Review: The Moth Keeper by K. O’Neill

Moth Keeper by K. O'Neil cover shows a girl looking at a glowing moth as if they're having a conversation. She holds up her hands near the moth, but the moth is flying, as if it just lifted off.

The Moth Keeper
K. O’Neill
Random House Graphic
Published March 7, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Moth Keeper

Being a Moth Keeper is a huge responsibility and a great honor, but what happens when the new Moth Keeper decides to take a break from the moon and see the sun for the first time? A middle-grade fantasy graphic novel about passion, duty, and found family.

Anya is finally a Moth Keeper, the protector of the lunar moths that allow the Night-Lily flower to bloom once a year. Her village needs the flower to continue thriving and Anya is excited to prove her worth and show her thanks to her friends with her actions, but what happens when being a Moth Keeper isn’t exactly what Anya thought it would be?

The nights are cold in the desert and the lunar moths live far from the village. Anya finds herself isolated and lonely. Despite Anya’s dedication, she wonders what it would be like to live in the sun. Her thoughts turn into an obsession, and when Anya takes a chance to stay up during the day to feel the sun’s warmth, her village and the lunar moths are left to deal with the consequences.

K. O’Neill brings to life a beautifully illustrated fantasy world about responsibility to yourself and your community. THE MOTH KEEPER is filled with magic, hope, and friendship.

The Moth Keeper on Goodreads

My Review

THE MOTH KEEPER is the first book by K. O’Neill that I’ve read. I’ve had my eye on the Tea Dragon series, which they also wrote, so I’ve been curious about their books for a while.

One of the things that fascinated me about this book is how many scenes are told strictly through the illustrations in the panels. I enjoyed looking at them and following scenes that way.

The story has a nicely sized cast of characters. I felt like we got to know each of them, and I especially felt like I learned a lot about each character sometimes by reading between the lines or watching how other characters reacted to them.

I liked the background of the story– both the lore about the moon’s spirit and the connection to the village, and also the girl wandering the desert, drawn to the moon. The way the story tied different elements together, and the sense of movement in the panels, especially in the illustrations of the moths.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s kind of a peaceful story about community and a celebration of the importance of spirituality.

The Moth Keeper on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 10 to 14.

Characters have some animal characteristics. Anya has fox ears and a tail. Her best friend Estell has rabbit ears and a tail.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
The spirit of the moon gifted the moths to Anya’s village to care for and to bless them.

Violent Content

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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