The Pool of Two Moons

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Author: Kate Forsyth
Barcode/ISBN13: 9780091835293
ISBN: 0091835291
Imprint/Brand: Corgi
Release Date: 03 Jul 1998
Format: A Paperback
Series: Witches Of Eileanan 02
Number of Pages: 566
Weight: 308 grammes
Price $AUD: $14.95
Categories: Fantasy
Australian Author

The eagerly awaited sequel to DRAGONCLAW POOL OF TWO MOONS Book Two of the Witches of Eileanan Author Kate Forsyth made a bit of a splash with the first volume of this series last year. Her first novel, Dragonclaw was shortlisted for the 1997 Aurealis Awards for Best Fantasy putting her in the company of Sarah Douglass and Isobelle Carmody and received rave reviews. Now the story of the Witches of Eileanan continues ... At the terrible Day of Reckoning witchcraft was outlawed in Eileanan; witches were killed and their great towers of learning destroyed. Behind the persecution is the beautiful and mysterious Banrigh. The Lodestar, the Inheritance of Adean wielded by the rulers of Eileanan, is lost. Jaspar, the Righ, sickens as he hears the Lodestar's song grow fainter and fainter. Not all the witches were killed on the Day of Reckoning, however. The wood witch Meghan leads the halfblackbird, halfman Bacaiche and the Scarred Warrior Iseult through the countryside to the safety of the Veiled Forest, where she hopes to meet up with Isabeau, her ward, whom she has entrusted to carry part of the precious Key of the Coven. Once in the forest they are visited by the magical Celestines, and Bacaiche reveals his true identity. There are also other, less welcome visitors: the Banrigh's Red Guards may be easily repelled at the forest's fringes, but not so the deadly mesmerdean. In the royal castle at Rhysmadill, Isabeau recovers from the rigours of her journey and falls into her role as servinggirl

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Review by Julianne:

The Pool of Two Moons continues the story of Meghan the Beasts, Isabeau the Foundling, Lachlan MicCuinn, Iseult of the White Snows and Maya, Banrigh of Eilenan. Isabeau has reached the palace of Maya and entered the service of Latifa, a witch friend of Meghan's, who is the palace cook. Lachlan and Isabeau are still travelling with Meghan, learning more about witchcraft and developing their own skills as fighters, whilst the rebels are afoot and working at undermining the banrigh Maya and the retrieval of the lodestar for Lachlan.
They have a time frame. Iseult and Lachlan need to learn their new skills of witchcraft and fighting, gather the rebel forces and arrive at Lucescere and the Pool of the Two Moons by Sanigh so the future of all witches can be decided.
In this book we meet new characters including Anghus MacRuraich who is set on the trail of Meghan by the Banrigh and a witch Margit of Arran of the thistle who has requested a meeting with the Banrigh.
Throw into this mix, the fact that the Righ Jaspar is on his death bed, and the Banrigh is heavily pregenant (after 16 years of being barren) with their first child after casting a magic spell of begetting. What is the maid to the Banrigh - Sani up to, and does she know Isabeau's secrets. Will Isabeau be able to convince Latifa that she has to go to Lucescere with the sections of the key as Meghan has requested?
It is an interesting book, as the reader is shown another side of some of the characters, and ‘good and evil' is not as black and white as some characters would like us to believe. There is still the struggle of good against evil, but more motifs are shown. Prophecy is followed and some of the minor characters grow and take on more challenging roles.
Kate Forsyth's writing has a heavy nature / woodsy witchcraft base, and would not necessarily be recommended for readers that like action packed fighting and strategy. It has a strong female influence in the writing and focuses more on the individual's storylines and less on the grand picture.
Having said that, I really enjoyed this series the first time I read it 3 years ago. Whilst I have not been as gripped by the series on my second time through (mainly due to time constraints on reading time) I have enjoyed re-reading these books. I finished this book wondering where the author will take me now, and what challenges she will present the characters.