Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so.
Accepted as a lady’s maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold–as well as plenty of jewels for the taking.
But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren’t as apolitical as she thought… that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion
Digger has returned to Gerse and she is prowling the city as she used to, despite the conflict raging outside its gates. In a quest to prove her friend, Lord Durrel Decath, innocent of the murder of his wife she stumbles into a conspiracy with farreaching consequences for the civil war raging in Llyvraneth. Oh and she also is falling in love with Durrel, imprisoned and waiting for an execution. Will she be able to save her beau in time? Will he reciprocate her feelings?
When I finished the first part of this series, Star Crossed, I wanted to woop and cheer even though a YA fantasy novel rarely makes me doing so. The story of Digger/Celyn Contrare and her adventures were told in a very interesting way, the proper world build was firmly there and the book did not, I repeat, did NOT, featured any pesky romance story arc, even if plenty of readers would add instantly ‘lovers’ to that ‘Star Crossed’ title. Mercifully it wasn’t that kind of star and there were far more other advantages, like an almost renaissance fantasy country, full of nobs, soldiers, masked people, canals (Venice!), forbidden magic, aristocratic decadence, assassins and thieves. If only it featured dragons it would be perfect!
Full of hope I acquired the second part immediately, not wanting to interrupt the fun. And just my luck: snap – the fun ended. Liar’s Moon is actually neither about liars nor about moons but about…eh, falling in love, exactly as said in the blurb. Our sweet Celyn had apparently a weak spot for jailbirds. In the first part it was an injured prince she almost fell for; in the second book, as soon as she found out Durrel Decath, a pretty-pretty noble boy, had been imprisoned and suspected of murdering his own wife she went to him and offered her detective skills. And tender feelings. And whatever else he wished.
Then the story fluctuated only between her investigation, the said feelings, brushes with her evil brother (who would have been a great, interesting baddie if only he had been developed better…or rather at all) and those super-duper romantic sighs and kisses exchanged in the moonlit prison cell. As in that particular fantasy world there are seven moons you can imagine how it progressed. Still, there were almost no magic, no war, no plotting and no fun. Also the author ended Liar’s Moon with a huge, fat, ugly cliffhanger, suggesting strongly that the next installment, currently unavailable, will most likely feature a pink, hideous monster with three heads – the love triangle, a beast much-hated by yours truly. With that possibility my insane hope and interest died. I hate cliffies. I hate love triangles. I hate stupid romance. End of reading.
Read the first part – it reminds me of the best fragments of ASOIAF series penned by George R.R Martin (who was once cooperating with Ms. Bunce over a novel) and I mean here those funny, lighter stories with Sansa and Arya but without too many guts, rapes, treasons, murders, executions and blood. The second part featured all the annoying YA fantasy clichés I despise so read it if you must – I don’t recommend it to anyone.