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A series of surreal coincidences prompted the author to look into the history of his ancestors. The story he uncovered had to be told.
The structure of this novel reminded me of the Kate Mosse bestseller 'Labyrinth', with the past calling to the present in mysterious ways, and the parallel stories, modern and medieval, gradually drawing together to reach a touching conclusion. The opening chapters find the narrator, Richard Moon, encountering at different stages of his life some bizarre coincidences related to his family history (I won't spoil the fun by revealing any) that lead him to believe he is being contacted by his ancestors. Soon, we are plunged into a full-throttle historical romp as we learn of how the narrator's ancestral namesake, Richard de Mohun, fought for justice and love.
Richard de Mohun's trials make for a gripping yarn. There is murder, abduction, passion and revenge. The question is, what does all this have to do with the modern day Richard?
Moon has breathed life into a variety of historical characters; the gallant Richard de Mohun and feisty Elizabeth, the woman he loves, and their rivals, the heinous Daunay family, who threaten their rights and happiness at every turn. There is a slight degree of idolisation in the way Moon writes his ancestors and demonises their enemies, which makes the most compelling character the one caught in the morally grey area between the two families: Alicia Daunay. Alicia is the saddest and most complex figure in the novel, and it is fascinating watching her wrestle between loyalty to her family, and to Richard, a man whom she loves but will never have. Many outcomes of the tale depend upon her choices. For me, she is the real 'Moonshadow' here - the character who will remain with me long after leaving the book behind.
The narrative has a strong cinematic arc, with a thrilling final act, and would work brilliantly on screen.
A fantastic story, all the more special because it is based on truth.
I really enjoyed Moonshadow, I couldn't put it down. I found it fascinating, full of excitement, adventure, romance and even chivalrous knights. I would recommend anyone to read this unusual and intriguing book.
I could not put the book down. The best historic novel I read for a long time.
Would make a great film.
A thumping good read. Hard to put down and such an easy read, intrigue, mystery, sex, what more could one ask for. Keep on writing Michael I can't wait for the next one.
A great read. Thought provoking stuff that grips the reader right to the end. Just the sort of book to take on holiday. Lose yourself in the cut throat world of 14th Century Norman History as the Time Travelling Narrator tracks down his Medieval Ancestors' secrets one by one. Highly recommended.