If you ever wanted to read a magical book that is inspired by the Romanov sisters, Five Daughters of the Moon has to be the first on your to read list. Or if you’re like me and was just obsessed with Anastasia you will not be disappointed.
The Five Daughters of the Moon witness their empire poised on the precipice. Alina, who is only six, already perceives more than she realizes as she fears the Gagargi Prataslav and his Great Thinking Machine. Merile, while seemingly only concerned with her dogs, finds out a terrible secret about the costs of this machine – the price of human souls. Sibila has her heads in the clouds, in love, and on the brink of womanhood. Elise is in love with a military captain who shows her how her people are really living. And Celestia, the heir to the throne, is drawn to one of gagargi and playing with fire.
If you needed any more reasons to pick up this book, Jacqueline Carey does the cover blurb, and she is like my epic fantasy goddess. But besides that, Five Daughters of the Moon is downright gorgeous. From its covers to its characters, Likitalo enchants us. I was totally unfamiliar with this world, but that’s what makes it such a wonderful surprise to read. It’s like looking into a snow glass. We are absolutely enthralled by its swirling snow and lazily shifting ambience.
(I am also obsessed with the gentle ways in which Likitalo incorporates magic into her world building and society. It never feels heavy-handed, but it still remains mysterious. Not only that, but the subtlety is balanced by a genuine lurking danger that is both eerie and so satisfying).
In this world the mixture of magic, danger, and ordinary life is balanced expertly. Where Likitalo shines, are her characters. Despite there being five main alternating perspectives, Likitalo’s women are lively and unique. There is a genuine difference to each of them, and they are full of quirks and also tender moments.
All of this is grounded in a plot that mixes history, politics, and the dangers of magic. This whirlwind truly encapsulates this witches brew of potential and responsibility by asking us how history would be different if these magical forces played a role? It is an alluring and also unsettling question as Likitalo shows us a world full of revolutionaries, inequality, and the bonds of family.
So how much did you love Anastasia when you saw the animated film? Because that was the first musical CD I ever had AND NEED
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