Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Review | Plenilune

Plenilune
Jennifer Freitag

Publisher:  Kindle Edition
Genre:  Planetary Fiction, Fantasy
Released:  Oct. 2014

{Goodreads}
The fate of Plenilune hangs on the election of the Overlord, for which Rupert de la Mare and his brother are the only contenders, but when Rupert’s unwilling bride-to-be uncovers his plot to murder his brother, the conflict explodes into civil war.

To assure the minds of the lord-electors of Plenilune that he has some capacity for humanity, Rupert de la Mare has been asked to woo and win a lady before he can become the Overlord, and he will do it—even if he has to kidnap her.

En route to Naples to catch a suitor, Margaret Coventry was not expecting a suitor to catch her.
 


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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basic}
Wow.  This novel is definitely one of a kind.  I have never read such a fantastically wild tale as this one.  Jennifer Freitag weaves an incredible story with a period drama/sci-fi thrill.  That's as best as I can describe it.  :]  Her words and imagery are simply amazing!  You will definitely want to keep a dictionary with you.  I'm serious!  You may find words that seem made-up, but turn out to be a refreshing new word for a common thing.

Margaret is a spunky, independent young woman, who sets out on her own to prove to her prideful mother that she has what it takes to be respectable and gain a husband.  It all begins with a train ride, a darkly handsome young man, and a whirling trip to another world.  She awakes in a strange place, which in time reveals its own kind of beauty, and the master of it all.

Rupert de la Mare is the next (and only) choice for the elected position of Overlord.  But in a wager with his cousin, he must find and woo a lady in order to show his fellow lords and ladies that he has some manner of humanity.  So, he simply kidnaps one.  And it has to be a strong-willed, stubborn Englishwoman.

My first impression of these two:  Beauty & the Beast.  With the exception that this Beast fails to turn into the compassionate, loving prince. . .

Plenilune, a realm essentially located on our very own moon (which still kinda has me baffled, as its world has trees, mansions, animals, etc), is a living thing.  And the Overlord, in a sense, directs its people and literally lives and breathes it.  Does that make sense?  Perhaps you shall just have to read it yourself.  :]

{Positives}
Margaret comes to think of Plenilune as her own.  She risks her own life countless times and mourns the deaths of the people she comes to know on this "half-familiar, foreign" world.  Prideful, yes, but compassionate when it comes to people poorer (not necessarily in the physical sense) than herself.

A wee bit of unexpected humor, at times.  It caught me off guard, but always brought a smile.

{Negatives}
Many times, Margaret gets the feeling she doesn't belong, whether it be Plenilune or Earth.  She doesn't have a good relationship with her mother or sisters, whatsoever.  And upon learning her father has died, she finds she cannot properly mourn him.

It is implied a young man commits suicide.

{Spiritual Content}
While this is classified within the Christian fiction, it might pass as a secular novel, with a subtle hint of God's hand.

Though she doesn't seem to fully believe in Him, at times, Margaret finds herself throwing prayers in His general direction.  The people of Plenilune, well, most, clearly recognize God's divinity.  Grace is said over food, in the company of particular people.

Margaret breathes a phrase of the Lord's Prayer.

On the other hand, she comes to compare Rupert de la Mare's mansion to hell, and Rupert as the devil himself.

Sorcery, magic, wizardry, plays a fair big part in the battle for the Overlordship.  One man wields a dark power, another brings healing, but is in no way weaker than the other.  In fact, it is he which possesses the greatest strength.

{Violence}
On a hunt, a fox is viciously killed by a falcon and then two dogs.  Another animal is cruelly beaten.  A woman beats another, in a rage (rather deserving, in my opinion.  Don't hate me!  In my defense, she was something of a little witch.).  Later, that same woman punches the other, eventually killing her with an elbow to the neck.  Very brutal.

Two men wrestle, all in play.  Two others spar in a duel of magic, so to speak.

Regarding a past event, it is remembered that a man was killed by a boar.  [SPOILER] Or so it was told.  In the same instance, another man is killed by dark magic, where his innards become his outers. . . So sorry, but it needs to be mentioned.

War breaks out amidst the peaceful lands of Plenilune.  Many men die by swords, war-hammers, -axes, spears, etc.  Some beheaded, during battle.  Another torn to pieces by a panther.  The same panther fights a fox; both are bloodied.  Buildings are burned; soldiers and lords bloodied.  Needless to say, lots of blood.

Margaret herself does not escape unscathed.  She has ribs broken and bruised, a leg slashed, her lip torn.

A man's leg is severely injured by a wooden cart, resulting in the healer digging in the wound to remove the splinters.  His lip is cut by a blade, slurring his speech.

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
Numerous uses of "d--n," "d---ed," and two uses of "b---h." Muttered "expletives," curses, and swearing.

Much drinking--wine, brandy, etc.  Rupert confronts Margaret, definitely inebriated, saying he is only sober when drunk.  Two men are poisoned.

{Love-y Content}
Rupert kisses Margaret, rather forcefully, a couple times.  Once, cutting her lip by biting it.  In his own, dark way, she realizes he loves her.

Margaret and Dammerung have a sweet, laughing/mocking relationship that I loved.  They come to care for each other, of course.  Kiss once.

At one point, Margaret wears a very revealing, flirtatious gown.

{Conclusion}
I truly enjoyed this fantastical tale.  Due to spoilers and the sake of secrecy, I have left a lot out, sharing only what I thought worth mentioning and what I would like to know beforehand if I were the one considering adding this to my to-read list.

My reasoning for giving it only four stars, is simply because of the unexpected amount of unnecessary language.  And the fact that to me, the first half of the story was rather slow and confusing.  But once past that, and on into where everything starts clicking together, the plot just seems to explode.  I would definitely recommend this to all my friends, but on a careful note.

As my readers, do you like reading my thorough reviews?  Or do I reveal far too much?  Please let me know in the comments!  I am rather curious.  :]

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Recommended ages: 18+

The content of this review is in my opinion and my opinion only.

Thanks for reading!  Be on the watch for my next review: The Princess Spy.
Coming soon!

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8 reflections:

Michelle Dyck said...

No, I enjoy a thorough review like this. I did only skim the part with a spoiler warning, however. :)
The language is a bit disappointing, but other than that, it looks like a fantastic read! I'll have to request it at my library or purchase it myself one of these days...

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Oh, good :] Thank you, Michelle! Yes, do request it. It's a great read if you can get past the language.

Michelle Dyck said...

I believe I shall. :) I think I could get past it--I've seen a number of movies that contain the same. It's just a little offputting when the author is a Christian (which she is, right?). Eh, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms: how much darkness to portray, reality vs. sensitivity, etc. A difficult balance to strike, in some cases.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Exactly. :]

Lilly said...

I notice you mention "she realizes in her own dark way he loves her." would you say Rupert is like Mr Thornton of the BBC North and South"

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Hi, Lilly! Actually, I'm not sure if I would compare Rupert to Mr. Thornton... Whereas Mr. Thornton came to sincerely love Margaret and work past his faults, Rupert simply meant to take what he wanted to further his goals, without a care for who it hurt. While he seemed to regret some of his choices and ways, he doesn't ever seek to change them.

Does that help in any way? This was a great story!

Thanks for commenting!

Lilly said...

Thank you for your reply! I do not know if I could like him then. I have trouble with unrepentant characters. (However I have no doubt that it is a good story. All of I have read of the author's work has been of excellent caliber.)


However, I thank you for your straightforward review . I know the author, but had yet to find a review amoung my friends that (yes at the risk of spoiling it) that mentioned things that might bother someone before stumbling into them. So from the bottom of my heart (especially for the spoiler warning at the top) thank you for your review. Cheers to you.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

My pleasure, Lilly! I like to know these things ahead of time to be sure whether or not a book is going to be worth my time, expense, and enjoyment. So again, it's my pleasure to review these! I really enjoyed this novel, but it took me awhile to figure Rupert's character. I thought he might be one of those to change, and therefore kept a pretty open mind throughout the whole thing but (spoiler!) he only seemed to worsen... And therefore, he made a rather perfect villain.