Any book that can cause my frozen heart to thaw and have me tear up and, dare I say it, cry, on the train gets an auto 5 star rating for me. Lunav is one of them. There is something so heart wrenching, so aching, and so darn good about this book. I want it to get ALL the love.
They don’t have dragons where half-faerie Sadie was born – not living ones, anyway – but in the Grove, everyone knows that dragon eggs grow on trees like leaves and need Dreams to hatch. Without faerie Dreams, the dragons won’t survive. And neither will anyone else.
Brash, boyish sixteen-year-old Sadie thinks she can stop the worst from happening, but as a half-human, she looks far too much like the enemy. So she’s been using her looks to spy on the human monarchy. But spying is a risky business: it, like Dreaming, is punishable by death. Slow death. Still, Sadie thought she was a pro. Until they sent a new human magistrate to the Grove. Evelyn.
Evelyn might be the most beautiful girl Sadie’s ever seen, and Sadie might be betraying her family by falling in love with the ruthless leader who locks them up. But that’s not even the biggest obstacle between the two: Evelyn is leading the charge against Dreaming, and there’s something she doesn’t know.
Sadie can still Dream.
So you already know about how I embarrassed myself publicly for this book and you must be wondering why. Well there are so many reasons. The world building here is rich, detailed, and superb. There’s a wealth of magic, color, and injustice. I could feel the rage simmering beneath the pages. Lunav encapsulates the true potential of speculative fiction – to transport us to another world while still commenting on the conditions of our times. At the same time, the characters make you cry big ugly tears, smile from ear to ear, and laugh aloud. The writing is multi-dimensional, layered, and has amazing themes throughout.
I am such a fan of star crossed lovers, of epic stories of boundary crossing, and diversity. Lunav delivers all of this and more. Each page I was marveling at what Polish has achieved, the depth of the themes and the emotions this writing stirs. I could write for hours about what I loved about this book.
(Um can I also say that the diversity here was so moving to read about in this deeply fantastical world? I want more diversity in fantasy because, sadly, I don’t see it enough. There are great pronouns, f/f relationships, and more).
One of the things I loved was that our protagonist, Sadie, is half Fairy and half human. This introduced nuanced conversations about passing, about privilege, and about the different ways the world sees you. And it’s also an excellent example of what Polish excels at – which is delivering on these concepts. So many fantastic ideas are introduced like passing, like the importance of dreaming, like the necessity for compassion, and the horrors of war. And they are all followed through. I read so many books where they have great premises or themes, but they need an extra push. Lunav is not one of them.
I want to spend way more time with Lunav. I could immerse myself in the world. At the same time, I’d hang out with our cast of characters. It’s one of those books you are sad to finish. And, as someone who is an avid reader, that’s the best marker of a good book. This book is about sacrifice and war, but it’s also about hope and compassion – about seeing beyond and crossing boundaries. Check out Lunav on Goodreads.