This book was brought to my attention by the author himself, who kindly sent me a review copy with my promise that I would try my hardest to get it read and reviewed in the first half of 2012, and I was successful! To be honest I would maybe have agreed to get to it earlier, just because I was really quite excited about reading this book, sounded exactly my cup of tea! The Moon Coin is a fantasy adventure novel by American author Richard Due, and is also (beautifully) illustrated by Carolyn Arcabascio. I’m afraid my kindle doesn’t have colour however the illustrations still looked pretty fab in black and white, but I did load the book up on my laptop as well so I could see the full effect. Whilst reading this book I joined the Once Upon a Time VI reading challenge, so now this review can be my first towards the challenge.
Through-out their childhood siblings Lily and Jasper Winter have been enthralled by Uncle Ebb’s bedtime stories about ‘The Moon Realm’. In these stories they heard about thrilling adventures and wars that involved dragons, lunamancers, mermaids, talking birds, the lion-like Rinn, knights, and much, much more! But as Lily and Jasper grow up they begin to only lovingly look back on Uncle Ebb’s ‘stories’ because how could they possibly be anything more than that? However when Uncle Ebb vanishes without a trace, Lily and Jasper decide to take a snoop around his mansion in hopes of finding a clue as to where he has gone, whereupon they make a mysterious discovery. A discovery which will seriously test their notion that they were only stories after all.
I thought The Moon Coin was an utterly charming read. It is a shame it took me so long to really get into reading it, this was due to my own stress rather than the book itself, because when I did really delve into it I found it to be the perfect antidote to my stress! From the beginning I was drawn to the character of Uncle Ebb and his magical tales just like Lily and Jasper were, and as they went snooping to find out more I found myself wanting to know more too. I couldn’t help noticing the similarities to one my favourite children’s fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia with the shared concept that the children can enter a magical world using a magic object. However this is where the similarities end because the ‘Moon Realm’ itself is a very different world system to ‘Narnia’, a unique one from my reading experience, the creatures are very different as well. Without giving too much away I loved the method in which you could travel between the various moons!
The Moon Coin was a simple, but heart-warming adventure in a magical world that I just couldn’t put down. I highly recommend to fans of fantasy, whether you are young or old. I really look forward to the release of further instalments to The Moon Realm series.
I received a free digital copy of The Moon Coin from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Update: The Moon Coin has just won a 2012 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award: Gold Medal. Plus I have also received a digital copy of the new instalment in The Moon Realm series, The Dragondain, can’t wait to read it!