Book Review of The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain: Elven Resurrection

Oldman Brook (or his representative) sent me a beautiful copy of The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain: Elven Resurrection. I say beautiful because I really love the cover.

Description from Goodreads:
Elven boys Finn and Beezle enter a time portal just before their race is wiped out by an otherworldly warrior and his goblin army. Travelling 3,000 years into the future and arriving in snow-filled lands, the boys are saved from the cold by two shape-shifters sent by Greybeard, the wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain. Out of their time and depth, Finn and Beezle are enlisted to join Greybeard and his friends on a quest to save the world of Everlast from the very same otherworldly warrior….

Warning: Minor Spoiler

The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain: Elven Resurrection is an epic adventure very much in the style of Tolkien. Humans, elves, shape-shifters, dwarves, wizards, dragons, goblins and more vie for power and survival in the land of Everlast. Most of which contribute at least one colourful character to the cast of the book. I really found the characters themselves enjoyable, though I found their mannerism and flippant lack of sentiment toward their enemy equally disturbing. Let me elaborate (hopefully without spoilers). Greybeard and his crew set out on a quest to save the world essentially. Who is friend and who is foe is fairly clearly delineated. Warrior and his goblins are bad, Greybeard and his army are good. However, both sides treat the lives of the enemy with frightening disregard. This is, perhaps, to be expected in a dehumanised enemy, but not in those that are presented as the representative of the morally superior. An example: at one point the ‘good guys’ callously joke and laugh as they watch the enemy being incrementally and, almost certainly, painfully burned alive. Not funny and more to the point not appropriate in a children’s novel.

If  The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain was written for adults, who can be expected to think deeply about such things, I might find this ubiquitous callousness an interesting addition. It might prompt readers to remember that histories are written by victors, who have a tendency to gloss over the cruelties of their own. In a children’s novel, however, I find it dangerously close to suggesting that it is ok to kill another as long as they are an enemy, which is of course a subjective classification, making the actual lesson ‘it’s ok to kill just so long as you think you are on the right side.’ I have no doubt that the Hitler Youth were taught a very similar lesson along the way somewhere.

This is my only real complaint though. A whole host of varied and interesting characters are introduced in an unusual narrative. It is told in present tense, which takes some getting used to, but I liked it once I had. The writing is clean and uncluttered for easy reading, and though the first in a series, the book wraps up nicely so there aren’t any unbearable cliffhangers. Its well worth a read.

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