Moon Chase by Cathy Farr
|Moon Chase by Cathy Farr|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Great warmth exudes from the pages of this enjoyable fantasy fable with wolfhounds at its centre. Pacy with a lovely setting. We'd certainly read the next in the series.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 296||Date: December 2010|
|Publisher: Grosvenor House|
|External links: Author's website|
When Wil dreams, it's as if he is inhabiting someone - or something - else's body. And when he wakes one morning after dreaming of a terrible crime and a desperate Fellhound, he knows the dog that he can hear howling is that very Fellhound. Following Farrow to try to rescue her injured master, Wil is captured by the Saranians, who believe he is the one to have tried to murder young Seth Tanner. His sentence is harsh - track and kill the Wraithe wolves in the Moon Chase and return alive and unharmed and go free, die in the attempt, or return injured and be hanged.
Wil soon discovers that proving his innocence is the lesser of the evils facing him. The Moon Chase is horribly dangerous and his companions don't trust him. But he does have Lady Elanor and her sister Tally on his side, and they share Wil's telepathic abilities...
The plot of Moon Chase is fairly straightforward: a reluctant hero is accused of a terrible crime and must go on a quest to prove his innocence. But it's nicely paced and Farr doesn't bore with endless worldbuilding - she gives us just enough to flesh out Wil's life and environment. Wil himself is an engaging character - honest and loyal, aware of his own deficiencies and keen to overcome them. As you read, you really wish him well.
I liked the focus on the Moon Chase, too - there's a peek at some love interest for our hero, but Farr is content to stick to her narrative and leave any love affairs as temptations for later novels. The magical element - telepathy - is present but beautifully understated, again allowing the reader to focus on the story. And then there are the Fellhounds, described with real flair and affection. Farr owns an Irish wolfhound and these dogs were the inspiration for Moon Chase. When an author writes about something very close to their heart, it transfers such pleasure from writer to reader that you can't help but feel good.
Some things could do with a little bit of tidying up. Carr has a habit of unnecessarily hyphenating and I'd like to see these edited out. She also uses too many exclamation marks outside dialogue and is forever italicising important bits. Readers should take emphasis from writing and not from typography or punctuation. But these are nitpicks. Overall, Moon Chase is a pleasure to read. It has a warmth and goodheartedness about it that brought a genuine smile to this jaded reviewer's face. We'll definitely look out for the next book in the series and we hope the author considers a Kindle edition. It's perfect for the ebook market and we think it would find a healthy readership.
If you love big dogs as much as Cathy Farr does, you'll also enjoy Doglands by Tim Willocks. Furgal is the son of Argal, a near-legendary wolfhound who runs free and wild. But our hero and his sisters are not so fortunate: they were born in the dreaded greyhound prison they call Dedbone's Hole, and their mixed heritage is beginning to show.
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