MOVE THE STARS
by Sandy Lender
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“Move the Stars” offers a sometimes-humorous, but always magical, story of 16-year-old Ava Stonebreaker finding and using her voice for the good of her world. With Eddag Fen afire behind her, she journeys to her father’s home, at first fearing she returns to him with failure as her legacy. Bringing with her a half-blood fae, a star reader’s apprentice and news of storm stars closing in, she also carries hope. Fanciful creatures have encouraged her to seek out the giant dragons beyond Modric’s Pass. With spunky shoulder dragons and the endangered arabesque to whom she sings accompanying her, Ava devises and undertakes a daring plan to re-shake the world…and move the stars.
The two friends lay quietly in the dark, both of them close enough to feel the almost silent hum of the two arabesque next to Ava and Strike.
“Now Celia doesn’t have to be the last of her race,” Ava whispered. “They have each other.”
Jayndor couldn’t reply. She quietly cried into her cloak.
“What’s that sound?” Goira asked.
“Nothing,” Ava said, wanting Jayndor to have her privacy.
Strike began to growl.
“Why’s the dragon growling?” Goira asked, hysteria building in her voice.
Devon already stood next to the shelf where he’d been resting. “Jayndor, help me.”
Wiping her eyes with her sleeve, Jayndor sniffled back her recent emotion. “I have Goira’s walking stick.”
“We need light, Strike,” Ava said.
With a sound like “gah,” Strike hopped to the edge of his shelf with Ava and spewed flame into the darkness. A pair of yellow eyes at the opening of the cavern glowed back at them.
“That’s not helpful,” Devon shouted over her noise, fumbling with a rock to use as a weapon.
Jayndor waved the walking stick at the eyes.
“More light!” Ava barked, reaching for the knife in her boot.
Strike flapped to sit atop a stalagmite-like tower of rock and spat a steady stream of flame toward the opening of the cavern where three wolves paced around one another. When Ava saw what they were up against, she gasped, nearly choking on the dust and air hitting the back of her throat.
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This was an interesting fantasy story. The world hinted at hidden depths, and the creatures were neat. I want a little dragon that rides around on my shoulder now.
While I felt this had a lot of potential, it didn’t seem as fleshed out as it could have been. There are flaming stars (meteors) that fall from the sky and are burning up the world, but I didn’t get a sense of how the world got to this point. Women are valued for their ability to have children because so few women are left. Again, if the why was explained, I missed it somewhere. I felt like there were so many aspects of this world/story to explore, but they weren’t. I wanted them to be so badly. So many cool angles.
The ending left off on a question, which both felt like a well-used cliff hanger and like it just left me hanging (not in a good way). It felt like there could have been another hundred pages to fill in what happened. On the flip side, this lent itself to a sequel, and I’m curious to know what happens next.
Sandy Lender is a magazine editor by day and author of girl-power fantasy novels by night. You can check out her author page on Amazon or follow her facebook page at Fantasy Author Sandy Lender. She lives in Florida where she volunteers in sea turtle conservation and parrot rescue. Sandy Lender Ink Inc., headquartered in Central Florida, is her umbrella company for the copywriting, editing, and marketing services she offers. With a four-year degree in English and 28-year career in publishing, Sandy brings a deep understanding of public relations and journalism to a variety of projects. Her successes include traditionally and self-published novels, hundreds of magazine articles, multiple short stories in competitive anthologies, a couple APEX technical writing awards, a 2019 Imadjinn Best Literary Fiction Novel Award for her #MeToo novel She’s Not Broken, and a 2020 Pushcart Prize nomination for her short story Woman off the Grid. In December, she finally updated her website at SandyLenderInk.com and released her first non-fiction book “How to Train Your Human: a guide for parrots,” which she wrote from a parrot’s point of view. With a new publisher taking over her “Choices” series this summer, she’s launching the “Gentle Dragons” series on her own, starting with Ava’s story in Move the Stars.
Sandy Lender will be awarding $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway