The world of Moth, though set as fantasy, feels like an alternate reality of the Medieval ages. The backstory goes like this – the Earth had stopped spinning centuries ago and now lies still. There are two parts – one constantly bathed in sunlight and the other in darkness. Two races live – the Timandrians and the Elorians, both believe the existence of the other is just a myth. But a sect of monks from Timandra believe in Eloria and want to burn it all down. Living on either side of the races are Torin, a Timandrian and Koyee, an Elorian and a major part of the story is told from their view. War is emerging thanks to the ministrations of the blood-thirsty monks and both are stuck as unwilling participants.
What I really loved about Moth was the plotline and the subliminal meaning behind it. In a world where these two races haven’t encountered each other, prejudices lead them to believe the other is demonic. The Elorian calls the Timandrans sunlight demons and the latter calls the former creatures of the night. The manipulative monks create tension in a time of ignorant peace and start to lay the foundations of a bloody war. Torin had seen the Elorians and believe them to be innocent people and Koyee had her father murdered at the hands of the monks. Both embark to their respective king/elders to plead inaction/action from the powers that be. More interesting is the story of Koyee, a young girl who took upon herself the responsibility of saving her land. Her long-lost brother also comes into the story but he doesn’t leave the impact she does. She comes to her capital city, to warn the elders but has to live off the streets, become a thief and finally join the battle. Torin, meanwhile, tries to stop his king but there are too many forces that drive them towards the war. The whole story rests on ambition and hatred and I found is superbly written. I enjoyed the vivid storytelling, the shifting narratives and the excellent world-building that is so richly devised and executed – keeping me engaged and hooked onto every page. I daresay it is one of the best fantasy I’ve come across.
Received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.