Moonlight Walkers

Forbidden Lands

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 07/24/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Courtney Moore, international best-selling author of middle-grade fantasy novel series “Moonlight Walkers”, and artist for the company, Trail of Painted Ponies, started her artistic creativity at an early age.

The inspiration for wanting to write her own book came from the fantasy novels she would read during high school. She wanted to create her own new fantastical world, with lovable, eager, and adventurous characters that the reader would enjoy. With motivation high and a goal set, her first manuscript was polished and finalized into a published work of art. A huge accomplishment and a life-changer. Her family is her greatest motivation, and she is thankful for the support that is given to achieve any goal at hand.

When she’s not writing, usually she’s preoccupied with other art-related projects, sharing knowledge with other writers, enjoying the outdoors with her husband, or tending to her wonderful family of adorable and funny pet chickens.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Moonlight Walkers: Forbidden Lands is a work of fiction in the fantasy subgenre and is the first installment in the series. It is aimed at young readers and was penned by author Courtney Moore. The book follows young Moonlight Walker wolf Sakura as she pushes her family to let her run with the pack, only to be continually rebuffed. Everything changes when dragons invade and burn down the forest she lives in. Now forced into the world to rescue her family from the invaders, Sakura discovers much danger and uncertainty as the wolves begin their war against the dragons.

There are two aspects of a fantasy novel that make or break it; the strength of the author's lore for their fantasy world and the twists and turns in the narrative that constantly keep the whole work feeling fresh and dynamic. Fortunately for us, author Courtney Moore has a mastery of both aspects, the result being this gripping and exciting opening installment of what I hope will be a long series. Sakura is gorgeously realized with a natural development through the story that constantly keeps her both interesting and grounded in reality; she is the perfect protagonist for such a stunning journey through this world of danger. Moonlight Walkers: Forbidden Lands uses the world it has to play with to explore some big and important themes cleverly and engagingly. Overall, I found it to be an exemplary work of fantasy fiction and I have no hesitation in recommending this book to all readers.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Sakura is a Moonlight Walker, a special breed of wolf with unique magical powers. Her distinguishing feature is her coloring: she has bright green eyes and pale gray fur that glows in the moonlight. She’s a young pup still and her parents, ever protective, realize she’s special and try to keep her close to home, close to their den. One day Sakura and her younger brother, Latius, are tempted and escape the confines of the den to explore their pack’s domain. While exploring, a dark cloud appears over the horizon and the evil black dragons descend, kidnapping the entire wolf pack, except Sakura, Latius, and their friend, Norever, who manage to seek shelter in an abandoned cave. As she watches her parents carried away by the dragons, Sakura vows to find them again and rescue them from the dragons. And so an incredible, magical journey begins.

Courtney Moore’s middle-grade novel, Moonlight Walkers: Forbidden Lands, is an epic fantasy that rivals classic novels like C.S. Lewis's Narnia series and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Written in the third person, most of the story follows Sakura’s point of view as she valiantly travels to unfamiliar realms in search of her captive parents. The descriptive narrative is thorough and compelling and character development is well orchestrated with believable and engaging dialogue to keep the story moving forward. This is an epic adventure that speaks volumes about the importance of friendships, family, determination, courage, and the need to keep focused on the task at hand, even in the face of evil. Loved it!

Pikasho Deka

Moonlight Walkers: Forbidden Lands is a young adult fantasy novel by Courtney Moore. Sakura is a curious Moonlight Walker wolf pup eager to explore beyond the confines of the sanctuary of Sparkling Forest. One day, while traveling with her brother Latius and his best friend Norever, Sakura witnesses an unprecedented attack by the Blackheart Dragons, who take several wolves as their captives, including Sakura's own family. Determined to seek revenge and free her loved ones, Sakura and her friends embark on a dangerous quest that will bring her face-to-face with the long-imprisoned Blackheart King Balthazar. But first, she must learn to awaken her dormant powers by uniting the four elemental spirits. To her surprise, Sakura finds that defeating Balthazar isn't enough, as now she may have to fight his tyrant brother too.

An epic fantasy adventure tale about ferocious dragons, brave wolves, and ancient kings, Moonlight Walkers: Forbidden Lands is a stellar start to what promises to be an enthralling saga. Author Courtney Moore tells the story of a young wolf named Sakura, who must embrace her destiny and become the catalyst for an upcoming war against an evil that seeks to conquer everything in its sight. This feels like an old-school fantasy novel with descriptive maps and exploration of new and strange lands that add a sense of adventurous intrigue to the narrative, making it all the more fun to read. Sakura, Norever, Latius, Jewel, and Dash were some of my favorite characters from the bunch. Overall, I very much enjoyed the book and recommend it to kids and young adults alike.