Blood Moon

Blood Moon

by A.W. Gryphon

Darla Grant: A.W. Gryphon's "Blood Moon" is a masterfully written chronicle of the struggle of Witches and Wiccans through modern times. Gryphon's sense of history and lore is woven through the story of Amelia Pivens, whose whose mother is murdered during a magic ritual performed on the Autumn Equinox. Amelia was seven years old at the time, and present for the ritual. At that point, she uses her fledgling skills to try and call forth the universal powers to save her mother. As the power builds, Amelia flees the scene leaving death behind her. She also leaves the witnesses with the knowledge that she is a witch of tremendous power and control.

Amelia's life changes after her mother's death. Her father moves them to London, where they ignore and banish all aspects of witchcraft from their lives. Amelia becomes a successful art critic working at the National Gallery, and has no contact with witchcraft for twenty years. Suddenly, with the approach of her twenty-eighth birthday, Amelia is drawn back into the world of The Craft. She is exposed to the people responsible for her mother's death, and she finds that she may be part of a centuries-old prophesy meant bring balance to The Craft and banish their enemies. Amelia's life changes in the course of events, and as her power grows, so does the threat surrounding her.

Gryphon's world of Witches fits seamlessly into a contemporary landscape in which The Craft is unusual, but practiced. She creates The Organization, a brilliant opposition to the Witches and the source of witch hunting and persecution for centuries. She weaves Pagan lore and history together in a compelling and extremely well-written story of love, loss and magic. Amelia must suspend her distrust in The Craft, which she feels took her mother away, as she learns the truth behind other painful moments in her life. Gryphon leaves the reader wanting more. I read it in one sitting, and eagerly await the second installment. This is a book that will be enjoyed by fantasy and intrigue lovers alike.
Rating: ****

Becky Rose: The author cleverly disguises the heroine as a frail little girl full of wonder and bright eyed innocence, luring the reader into a comfortable, stable environment and then ripping your heart out with one ferocious and don’t look back bite. At one moment a feisty fairy will dance onto the page and the next sentence will lead to a blade of destruction and a heartbroken child summoning the powers that she can’t possibly control or understand, unleashing chaos into the world that can only be compared to that of opening Pandora’s box.

I settled into reading Blood Moon by A.W. Gryphon, delighted by the Pagan/Wiccan history and the sweet love story between a mother and her daughter. The book is written with a pure fascination and respect for the Wiccan, Witchcraft and Pagan culture and customs, told from a point of view that comes from both passion and chaste for a society that has survived through centuries of scrutiny and being extremely misunderstood. Without preaching or chastising, Gryphon opens the doors to a world that seldom view past the clichés and distortions, and leads the reader into a world of compassion, harmony and beauty amongst spells and mysterious rituals.

The story follows Amelia Pivens, born into The Craft and thrown into a life of deceit and distrust. Not only must she find her way as a woman in the world, but as a witch and possibly the chosen one who must save the entire universe. Suffering the loss of her mother at a young age, Amelia’s fragile heart mends long enough to find love with the dashing Wolfgang Kreutzer. Proving that women are by far the most resilient creatures on earth, Amelia soon finds herself heartbroken by the death of her husband and facing the world alone once again.

With the London National Gallery as a backdrop, the artwork of Spanish painter Francisco Goya is both celebrated and explored with a haunting urgency. The reader is invited as a silent guest to witness Amelia’s transformation as she stumbles and matures into a state of awareness after being forced to grow up quickly into a world of good versus evil.

As the clock ticks down to her 28th birthday, Amelia must discover who she can trust and most importantly who she is. Laced with action, exotic cars and enigmatic men, this psychological, supernatural thriller dives deep into the heart of witchcraft and comes up with a priceless treasure. The book explores the fierceness of a woman wronged, the rage behind revenge, and the dormant power that lives inside each one of us.

A.W. Gryphon leaves us with a mouth opening twist sure to keep readers salivating until the release of a sequel. I for one, have already decided I’m in for the series and am currently printing my “Team Amelia” t-shirts for all that join me in the coven. Until then, I’ll repeatedly dissect the fabulous roller coaster of finely crafted characters and the journey that has only begun. Well done.

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