#10 – Moon Dark, Patricia Wrightson – Illustrated by Noela Young

#10 – Moon Dark, Patricia Wrightson – Illustrated by Noela Young

EmFound this one rummaging at the Goodwill.  Sometimes it is hard to say what makes me pull a book off the shelf for perusal.  The look of the spine, the title, often the cover will convince to me either pull it out and read the fly or push it back, shaking my head thinking “oh noooooo”….  On rare occasion a book is chosen because there is an inscription.  In this case the story sounded interesting, a brief glimpse of the illustrations required a longer look and then the inscription was what made it wind up in my basket.

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“allegory” (like a parable)… and then the bit on the fly…  ancient magic and mystical night in the dark of the moon… you got me.  I’m interested now.

I almost quit this book several times and it took me far longer than it should have, partly because I started a new job, but partly because I found the beginning (truly, over half the book) to be quite dull and left me wondering when the story would begin.  Once it did begin, it got pretty good, pretty fast, although the way it ended was a little bit of a let down (and perhaps a relief) compared to the detailed and ponderous way it began.  I think one could have halved the set up of the real story.  Reading about Blue, the dog was neat and all the wildlife around him.  The author did a grand job of conveying the lives of the local fauna without humanizing them overly, but, in my opinion it went on just a little too long.

But.  To the good stuff.  There is an influx of flying foxes upset the balance of the territories and small animals are starving and have begun a war.  They wind up calling on an ancient power they call Keeting… who is… a moon man?… not the moon but the light that shines on the moon?… hard to say, but mystical and ancient and incredibly fascinating… cuz he sings… and glows…  and he comes to help them by showing them how they can help themselves.

I found the whole myth fascinating.  The thought of the animals being Eminent Men at one time and that they remembered when they were.  Eminent Man you ask?… yeah… me too… I could guess and gather, as I am quite familiar with Native American stories of the world, but I did go looking and found this eminent man entry in a document about native tribes of south east Australia.  I tried to find information about this Keeting… but… found nothing that seemed to fit.  Which was disappointing because now I am really curious to know more about Australian Aboriginal myths and astronomy.  Really cool stuff once she gets into the meat of the story.

What made this book totally worth wading into the middle were the illustrations at the beginnings of the chapters… here are some of my favorites…

 

So, although it was interesting, and I think well written, I did find this a bit slow going.  Not sure I would ever read it again, so will send it out to my Little Free Library and see if we can tempt anyone else!

Onwards to the next installment of me epic fantasy marathon…

 

 

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