Blue Moon Rising

by Simon R. Green | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0451450957 Global Overview for this book
Registered by phantomreader42 of Warner Robins, Georgia USA on 12/31/2002
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13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by phantomreader42 from Warner Robins, Georgia USA on Tuesday, December 31, 2002
In those days, there were heroes and villains, and darkness walked the earth. There were dragons to be slain, captured princesses to be saved, and mighty deeds to be acomplished by knights in shining armor.
Many tales are told of that time, tales of steadfast bravery and derring-do...
This isn't one of them.


A great book. The story of prince Rupert, second son of a bankrupt kingdom, who is sent on a quest to slay a dragon and prove himself, or at least get himself killed and resolve the problem of succession. So he rides into the Darkwood on an ill-tempered unicorn, wearing very inconvenient armor, and rescues a princess who is perfectly capable of taking care of herself from a dragon who isn't actually a bad guy (there is some argument about whether he rescued the princess from the dragon or vice-versa). After he returns, the blue moon begins rising, bringing the Wild Magic, and the evil in the Darkwood spreads. Rupert will need all the help he can get to save the Forest Kingdom and the world.
This is a fractured fairy tale. It is often hilarious, occasionally heroic, and definitely worth reading.

Books by Simon R. Green:
Blue Moon Rising
Blue Moon Rising

Vysion's personal copy of this book

Journal Entry 2 by phantomreader42 from Warner Robins, Georgia USA on Saturday, April 05, 2003
Offered as part of a Bidirectional Bookray (better name pending, one suggestion is Two-way Bookray, which rhymes), along with Stranger in a Strange Land

The following people have asked to join:
marinaw (will recieve Blue Moon Rising first)
lavatea
SnowPepsi24 (who calls it the "Burning the candle at both ends bookray")
phillycarol
bunzrun
Zmrzlina (will recieve Stranger in a Strange Land first)

Once Zmrzlina receives Blue Moon Rising, she has agreed to start a standard bookray for it. The first spot has been offered to vi0let

The picture was taken from mrsordonez

Journal Entry 3 by phantomreader42 from Warner Robins, Georgia USA on Thursday, April 10, 2003
Mailed to marinaw. It should arrive in a week.

Journal Entry 4 by marinaw from Dripping Springs, Texas USA on Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Arrived in today's mail. Will read it ASAP (squeezing in between some owed books) and send it to the next in line.
Great idea...I hope someone else picks up on it, with other genres.

Journal Entry 5 by marinaw from Dripping Springs, Texas USA on Tuesday, May 27, 2003
With apologies to lavatea, I'm *finally* through with the book.

Finally, a quest tale that fractures the conventions and gives the reader characters realistic enough to care about. So now the task is to find out if there's a sequel, or if the author has spun an equally good tale in other settings.
I was a little disappointed that the Night Witch wasn't a stronger (as in more page-time, more active) character in the book. I believe she could have been useful without compromising the plot muchly. But then I'm a bit prejudiced, and believe it was an oversight to *not* recruit the help of a magical resident of the Darkwood.
Although I'm categorically against villainous behavior, watching the "dance" was entertaining. I don't pretend to know anything about politics, I maneuver about as well as a Ford Galaxy in those circles. But I can appreciate finesse when I see it.

I most especially enjoyed the following quote:
"Magic is going out of the world, and...all because of man. His logical, rational mind will be the death of magic yet. Magic works by its own rules, and they don't pay much attention to cause and effect. That's why all the truly great sorcerers have always been eccentrics; they mastered magic because they were as whimsical and contradictory as the sorcery they studied. Magic has its own structure and logic, but it's not a human logic.There are rules that magic obeys, but even those tend to be contracts of agreement rather than natural laws. Magic's a confusing business. Every year there are less and less people who can bend their minds enough to control magic. Fewer and fewer mad enough to understand sorcery, while still sane enough not to be destroyed by it. Magic will be gone from this world, driven out by Man, with his need for logic and reason and simple, understandable answers. Science will replace magic, and we'll all be a damn sight better off. Science always works. All we'll have lost will be a little poetry, and little beauty...and perhaps a little wonder of the world. No more dragons. No more unicorns."

*update 6/6/03: *finally* on it's way outta here today, to lavatea in Mesquite...

Journal Entry 6 by lavatea from Tyler, Texas USA on Tuesday, June 10, 2003
I just received this book today. I haven't been on a reading streak lately, but I will try to overcome that and get this one read as soon as possible so it can be sent on its way. Thanks!

Journal Entry 7 by lavatea from Tyler, Texas USA on Monday, March 01, 2004
I started this and was enjoying it, but it was time for it to move on so I didn't finish. Maybe someday...
Mailed 2/28/04.

Journal Entry 8 by SnowPepsi24 from Cody, Wyoming USA on Thursday, March 04, 2004
I received this today. It will be placed as #2 in my TBR pile.

Journal Entry 9 by SnowPepsi24 at on Sunday, March 14, 2004
Released on Sunday, March 14, 2004 at Mailed to a fellow Bookcrosser in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

I really enjoyed this book. At first I thought it was going to be pretty stupid, but after the first thirty pages it really picked up and turned out to be great. Reminds me of the Princess Bride and Shrek.

Mailed yesterday to phillycarol.

Journal Entry 10 by phillycarol from King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, March 15, 2004
Received in the mail today. Thanks! It's next in line...

Journal Entry 11 by phillycarol from King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Absolutely loved it! Very imaginative story with no ends left undone. The writing style is definitely reminiscent of The Princess Bride. I raced through the story yet didn't want it to end. Two thumbs up!

Journal Entry 12 by bunzrun from Wirtz, Virginia USA on Monday, April 05, 2004
This arrived for my reading pleasure! Haven't gotten into it (Have to finish another bookring first---don't worry only have a few pages left!) but have read the front "tickler" It has tickled my interest.
It looks well worth the wait.

Journal Entry 13 by bunzrun from Wirtz, Virginia USA on Monday, April 05, 2004
PS. Someone asked about a sequel. Amazon has listed "Beyond the Blue Moon". The reviews are mixed so check it out for yourself.

Journal Entry 14 by bunzrun from Wirtz, Virginia USA on Sunday, May 02, 2004
Have no fear! I have not forgotten about this book. At this point, I am almost half through it and begging for a bit more time to finish.

I am enjoying the read very much. Traveling through the changing castle, the plots for the new King Harald, Rupert's adventures, the dragon's quips, etc.


Journal Entry 15 by bunzrun from Wirtz, Virginia USA on Friday, May 28, 2004
What more can I say? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book despite the length! Thank you Phantomreader for the opportunity.

it is a very unusual fantasy tale. Wish the dragon would have been more active through the tale though. Many mini-lessons to be found also. Be true to yourself, loyalty despite you maybe coming in second, forgiveness, using skills and/or equipment that you know rather than what others think best, etc.

Near the end of my reading, I watched The Princess Bride and also see the similarities in plot and style. It fact it helped my enjoyment of the movie.

(My husband also read Blue Moon Rising and enjoyed it as much as I did. We are on the lookout for other books by Simon Green.)


Journal Entry 16 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Woo hoo! I have another phantomreader42 book on my bookshelf :-) It sits here beside the bed in my temporary Pittsburgh home and will probably be around to sit beside my bed in my permanent Pittsburgh apartment in a couple week.

I will read this and start another ray with it starting with vi0let. But first I will post another journal entry, or two (this is a long book!).

Journal Entry 17 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, June 02, 2004
I started reading this at lunch today and I am totally captivated. Found myself smiley inanely at passages, particularly the hero's cursing of mistrals. I've only read the first chapter, but I suspect Henry & June will not get as much attention as they should in the next few days. And in the grand tradition of phantomreader42, I present...



THE LINKS
For those who would like to know more about unicorns, I recommend Book of the Unicorn by Nigel Suckling. It is a lovely book and filled with unicorn stories and charming illustrations. Dragons are easier to study, thanks to Mercedes Lackey (who I won't link because I've yet to actually read any of her books...but I will) and hoards of other fantasy writers. Two recent purchases of mine should be on every dragon fancier's shelf, The Dragon Hunter's Handbook, a field guide to seeking out dragons, very slender volume and though the illustrations lack charm or true beauty, it is still a worthy book to own. The second is sumptuous, Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology. It is found in the children's section, but like so much of today's children's lit, it is also written for adults.

And speaking of adults only, there is a bit truth behind the Night Witch, who has made a brief appearance (so far) in Blue Moon Rising. Countess Erzsebet Bathory, a 17th century Hungarian woman who did indeed bath in the blood of virgins. The bare bones of the story are on Dennis Báthory-Kitsz's site, as well as details about the opera he has written. I have visited the ruins of the notorious countess' castle, Cachtice Hrad (hrad means castle ruin in Slovak). There are pictures of it on my VirtualTourist pages.
I promise not to post again until I have read lots more of the book.

Journal Entry 18 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, June 10, 2004
Not quite finished but taking names for new bookray. Adding names as they come in and not trying to keep it geographically sensible otherwise it would be forever until it left the predominately English speaking areas of the world.

viOlet in Finland
billhookbabe in England
Hero in Ireland
sarana in Netherlands
karendawn in USA
Loeweneckerchen in Germany
katayoun in Iran
gerenggat in England (ship only within Europe)
Auglaise in Wales
snowmyst in USA
Hengameh in Iran

I wish I could travel with this book. Look at all the places it will go!

Journal Entry 19 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, June 13, 2004
Sing along with me...
You'll see green alligators and long neck geese,
Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees.
Some cats and rats and elephants but as sure as you're born,
You're never gonna' see no Unicorn!. --Irish Rovers (written by Shel Silverstein)
When Rupert, the protagonist, jokingly questions the unicorn's courage (he rides a unicorn and not a horse for a particular reason but I don't want to spoil anything), the unicorn says, "The ones with any sense are [chicken]. The only reason unicorns are so rare is that most of us haven't the sense to come out of the rain." It made me smile to see the reference to the above song, which I adored as a kid.

I truly enjoyed the unicorn's part in this story, as well as the dragon, but they don't have very big roles. Both have a wicked wit. The princess, Julia, and Rupert are well drawn, however neither have much depth. Julia's bravado, while refreshing, gets a bit stall after a while. Rupert's constant "why me" gets annoying, too. Harald, Rupert's brother, is a more complicated character and quite interesting. And I like how the brothers' relationship is not always what one might expect. The king, John, is nicely fleshed out, and I am very happy with with how the story concludes for him. Wasn't as thrilled with the ending for most of the other characters, though, so that drops the number rating a few points.

I'd figured out the climax long before it happened, but I suppose that's typical of most fantasy novels. Very few tricks or twists left to surprise. However, the political intrigue is captivating. You could easily translate this into modern politics. All the need for control and power and all the havoc that need brings upon others, even unintentionally. Even when the havoc creators truly think they are doing good.

The descriptions of the Darkwood, a place where even Richard Simmons would be depressed, is great. The reader is drawn right into the heaviness and dark fear. And the demons are truly terrifying. I don't think even the orcs in Lord of the Rings scared me as much as the demon in this book, and I thought the orcs were the ultimate in monsters. There is another creature in the middle part of the story that made me think Green had seen one too many Star Trek shows. It was a bit too supernatural to be plausible.

I might be interested in reading Green's Hawk and Fisher series, which is a continuation of this story, though without the leads (I think). But, first I have to work my way through a huge pile of TBR now that I am settled in my new city. Thanks to phantomreader42 for sending this out and now it is headed to Finland to begin a new journey that will take it to lots of countries.

Journal Entry 20 by vi0let from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, July 19, 2004
This arrived during my vacation, I´m sorry for the delay caused! Will read asap (I´m not quite sure how soon that is since I have another bookring waiting too, but I´ll do my best). Thank you, Zmrzlina and of course phantomreader!

Journal Entry 21 by vi0let from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, August 12, 2004
I don´t know why I didn´t love the book -maybe I´ve just read too much fantasy, lately.

Next stop, Billhookbabe in England.


Journal Entry 22 by billhookbabe on Saturday, August 21, 2004
I see this book had been on a quest of it's own. latest adventure is being left on my back step in the rain by my postman, happily it and two other books survived unscathed. My bookring ray pile is a little high at the moment but hope to have this read by the end of September.

Journal Entry 23 by billhookbabe on Sunday, September 12, 2004
I have often wondered why heros and those on quests never go to the toilet, and now it is all explained. A book with a certain realism and many messages. There were times when I could have shaken Rupert, he was such a victim. I agree that the dragon, the witch and even Grey could have had bigger parts. Unicorn reminded me very much of Donkey of Shrek. I was also shouting out the final traitor, it seemed so obvious. The fact that the main characters never once questioned his involvement when he had the most powerful magic made me very frustrated.

There was a part in the book when Rupert was travelling in the Dark Woods, I can't remember how far in it was, but the descriptions were excellent and gave me the shivers.

Don't expect this book to be too serious, a lot of modern day sayings were thrown in and I reckon Simon Green had a great time writing it. His humour shone through.

This tome is off now on it's travels to Hero in Ireland. I would make a quip but she may come back at me with his dragon or scary enchanted sword :o)

Journal Entry 24 by Hero from Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Arrived this morning - thanks to billhookbabe and zmrzlina! One ring before this, but I'm more than half-way through that already. Looks great.

Journal Entry 25 by Hero from Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Wednesday, September 22, 2004
No worries, billhookbabe, I'm not *that* kind of hero. ;)

Well, finished last night, and now I can finally reply to Zmrzlina's comment about it being typical that fantasy stories are predictable - no no no NO! (Yes, I have been waiting to say that since I joined up and no, I probably can't be much more lucid on the subject. ;) But read anything by Martha Wells, just for starters.) I felt that one thing which stopped me loving this book was that the author seemed undecided on exactly what it was to be - it started out as a fractured fairy tale, and I was very happy with that, but by about mid-way through I suddenly noticed how Tolkien-derivative it felt (this is all personal reaction, mind). I won't spell it out so as not to spoil anything.

I also felt this it have used some serious editing, as there were far too many repetitive passages. Especially the switches in POV to say, 'This was a new X. The old X was easy to handle... etc. ', or the irritating bit about hands dropping suggestively to pommels of swords. Like a few others I found the secondary characters wonderful, and could have done with much more of them, but the main ones were relativly unengaging by the end. Still an exciting and very atmospheric read, thanks to everyone involved for this ray! Off to sarana today.

Journal Entry 26 by sarana from Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Barely surviving its perilous journey through the mail, Blue Moon Rising arrived at my door today. Thanks for sending it Hero, and for the lovely card! I'm looking forward to reading it...

Journal Entry 27 by sarana from Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, November 17, 2004
It took me awfully long to read and finish Blue Moon Rising, sorry about that. Sometimes life just doesn't spare you any reading time at all...

About the book: I thought it started out way too fast. The speed of the action in the first part, Rupert's dragon quest, somehow didn't allow me to really get involved. It wasn't until about halfway through that I finally felt connected to the characters.
I really liked all the "extras": the unicorn, the dragon, the Senechal and of course the hilarious goblins. The main characters were alright, but less interesting. The story was nice, especially the sarcastic tone. The ending was a bit predictable, and as Hero said, the story was a bit repetitive at times (pommel here, pommel there, pommel everywhere...). But all in all I enjoyed the book. What I enjoyed most were the politics (yeah for conspiracy!) and the search for the Armory.

Journal Entry 28 by sarana from Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, November 25, 2004
Because of personal stuff I wasn't able to go to the post office until today. But the book is on its way to the next reader now, traveling all the way across the Atlantic to the USA. Enjoy!

One more thing: I heard the most perfect song this week, try and find it if you can... It's called Dante's Prayer by Loreena McKennitt. I cannot listen to it without thinking about Rupert's journey. Here's a part of the lyrics:

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me.


I feel it could have been Blue Moon Rising's soundtrack... In the rest of the text you can even "find" references to the Rainbow Sword and to the dragon. Such wonderful serendipity...

Journal Entry 29 by karendawn from Lafayette, Indiana USA on Thursday, December 02, 2004
The book arrived today. Thank you!

I'm right at the end of the semester, so the next week or two will be pretty busy, though I'll be taking some breaks to read. As soon as the semester is over, if I have not yet finished this book, I will do so quickly.

Journal Entry 30 by karendawn from Lafayette, Indiana USA on Saturday, December 04, 2004
I felt like the Sword of Compulsion had me in its power as I read this book. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop. I really didn't mean to read through it this quickly; I just started it last night to take a small break from studying - the small break turned into a very long break. So now I have a lot of catching up to do tomorrow! (But I think it was worth it.) Although the book was a fairly typical fantasy it was very enjoyable and quite funny at times.

As soon as I get an address I'll send the book on to the next reader. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this one!

UPDATE Dec. 10: Completely forgot to journal that I sent this book to the next reader on Wednesday. I used airmail, so it should get there soon!

Journal Entry 31 by Loeweneckerchen from Böblingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Sunday, March 06, 2005
Arrived this week together with several other books. Apparently the post office has collected them for a long time now, but that's really strange ... I'm glad the book did arrive at last!

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