The Girl Who Drank the Moon was a Book of the Month from the Great Middle Grade Reads group on Goodreads; it was an excellent choice. It’s won various awards, which can sometimes be off-putting, but I thought it deserved them.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule — but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her — even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
The acclaimed author of The Witch’s Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon started slowly. It was confusing at first, jumping from one set of narrators to another, but the picture soon became clearer. The exception was the mysterious story-teller. The blurb for the book sets the scene perfectly, so I won’t repeat it. I loved the kindly monsters, and felt the whole world was extremely well developed and described, without many descriptive passages. The combination of perfectly chosen words and the use of travels and views made the reader’s vision of the world develop.
After a slow start, just 10%, I made myself read to the next stage, another 20%, and was tempted to go on reading. Time is always against me. After that I was keen to get back to the book; I picked it up at every opportunity, including when woken in the early hours by storm force winds! I’d been thoroughly hooked.
I loved the misdirection early in the book, and the realisation tempted me to go back and read those parts again. The narratives came together very skilfully, and the tension that developed towards the end had me gripped.
So many wonderful ideas for magical artefacts and entities. I loved it. I did dither over 4 or 5 stars, but ended up deciding on 5.
2 thoughts on “Book Review | The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill”
This sounds like something I would like. What a wonderful cover, what a wonderful premise, what a great name for a swamp monster–Glerk! Will definitely look into this one to read then place in my LFL.
I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. And I agree with Rae–a wonderful cover, and Glerk is a perfect name for a swamp monster 🙂
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