Honest Book Review: When the Moon Hatched

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When the Moon Hatched by Sarah A Parker

Moonfall #1


So, I have another confession to make, I had no interest in reading ‘When the Moon Hatched.’ I heard of this popular fantasy romance several times on Bookstagram. But, it did not pique my interest whatsoever.

‘When the Moon Hatched’ is a fantasy romance book that can come close to scratch the itch after reading Fourth Wing and Iron Flame.

Until, Avon Books Publishers reached out to me to read this book and invite the author on my podcast. Okay, I will give it a shot.

Check out my interview with Sarah A Parker as I discuss her book and her inspirations for When the Moon Hatched.

« For those who feel small and quiet. Spread those wings and soar »

Holy smokes. Another book this year that shook me to the core. Where I wished I had picked this book up sooner. Why didn’t I? At this moment, I cannot recall why I didn’t want to read this book. Anyways, on to the review.

I absolutely adore the magic system in this book. It is sorely an elemental magic system but with a twist. Where each element is represented as a god that a person can sing to. You can identify each person’s element but the colored bead in their ear. You were considered pretty powerful if you had more than one element you can sing to. 

First off, let’s talk about the index/glossary. The index almost scared me away. Also, it was a 700+ page book as well. Besides the point, it can be intimidating. My best advice, ignore the index/glossary. Only refer to it when you come across something that needs an explanation. Believe me, you are not going to understand everything reading the index/glossary first. Plus, I personally feel there are small spoilers in it. So best to skip to get the best experience out of When the Moon Hatched. Trust me, you will be referring to it a lot.

TIP: Do not look at the family tree in the back of the book! There is a spoiler and when I did an interview with the author, she even said, not to look. 

This my friendly readers, this is a gritty story. This is not sugar coated and can get dark at times. There is torture, fighting and things that will rip your heart out. But it was done well in my opinion. But a bit of a warning if you are going into this with this being a romantasy. 

This book I feel has two parts and why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5:

High Fantasy first part.

Romantasy second part.

The first part of this story is what I wanted more of. There was a distinct shift in focus halfway through the book. It felt like the assassin part of Raeve was forgotten and on to the romantic shift of the story. It felt like we completely abandoned the real gritty side of our FMC which is her rough upbringing. I am hoping in the next book we get back to Fíur du Ath and that plot line. 

Now I love Raeve’s humor through the dumbest and darkest moments of the story. She had a way to make the moments less gritty. Which made this a very entertaining read. That said, Raeve also had snarky comments at the most unnecessary moments in the story. But, for some reason, I wasn’t annoyed for once.

The romance between Raeve and Kaan was amazing. There was a perfect amount of tension and just pure passion. When they FINALLY got together, it was love making, not dirty smut between two people. It felt passionate and such a refreshing take in the fantasy romance genre.

⚠️⚠️⚠️ Spoiler Warning⚠️⚠️⚠️

So now I get into some spoilers and my thoughts on it.

Lets just say when Essie died ⅓ of the book, it broke my heart. How could Sarah use a sweet side character like that to move the plot along. Ugh. Tragic. 

mystery behind the amnesia of Raeve. Who in turn, turned out to be Elluin, a princess who was the lover of Kaan and turns out to have a child with him that Kaan has no clue about. *phew* lots to unpack there. I love how there were a lot of nuggets about Raeve’s past throughout the book but couldn’t really figure it out till it hit at the very end. I want to know more of what happened and why.

Of course the mystery of Raeve amnesia or why did she die when she was Elluin. How did it happen? The story was that Kaan’s father was the one who killed her. So what actually happened?

So there are moments where “The Other” is the POV of the story. One who has separate personality that takes over while Kaeve is wholly unaware of. This Other has no problem being a cannibal. So who is this “Other” that is being introduced in this story? I am wondering if it had to do with the stone that she had to wear when she was Elluin. 

Now after Kaan brought Raeve to his kingdom, he basically lets her have free reign to do what she pleases and to leave if she wants. This is such a small thing, but it irked me. Raeve steals things from the castle, trades the things she stole for knives and feels like the most resourceful chick out there. But I can’t help but wonder that the people she traded with knew who she actually was and just gave it to her? Sometimes the story felt like it was trying a little too hard to paint Raeve as this Bad A character when it comes across as I would say again, “trying too hard.”

Like I mentioned earlier, this felt like a two part series. The second part really focuses on the romance between Raeve and Kaan. The reason I was slightly frustrated with that is because it felt like we lost Raeve as the assassin that I fell in love with in the beginning. Raeve literally became super docile. Almost as if it was a completely forgotten plot point. Now, the romance was excellent, don’t get me wrong. But let’s not abandon ship on what made this woman very fierce in the first place. I am hoping to see more of the assassins guild she became a part of because there are a lot of loose ends that were wrapped up in the end of this book.

I am hoping to see more of the dragons in the story. We did get Kaan dragon in this but it felt like book time for him was very short lived. The story boasts of dragons and I personally feel like I didn’t get enough but hopefully book 2 will scratch that itch for me.