Blood Moon is an intense soon-to-be released novel by A. W. Gryphon. Blood Moon is Gryphon’s first book, and it is also the first novel in the planned Witches Moon Trilogy. As with several other books I’ve read recently, this one is hard to categorize. It deals with Wicca and Witchcraft, so it could be paranormal or urban fantasy, yetBlood Moon is also a mystery, and it could also fit as a women’s fiction novel as we uncover a woman’s childhood and the facts of her mother’s life. Regardless, this is a book that will capture your interest from the beginning, and it will be hard to put down before the story is complete.
Blood Moon begins with a preface which educates the reader about the practices of Wicca, and then spins into a “fairy tale” about “The One” who was descended from the High Priestess Maeve and High Priest Domhall, and who would inheirit an incredible set of powers on her 28th birthday, which coincided with a full Blood Moon (aka harvest moon). When Maeve gave birth to boy/girl twins during a Blood Moon, the witches had split into two factions: Maeve, her daughter, and the women forming the “good” witches; Domhall, his son, and the men forming the “bad” witches. There has been strife between the two factions in the hundreds of years since that occurred, as well as from The Organization, a faith-based group who wanted to eliminate all witches.
The introduction and first few chapters of Blood Moon help the reader become accostomed to the Wiccan life, introducing the tools and philosophies as well as the characters. Gryphon does an amazing job of describing a Wiccan ritual, she is both accurate and fascinating as she explains what went right and what happened that was horribly wrong. The storyline pulls us in quickly as we learn about the young and powerful witch Amelia, her family, and the possibility that she is “The One” who will inherit the power on her 28th birthday.
As Amelia’s life drifts out of her control, we follow her as she moves to England with her father, and while parts of her life are wonderful, including a beautiful romance, there are threads that start to pull her apart, leaving her without support. In Blood Moon, Gryphon deftly uses third person narration to switch perspective from one character to another. We can see inside Amelia’s head, understand her motivations, and cry with her as her life appears to fall apart. We can also see into the minds of her confidants and rivals, and begin to understand their motivations. Despite all that we learn about Amelia and the others, we don’t understand everything, Gryphon keeps us on the edge of our seats, eager to find out what will happen next.
At its heart, Blood Moon follows the life of a woman for 21 of her 28 years. We see her love for her family and her work, as well as her need for revenge after so much has gone wrong. I spent the last section of the book wondering which would win out, love or revenge. The love experienced by Amelia is the kind that inspires ballads, while the pain she endured is more than most of us could take. Amelia is an amazing character, and it took great skill to create a character so conflicted and yet so endearing.
Let yourself be pulled into the Wiccan world inside Blood Moon. It’s the type of book that you will long to read in one sitting, though you might need to take breaks for food and drink! This story gripped me, and several parts completely surprised me, I never saw parts of the mystery’s solution coming. I really enjoyed Blood Moon, and highly recommend picking it up when it’s released at the end of April! If you adored Kim Harrison’s newest Rachel Morgan novel, you’ll love Blood Moon! I can’t wait to see the next book in the Witches Moon trilogy!
I read an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC), which still needed some editing, I’ve noticed that other reviewers have focused on that issue, but I have been assured that the author was beside herself, and that the finished book will not have the editing issues. As a result, I chose to focus on the plot and characters rather than the editing issues. When I “bleeped” over editing issues, I adored the story. I definitely want to read the edited version, and I truly believe that anyone with an interest in women’s literature, art appreciation, Wicca, or Paranormal ideas will adore this book – and that’s an eclectic mix for sure!
If you’re impatiently awaiting the April 28 book launch, you can pre-order Blood Moon at Barnes & Noble, and then you’ll get it as soon as it’s released!