Kathryne Kennedy’s award-winning first book, now available for the first time to the trade market, features a magical, watery world in which mammoth trees grow up from the ocean floor, supporting all life within their canopy. In spite of the beauty and abundance, the world is harshly divided into two classes: pampered royalty and struggling have-nots. In search of a Healer for her swampland village, smuggler Mahri Zin inadvertently kidnaps the heir to the throne, Korl Com’nder. As the two become lovers, they discover that not only are their fates intertwined, but the very survival of their peoples depends on them…
‘Beneath the Thirteen Moons’ is a beautifully woven tale of a magical world, romance and courage. Kathryne Kennedy has written an original, enchanting story of a world where people live in trees which grow from the sea, under a sky of thirteen moons. Divided into two classes, you are either a poor outcast or a privileged Royal.
Mahri’s village needs a healer and after burying her husband and child she doesn’t have any qualms about kidnapping one to save her home. But the healer she has kidnapped from the Royal city turns out to be Korl, Crown Prince of Sea Forest! As Scooby Doo would say – ‘Ruh-Roh!’ They must join forces to save Mahri’s village and also thwart an enemy intent on stealing the crown.
Mahri is a really good fantasy heroine. She is proud, courageous and the fate of her village is most important to her and she’ll do anything to save it. A smuggler of a magical root called Zabba, it is this root which is the base of the Royal’s power. Korl is a talented healer but he has always had whatever he wanted and thinks he can have Mahri too. There is an instant connection but Mahri is resistant due to already losing someone she cared for. The romance grows from their initial spark and continues to kindle throughout so it feels much more natural and real and further enhances the story instead of being the main focus. Yes, I wanted them to get together much quicker than they did, but I think that is only due to me caring about the characters so much. The romance is very tender in places, and very swoon-worthy.
The most important character in this book is the Sea Forest. I’ve never read such a richly told descriptive, and it’s so vivid it feels like all I have to do is close my eyes and I can see it so clearly. I was actually on the adventure with Mahri and Korl, and I feel like I have been to Sea Forest but forgot to get any souvenirs. Every single character is treated respectfully, even down to Mahri’s pet Jaja who I want for my own!
Not being a great writer myself, I wish I could write exactly how wonderful and magical this book was but I hope if you are a fantasy fan you pick this up. This is one of those books that will be with me forever, and one that I could read again and again.
Kathryne Kennedy has given us a world contained in 337 pages to hold in our hands. Beautifully written, it’s almost alive in its vividness. After reading, I can’t help but to compare this to the movie Avatar. The slow building romance, the striking environment, detailed history and a feeling of being fully emerged into a wondrous world. Beautiful.
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