Faith and Moonlight #1 (A Novella of the Ascended) by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

The book blurb

‘Roan and Kay are orphans.

A fire destroys their old life, but they have one chance to enter the School of Faith.

They are given one month to pass the entry trials, but as Roan excels and Kay fails, their devotion to each other is put to the test.

They swore they would face everything together, but when the stakes are losing the life they’ve always dreamed of, what will they do to stay together?

What won’t they do?’

This novella tells the story of two orphans – Roan and Kay – whose life has been turned upside down when their orphanage is burnt to the ground. They both have dreams of entering the School of Faith and must prove themselves in order to do so. The two orphans are tested to their limits and their friendship is put under the ultimate strain.

First of all, I really enjoyed this novella and the ideas that it deals with. The School of Faith is a great setting for the story and is given some real life throughout the story.

Roan is a very interesting character and his origins are a mystery; he serves as the protector for Kay and has a very close bond with her. I feel that Roan becomes the main character within the story and is the one that I followed more closely; I have a soft spot for the archetypal reluctant/unaware ‘hero’. Roan is loyal and is willing to put almost everything on the line to ensure he has a passage into the School of Faith.

Kay is a character who is very much in the background during social interactions but whose inner monologue is very well detailed and provides a lot of substance to her character. Kay is a character who has no self-belief and has a more ‘real’ tone to her role of an orphan and is plagued by a feeling of not being good enough.

One of my favourite features of this novella is the School of Faith; it has its own class system, it has teachers that are unforgiving and it has rivalry. The rivalry with the other schools within the city is characterised brilliantly through the ‘challenges’ issued by a pupil of one school to a pupil of another. This ritual is very easy to buy in to and it adds some real moments of tension.

The magic system has yet to be fully explained but being able to use the air around you as a power source…brilliant.

Summary

All-in-all I loved this novella and really found myself invested in the storyline. It has peripheral characters that all add to the character of the school and to Roan and Kay’s experiences. The magic system is something that has a lot of potential to be developed and adds a lot to the novella. There are the legendary weapons that have a big impact in this story and are only going to add to the mystery of this school and this world.

Recommendation

Anyone who has read any of Gelineau and King’s previous works will be equally impressed with this. The world is slowly starting to take shape and there are some nods to other characters in the world of Aedaron. For those who want more ‘blood n guts’ then this isn’t going to scratch that itch. For those who want camaraderie with cool magic and fast-paced action; you’re in for a treat.

Rating

4/5

Where to find Gelineau and King

Twitter: @GELINEAUandKING

Website: gelineauandking.com

Amazon

Goodreads

Advertisements