Fantasy fans lend me your ears, please welcome a prominent new voice in the Epic fantasy genre, Brian Lee Durfee. As we all wait on pins and needles for George R.R Martin to finish the Winds of Winter (going on 10 years now), we are left to search the horizon for new authors who can scratch that Game of Thrones itch we have been seeking for far too long. The Forgetting Moon far exceeded my expectations as a book that A Song of Ice and Fire fans would love and has catapulted into my top 10 epic fantasy series of all time and a must read if you are a fantasy junkie like myself.
Published in 2016, the Forgetting Moon is Mr. Durfee’s debut novel, but look’s can be deceiving. In fact, the story feels like it was written by a 10 year professional given the scope, plot, and amazing character work that Mr. Durfee has created. The story takes place in the Five Isles as an invading army led by Angel Prince Aeros starts a crusade to invade and conqueror the known world. As the ruling family of Gul Kana look to stop this invasion at all cost, the political maneuvering taking place behind the scenes makes it clear that no one is to be trusted and lies are being spread throughout the kingdom regarding the invasion. The story also revolves around a prophecy that the Five Warrior Angels are to be reborn and united once the lost weapons are found. The Five Angels are to be the resistance against the crusade, depending on which source you believe. Religion is also a big plot device used in this story as the scriptures of the church are never to be questioned, but the church as been hiding several secrets of its own.
This is a Multi-POV novel, which features some of the most memorable characters I have read in the genre. First we have Nail: an orphan boy saved at birth from assassins’ and raised in a whaling village of Gallow Haven. Looking to live a quiet life with his friends until his village is attacked by the invading army and his adventure begins. Second is Jondralyn: Eldest daughter of the fallen king of Gul Kana, known as a beauty around the court, but she desires to prove herself as a warrior. Finally is the Assassin Hawkwood – trainer of Jondralyn as they look to uncover the inner conspiracies of the kingdom.
Mr. Durfee’s writing style I find to be similar to the way that Robert Jordan wrote the Wheel of Time. Slowly moving plot with dense and rich descriptions of the towns, landscape, religious lore, and of course the battle scenes. The Forgetting Moon has some of the most bloody, brutal, and gory battle scenes in the genre and each battle is told with such fine detail, that I felt immersed in the field with the armies. Readers who enjoy a good slow-burn will eat this book up, especially at the climax of the story. This book shouldn’t be anyone’s first voyage into epic fantasy due to the complexities of the plot, characters, and world building.
The Forgetting Moon is pact full of surprises, different races, and plot twists that you will not see coming. This book is the epidemy of “one more chapter” when you are in bed past midnight on a Wednesday. It is beyond me why this series is not more popular in the SFF community. This is every bit as epic as the Titans of the genre!
Thank you Mr. Durfee for your work, passion, and down right kickass adventure in the Forgetting Moon!