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Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 4:01 pm
by Misfit
Star crossed lovers, the British Raj & India, what more can you want in a book? This was just an amazing book. Once the author set up her characters and story line things just cooked along -- be prepared for the last 200 pages, because you will not surface for air until it's done! We have Winter, a wealthy heiress born and orphaned in India and sent to England to be raised by mostly uncaring relatives(except for the great-grandfather). When her great-grandfather dies, she is sent at the age of 17 to join her fiancee under the care of Alex Randall, who unbeknownst to her is now a debauched, obese drunk. Alex does try to tell her, but she maintains her childhood image of her "hero" and will not listen, to her great regret.

Lots of trials and tribulations as our hero and heroine travel back to India, the meeting and marriage to Conway and the Sepoy rebellion, and vividly portrayed by an author who has a great knowledge and love of the country and it's history. This is not only a story of two lovers, but one of stubborn, bigoted officials hiding their heads in the sand, treachery, intrigue and the brutal way in which the rebellion played out against the British, even shocking some of their own people. As with The Far Pavilions, it is shocking to see after 150 years not much of life and politics has changed in the Far East, nor should the Europeans (or Americans now for that matter) be interfering in their life, culture and religion.

Highly recommended for any lover of historical fiction, India, or just a darn good book. This would make an awesome mini series, the sequences from the attack on the British and Alex and Winter's escape are just breathtaking. As a side note for those loooking for well written books for younger readers, this should be a good choice. Originally written in the 50's, the love scenes are quite chaste. Just be prepared for some gory, though accurate, portrayal of the violence aginst the British (including women and children) during the rebellion. 5/5 stars.

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 4:59 pm
by MLE (Emily Cotton)
Great review, Misfit. I second your opinion -- one of my all-time favorites, I think it's Kaye's best, if you can get past the somewhat slow beginning.

Posted: Sat August 30th, 2008, 12:52 pm
by diamondlil
I remember reading this book years ago. I intend to reread it one of these days because I remember loving it, but there has been sufficient time since the last time I read it that there wouldn't be any issue around remembering everything about it if I was to read it again.

Posted: Sat August 30th, 2008, 1:54 pm
by Ash
I absolutely loved Far Pavillions, and had high expectations for this book, but for some reason couldn't get into it. Your review is making me think I need to try again.

Posted: Sat August 30th, 2008, 2:53 pm
by Misfit
Ash, this book has a slow start it really doesn't get cooking until the last 200 pages or so.

Re: Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye

Posted: Thu March 3rd, 2016, 5:01 pm
by Ludmilla
I finished this last night and loved it. Those last 200 pages or so are riveting. Unlike some other readers, I didn't mind the slow beginning. It helped to establish the personal histories, personalities and growth of the characters into the greater context of the historical events. I suspect this will be my favorite of the author's historicals. I was quite young when I read The Far Pavilions and my memory of it is pretty murky. I remember thinking it was okay, but not loving it as much as others, which is probably why I hadn't revisited the author until now. I plan to do a re-read of TFP at some point, and also picked up Trade Wind. I hope to fit those two in at some point this year.

Re: Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye

Posted: Fri March 4th, 2016, 6:05 pm
by Misfit
Ludmilla wrote:I finished this last night and loved it. Those last 200 pages or so are riveting. Unlike some other readers, I didn't mind the slow beginning. It helped to establish the personal histories, personalities and growth of the characters into the greater context of the historical events. I suspect this will be my favorite of the author's historicals. I was quite young when I read The Far Pavilions and my memory of it is pretty murky. I remember thinking it was okay, but not loving it as much as others, which is probably why I hadn't revisited the author until now. I plan to do a re-read of TFP at some point, and also picked up Trade Wind. I hope to fit those two in at some point this year.
Trade Wind is very good IMHO, but it has some very not-PC moments along with the details of the slave trade.

Re: Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye

Posted: Fri March 4th, 2016, 6:55 pm
by MLE (Emily Cotton)
I liked Trade Winds, except for the 'rapist-becomes-true love' trope. I know it's a common theme, but it isn't healthy for women readers. I would classify it in the same place as a novel showing alcoholism or drug abuse were wonderful and desirable things.

I know, people are always looking at me and saying, "Emily, it's just a story!" But they don't understand how much more powerful stories are than just plain information. Factual information registers in the upper brain, whereas stories, especially well-told stories, evoke emotion, which engages both the upper and lower brain. This shapes behavior and perception of what is good and bad.

Oh, dear, I'm off on a lecture.