Once, the river was lively. It flowed beside the houses raised on stilts in a cascade of flashing water. A young water sprite known as Perdita splashed in the waves, waiting for the elders to finish building a portal to another world, where humans had not yet disrupted the delicate peace of the river.
But things are different now. Many years ago, the river was dammed with fallen trees and mud, and no one since has been able to get it to flow. Now, the houses have been raised much higher, to avoid the rising water. A marsh has formed where the river used to be. And anyone who swallows the marsh water gets a wasting sickness no one has a cure for.
Luna has grown up in the houses raised above the marsh, paddling through the still water with her little sister, Willow, on the prow of her ship. She doesn’t believe that the wasting sickness comes from a curse, or that magic exists at all.
But then Willow gets the wasting sickness. No one believes anything can be done to save her. But Luna is ready to do anything to make her better—even believe in magic.
A Nearer Moon was a beautifully written fantasy which read almost like a fairytale. The world of the river—in the times of both Luna and Perdita—felt real and unique. Melanie Crowder wove together the two stories of Luna and Perdita in an exciting, beautiful narrative. I would highly recommend A Nearer Moon to readers ages eight and up.