It always a bit sad when a trilogy or series I love comes to an end. Even though rereading is certainly an option, it is still a good-bye to the characters I have come to love. This is why I spent a couple days just gazing at the (very pretty) cover of Moonkind by Sarah Prineas before reading it. As sad as it is to say good-bye, Moonkind is a wonderful end to what has been a joyful reading experience since I first opened Winterling two years ago.
As the Lady of the Summerlands, Fer has vowed to serve her people without the deception of the glamorie and she had trusted other leaders to fulfill the same promise. But not all the Lords and Ladies want to keep their oaths, and they've unleashed the consequences of their betrayal onto the lands. Only Fer, with the help of the puck-boy Rook, can fight the stillness invading the lands. But can she trust Rook? And can she protect her people before it's too late?
What I love most about this trilogy is how much about relationships of every kind it is, and how Prineas shows these relationships while maintaining intriguing plots and building a gorgeous world. This final installment has all those elements at their finest. Fer made a massive mistake when she demanded an oath from the defeated Lords and Ladies at the end of Summerkin. Yes, she was correct about the deceptive and wrong nature of glamories, but the change was too sudden and the oaths impossible for most to keep. Fer faces the consequences of this mistake head on, showing courage and strength in the face of opposition. She is a very different Fer from the one who first entered the Sumerlands in Winterling. This is a story about her changing and how it has changed her relationships with everyone around her, most especially Rook. This has never been just Fer's story, it always belonged equally to Rook. Rook is featured in this book prominently, and his character really and truly shines. It was lovely to see him be all I knew he was capable of being, and yet maintain everything that makes him equally endearing and exasperating. The relationship between Fer and Rook has always been fraught, and watching it morph and grow in this final installment was so rewarding. These two and their not-quite-friendship has been the best part of the trilogy for me and I was beyond satisfied with how everything came together there in the end.
As well as being about relationships of various kinds, the entire trilogy has also been about change. The changing of the seasons, the growing-up of children, and the questioning of the rules that govern. That part of the story is also fulfilling as Fer tries to change the world around her for the better, and Rook starts to see change as something that is good and embrace it too. Prineas has a talent for effective imagery, and she wields it extremely well here as she describes all the various places, the Stilth taking over the land, and even some important giant spiders introduced in this book. (I could have used a little less imagery there maybe. Page 24 actually had me flailing and squealing, much to the amusement of my family.)
The ending is everything I hoped for in this book. It is filled with hope and promise. It isn't an end so much as a new beginning and is a spark for the imagination.