by Terrance V. Mc Arthur
Some call her Digger. Some call her Celyne Contrare. Many call her a thief, and they’re the ones who are the most right. In Elizabeth C. Bunce’s Liar’s Moon, Digger is arrested and put in a prison cell with Durrell Decath, a young nobleman who saved her life in StarCrossed, the first book in the series. Now, Durrell is accused of murdering his rich wife—who has a large, wealthy, and vengeful family—and someone has thrown into custody the one person who might be able to find out who really committed the murder.
Is it the Paris Hilton-like daughter who might be in love with her handsome, young stepfather? Could it be Lord Ragn, Durrell’s father who pushed the marriage because he was running out of money? How about Karst, a brutish man with a cruel streak and criminal tendencies? Or…could it be Durrell?
Trying to keep ahead of the Night Watch, the Day Watch, and the Grand Inquisitor’s religious troops of Greenmen in the Renaissance-ish city, Digger/Celyne has a special talent—she can tell where magic has been. The girl sees sparkling traces of used magic and people who have magical power. The Grand Inquisitor wants to use that power to locate and remove the magical folk of the realm…and the Grand Inquisitor is her brother, Werne.
This teen novel travels from high society’s salons to the saloons of the god of thieves, mixing politicians and merchants, conspirators and inquisitors.
The second book in a trilogy usually suffers from hammock syndrome—nothing really ends, because the purpose of the book is to set up the conflicts that will be resolved in the final volume. Bunce does a better job here than most writers. There are conclusions, and some plotlines reach an end, except for one big AHA moment at the end, which will set up a new set of problems for Celyne in the third book.
Liar’s Moon takes place in an imaginary land, and the names are pretty unusual. You could do what Linus in the old Peanuts comic strip would do—substitute a name like Fred or Mary.