by Scott Tracey
Series: Legacy of Moonset #1
Moonset, a coven of such promise . . . Until they turned to the darkness. After the terrorist witch coven known as Moonset was destroyed fifteen years ago—during a secret war against the witch Congress—five children were left behind, saddled with a legacy of darkness. Sixteen-year-old Justin Daggett, son of a powerful Moonset warlock, has been raised alongside the other orphans by the witch Congress, who fear the children will one day continue the destruction their parents started. A deadly assault by a wraith, claiming to work for Moonset’s most dangerous disciple, Cullen Bridger, forces the five teens to be evacuated to Carrow Mill. But when dark magic wreaks havoc in their new hometown, Justin and his siblings are immediately suspected. Justin sets out to discover if someone is trying to frame the Moonset orphans . . . or if Bridger has finally come out of hiding to reclaim the legacy of Moonset. He learns there are secrets in Carrow Mill connected to Moonset’s origins, and keeping the orphans safe isn’t the only reason the Congress relocated them . . .
Moonset the first book in the Legacy of Moonset series and I was drawn to the cover and synopsis. Witches, warlocks, a powerful witch congress, danger, lies and an unknown enemy make this slow building tale a wonderful start to a fascinating and fresh new young adult series. While I craved more details I think this will appeal to fans of Harry Potter.
Five orphaned children, bound by a curse, sole survivors of a war against the witch Congress they are guarded and feared. Something is coming for them and Justin Daggett, son of a powerful Moonset warlock will have to uncover the clues to save them all. The tale opens at the orphan’s latest school when a riot breaks. A wraith appears destroying buildings and attempts to kidnap them. Witchers, members of the witch congresses army whisk them away to Carrow Mill and right away Justin and the others can sense something is wrong. This is where it all began and a harbinger warns them “they” are coming.
The tale was told from Justin Daggett’s point of view and it was refreshing to get a male POV. Even though he is the middle child, the others turn to him for advice and leadership. I liked Justin and found him level-headed and intelligent. He was innocent when it came to dealing with the opposite sex and had the patience of a saint when dealing with his half-sister Jenna. The other siblings are as follows; Malcolm is the oldest and a typical jock. He likes to tease Justin, but keeps him in the loop and seeks out his advice. Justin and Jenna are the only two of the five that are blood-related born minutes apart by different mothers. Bailey is the youngest and the other orphans are very protective of her. Cole is slightly younger than Justin and Jenna. Personality wise Justin and Jenna were the most fleshed out. Jenna is angry, and lashes out causing scenes and was portrayed as a “mean girl” with only glimpses of her softer side. Malcolm took the role of protector at times, and he seemed level-headed and cautious. Bailey forms attachments and has difficulty with the frequent moves. Cole is moody and we share funny moments with him and then watch him withdraw. Quinn is the Witcher assigned as guardian to Justin and Jenna. The orphans have all been cursed as a means to protect them and cannot be separated, thus they are split up into several homes adjacent each other with guardians. Quinn is the son of a powerful witch and coven leader, but from the beginning, we see that he is different and doesn’t always agree on with the Congress. Ash is local and is Justin’s love interest. I adored this snarky, opinionated darling. She was complex, and her storyline was interesting. I am anxious to see what path the author has in store for her. The romance was slow, sweet and complicated by revelations but wasn’t the main focus of this tale. Some characters reminded me of those in authority from the Harry Potter series; Dolores Umbridge and Minerva McGonagall are two that come to mind. The villains have all the elements we love and are still very much unknown.
The world building starts out with an intense opening scene and then slowly builds towards the climactic ending. The back history was provided at the beginning of each chapter and through Justin’s reading and lessons. The tale had elements of horror, suspense, mystery and the supernatural. The villain surprised me and some of the battles were enthralling and had a Potter vibe. I would have preferred all the siblings be fleshed out and wanted more detail regarding both the setting and the back history. The author certainly kept me informed and left me with only a reasonable amount questions as I prepare for book two. Some plots can handle six hundred pages filled with details and I felt this story called for more of those elements. Moonset was a wonderful first book that sadly read as a younger YA. The ending wrapped things up nicely and prepared us for the next book.
Moonset will appeal to those who love magic, witches, and suspense. Geared towards the younger spectrum of YA, I think its Potter-vibe will appeal to readers.
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