Falric is poised on the cusp of manhood. All that remains is that he pass his rites and he will be a full fledged Dracan warrior. For a slave, even having the chance to try for the warrior’s path is a massive opportunity and Falric knows if he fails, he will remain a slave for life. But while he has friends among his training cadre, he has enemies too and there is more than one who would see him humiliated and prevented from joining the warrior rank.
When a beloved warrior is killed by a mysterious gem, Falric is seen as a possible suspect. After all, his mother, the tribe healer, is well known to be something akin to a witch, one of the Vocekind. Falric is innocent of murder, but that alone will not keep him safe. As his warrior’s task approaches, Falric struggles to come to terms with his past, his mother’s reluctance to speak the truth about his future, and the realities of his place among the Dracan. And once he begins his rite, only the gods know if he will survive.
Moon Rite is the first in the new Legend of the Ancients series, and honestly, it’s a bit of a mess. On the surface, Falric and the challenges he faces are compelling, but the plot is chaotic and there needed to be more world building in order to make sense of the overall story.
Falric and his closest friend, Jaro, are fairly well established, though I wouldn’t call them fully defined. We know enough to connect with them, but not necessarily enough to get invested in their journey. There isn’t much romance here, just a lot of horny young men bed hopping, though the relationship between Jaro and Falric is much deeper than any other. They’re clearly best friends and connected on some deeper level and perhaps further additions to the series will explore this further.
The plot to Moon Rite reads as scattered and almost disconnected. I didn’t feel as though I was given enough world building information to give the plot much depth. We’re given drips and drabs, but not enough to make a cohesive picture of what’s happening around Falric or his place in the world around him. There is no real explanation of who the Voce, the Dracan, or other peoples actually are. So while I understood what was happening in general terms, there wasn’t much ability to see the bigger picture. There seems to be information that the author thinks we should know, but doesn’t actually provide, and, as a result, I felt I was trying to solve a puzzle but half the pieces were missing.
Moon Rite has an interesting premise and while further installments may resolve some of my issues, I found myself struggling to follow the plot and to make a connection with the main characters. The overall story didn’t feel fully supported and I never found myself completely engaged. Unfortunately, this one just didn’t work for me.