"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.In giving Plenilune five stars, I hope I am not doing Jennifer Freitag a disservice; I am a reader quite easy to please and I give far more 5-star reviews than some reviewers. I go into a story willing to be pleased, wooed, won by the author. But now, waiting for Plenilune's orb to come crashing into the literary atmosphere, I wish I could retrieve some of those stars from some lesser books because to give a book five stars is to give it my all and that I wish to do now.
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."
For several years I have read Jennifer Freitag's blog, The Penslayer, and enjoyed "snippets" of her writing. I read her first novel, The Shadow Things, and while I enjoyed it, I knew that her writing had grown since its birth and was anxious to read it in its modernity. Plenilune, I imagined, was something a bit more mature than the smaller, tentative Shadow Things.
A friendship gradually sprang up betwixt Jenny and myself but still I had not thought to get to read her "opus" before publication until one day (probably overwhelmed with pregnancy hormones and the pressures of life) Jenny caved and sent me Plenilune en masse. I did not ravage it in a sitting; Plenilune is not one of those novels that calls for such behavior. Indeed, try to swallow it whole and you'll be marked a glutton with no fine taste. It ought to be read, savoured, gentled into one's comprehension because if you try to swallow a moon at one go, you'll certainly feel it a surfeit.
Perhaps the thing that impressed me most in Freitag's novel was the fact that her writing as a whole--the characters, arcs, themes, sensations--stood scrutiny as boldly as one beautiful line in a post of snippets. She can conduct small magic in a line, pyrotechnics in a novel.
I left Plenilune feeling nobler. I can't explain it any other way than that Freitag managed to reach into a fierce, crimson, hidden part of me and call forth a banner-blaze not soon to be extinguished. You will hear readers say that Freitag's work is "like Tolkien" or "like Lewis" and I daresay they mean it well. But it's not. Freitag's writing is like Freitag. That's quite enough for Jenny; that's quite enough for me. I look forward to buying my own copy of Plenilune and prowling upon her doorstep for the next installment in the Plenilunar world.
(Five of five stars. Because of the realistic dealings with characters both good and evil, I heartily recommend Plenilune for ages sixteen and older.)