The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Release Date: August 24, 2017
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Rated: MG 12+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores soon!

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is in fact a good witch who shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna's thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge - with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth's surface. And the woman with the Tiger's heart is on the prowl . . .

Before reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon, I'd heard a lot about it. I'd seen that it won the Newbery Medal a while back, so when the opportunity to read and review it arose, I took that chance. There's something about diving into classic-esque middle grade fantasy books. They really take me back to my childhood, because I absolutely adored the fantasy genre growing up and couldn't get enough of places like Narnia or Lyra's Oxford. Anyway, I knew that there was no way that this could disappoint, and I'm so glad that it didn't. The Girl Who Drank the Moon was a magical, multi-layered story that I couldn't get enough of.

I say multi-layered, because there are several stories going on at once, with jumps in time, setting and so if you're unaccustomed to stories that swing from place to place, this could get a little confusing. I was a little perplexed to begin with, with the interjecting characters of a one-sided conversation that doesn't really make any sense until the end, as well as with the random characters that eventually turn out to be not-so-random. Initially, even though they were pretty interesting, I was wondering what the point of including them in the story was. As it turns out, everything is connected and the level of detail that the author attributes to interweaving the various characters and their stories is stunning.

I loved the misconceptions and mishaps between the different character groups! Obviously the fact that the people of Protecotorate thought that there was a witch that demanded babies so that they'd have to turn over they're youngest children was horrifying, but the fact that Xan was actually a lovely, grandmotherly witch made this story so much more intriguing. Then we have a wonderful duo that comes with her–the poetic and philosophical Glerk, and the hilarious Fyrian. Fyrian is the small talkative dragon friend I wish I had! I truly enjoyed his random observations and singing moments–it was a lovely ice-breaker at times when the book got a little dark. Luna, our main character, of course sounded like a tiresome (but adorable) child when she was younger, but I loved her growth and discovery that came along with it. There are so many people in here that keeping track of everyone, as I mentioned before, will be a bit tricky, but trust me–it all comes together in the end.

The writing is absolutely GORGEOUS. I was sucked into this world almost immediately, and navigating the landscape through the perspective of various characters gave it that extra sparkle. There are creatures and various kinds of magic in here that I never could have imagined. Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon was wonderful–it's a beautiful tribute to the classics that have come before, as well as being a new and unique take on the fantasy genre that will without a doubt lead to it ranking among the frontrunners of the genre. 

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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  1. I've heard so many great things about this that I have to try it! Great review. :)

  2. This sounds lovely! Thanks for the awesome review, glad you loved it! I enjoy reading middle-grade fantasy, there's just this extra bit of magic and whimsy that seems lost in YA or adult fantasy that I miss. :') Will definitely be looking for this one!

    Cass @ Words on Paper


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