Daughter Of The Moon by Effie Calvin is a book that masterfully takes the villain from a previous story and turns her into the hero of this one. It’s a glorious tale of redemption with a touch of romance and a boatload of fantasy.
Netheia fought her sister for the throne and lost (in Empress of Xytae). Her sister wanted to ensure that Netheia was out of Xytae and monitored but also well taken care of. So Netheia was sent to Birsgen, Ieflaria’s capital city to live in the palace with the regents and the princesses (who we met in Queen Of Ieflaria).
The problem is that Netheia hates it. She is bored and the culture shock is huge. She longs to fight and show off her physical prowess. Not only does she come from a country where war was ever present and a family who worshipped Reygmadra, goddess of war above all others, but Netheia has Reygmadra’s blessing which compounds her desire to fight.
Ieflaria, though, is a peaceful place. Fighting is not tolerated. Showing your strength through aggression just isn’t done and Netheia could not be more out of place anywhere.
To make matters worse Reygmadra herself keeps appearing and pushing the princess to take back the throne and overthrow her sister. The goddess is losing power since Ioanna took the throne and stopped the war in Xytae.
As Reygmadra’s power wanes so her threats become more violent and Netheia struggles against losing control to the goddess.
Klavida is a student at the magic university. She has come from her far northern home to research unusual creatures in an attempt to put together a book that is based on fact and not fiction. Or, at least, that’s what she is telling everyone.
Klavida is quiet and likes to keep to herself. But when she encounters two women fighting she intervenes and has no problem keeping hold of the aggressor who turns out to be none other than Netheia, the banished Princess from Xytae.
Convinced she is going to be arrested Klavida hides from the princess but Netheia is intrigued. She has never met anyone as strong and wants to get to know this worthy opponent. So she seeks out the bookish magic user. Klavida reluctantly agrees to spend time with Netheia after the princess offers her access to the royal library.
As they grow closer Klavida realises that Netheia is hugely misunderstood and misguided.
The two young women are bound together by secrets revelled, tons of fun with dragons and trying to save Netheia.
Can these two young women stop a goddess bent on world domination? Or even just find the answer to the question that Klavida is desperate to know?
Here’s a really cool thing, Klavida is a trans woman. In this world trans characters are able to be transformed by priestesses into their true form and I love that. Calvin has the coolest queer rep in this series and it always feels so right and so comfortable how easily there are non binary and queer characters of all sorts.
But that’s just one tiny facet of Klavida, she is also a new kind of character for this world and the way Calvin wrote her was epic with just hints at her real nature at first. She is also smart and sweet and the fact that she could physically take on Netheia was such a cute aspect of their relationship.
Netheia, though, stole the show. I do love a villain that turns out to be hugely misunderstood with a great redemption story. Netheia is a glorious example of that.
The Writing Style
Effie Calvin goes from strength to strength with her writing. Her characters are well drawn and you cannot help but love them. For a complex world with a lot going on her writing is surprisingly easy to follow.
My Favourite Parts
Every time I think I have found my favourite book in the series I read the next one and then have a really tough time coming up with a new ranking order. So I am going to save myself some inner conflict and declare the entire series my favourite. But this book might be a little towards the top of the list ;)
A small but adorable part of this story is Netheia’s relationship with her baby sister. There were letters back and forth that made my heart swell three sizes.
This is book 5 in the series but it is written as a complete story so you really don’t have to read any of the other books to get into this one.
Having said that, if you love a good series then start at the beginning and work your way through. It’s a wonderful series filled with memorable and enchanting characters and epic adventures.
For a fantasy series each book is relatively short. I love that because it means you get a great story set in a compelling world with awesome characters in an easily manageable size. And the fact that there are now six books in the series means that you can glom them all if you are one of those people who wants complete emersion in the world.
As for this book as a story, I absolutely recommend it. It has everything I love: a villain with a good amount of character growth; two women who are destined to find one another; interfering goddesses; and dragons, did I mention dragons?
I loved every word.
Excerpt from Daughter Of The Moon by Effie Calvin
Anger, familiar and comforting, welled up in her chest. What gave the Ieflarians the right to treat her like this? Either she was a prisoner and belonged in a cell, or she was the site of the empress and ought to have received a formal welcome and servants of her own and–
Netheia threw a punch at the nearest piece of furniture, a wardrobe. The heavy, sturdy wood did not even dent. Pain shot up her arm, igniting the blood rage. Her blessing did not know the difference between a real threat and a false one.
She gave in to her fury, striking the wardrobe again and again. The wood dented, board splintered under her fists, and satisfaction washed over her. She opened one of its doors and tore it free of the hinges, enjoying the sound it made. She threw the door at the far wall with all her strength, and observed with satisfaction the way it cracked, defeated.
Get It Online
When you use the links in this review and buy within 24 hours of clicking then we get a small commission that helps us run the site and it costs you nothing extra
Daughter Of The Moon
Bits and Bobs
- Publisher: NineStar Press
- Effie Calvin Online
If you enjoyed this book then you should also look at
Note: I received a free review copy of Daughter Of The Moon by Effie Calvin. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site