P.C. Hodgell – Dark Of The Moon

Sometimes I feel sad when putting a book down if I’ve enjoyed it greatly and there is no further continuation or when I have to wait some time for the next installment. The latter is the case for Dark Of The Moon (1985), the second novel of the God Stalker Chronicles which perhaps can also be called the Kencyr Saga, as there is no exact name for this (epic) high fantasy series by P.C. Hodgell. I’ve read now five, starting at book three and coming to full circle now with Dark Of The Moon.

Having started with the sequel to this book one might fear that it would contain too much details later referred to. While there are referrals, they are without details. The actual events and circumstances are not disclosed and the reader isn’t given more than necessary, which means that Hodgell doesn’t waste words on earlier events and keeps her prose tight and in the now.

In reality this book provided me with a wide range of information and new insights of which I had gotten to know little of. I’ve read other earlier novels in series in which I started at a second or later book and often when I read the earlier books it was less interesting to read because I knew too much of what would happen. This was certainly not the case here.

Although Hodgell tells her narrative mainly from the viewpoint of her female main character, the other characters got no more attention than necessary. In Dark Of The Moon the narrative is divided in two almost equally. This more steady other perspective was quite welcome, allowing the characters around this secondary main character to be developed better. It was not something I was missing in the later books so it’s just an nice extra.

The two storylines are quite different from each other. The secondary is fairly straightforward, although plenty interesting things happen. The main storyline contains many twists and surprises, exploring places and elements that were much less touched on in the other novels (not trying to spoil here), and in general followed a greater pace, albeit a little slower than the first novel. Some things that I had interpreted from the later novels turned out differently in the actual events, which to me is a good thing.

Dark Of The Moon is a full-fledged story that would almost manage as a standalone novel. It is another refreshing take on the story Hodgell has been telling. So far four of the five books were able to do so in an excellent way, making this a strong and engaging series which books are hard to put aside once started reading. And even the one that didn’t was still a great and fun read. Book six is already out and I only need to wait for the right paperback edition to be published, which I hope shouldn’t be long. This one is (again) highly recommended.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.