Faith and Moonlight by Mark Gelineau and Joe King. ★★★
Faith and Moonlight is a stand alone novella that takes place within a larger world and series of novellas. After a fire destroys their orphanage, Roan and Kay apply to the School of Faith and are given one month to prove that they deserve admittance. Roan is naturally gifted, but Kay struggles to keep up. The two swore that they would stick together, but can Kay gain entrance to the school? And if she can’t, would it be fair for Roan to leave his dream because of her?
The School of Faith seems to be mostly training to become an elite fighter with some magical mysticism thrown in. It’s one of five related schools, all of which have a shared legendary background. The world building seems interesting, but I have a lot of questions – what’s keeping these warrior training schools going if no wars are being fought? Why haven’t they lost prestige? I don’t really hold this against Faith and Moonlight though, since I’d probably have to read more stories set in the world to get a feel for how things work.
Faith and Moonlight‘s biggest problem is its sheer brevity. It does not feel like a complete story. In fact, I feel like it ends right where the more interesting things should start to happen.
The biggest conflict driving the story was whether Kay would make it into the school and how and if the two friends (and probable love interests) would stick together. Unfortunately, Kay makes hardly any actions of her own. She mostly just rides the coattails of Roan’s decisions.
Kay only makes one decision in the entire book, and it’s at the very end. The book ends before you get to see any ramifications of her decision. This is what I mean when I say Faith and Moonlight doesn’t feel like a complete story.
I’m not adverse to reading more set in this world, but I wouldn’t recommend Faith and Moonlight as a stand alone story.
I received a free ARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.