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The Moon Child
by Alex Roces

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
0 pages; ISBN: 193120120X

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Moon Child
Alex Roces
Twilight Times, 2002, $15.50
ISBN: 193120120X

Like the aging healer Lucila, Maria was abandoned as a baby. Lucila found her and raised her as her own, teaching her “daughter” how to use herbs to heal the nearby villagers in spite of being outcasts, undesirables and even physically abused for not knowing their lineage. Lucila also knows that her ward has power as the MOON CHILD.

Maria befriends all the spirits, flora and fauna of her forestry home, but is uncomfortable with humans except for her “mother”. The barrio Captain Arturo falls in love with Maria, but she initially shies away from him until he persuades her that they belong together and he would never purposely hurt her. They move into a home together not realizing buried beneath is the grave of Maya, a forest mortal maltreated by the villagers whom she cursed before dying. Additionally, Pacita, who loves Arturo, plans to destroy his relationship with Maria. At about the same time, Juanito comes to the forest playing the flute like a God as he hypnotizes all the women in a search for a soul. He may have found his soul when he falls in love with Maria.

This delightful romantic fantasy that in some ways feels like A Midsummer Night’s Dream focuses on the need for belonging through nurturing and love. Several key protagonists behave even spitefully due to loving someone else though in some cases it is unrequited. The fantasy elements enhance the basic need to have someone love you. Though clearly Maria’s tale, the support cast, (whether magical or human, kind or enviously desperate) enchant the audience in search of the “elusive butterfly of love”.

Harriet Klausner

 

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