Conqueror's Moon
Julian May
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Buy *Conqueror's Moon (The Boreal Moon Tale, Book 1)* online Conqueror's Moon (The Boreal Moon Tale, Book 1)
Julian May
Ace Books
400 pages
January 2004
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Conrig, Prince Heritor of Blencathra, is determined to unite the warring kingdoms of Blenholme by accepting the Edict of Sovereignty with Blencathra as capital and her king as emperor, thus recreating Emperor Blazekoy’s feat centuries before. However, when King Olmigon, Prince Conrig’s father, sent the edict of Sovereignty to Didion with a small peaceful envoy, King Achardus had the entire envoy slaughtered and sent back the envoy’s heads as his answer. Blencathra’s response is war, and Prince Conrig is counting on magical help to achieve his dream.

No king of Blencathra may possess the Talent but, unbeknownst to King Olmigon, his son, the Prince Heritor Conrig, has a small amount of wild talent - just enough to allow him to plot with the Sending of Conjure-Princess Ullanoth of Moss. Fra Stergos, Conrig’s older brother, has the Talent and is pledged to the Brotherhood, but even he does not know Conrig has a bit of the Talent as well. Since King Olmigon is dying and has no other sons, when Fra Stergos discovers the truth, he decides to remain silent and help his brother with a bold plan to use Ullanoth’s sorcery and magickal allies to conquer Didion.

Conjure-Prince Beynor of Moss has other ideas. Although only sixteen, Beynor hates Ullanoth and is determined, by whatever means necessary, to usurp the throne and kill his sister and anyone else who gets in his way. Beynor believes that since he has control of four of the seven magickal stones and can command the Cold Light Army, he should rule in Ullanoth’s place. Beynor approaches King Archardus’s sons and forms an alliance to overthrow Blencathra and claim Sovereignty for Didion with Beynor as undisputed ruler of Moss.

Plans and alliances aside, the fates have dealt two wild cards into the game: Snudge, a wild talent and narrator of this tale of intrigue and magick, and King Olmigon’s trip to Emperor Blazekoy to ask the One Question allowed by a dying monarch.

Conqueror’s Moon is the first book of the Boreal Tale, Julian May’s latest series. May is known for her technological wizardry, which she has used to spectacular effect in her previous series: The Saga of the Pliocene Exile, the Galactic Milieu Trilogy, the Rampart Worlds science fiction trilogy, and Black Trillium, which she co-wrote with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. Unlike her previous series, May treads magickal ground, but she brings to this tale her marvelous characters, none of whom is completely evil or unabashedly good. Like all people when power is at stake, each of the characters exhibits those traits which lie in all of us and which Julian May writes so convincingly. Julian May has created a believable world full of intrigues, surprises, and reality that rings with power and beautifully crafted prose.

© 2004 by J.M. Cornwell for Curled Up With a Good Book

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