The Islanders and Furycks flee from Hest in the aftermath of Lothar’s death. But Eadmund is no longer Jael’s and Oss is a lonely place for her when she arrives to discover her grandmother near death. A divide between Eadmund and Jael leads to Jael taking everyone she cares for and leaving Oss. She turns to Tuura, of all places, on the urging of her grandmother through dreams. In Tuura, Jael uncovers just how deep The Following’s roots go. Eadmund is meanwhile preoccupied with the potential invasion of Oss by Ivaar–whose own family have been rescued from Kalfa by Thorgils. The kingship of Brekka changes hands once more from Osbert’s paranoid grasp to Axl’s by proxy. But The Following would not suffer a Furyck to live if they can help it…
What is Night of the Shadow Moon about?
This installment in the Furyck Saga focuses a lot on the culmination of the plotlines surrounding The Following. The Following have obtained the Book of Darkness, finally, and they are closing in on Jael and her loved ones. Especially once Jael ends up in Tuura, the home of dreamers and prophecy. Additionally, political turmoil is emerging everywhere. Hest has been massively weakened by its latest skirmish with the Islanders and the Brekkans, and the king fears for his reign. Lothar Furyck has been killed, and the new succession is in question. And lastly, Ivaar–still stung by the false accusation that he killed his father–is preparing to invade Oss after Thorgils liberates his wife and dreamer from Kalfa.
This book especially starts to push more of the magical elements of the series. Up to this point, dreamers have been respected and their prophecies fulfilled, but that was the only concrete magic that was occurring for a while. In the previous book, spells were slowly being introduced and now they’re in full play as The Following attempts to harness the power of the Book of Darkness.
Tropes: Too Much Future
With several dreamers trying to actively shape the future, things are definitely bound to get crossed here and there. Ayla’s visions of Ivaar have changed, Eydis and Jael are learning from Edela how to use their dreaming differently, and Morana is desperate to use the Book of Darkness to bring forth what she wants. Conflicting visions of the future are actually used quite cleverly in a series that relies so heavily on dreamers. When the dreamers are able to see multiple possibilities it means that the readers aren’t being handed the ending before earning it.
Plot: Killing Has Fewer Consequences Than Expected
The second book in the series ends with a major plot twist and someone beheaded. But despite the fear, and the potential consequences, this death inspired it ultimately ends up a lot less of an important plot point in this book than I expected. Of course, when the logic behind this is laid out it makes a lot of sense. Only one person really wants to do anything about the death and that person has very little power. But this one driving moment from the beginning of the book falls by the wayside very quickly.
I like that things are starting to backfire for the villainous dreamers. Evaine’s power over Eadmund may seem absolute, but it certainly isn’t satisfying or pleasing her. Jael is able to free Edela from the prison she was trapped in in her own mind, and Eydis is able to see things that The Following weren’t prepared to deal with. I also enjoy the fact that Meena isn’t a wholly pliable tool for everyone to use. I’m eager to see what happens next for Axl, to see how the family relationships between Alexander, Eydis, Eadmund, and Ayla come about, and I’m definitely interested to hear more about the shifting of dream perspectives. Dreamers were treated as pretty much infallible for the first book so it’s absolutely interesting to see that their dreams can and do shift.
I’m having trouble keeping track of everyone’s motivations at this point. While some of them are pretty obvious, and others are obfuscated for clear narrative reasons, it’s weird dealing with two sects of The Following that seem to have very little contact with one another and yet cooperate perfectly. They never show Morana or Yorik in contact with The Following in Tuura, and Morana rarely seems to know exactly what’s happening in the fight against Jael. But somehow the raven attack was perfectly coordinated, even if it was also partially against Axl and Amma. It just needed a bit more explanation, I think; at least one scene showing someone from Hest in contact with someone from Tuura.
Nothing in particular stood out as negative in this book. Occasionally the narrative style broke up action in a way that I wasn’t particularly fond of, but that’s about it.
I am absolutely still invested in this story! Though I think some of the sections could do with being longer, or combined into one, I still like that the narrative style allows for regular cuts to other perspectives around the fictional world. I especially like that the villains and the heroes are given regular screen time for better dramatic irony. Jael’s growth as a dreamer in this book is genuinely interesting, and I like the gradual shift from basic politics to dealing with much high stakes across the board. While Eadmund is still struggling against Ivaar, Jael is occupied with the Book of Darkness–both struggles are tangible for reader and characters alike, but it’s also easy to see why priorities are different between the two characters.