When the Sun was in Love with the Moon
For the Moon so Loved the Sun that He Would Shield Her from Harm
Casey L. Bond is a true master at taking a familiar story theme and crafting it into something that is emotionally complex and gripping. In House of Eclipses she has delivered once again: using the mythology behind the long-ago love affair between the sun and the moon, and crafting it into a sweeping saga of murder, pride, duty, and hidden identity, tempered by an honest blossoming of young love. The story takes places many generations after the forced separation of the sun and the moon into separate spheres of influence, at a time when a third of the planet is shrouded in perpetual night, a third in constant dusk, and a third frozen at unrelenting high noon. The peoples of the House of the Moon and the House of the Sun have been suspicious of each other for as long as anyone can remember, with the land of dusk serving as a long-unused point of neutrality. All of that changes when the House of the Moon proposes a merging of the two through marriage and renewed trade, to be arranged through a treaty brokered in the dusk lands. Each side naturally comes to the meeting with a hidden agenda and beliefs, while the House of Sun is further complicated by internal scheming and near civil war.
The main characters in House of Eclipses, Noor and Caelum, are marvelously complex. As the story arc develops, they must weigh their strong sense of duty and allegiance to their people, against their undeniable feelings of instant and abiding love for each other. Their romance is complicated by the machinations of their siblings, who each have their own hidden motivations and quests regarding the fate of their kingdoms, which are at least partially complicated by their mutual attraction (cue a brutal cliffhanger and much anticipated sequel). Meanwhile, the antagonist, Noor’s father, is a truly despicable character, whose evolution from ardent follower of the Sun Goddess, to murdering despot is tragic and total. The further cast of supporting characters, from Caelum’s mother, to the priests of the Sun Goddess are richly drawn in their own right, and stand as less complicated pillars of strength for the protagonists and their respective kingdoms. All in all, this is a cast of characters that is easy to love and revile, making the story a true page turner.
I devoured House of Eclipses over the course of two days– which is no small feat with a six month old puppy and three year old kiddo running around the house. But, it was genuinely so compelling, that I found it difficult to put down. If you read my past reviews of her books, it’s no secret that I am a fan of Casey L. Bond, but this book truly surpassed my lofty expectations, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough. I suggest that you go and preorder your copy immediately!