All witches remember the war between the terrorist coven Moonset and the ruling witch Congress fifteen years ago that scarred the magical community. Moonset’s legacy resides in the five children who were left in the aftermath, sons and daughters of the hated Moonset witches. These orphan children have grown up together, moving from school to school and facing the prejudice of witches everywhere who think the children might follow in their parents’ terrible footsteps. Justin Daggett, the son of Moonset’s leader, is the peacemaker of the group and always tries to keep his siblings from each other’s throats. After an attack by a wraith, Justin and his siblings are moved to Carrow Mill, a seemingly innocuous small town. The children soon discover there’s more to Carrow Mill than they first thought, and their role in the town is more dangerous than they imagined. Dark magic has been wreaking havoc on the town. Is it Cullen Bridger, a dangerous follower of Moonset and a man cloaked in myth, or is it someone else?
My favorite parts of Moonset were the relationships between Justin and his siblings. Justin is only related to his twin Jenna by blood, but he cares just as much about his older brother Malcolm and his younger siblings Cole and Bailey. They’re a tight-knit group, bound by an unescapable past and forced to defend themselves against people who only see them as Moonset’s children. I loved how Justin and his siblings protect each other and cover for each other when one or more of them inevitably causes trouble. Each sibling has a unique personality and they have a great group dynamic. I immediately liked all of them and cared about what happened to them.
The world builds slowly. Quotes from texts related to Moonset and interviews from people involved in the war are at the start of every chapter, so information about the past is revealed bit by bit through the quotes. Plus there’s Justin’s narrative and what he knows of what happened. Even after finishing the book, the story of Moonset and the war with the witch Congress feels incomplete. This is the first book in a series, so I’m assuming more will be revealed later. I think all isn’t what it seems and there’s a lot more to discover about who the Moonset witches were, what their motives were, and why they did what they did.
The mystery of who’s pursuing the children and terrorizing the town of Carrow Mill keeps the pace going and I definitely kept reading to find out who it was. I’m still a bit confused about the big reveal and everyone and every thing involved. The events of this book are obviously part of a much larger plot. Who I assume to be the antagonist of the series isn’t even in this book. I keep mentioning the fact that there’s more to the story; Moonset is clearly a first book. The children are kept in the dark about what’s happening around them, a plot device that really annoys me. I understand why the Congress doesn’t share information with them; they’re afraid the children will turn evil. I get that it creates tension and everything, but I still get annoyed when everyone’s lives would be so much easier if the supporting characters let the protagonists in on what’s going down.
The siblings of Moonset kept me interested and I’m intrigued to find out what happens next. Moonset is a promising start to a new witch series.
Note: I received this e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.