I try not to write reviews unless I have read the book in question at least twice. And, it took me two readings to decide how I felt about Moon Shadow. Halfway through the second read, I realized that Lucinda Betts had created a world, a society, and a hero and heroine worthy of the keeper shelf.
The heroine, Esmenet Sokaris, is a highly ranked Wizard of Love spells, potions , etc. Yep, that's a good lead in. Her hero, Gage Feldspar, is a drunken loser, who has destroyed his marriage, home and life.
Easy to see how this goes, right? But, several things take this from the realm of 'been there, read that' into, whoa, a 'keeper here'! Now we get into a real mystery plot. One that combines wizardry, police work and a horrible mis-use of sex. So the author ties us into several genres, all done very well.
I loved the fact that the author, or her editorial staff, have usually known how to handle English grammar. Especially, personal pronouns and verbs. No one says, for example "she is smarter than me" (correctly, it is "she is smarter than I (am).) (Yes, the misuse of "like" for "as" happens, but that's the fault of cigarette commericals and public schools). Anyway, the story is great. Ms. Betts, in a very few descriptive sentences and a well-described plot line, shows us a society in which Wizards (male and female) are used as medical personnel, police, etc. In other words, the foundation of a working and workable society.
You can read the plot from other reviewers (or better still, buy the book), but the overall high quality of writing skills for this genre and a really imaginative study of people and, surprisingly enough, endocrinology, is fantastic. The whole concept of medical science and study as the basis of wizardry is new and really refreshing. I don't know what Ms. Betts' background is, but she certainly scores well on science and, thank goodness,the SEX. (And, has a handsome hunk who does the dishes! And, cooks!!!) I hope more stories are set in this world, with equally engaging characters, plot and sexual behavior.
Buy this new. The author should be rewarded.