Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Dark Sun, Bright Moon is a work of historical fiction by Oliver Sparrow, based on the real ancient history of South America. The plot takes place a millennium ago in the mountainous region of the Andes, where the tribal communities of the Huari empire live a brutal but functional existence in some of the harshest conditions ever known to man. A powerful, paranormal and spiritual voice seeks out a young woman of seemingly little consequence: the villager, Q’ilyasisa. It becomes her destiny to rid the empire of a pestilence which is sucking the spirit from every community in the region, and Q’ilyasisa must embark on an incredible quest through the beauty and terror of South America to fulfil her mission.
Oliver Sparrow writes with strong historical backup to bring his vivid, cruel, and exciting ancient world to life. The people of the Andes are represented in a way that modern day readers can relate to, even through their sacrificial and often barbaric tendencies, and Q’ilyasisa’s transition from a simple animal-tender to the saviour of two empires was a truly remarkable journey to read. Though the text is hard going at times, the author presents excellent resources in the preface and appendices to the book to help readers engage with the historical customs and practices of the time. Dark Sun, Bright Moon is a must-read for history fans looking to learn about the beliefs and lifestyle of ancient cultures, but also experience a highly spiritual read from a totally alternative perspective.