REVIEW: The Dark of the Moon – E. S. Bell (ARC)

35719003Title: The Dark of the Moon (Chronicles of Lunos Book I)
Author: E. S. Bell
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I requested this book, but I’m enthralled by what I read. The Dark of the Moon is an expertly written novel that is sure to please any lover of epic fantasy and nautical adventures.

The world created by E. S. Bell is wonderfully crafted. Lunos was once a solid land mass, but now is comprised of many different islands. The descriptions of the world are vivid and inventive, and it was easy to imagine myself there. The different religions and gods were intriguing to read about, as were the aspects of magic. In addition, the inclusion of other fantastical creatures and species added greatly to the complexity of the world the author created. The Vai’Ensai are one example of such and I greatly look forward to learning more about them in the future books!

All of the characters were well developed and complex. Selena was a wonderful protagonist and I felt myself rooting for her throughout the entire novel as she embarked on her quest. She was fierce, kind, unwavering in her faith, brave, and real. I also really enjoyed Sebastian as the other main character. Once driven by his need to avenge his family, he now wants to move beyond his dark, dangerous past. The taciturn, brooding man was easy for me to love, despite his menacing nature. The cast of secondary characters were engaging and delightful to read about also, and each have their own distinct personalities and backgrounds. 

There is romance in the book, and from the blurb you can pretty much figure it out, but I absolutely adored the way it unfolded. It was very believable and well-developed, built slowly throughout the story, and didn’t take away from the plot but rather added to it. This book is not without its twists turns, however, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how events unfold in the next one.

I want to comment on how excellent the writing is. I was in the middle of reading another series when I started this and had to stop because it was just too good to put down. Before starting, I actually was not aware the E. S. Bell was a pseudonym for contemporary romance writer, Emma Scott, and I honestly never would have guessed. Not many authors can go from writing one genre to the next so seamlessly. The Dark of the Moon reads like the work of a seasoned fantasy writer and I am very, very impressed.

The Dark of the Moon is a captivating novel that readers of fantasy and adventure books will absolutely love. I highly recommend it and I promise you will it will not disappoint!

P.S. Right now it’s free on kindle unlimited! 

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