- The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier
Library ed. ISBN 978-0-553-50933-5 $20.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-553-50932-8 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-553-50934-2 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-12
Black eyes and dark skin mark Meridy as a witch, and she is shunned and feared by the folks in her tiny mountain village. However, an arrogant but needy ghost seeks out her help one day and she embarks on a journey that will stretch the limits of her power as she learns to move between the real and ethereal worlds, protects newly made friends from a vicious evil, and faces off with a legendary sorcerer to save her world from certain destruction. Neumeier has created an absorbing high fantasy set within a fully developed world complete with a complicated history, grandiose mythologies, and conflict based in fate and prophecy. Meridy is a complicated [End Page 275] heroine, and while she’s plenty savvy when it comes to ghosts, she’s terrible when it comes to her assumptions (which are mostly negative) about the living, and her misjudgment leaves her in tricky situations; the secondary cast is just as nuanced, with characters’ backstories adding further intriguing layers. Even with the extensive world building and character development, the action is briskly paced as Meridy and her companions move from one danger to the next. Fans of Garth Nix and Diana Wynne-Jones will find a worthy readalike here and hope that the White Road leads to further stories within Meridy’s world.