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When sixteen year old Rachav drinks the Moon Temple’s forbidden wine, she hardly expects it to result in         the death of a priestess. But when King Nur orders Rachav to serve the Queen of the Night – the                               kingdom’s powerful goddess – as restitution, Rachav’s identical twin, Zaron, has her own reasons for                   joining the priesthood and offers to take her twin’s place. But choices have consequences. Now Rachav’s            family is in danger. As she uncovers the shocking reason why, she finds an ally in Salma, a brooding                nomad who wields an ancient force powerful enough to destroy the entire kingdom. While the epic                        showdown rages above the city, Rachav plays a dangerous game of her own. Can she rescue her sister and          right the wrongs of that fateful choice?  Or will the king succeed and trap her in the doomed city?


I’d like to  start  by thanking Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this book as well as Samantha Lien for the book tour asking me to take part in the book tour as it gave me the pushed me to finally read the book.

I thought it would be nice to start my review by including some of the advanced praise for this book, so here it is:

D. Donovan, e-book reviewer for Midwest Book Review: “There’s a journey, there’s danger, there’s sibling interactions from rivalry to love, and there’re political and spiritual threads throughout to keep readers riveted on characters and confrontations. It’s a pleasure to see quasi-history reinforced with a believable scenario (naughty teens stealing something forbidden, caught, and paying for their transgression); and it’s also satisfying to see ‘Moonfall’ evolve into a much wider story than that of simple teen rebellion.”

Jennifer Sadler-Venis, Concourse Online:  “‘Moonfall’ by Vanessa Morton is written as an embroidered historical Biblical fiction, yet it reads as a fantasy and delves into the lives of previously unexplored individuals. A thoroughly enjoyable story that proves itself to be both authentic and engrossing – action packed as it was, by the end I was left wanting more.”

Fay Lamb, author of “Stalking Willow,” “Better than Revenge” and “Charisse”: “Vanessa Morton has infused Biblical history with fiction to produce a novel that brings to life the history surrounding Israel’s entrance into the land of promise. Peering inside both the camp of Israel and Jericho, the clash of societies meet, and God’s promise is fulfilled. The author’s imagination intertwines with fact and tells a story that is not soon forgotten.”

Cynthia T. Toney, author of “Bird Face”: “Through the lovely young Rachav’s eyes, Vanessa Morton gives a stunning, accurately detailed portrayal of the life and times surrounding a real Biblical event in 1406 B.C. The fictional Rachav comes to life and represents women of courage and selflessness – from anywhere and any point in history – who accept and endure difficult challenges presented to them. With beautiful language and poignant
storytelling, Morton inspires today’s young women to be strong in faith and love.
Congratulations to this debut author on a satisfying and memorable read!”

This is an amazing fantastically well written book which was a joy to read. The development of the characters, plot and world was brilliant and evocative which made it a true page turner.

Some of the descriptions of scenes and events happening were so well written that I felt like I was an onlooker in the story, for example when ever the use of incense was described it was done in such a vivid evocative way that I actually felt like I was smelling it my self.

Rachav (according to the bible Rachav was the woamn (protitute) that helped the Isralites to capture the city of Jerico in the Promised land) and Zaron’s parents Ephron (a hitite that sold a cave to Abraham according to the bible) and Isus (an Egyptian goddess) were really strong and important characters who were real family people, their lives revolved around their family. Especially Isus even though she was really Ill through the majority if the book. I loved the way that by the end of the book Isus was almost fully recovered from her Illness and so back at the centre of the family again.

The Journey that Rachav goes on, after getting her twin sister to attend the temple to become a priestess instead of her (her punishment from the King for drinking the temples sacred wine and causing the death of one of the priestess’s), to find her friend Nuzzi to stop him selling his goats to buy her freedom from the temple for her is really interesting. And I loved the way that it became even more interesting from the moment Salma (a feminine given name derived from the Aramaic/Syriac word “shalmana” meaning “peaceful, righteous, honest”) found her unconcious on a rocky outcrop having been attacked by vultures.

All in all this book was amazing especially for a debut novel and the first book in a series, and I would not hesitate to read it again. So as you can probably imagine I can not wait for the next book and would not hesitate to recommend it to other people.



Vanessa Morton

Vanessa Morton is an archaeology junkie and virtual time traveler. She holds a BA in History and studied writing at UCLA.  Morton developed her love for Ancient History in Middle School when she spent a hot summer in her local library where she could  be found reading Greek, Jewish and Persian legends. Now she is living the dream When  she’s not writing stories or exploring  ancient ruins, she can be found with her husband and two daughters at their vineyard in East Texas.


Q&A with Vanessa Morton
As part of research for “Moonfall,” you actually visited the ancient city of Jericho. What was that like?
No high-rises or industrial compounds mar the surrounding landscape today, which gives the sense that little has changed over the millennia. Inside the city fortifications, archaeologists have exposed structural walls that would have been coated with smooth plaster and a wash of bright colors.
It was easy to imagine my characters partying by torchlight, while musicians entertained with throaty flutes, pounding drums, and hand-plucked strings. The experience was surreal.

What fascinates you most about the Late Bronze Age?
Sky gods were highly revered, especially the moon god, whose appearance marked the arrival of cooler temperatures each evening. Celestial phenomena regulated even the most mundane activities, for example, digging up certain flowers was only done after sunset.

Do you have to know a lot about history to enjoy reading “Moonfall?”
Open the book armed only with a desire to be entertained. My teen daughters were my initial audience, so Moonfall’s primary focus is on the lives and adventures of two 16-year-old twins who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. As an added perk, Moonfall will immerse you in the exotic culture of
the ancient near east.

In what ways will modern teens relate to sisters Rachav and Zaron?
Regardless of the era or realm, teens face many of the same issues and have similar concerns, for example: am I attractive; can I trust my friends or even my family; or why should I comply with rules that make no sense? Some feelings are hard-wired into our nature: jealousy, loyalty, and the
longing to love and be loved. Then as now, the transition into adulthood is at times awkward, emotional, and downright exhilarating.

What will surprise readers the most about “Moonfall?”
The characters’ resistance to conformance, how they handle the pain of betrayal, and their determination to carve their own path in an adult world, all played out in a mystical realm, where supernatural forces are not only accepted, but expected.

As a world traveler who visits archeological sites, where is the most interesting historical place you’ve explored?
I am intrigued by the enigmatic aura of Jericho, but I also admire the ingenuity of Roman fort construction along Hadrian’s wall in Britain and the haughty desolation of the Mayan pyramids near Cancun. Even newer sites, such as the settlement at Jamestown or the medieval castles of Europe, are
fascinating. It’s impossible to pick only one!

The end of “Moonfall” leaves readers wanting more. Are you working on a follow-up to the story?
Moonfall is the first installment of the “Tales from the Levant” series, and the second book will be coming in 2015. Readers will be happy to see one of their favorite Moonfall characters return for an exciting new role.