The Knight of the Moon was kindly sent as an ebook to me by Kontaxis after I reviewed his debut novel The Return of the Knights last year. It’s a prequel novella to The Return of the Knights following the story of John, The Long Arm, a bounty hunter who is given the task of hunting down a dangerous knight who turned their back on the Gaeldeath.
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This is a very short novella, totalling less than 100 pages, so I’ve tried to take this into account when considering my final opinions. The story itself therefore isn’t particularly long and I’d argue there isn’t enough time for the characters to quite develop like they would in a full-length novel.
The Knight of the Moon plot – 3.75/5
The Knight of the Moon follows the story of John, The Long Arm, a bounty hunter who is pulled out of a tavern by soldiers who then demand who goes and kills a man by the name of the Knight of the Moon (hence the book title). This then begins a mini quest for John who is joined by Nemesis, a woman that the soldiers says must go with him to atone for her sins of killing a man. Along with a couple more friends, John then sets out.
The plot’s first half was fairly enjoyable – it kept me interested and was going at a quick enough pace that I wanted to keep reading. However, there’s a very quick turnaround, a slower moment and then essentially what felt like a reconsideration from the author. Essentially, it feels like the story is rounding off but then it all sparks up again into a lot of sudden action with some big plot twists that felt a little forced.
The Knight of the Moon characters – 4/5
One of the best parts of the Knight of the Moon is the characters. They are the most notable thing about the book with the plot taking a back seat a lot of the time. There’s development between the two main characters and a genuine dislike of the villains too which is about as well as you can do in such a short amount of pages.
There is a very quick and odd relationship change between the two main protagonists that, a couple of chapters later you have to just find yourself accepting and so then when things change again later, you don’t feel that affected by it. I know this is vague but I thought it necessary to mention in case you felt the same when you read it.
The Knight of the Moon – 3.75/5
The Knight of the Moon is a fine novella. I don’t know if I’d encourage you to read it before reading Kontaxis’ original The Return of the Knight as I feel, due to its length, this was a far superior novel. I have read a brilliant fantasy novella in Ryan Cahill’s The Fall and so I know it can be done. However, The Knight of the Moon suffers from not being able to put enough plot and not enough strong character development for me to care that much.
I found myself turning the final page if The Knight of the Moon thinking I wouldn’t mind reading another novella featuring John, The Long Arm, I would just hope it had more substance.