Sisterly bonds are often far-reaching, but in Melanie Crowder’s A Nearer Moon, that sibling union transcends worlds.
This hauntingly beautiful fantasy unfolds through two storylines. The first takes place on a swampy Earth-like planet where stilt houses are connected by swinging bridges. Danger lurks just below the still surface of the marsh, and anyone who swallows the water is cursed, doomed to die in 21 days. Luna and her younger sister, Willow, are boating in the eerie fen, having a great and joyous time and refusing to let the ominous atmosphere spoil their fun. But when a swamp monster tips the boat, water splashes into Willow’s open mouth, and thus begins Luna’s quest to save her sister.
The other storyline follows twin water sprites, sisters who can sense each other through the thumping of their hearts, whether near or far. In the old days, sprites populated the world and shared their magic with people. But humans’ mining has created a hostile environment for the sprites, and they must leave Earth through a magic door to a new world. However, one of the twins fails to make it through the door and is left behind.
The real magic of this tale lies in how the storylines intertwine, through the unbreakable ties between the sets of sisters.