Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: Plenilune


Jennifer Freitag

TYPE/GENRE: Planetary fantasy
SERIES: Plenilunar
LENGTH: 618 pages
RATING: 10 out of 10

The fate of Plenilune hangs on the election of the Overlord, for which Rupert de la Mare and his brother are the only contenders, but when Rupert’s unwilling bride-to-be uncovers his plot to murder his brother, the conflict explodes into civil war.

To assure the minds of the lord-electors of Plenilune that he has some capacity for humanity, Rupert de la Mare has been asked to woo and win a lady before he can become the Overlord, and he will do it—even if he has to kidnap her.

En route to Naples to catch a suitor, Margaret Coventry was not expecting a suitor to catch her.

My Review:
How do I put into words what I thought about this book?

Last year I took part in the cover reveal for Plenilune.  I follow Jenny's blog The Penslayer and from the snippets of this book that she'd posted, I suspected I'd like it.  When it came out, I wasn't able to purchase it right away (isn't it dreadful how you always seem to be broke when you want to buy books? :D).  At the start of the Christmas holidays, my dear friend Katherine Sophia and I were chatting and we got talking about Plenilune.  She asked if I'd read it yet and I said no; she said, "You should read it," and loaned it to me on Kindle.  (THANK YOU, KATE!!)  It sat on my Kindle for a few days and then I picked it up... and could hardly put it down again.  I read it in two mornings.

If someone asked me to describe Plenilune in one word, I'd say unique.  I know that's rather vague, but there's no other single word I could use, other than epic, which also fits.  :)  It is truly unlike anything I'd ever read before.  I have heard Jenny's writing style compared to Rosemary Sutcliff's, but not having read Sutcliff, I can't comment on that comparison.  What I do know is that I LOVED Plenilune.

The titular world of the book breathes through the story as if it, in and of itself, is a living, breathing person, as much as the humans that populate the land.

The characters are brilliantly crafted and leap off the page grabbing you by the throat until you are done.  Even after you finish it, you feel the lingering of their grip on you.

It is a long book, but since I personally prefer long books to short books, that made me happy.  

The Characters:
Rupert: I liked.  Kind of.  At first, I detested him.  Then as the story progressed and chinks in his armor appeared, I actually started liking him.  However, that liking did not did not carry so far as to condone all of his actions, even when I understood them.

Margaret: who could not like her???  She was marvelous from start to finish.

The Fox: thoroughly likeable and wonderful.  His wisdom, caring and love for the people and land of Plenilune were beautifully written.  I can't say too much about him because of spoilers, so I'll just say that from the moment he steps onto the page until the moment I closed the book, I loved his character.

Skandar: terrific.  Kind, caring, smart, and trying so hard to help Margaret even after Rupert had threatened him.

The other lords and ladies of Plenilune were FASCINATING.  So were the various regions each lord and lady governed.

I do not recommend this book for anyone under 16 because of the mature themes contained therein.  Also, if much violence bothers you, you probably won't like it.  I had no problem with it at all (it's civil war, it's kind of supposed to be violent) but I know several people who wouldn't be able to handle this book, though not just because of the violence.

There is also a mention of necrophilia, I think it's in the last third of the book (sorry, I can't be more specific than that- I've misplaced an entire stack of notes, including the one that told me where particularly in the book this mention is).  It's not graphic, and it is a villain (obviously) and the entire incident occupies no more than two pages.  While necrophilia sickens me, it unfortunately does exist (otherwise we would not have a word for it) and Jenny wrote it well.  So, while I'd have preferred not to read about it, I didn't skip past it, either.  (That said, I wonder if it takes a certain kind of author to write this.  I can write darkness, and evil, but I can't tackle this- it's too creepy and disgusting for me.)  :)

Jennifer once said in a blog post that 'Plenilune is fantasy but I hope it is honest'  and it most definitely is that.  I loved the book, because though it is set in a sweepingly epic fantasy land, the molten core of the book is the humans.  People with fire, ice, darkness, light.

Read this book if you want epic fiction with a strong moral compass, an epic scale of life and love and REAL people.

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. I'm intrigued by this Rupert character, and I definitely prefer larger books, too! Your wonderful review has just about convinced me that I should read Plenilune--I have, up until now, been avoiding it despite first-hand knowledge of Jennifer Freitag's amazing writing ability. Perhaps it was the "planetary" part that turned me off?

    1. Thank you! The review did its job, then. :)

      This was the first Freitag book I'd read. I found the planetary part quite interesting.

  2. Well done. :D I want to write a review...but I think it's one of those I have to read 2-3 times before I'm really ready to make sense of it to someone else. So hopefully in the future...Love your conclusion. :)

    1. Thank you!!!

      TBH, I wasn't sure I could write this without re-reading the book at least once more... but I figured I could at least try, and was a bit surprised at how it flowed. Still, I'm not really satisfied with it. I think the review would have benefited from another read of the book. I guess it's just one of those books that inspires deep thinking so a person has to read it a few times to let it all sink in before they can really talk about it.

  3. I've wanted to get my hands on this gorgeous thing since it came out, and your review makes me want it even more. It definitely sounds like an epic and unique tale. And I'm like you, the longer the book the better! I NEED it!

    Oh! I also wanted to tell you I've tagged you over on my blog for a Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit tag. ^_^ You can find it here: But only do it if you want to. There's certainly no pressure. Just if you feel like it. ^_^

    1. It's a good book. LONG BOOKS RULE. :D

      Thank you! I like tags, even though I haven't been keeping up on mine. I'm going to try to do this one soon.

  4. Oh dear, now I really REALLY can't wait to get my hands on this book!!

    1. I'm eager to hear what you think of it after you've read it, Jack!!


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