⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 out of 5 stars
An exciting fantasy novel by Charlie N. Holmberg, who deserves more recognition.
Ceris Wenden is a young woman with simple desires— marry the man she loves and start a loving family. She lives in the village of Endwever, where nothing happens until one of the stars dies and replacement is necessary. The celestial law states that a star is born from the Sun God and a mortal mother, that usually do not survive the labour. When Endwever is chosen to provide the next Star Mother, and two candidates are considered, Ceris realised that her future husband is, in fact, in love with one of them. Broken-hearted, she decided to sacrifice herself for their happiness and volunteered as a Star Mother. But something unusual happened next— she survived the birth! Returning to Earth, not nine months but seven hundred years later, she is determined to find any descendants of her relatives. In her journey, she meets Ristriel, who is a perfect guide but also a fugitive and a trickster…
I enjoyed reading this novel, and I believe it deserves more attention. The writing style is good, the story is original, the characters are likeable, and their story will keep you interested. I liked Ceris as a simple girl who dreams of a quiet life with the man she loves but who is not afraid to step out when action is required. The world created by Holmberg is fascinating, although it could be more detailed. I would love to find out more about it.
What I found unique in Star Mother is that despite a raging war between Sun and Moon, no one is portrayed as good or evil. The sides are simply opposites fighting for domination. Both the followers of the Sun God and those who serve the Moon are depicted as hideous creatures, some of them with extra limbs or horns or deformations. There is no division between angelic and devilish— both sides seem to consist of monsters. And I loved it. It was like a breath of fresh air, considering that most stories come with a clear concept of good that needs to be protected and evil that has to be defeated.
Overall, I would recommend this light novel to women readers who enjoy fantasy with elements of soft romance.