The Hunter's Moon, by O.R. Melling

The Hunter's Moon, by O.R. Melling (first published in Ireland in 1993, published in the US in 2006 by Amulet Books, YA, 305 pages)

American Gwen and her Irish cousin Findabhair have been friends all their lives, despite the distance between them, drawn together by their shared fascination with tales of magic and fairies (not the sparkly pink kind, but the other sort). Now that they are both sixteen, Gwen and Findabhair have decided to travel throughout Ireland together, visiting all the old and ancient places, with the hope of finding a bit of magic for themselves...

They do. More than a bit. All it took was a night spent camping inside a burial chamber at the hill of Tara for Findabhair to be lost in fairy land, with Gwen, still in the real world, determined to get her back. So Gwen sets off on a wild journey across a truly magical Ireland, facing fairy trickery and deadly dangers at every turn. It soon becomes apparent that there is much more at stake then Findabhair's life, and the story becomes more and more epic as it rushes toward the sacrifice that takes place at the time of the Hunter's Moon....

It's a very wish-fullfilly book. Gwen, a plump girl who dreams of Middle Earth finds herself in the starring role of an epic of her own, and finds love (just about at first sight) with an extraordinarily desirable boy who happens to be the heir of ancient kings. Her cousin manages to win the heart of the Fairy King himself, in just a few short days. So it stretched my credulity more than just a tad, in that regard.

But if you can suspend your disbelief, it's a good story. There are entertaining magical adventures galore, and Gwen is a character to whom many girls will doubtless relate strongly (Findabhair, offstage with the fairies for most of the book, doesn't get a chance to become as real). And as an added bonus, the reader gets a nice introduction to the geography of Ireland...

In short, pretty much perfect for the 12 to 13 year old girl, but perhaps not a book grown-ups will love as much! That being said, I'm pretty sure I'll be looking for the next book in the series (The Summer King)-although it's not a direct squeal, it sounds good (that link, incidently, leads to the Green Man review of the first two books)...and perhaps even continue onward up to The Light-Bearer's Daughter and The Book of Dreams. The Book of Dreams is the most recent of the series, published in the US in 2010, and it was the reviews of this book that led me to go back and find book one!


  1. I've been a fan of this series for almost 10 years now! I discovered it while working at a bookstore and fell in love. I knew it would have been a favourite when I was 13-14 and I wished there were books like this then. ;) Glad others are discovering OR Melling's series again!

  2. Being a fan of "the other sort" of fairies myself I might just have to read this.

  3. I really enjoyed this series. I have never read the rewritten versions, though!


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