“Secrets of Moldara” By Brianne Earhart
CIRCLE THE MOON AND CROSS THE TIDE
By Samantha Shrider / June 22nd 2018
Title: Secrets of Moldara
Author: Brianne Earhart
Series(?): Moldara Series
Publisher: Myth Machine
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2018
Source & Format: Myth Machine, Print 1st edition
Page Count: 346
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
CIRCLE THE MOON AND CROSS THE TIDE
BEYOND THE WATERFALLS, PROTECTORS HIDE
LEAVE THE LAST SECRET AT THEIR DOOR
AND THEY WILL DEFEND YOU EVERMORE
The woods around Lotty’s childhood home are filling up with dangerous people. Her grandmother’s death has brought the family back from Chicago and triggered a secret Lotty was never meant to face alone. Guided by a desire to finally solve her Grandpa’s disappearance, Lotty has enlisted the help of farm hands that are keeping their own deadly secrets. Together they will have to learn to trust again, relying on each other’s will to fight, if they are going to survive the truth that waits for them all in Moldara
The first chapter of “The Secrets of Moldara” threw me a bit off, it’s not through main character Lotty’s point of view, and you’re not sure what in the hell is going on. It simultaneously seems as though it is based in the 14th century while also allowing for modern technology like cars and flashlights- however everything falls into place as you keep reading and revolves around the disappearance of Lotty’s grandfather.
I ended up loving this book. Most of it takes place in our world, so there’s not a ton of world building in this one but I’m excited about book two and where it might take place. The setting throughout most of the story is a small town in Virginia, on a large horse farm and it’s written so well I could easily see it as if it had been one of the farms I played around in my teens.
If you’re not used to reading fantasy this would be a good one for you as the nerdier elements are explained well (the archery, the renaissance fairs, the references to other nerdiness, etc.) and there’s almost contemporary style romance between the two teen main characters.
“I’m not a damsel in distress, just a marksman with a flesh wound. Isn’t there a princess you should be saving or a castle that needs storming?”
The characters are believable and relatable, from Lotty’s feelings about the boys helping out on her grandparent’s farm to her love of her cousin. I really related to Lotty, since I spent a lot of time growing up at ren fairs, and reading books, or playing RPGS. And though she exhibits some traditional YA girl attributes like clumsiness and rash choice making, she’s no damsel in distress and is fully capable of taking care of herself. Though I grew frustrated with Lotty being in denial about the fantastical things happening around her I did understand it being attributed to her childhood, and the therapy she was made to participate in after her grandfather’s disappearance.
The dialogue is fun, and quick-witted and had me chuckling out loud several times. I loved the relationships throughout the story, especially Lotty’s relationship with her cousin who is like a brother to her.
“Clearly things did not go the way he intended, but when certain truths can alter a life, there’s only so much a person can plan for.”
Overall, I honestly give this book 5 stars because I enjoyed the ride and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve already decided to buy the second book the day it releases in August, and I can’t wait to get back to the characters and see the new developments!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Myth Machine. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About the Author
Brianne Earhart spent most of her childhood dreaming up stories. She would pretend there were knights and fairies living in the woods behind her house, her animals could talk to her, magic was a superpower, and that her imaginary friend really did have a house in that fallen tree across the horse trails. Struggling with learning disabilities throughout her schooling, she was very insecure because reading was a challenge. Her imagination and creative expression were her safe place and creating stories through works of art, her liberation. After years of self-education, she had enough confidence to trade her paintbrush for words and create The Moldara Series. Brianne Earhart loves being outdoors, creating art, all things yoga, and dark chocolate. She lives with her husband, Tony, and their 5 kids by a lake in Northern Idaho.