know I shouldn't judge by the cover but it is always an added bonus, especially when I already know the book will be good from you!)

  2. I was really surprised that the book was so good! I am trying to get the 2nd one in the series from the library to read next :-)