Blue Moon Rising (Forest Kingdom #1)
Simon R. Green
Published September 6, 2005 (originally published 1989)
About Blue Moon Rising
Rupert didn’t especially want to be a prince. And he certainly never asked to be the second son of a royal line that really didn’t need a spare. So he was sent out to slay a dragon and prove himself-a quest straight out of legend. But he also discovered the kinds of things legends tend to leave out, as well as the usual demons, goblins, the dreaded Night Witch-and even worse terrors hidden in the shadows of Darkwood.
Rupert did find a fiery dragon-and a beautiful princess to rescue. But the dragon turned out to be a better friend than anyone back at the castle, and with the evil of Darkwood spreading, Rupert was going to need all the friends he could get.
Blue Moon Rising is another childhood favorite of mine, though I might have been in high school the first time I read it. Maybe ninth grade. Doesn’t matter.
Rupert’s character never fails to draw me into the story. What is it about a guy with all the odds stacked against him just trying to do the right thing? I’m so in. Plus, his wry sense of humor and the acidic humor of his steed the unicorn kept me laughing.
Some of the writing bothers me the more I read the book. There are some repetitive phrases and lots of hopping from one point-of-view to another without warning. So be warned about that if it’s going to bother you. But if you can manage to overlook those things, it’s a really fun fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I really like that about it.
While the story contains demons, there isn’t any spiritual component to battling them. They are essentially malformed monsters and not spiritual beings themselves.
It’s a pretty straight-white cast. Some racial tensions exist between humans and a tribe of goblins Rupert befriends.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.
Brief kissing between a man and woman. Some references to sex, but no explicit details, nothing that happens on-scene.
The dragon talks about the difference between wild magic (which is the magic he senses and makes the demons strong) and human magic. Those forces seem to oppose one another.
The major villain in the story is the Demon Prince, whose appearance has caused demons to suddenly coordinate attacks. Rupert and his allies hope to find some magic strong enough to defeat the Demon Prince before he overtakes the Forest Kingdom.
Lots of battle scenes with some brief but gory descriptions of wounds.
Rupert encounters a witch who once kept herself beautiful using the blood of young girls. He also meets a warlock with quite a collection of animals in captivity. It’s clear the animals are miserable, but we don’t witness any harm come to them.
The High Warlock uses magical potions to cure wounds and transform into a younger-looking version of himself.