Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Chronicles of Faerie: The Hunter's Moon

One of my current fascinations is with the fairie folk. There's something appealing about the legends of the "other folk," charismatic, mercurial, and potentially dangerous. So like us in some ways, and yet so different in others. Ever since I "discovered" the fairies in reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I've been reading books of fiction and folklore about fairies. So it was with some excitement that I started reading The Hunter's Moon, the first book in O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie. I wasn't disappointed.

The Hunter's Moon is a beautiful, lyrical tale of friendship, love, and sacrifice that's sure to please any fantasy fan. The melding of ancient and modern Ireland sets a poignant backdrop for an exciting story that builds to a startling conclusion. Melling's love of Ireland and her knowledge of folklore are skillfully woven into a story that brings the land of Ireland and its people to life. It made me long to visit Ireland, both the modern and the old, and to dance with the fairies whatever the risk.

The book was originally published in Canada in 1993, but Melling has updated it with several modern pop culture references. While this would seem to be a risk, ensuring that the books will become outdated quickly, the references serve to show the contrast between the modern and the ancient. I'm looking forward to reading book 2, The Summer King, scheduled in the U.S. to be released in May of this year.

Oh, and Melling is a blogger! Read O.R. Melling's blog here


OR Melling said...

Sheila, a chara,
Thanks for your wonderful review of The Hunter's Moon. Yes, I just started to blog recently and I am hooked. It can be quite addictive. There I am blogging away or reading other people's blogs when I should be working. In fact, I'm about to set up a second blog dealing solely with the books themselves. I've heard from my publicist that we may be meeting up in Baltimore when I am touring? I'm looking forward to a great chat about fantasy and Ireland. (Did you know that Tolkien came here often and set up the Department of English at University College Dublin?)
Is mise le meas,
OR Melling

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say that I enjoyed your book enough to read it twice and I simply don't read books twice. I am actually interested in the good people and plan a trip to Ireland in 2008. My first stop will be Tara because I don't think if I go to Newgrange that a little man in a funky car will ram the bus and then take me and my friend to Tara. I believe there is more to life than what we see with our own two eyes that others simply don't want to see. I also like the name of one of the main characters so well that if I have a little girl her middle name will be Findabhair. I am part Irish so I believe it fits.

Lana said...


I, too, really enjoyed this story of faeries and Irish folklore. I actually found the faeries in Jonathan Strange difficult - mostly because I didn't see why people were so drawn to them. I thought Melling did a great job of making the faeries convincingly charismatic yet devoid of human empathy or compassion.

I really enjoyed your review, so I've linked to it at the end of mine here