Lucinda Elliot

Review of ‘The Moon Casts a Spell’ by Rebecca Lochlann

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I’ve really been taking a geekish delight in my reading these last couple of weeks particularly, reading out in the garden with a pot of tea, making the most of the last of the warmth before autumn sets in.

I’ve been reading a wonderful fairy tale I hope will be published in the not too distant future by my writing partner. Besides that,  I’m  re-reading King Lear for a group discussion – I love the attack on tyranny, hypocritical flattery and public displays of  false emotion  besides the minor matter of the poetry and dramatic tension.

Besides this, Rebecca Lochlann has just brought out  her brilliant new novella addition to the ‘Child of the Erinyes’ series out on amazon.

Being hoooked on her amazingly strong writing and the excitement of this series, I rushed to download it, and here’s my review and the link. I recommend it, though I warn potential readers that they’ll almost certainly be hooked too and end up reading the whole series so far instead of doing the dishes, making that appointment with the dentist, tidying up the garden in readiness for winter etc etc.

This novella continues the stirring adventures of the Goddess Athene’s chosen human instruments, the triad of a woman and two men whose fate it is to be born and reborn to shape the course of history.

Readers of the Bronze Age section of this riveting series will know that these three people, the one time Aridela, Queen of Crete, lovely, brave and loyal, the wicked swaggering Chrysaleon, King of Mycanae, and his bastard brother, the tough but tender Menoetius ,are fated to be reborn, to meet, to sense their old connection and to struggle together, until their conflicts are reconciled.

It is the early Victorian era on the barren, remote island of Barra in the outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland, the time of the infamous clearances where rapacious landlords from the mainland forced whole communities from their homes. Lilith, a servant in the household of the steward to the new landlord of Barra, is secretly engaged to Daniel, a strange boy who her parents took in and raised as one of the family, with whom she has always felt an unaccountable tie. Lilith, a fiercely independent minded girl, has always been thought strange by the other islanders herself.

But when Aodhan McKinnon, the selfish and arrogant but mysterious and intriguing son to the steward comes to the island, she is disturbed to feel a similar bond with him, plus an almost irresistible physical attraction which she knows must be apparent not only to him, but to her scheming, unsentimental mother, who is housekeeper to the household.

In this continuation the author’s characters are as lively, as believable, the writing as strong and evocative and the historical research as impressive as ever. There is a stark tragedy to this story, but also, touches of wry humour; the historical period is invoked effortlessly and the whole complex story of the history of the triad is hinted at, but never thrust on the reader’s attention.

As with the others, I was so caught up in the action that I spent time reading this when I should have been getting on with other things. My only complaint is that as it was a novella, it ended too soon!

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