11/30/2005 Entry: "WINTER MOON anthology -- One-third Good (Preeti)"
I bought this Luna anthology WINTER MOON mainly for the Tanith Lee story, and then perhaps not coincidentally, that's the only story I liked. Here's a rundown:
Moontide by Mercedes Lackey
Moira is summoned back to her father's coastal keep from the ladies' academy where she'd been dumped by him many years ago. The academy also secretly trained her in warrior and spying skills. Her father may be a traitor, and Moira has to uncover a conspiracy and figure out whether the deformed yet rather noble Fool at her father's keep is friend or foe.
This story was notable for the description of the sea-keep, which is carved out of a cliff face facing the sea and is made to withstand brutal winter storms, and of the sea holders' way of life. The characters and the plot didn't interest me nearly so much. It's supposedly set in the world of her THE FAIRY GODMOTHER.
The Heart of the Moon by Tanith Lee
Clirando is the young leader of a band of warrior women in an ancient-Greece-like land. When she finds her lover cheating with her best friend, Cliro defeats them in a duel and exiles them. But she is then deeply haunted and somewhat broken by the episode, especially as her ex-friend cursed her before leaving.
Cliro is sent on a pilgrimage to a mystical island during a period where there are seven nights each with a full moon, which happens every 17 or so years. There she encounters another warrior, who may or may not be a figment of her imagination, as she tries to rid herself of her haunts.
Loved the message of this story, loved Cliro, loved the romance. Could have stood a little less of the new-age type stuff.
Banshee Cries by C.E. Murphy
Set after the events in her debut novel, URBAN SHAMAN, Banshee Cries sees the annoying Joanne Walker having to deal with ritual murders mystically connected to her mother in Ireland thirty years ago. She gets to make peace with her now-dead mother, who abandoned her as an infant. I did not warm up to Joanne at all, which pretty much killed the story for me. She's facetious, prickly, and stubborn, which can be difficult to pull off in a lead character. It made me, anyway, want to stay far away from other stories featuring her.--Preeti