Tag Archives: elves

O.R. Melling: The Hunter's Moon

As my mum and I will be staying at the Book Hotel this weekend I spontaneously decided to declare this week „Book-Week„. With this I’ll try to finish the reviews I’ve accumulated so far, maybe this will help to shorten my To-Finish list a bit.

I was looking for something entirely different when I passed the reduced books in a store and the glittering cover of The Hunter’s Moon caught my attention. After reading the title (the translation of the German title would be „In the Shadow of the Elven moon“ – Im Schatten des Elfenmonds) I contemplated for a moment if I should really pick it up, as Elves aren’t really my thing. Against my better judgement of already having far too many unread books did I have a look at the blurb and after reading so much about Ireland and its folklore over at Ed Mooney Photography and The Fairytale Traveler I simply couldn’t resist actually buying it and totally blame it on them.

Why is that? What is it about?

Cover des Buches
3 of 5 stars

The Hunter’s Moon tells the story of Gwen and her Cousin that had planned on travelling the Emerald Isle for quite some time and are now finally on their way. Though nothing actually goes as planned when the Faerie folk gets involved and somewhat kidnap Findabhair.

Instead of being with her cousin Gwen now has to try to get her back from the Elves, hitch-hiking from one mythical place to the other, facing challenges and threats and meeting new allies along the way.

The reading experience

For some odd reason, that I also blame on the aforementioned culprits, did I start reading right away, I think even while I was waiting for the bus. If not, I started reading it as bus-literature the next day and finished it quite fast. Thanks to its fluent writing and nice short chapters it was easy to do so and be at a proper stop whenever my ride ended. (It annoys me if I have to stop a chapter right in the middle of a paragraph)

The thing that bugged me while reading was the language the girls used, though this might be due to the translation. They spoke in a tone that sounded so forcefully colloquial that it wasn’t fun reading their conversations. Though it did get better towards the end.

A thing that constantly confused me were the Irish words sprinkled into the sentences, but I’ll get to that later.

The characters

The main character is the sixteen year old Gwen (short for Gwenhyvar, I believe). A chubby, shy thing that has to overcome her fears to get to her cousin in time. Well, at least this set up sounded great in the beginning. Very soon these things weren’t really mentioned any more as if it only was used to establish that the girl is this way and then dropped because everyone she meets is sooo beyond judging her by physical appearance. Alternatively she thinned out quite a bit while running around looking for a ride to catch. Honestly, as someone who is quite fluffy and has experienced the looks and reactions one can get, this behaviour/change just sounds odd to me. I’ve heard of the hospitality of the Irish, but no reaction towards something that was supposed to burden her in the way it was described in the beginning makes this kind of strange. Of course she gains confidence throughout her journey, but it still happens too fast for my taste …
On the other hand is she quite gullible when it comes to the people she’s meeting and trusts them more or less instantly – which nearly got her killed a couple of times.
In short: I would have liked to smack her upside the head on more than one occasion.

Then there is Finabhair, whose name I always misread and mostly stopped reading it at the Fina. I’m not sure what I can write about her without sounding rude, but I guess I’m just really not a fan of strong females turning into lovesick dumbos. Even if she was annoying in the way she treated her cousin was her „I made the Faerie King fall in love with me and now I’m going to save his race“-attitude even more tiring.

Her beloved Finvara wasn’t better and it greatly bugged me when he still flirted with Gwen after being with Fina. But as we learned in the book: Faeries think differently about those things. They also have strange ways of stopping or supporting people but that seems to be based more on the folklore than on artistic license.

Just like Gwen her red headed helpers are also quite credulous and more than jumped at the chance to help the random girl they had only known for a couple of hours. If only half the people I come across were this loyal after our first meeting, I think I wouldn’t have so many trust issues. Nevertheless, they seemed more interesting than the actual main cast – well except the Island King, who rather soon fell into the „I barely know you, but I love you sooo much“-cliché.

Still, the whole „we only met shortly, but that’s enough for doing indescribable things for each other“ mind-set bugs me…

General Opinion

As a book about folklore it is really interesting to learn about these different mythical places as Melling certainly knows her way around it.

As a quest throughout Ireland-story it unfortunately felt a bit dull and rushed at times, with the most interesting aspect really being the insights into the Fae world and the finale.

It was still nice to read, but I don’t think I’ll continue with the other books of the The Chronicles of the Faerie – even though the fourth one sounds interesting.

Stuff I’d like to add

It’s strange that the authoresses daughter has the same name as the character, but I don’t know if she either was just an inspiration or Finabhair was an actual self-insert for her.

As I have the habit of skipping to the end to read the last page I discovered, after I read a couple of chapters and felt slightly annoyed by not understanding the Irish phrases, that there is a glossary at the end of the book that explains them and some of the places. It showed the incredible knowledge Melling has about her home even more. What it also showed me is that I have know idea how to properly pronounce Irish words … I would have read so many of them so wrong …
I consider languages to be a fascinating topic, but I don’t like having stories with other languages within them and no explanation for their meaning. Therefore this glossary was quite helpful – if depressing, when it comes to my lack of understanding …

But the „worst“ result of reading this book is that the thought Ed and the Christa had implanted in my mind with their posts about the Island has gotten more footing.

Now my wish to travel to Ireland is slightly larger than to do the same with Scotland.
Not to mention that I’ve already looked for dates, flights, accommodations and a couple of other things for a possible visit later this year …

© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

Answering Questions from being Tagged

As I am a great fan of procrastination I thought I might as well use DarkFairy’s tagging to write something completely different…again….
But what’s this tagging about?
The tagging is used for small Blogs to enlarge their readership and Fairy tried to do this with her own and mine. It is quite like a chain letter, but this has better and more useful side effects. 😉
The rules for the tagging are:

  • You are asked 10 Questions by the tagger. Answer them in your post.
  • Think of 10 Questions you want to ask the Bloggers you are going to tag.
  • You tag 10 Blogs with below 200 followers.
  • You of course have to tell the people that you tagged them.
  • Tagging the person that tagged you isn’t allowed.

Now to Fairy’s questions (translated from her side, see link above):

  1. Do you like mustard or do you prefer ketchup?
    Ketchup, definitely ketchup.
    But if the mustard is needed as ingredient for dishes like Rinderrouladen or in Hot Dogs I can live with it, otherwise I can’t stand the smell and taste of it.
    Funny side story: When I first watched the Doctor Who Episode „The Eleventh Hour“ I honestly mistook „custard“ for „mustard“ when Eleven ate his famous fishfingers and custard…
  2. The Zombie apocalypse is happening. What is now the most important thing and with what are you arming yourself?
    Well….the most important thing is of course my family and I’d do anything to protect them. What I’d arm myself with would however be quite difficult. We don’t really have anything here that would count as a useful weapon in a zombie apocalypse…though wait…Hyundai recently made it possible to build a Zombie Killing Machine maybe I’d just tune up my trusted car to become a weapon. 😀
  3. Are you pro Elves or pro Dwarf?
    I don’t really care about either of them, but from what I’ve learned so far dwarves hold my sympathy as I already mentioned in this post: Dwarves.
    Elves are just too arrogant and „perfect“ for my taste…except Fairy’s Odokè who sounds quite interesting. 😉
  4. What is your favourite dish?
    I’d say most dishes with potatoes or noodles. But if I had to pick one, I guess it would be potato in the skin (Pellkartoffeln). Grilled meat – or meat in any kind of variation – also belongs among my favourites.
  5. What is your favourite animal?
    It is always a tie between wolves, bats and owls. All of them are fascinating animals and I don’t want to decide for a winner here.
  6. In which sports would you like to be really good at?
    As I am horrible at sports in general, I really don’t know. The only one I irregularly play is volleyball and I’m not too dissatisfied with my abilities there.
  7. What can you not live without?
    Currently I think the answer would be my parents. But as I know that I will lose them one day, I’d say: Without someone I can confine in or simply be myself around.
    As someone who spends a high amount of time in front of a laptop I could also say that I couldn’t live without it, but I clearly can live without checking in on stuff and I have enough unread books to keep me entertained for a while. 😉
  8. Which fictional character (e.g. from a book or movie) would you like to meet?
    I honestly have no idea…There are so many great characters and meeting them would in my opinion only be possible in the regulations of the story, so talking to me would change the actions if I so much as let any information of future events slip and so on. But the fact that I am an author of one or the other fanfiction shows that I do think about changing or adding story lines and possibly being involved somehow at times. I also wrote about this in one of my (German) short stories about the unknown worlds that lie within books. (The story was first referred to in this post about libraries, btw.)
  9. Open the cabinet door or drawer nearest to you. What do you see at first?
    As I am too lazy to get up and actually do that, I will tell you what I see in the shelf next to me: A pile of books (some novels from the Anita Blake-series by Laurell K. Hamilton, Terry Pratchett’s The Colours of Magic and Cujo by Stephen King) that I most likely have not read yet…No, I actually did read most of them (The exception being Cujo)…Nice to know…
  10. If you would live in a fantasy world, would you be a mage or a warrior?
    In MMO’s and the like I mostly play warriors, because they simply have the better stats. But as magic always fascinated me and my physical form is far from it’s best (see question 6.) I think I’d actually be a mage/sorceress/witch. Also I prefer to keep my distance towards threats and enemies, so magic would come in quite handy with this. Besides I am currently finally watching the episodes of Merlin that I could not see before and I clearly do not wish to follow all those disposable knights…I’m certain they have a nest of those somewhere below Camelot…

Now for my questions:

  1. What is the first thing that springs to your mind when you hear the word „Eclipse“?
    (Unrelated Note in my defence: My first thought is related to what I wrote in this post: „Hello World„)
  2. When you write a story, what kind of Feedback would you like to get? (E.g. constructive, flattering, honest, etc.)
  3. What is your favourite TV show?
  4. The age old question: Werwolves or Vampires?
    (Fairy started it with the Elves and the Dwarves and I already mentioned Eclipse, it’s a totally reasonable question, right? >_<)
  5. Would you like to be immortal?
  6. Do you prefer the city side or the countryside?
  7. What song holds the most emotions for you and which emotion is it?
  8. What was the scariest thing that you ever experienced?
  9. If you met a Jinn or a Fairy that grants you 3 wishes, what would they be?
  10. What attribute would cause you to judge a person by its appearance?

Well…and now I have to think of who I am going to tag…
So far amoung the Blogs I follow and the ones in my Blogroll (and those that are not already tagged), only two fulfil the criteria:

  • Joaninja [Edit 07.01.16: The Blog no longer exists]
  • Icewolf

This post will be updated as soon as I find missing Blogs for the needed amount.
But if you want to tag yourself, feel free to send me a note and let me make it official. 🙂