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Ironcrown Moon: Part Two of the Boreal Moon Tale [Paperback]

Julian May
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 Oct 2005 Boreal Moon Tale

The continuation of a powerful new fantasy adventure filled with dark magic and deadly intrigue, from the worldwide bestselling author of the SAGA OF THE PLIOCENE EXILE.

King Conrig Ironcrown now rules the entire island of High Blenholme. But the peace he achieved after ruthlessly uniting its four quarrelling kingdoms into a Sovereignty is about to be challenged by enemies both mortal and supernatural.

Rumours abound that his vengeful first wife, Maudrayne, believed to have committed suicide when she discovered his infidelity, is in fact still alive and about to reveal a secret that could cost Conrig his throne.

A more tangible threat is posed by the ambitious sorcerer Beynor, and his crony, Conrig's traitorous former alchymist Kilian, who have stolen a trove of currently inactive moonstones capable of drawing tremendous power from the mysterious supernatural Beaconfolk. After initiating a civil war, the pair hope to utilize this power to vanquish Conrig's fatally divided realm and rule it themselves.

The King's unlikely champion is his royal intelligencer, Deveron, a young man secretly possessed of magical talents. But Deveron is torn between his loyalty to the iron-willed king and his own conscience. The resulting clash involves not only human beings, but also the ancient races who inhabited High Blenholme before them – and who now intend to take back their lost homeland.

Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager (3 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000712323X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007123230
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 521,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for Julian May:

‘A writer of exceptional perception and power’ JEAN AUEL

‘Julian May has irrevocably placed herself among the greats’ ASIMOV’S MAGAZINE

‘A certain crowd-pleaser’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

Book Description


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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ironcrown moon 9 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Product arrived on time and in perfect condition
as a avid julian may fan i am having a hard time with this new trilogy its just a bit flowery and boring sorry!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somehow Better than Conqueror's Moon 1 Oct 2006
By V. K. Lin - Published on
As I've said regarding Conqueror's Moon, this book's prequel (see my review of it), I at one time respected Julian May as perhaps the best author in the genre. Her Pliocene Exile series remains, IMO, the apex of such fiction. There is much to relish about Ms. May's writing-- but it's a shame that her talents have seemingly faded with the years.

I was lukewarm on Conqueror's Moon, this tale's inaugural book. The story was average, although the magic was quite novel overall. Her descriptions lacked their usual depth and spirit, and the characters-- usually they, at least, have soul and pizzaz-- were flat.

This sequel, Ironcrown Moon, is slightly better. And I'm not sure why. Perhaps, because, finally, Ms. May puts a little soul in her characters. Just a little. Towards the end. At first, this book is fragmented, something like a Tom Clancy novel from his more recent efforts. We see just as much of the bad guys as the good, and once again we never get a chance to get inside the head of young Deveron Austrey, this tale's primary protagonist. But mostly it comes together in the end plotwise, with a modest bang, and we finally see Deveron making some difficult moral choices. We're still not sure exactly why he makes his choices, unfortunately, because we know so little about the way he thinks-- aside from the fact that he thinks quickly on his feet, and well, and has inclinations to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

The plot and story move steadily forward. There is just enough to keep the pages turning. The writing is still elegant enough that it is easy on the brain. Some of Ms. May's humor does come through in some of the dialog, and that is a nice improvement. The storyline itself IS growing. We go from the political shenanigans of a would-be High King via his private, elite spy, to world-shaking implications involving ancient deities manipulating events behind the scenes.

But we are not blown away, as I hope and expect to be blown away by her. Nonetheless, I have purchased and begun the third volume in this series-- Sorcerer's Moon, and hope that things will come together. I recall very much enjoying The Many Colored Land and The Golden Torc, the two initial volumes of her Pliocene Saga, then feeling absolutely awestruck by The Nonborn King and The Adversary-- so perhaps the story will really round into shape with the next book.

I wish Ms. May would write a sequel to the Pliocene Exile/ Galactic Milieu conglomerate. She left so much unsaid. I think she could take it to new heights.
5.0 out of 5 stars another great one by Julian May 3 Jun 2014
By Ex-Geek - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have yet to be disappointed in a book by Julian May -- one of the very few authors that gets me to occasionally look up words in a dictionary.
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring moon 4 Sep 2010
By Evil Overlord - Published on
This review covers the entire Boreal Moon trilogy (but the score above is for the individual book - should be 2.5, by rights).

I'm a big fan of the Saga of Pliocene Exile, and I also enjoyed the Galactic Milieu. So, since I was unable to get the books one by one as they appeared, I bought the entire Boreal Moon trilogy in one go, excited for a real treat.

This wasn't it. From the start, the first book failed to capture my interest, but eventually, I forced my way into the story, and after a few chapters, it got better. But not much.

The series relies on complex politics, and simplistic individual motivations. The evil foe (the Salka) are a caricature - literally stupid, evil, slimy, green, tentacled baddies - sidestepping the fact that they somehow created the special magic sigils the entire trilogy depends on. Worse, the entire story ignores the fact that the slimy creatures are the aboriginal inhabitants of the island, and that humans displaced them through conquest. The fact that they want their land back just proves their evil nature. Good creatures who want their land back are fine, though.

The omniscient narrator tends to forget that the characters are not (meant to be) omniscient, and central figures keep picking up key bits of information almost at random. The magic system is barely examined, and is highly inconsistent - for example, "windscrying" (clairvoyance) is widely used, but virtually no one takes even simple precautions against it. This means that all sides can easily pick up opponents' plans - except when scrying mysteriously doesn't work (or isn't considered) - all too apparently for the convenience of the author. Finally, the resolution of the trilogy is very much ex machina.

May relies here heavily on an omniscient, yet coy and perpetually vague oracle/fate. She used this same technique to slightly better effect (though near-equal reader frustration) in the Galactic Milieu books. Having now read all her major works (including parts of the Trillium and Rampart Worlds series), I can say that she was at her best in Pliocene Exile, when her voice was fresh and the setting unique. Much less successful, though still interesting in the Galactic Milieu, which built on part of the same background. The Boreal Moon trilogy, however, uses the same techniques in a fairly standard-issue fantasy setting, and it just doesn't work.

The trilogy is slightly dull and convoluted in the first volume, but still worthwhile for May fans. The second volume (Ironcrown Moon (The Boreal Moon Tale)) is substantially less interesting, but does carry the story forward. The final volume (Sorcerer's Moon (The Boreal Moon Tale)) is a very hard slog indeed, and worth reading only for those who just can't stand to quit a story part way through.

If you enjoy Julian May and epic fantasy, skip this series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book in the adventure genre 10 Feb 2010
By Dorothy J. Tarnowski - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed this book so much (I had first read it from the library), I bought the entire series for my niece for Christmas. The author makes all the characters believable, and does a wonderful job creating the setting. I can easily picture what is happening as if it were a movie, or if I was actually there. I hope that someday I will add the series to my personal library so that I can introduce these wonderful stories to others.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent author 11 Mar 2007
By JDandPE - Published on
If you like sci-fi and fantasy - Julian May is a great bet.

I thoroughly enjoy her books.
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