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3.4 out of 5 stars14
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2007
This book feels like all the elements of a decent story are present, but they never quite come together. The characters are interesting, especially Conrig who walks a fine line between good and evil, and Ullanoth, the ambitious princess. Unfortunately, the book never delivers on its promise, and I found it difficult to warm to any of them. I think this may be because there is so little of the characters interacting with each other - just having a conversation or telling a joke. Every sentence seems contrived to move the plot forward, and this leads to some very stilted dialogue, especially when it comes to cramming in back story.

Also, I found that while I was interested in the story, I certainly wasn't gripped by it. Somehow, it never takes off and moves from being an ok book into a good one. I have read the other two in the series (I bought them as a set!) and the same problems continue throughout. Not a bad read, but don't expect anything too special.
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on 20 April 2004
Julian May, famous for science fiction series like The Saga of the Exilesand The Galactic Milieu, starts a new series, The Boreal Moon Tale, withConqueror's Moon. This time May has chosen to write a classic fantasystory, set in a medieval world where magic is real, and mythical creaturescan still be found lurking not far from the human settlements.
Ash from volcanic eruptions has been raining down on the island of HighBlenholme for three years, causing the worst famine in memory, as well asa serious disruption in trade. While some of the rulers in the fourkingdoms struggle to fill their treasuries and feed their subjects, othersare seeing an opportunity to increase their influence. Young DeveronAustrey, born with a wild magical talent, becomes the trusted companion ofprince Conrig of Cathra, a man with bigger dreams than anyone else. Hisgoal is to bring the whole island under his own control.
This is more than a tale of Deveron and Conrig though. True to her styleMay lets us know the minds of Conrig's allies and enemies as well, and yousoon realize that this is a story without knights in shining armour, andwith no sorcerers aspiring to become the next evil overlord. The latteris neatly avoided by a magical system that requires payment in pain foreach item of magic you master. The more powerful object, the more painyou have to endure. I really liked that approach.
With a fairly standard fantasy setup as far as world-building goes, thisbook relies heavily on the characters for enjoyment. May has a talent formaking you sympathize with (or at least understand) the character you arecurrently reading about, which is essential for a story based on politicalintrigue. The plot, centred on a secret military strike, is well paced. There are a few pieces of prophesy adding clues to which direction thestory will take, without making it too obvious how it all will end. Ifound Conqueror's Moon a well written, but not outstanding, book. Isuspect that as time moves on, it will start to blend in with all theother imaginary worlds I'm trying to keep track of.
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on 6 September 2004
I got into Julian May's work when 'The Many Coloured Land' was first released in paperback - that's way back in the 1980s, guys. I loved the Saga of the Exiles and the associated Galactic Mileau series, I re-read them all frequently and still rate them amongst my favourite novels, full of fresh ideas, fascinating characters, rich narrative and clever plotting.

That said, you can imagine that I've always responded to new Julian May publications with eager anticipation. And I've always been left disappointed... Conqueror's Moon is no exception. This is substandard generic fantasy fare at best, with cliched plotting, two dimensional characters and an almost pulp fiction feel. It really pains me to say this; I take no pleasure in denigrating someone's work, and especially one of my one-time favourite authors, but I've been let down too often by Julian May.

Has the real Julian May been kidnapped and replaced by a pale imitator? Or has she just become cynical and complacent enough to churn out occasional by-the-numbers potboilers to keep the coffers from emptying?
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on 13 April 2009
The only reason I'm reading this series is because I can not find anything else in the Fantasy genre that I haven't already read, so yes I am rather desperate at the moment. Anyway this is an OK book, a first in a trilogy, May's work is Good, her writing style is good and she paints a pretty good story together. However the reason why I gave this book three and not four stars is that characters are just so one sided, they're so wooded that I feel like I'm reading Pinnochios adventures and not a piece of Fantasy fiction. That being said the story is OK and the magical system is good, there is some action, though there could have been a lot more. Overall it's an OK book, if you're in between Fantasy series then this is worth picking up, just don't expect anything breathtaking.
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on 15 February 2012
These are some of the weakest fantasy novels I have ever read. The first book is the most well written, but there is a sharp fall in the level of quality and storytelling in the subsequent books. I found the characters lacking in any depth and the storyline very predictable and linear.

I would not recommend these books to anyone who reads a good deal of fantasy - there are many superior titles available.
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on 10 January 2007
i thought that this book was very good with developed characters. i strongly agree with the above review about sympathising with characters, though even the authors skill could sometimes not stop me from hating Conrig.i identified with Maudrayne,but the sea battle was a bit rushed. this is one of the best books i have ever read.
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on 31 October 2012
I was surprised at some of the reviews I enjoyed reading this book
I have read earlier Julian May books and they were outstanding.
This trilogy is different but very well written and a great read.
I would recommend these books they are excellent storytelling and are well worth exploring.
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on 6 February 2012
I bought this book having enjoyed the Rampart Worlds series by the same author, and this is even better. The plot is interesting, the characters and society are believable, and the author very skilfully gives us the back-story through the action and dialogue.
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on 2 January 2004
If your looking at this book you've probably read something by Julian May before. If that's the case, don't worry! It's fantasy but it's still May at her best. Good characters, interesting stories and it pulls you all in like never before.
If you've not read Julian May before this book is about the best place to start, it's good fantasy written by someone who knows what she's doing. I rate Julian May very highly, and this book just confirms she is a great author.
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on 27 December 2012
I loved Julian May's Pilocene Exile series so bought this to see if the magic continued. So far, I've struggled with it. I'll come back to it to try again but so far, no love.
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