The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1) by Brian Lee Durfee
The Forgetting Moon is the first book of “The Five Warrior Angels” trilogy by Brian Lee Durfee. Originally set to be a five-book series, it instead consists of three hefty books. With Game of Thrones or Malazan vibes, The Forgetting Moon has a lot to offer in a genre that is loaded with good to great books and full of common themes.
Durfee is a well-balanced writer, someone who uses the right words but doesn’t shy away from appropriately placed poetic diction. The setting is fairly standard medieval fantasy fare: cities, castles, farmland, mountains, etc. that make up the five isles. However, the “secret ways” in Amadon is exceptionally well done as are the tunnels in the mines. Both areas play a significant part in the story, especially the secret ways.
The main character amongst a slew of interesting characters is Nail. A 17-year old bastard living in Gallows Haven, Nail has a lot of angst stored up in a miner-chiseled body. He is preparing for his coming-of-age ceremony, wants to be a sailor, but is under the oppressive thumb of his guardian, Shawcroft.
Other interesting characters are a group of assassin’s known as Bloodwoods, the royal family in Amadon and the Sor Sevier which consists of an Angel Prince and his warriors.
My second most favorite character besides Nail is Tala. She is an overlooked royal daughter that spends a lot of time exploring the hidden passageways of the castle. This leads her on an unexpected quest to save her cousin’s life, which leads to further discoveries of deeper intrigue. Much like Nail, Tala is a good-hearted yet flawed character. Some of her choices has a terrible consequences.
The Forgetting Moon is full of three variations of the same religious beliefs. These similar yet conflicting takes on Laijon lead to the overall quest to find the five warrior angel’s weapons and stones:
Forgetting Moon – battle ax (silver/white)
Afflicted Fire – broadsword (red)
Blackest Heart – blackwood crossbow (black)
Lonesome Crown – horned war helm (green)
Ethic Shroud – shield (blue)
There is a lot of brutal battle scenes, especially from the invading Sor Sovier army. Durfee doesn’t shy away from character deaths nor details of gore. There are mermaids, elves (Val Valle) and a near constant flow of excitement. Why is “dragon” a vile curse, a nearly forbidden word? Who really are the gladiator, princess, thief, assassin, and slave? And where did Delia with her Piers Anthony-esque giant bosom disappear to?
The Forgetting Moon was a great read and I highly recommend it. On to the second book, The Blackest Heart.