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The White Road of The Moon

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Leigh Bardugo meets The Sixth Sense in this story of one girl’s perilous journey to restore a lost order.

Imagine you live with your aunt, who hates you so much she’s going to sell you into a dreadful apprenticeship. Imagine you run away before that can happen. Imagine that you can see ghosts—and talk with the dead. People like you are feared, even shunned.

Now imagine…the f
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars for this magical, imaginative YA fantasy. (Love that cover image!)

It has black-eyed witches, and white roads.

Also ghosts and something really cool called a "fire horse," a wild horse with tusks and clawed feet. This may sound like a spooky story, but it's really not. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

In The White Road of the Moon (2017), a YA high fantasy filled with magic and ghosts, 15 year old orphaned Meridy lives in an isolated mountain village with her aunt and cou
Rachel Neumeier
Aug 11, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I don't normally comment about my own books here . . . but I just want to mention up front that The White Road of the Moon has no romance in it at all. None. Zilch.

It was going to, but that subplot got removed when the book started to grow out of control.

The central relationship in White Road is a friendship between two girls, who both . . . uh, no, never mind, spoilers would spill out all over the place if I finished that sentence.

Oh, and there's a dog. That's important. This is also the story
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Forget that ridiculous blurb: this is really like an Erin Bow mixed with The City in the Lake all grown up - elegant and strange and striking. The story is slow to start (and a little too predictable when Meridy first gets going), but the worldbuilding is fairly spectacular. The characters are distinct and human, sometimes frustratingly so. There are religious aspects, maybe slightly unfinished, but they add layers to your standard good vs. evil fantasy. There's probably a thesis to be written h ...more
Brandy Painter
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I enjoyed this so much. It felt so much like Neumeier's earlier works, but with more and it was fabulous. The world is complex and the reader has to figure it out as the story unfolds. I love it when an author trusts readers enough to that. The characters are all wonderful and layered. This is a great story of female friendship and I loved watching the girls fight together and for each other. I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves high fantasy with political intrigue and stories about a ...more
Sarah Sammis
If this book were starting in the north, where perhaps Meridy was an immigrant in a racist society, who decides to leave the town for better things, I would have let her desire to have blond hair and blue eyes a pass. But she's leaving a village where, sure, she's gotten a very good education (somehow despite her running into wealthier people who know little to nothing of the world they are living in) to go to the north where the big cities are. She's purposely going to a place where she will st ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I really liked this book! It felt almost like a throwback to the old school of YA fantasy novels -- early Garth Nix or Robin McKinley, maybe? -- and it was a lovely, refreshing break from the incessant obligatory love triangles. The energy and straightforwardness of a middle-grade book with the complex world-building of YA: a very nice combination. The ending gave just the right amount of closure. I think I'll hang onto my copy so I can keep an option open on rereading. ...more
katayoun Masoodi
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, ebook, favorites
enjoyable and some likeable characters that sometime really got on my nerves! sometimes all that standing around and bickering, especially at times when it looked like that they really needed to do something, really made me want to shout at the whole lot. and i definitely didn't like the mc, at times, when she was just moaning and thinking i can't do this and don't want to do that. As usual great writing and very interesting world ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Neumeier, Rachel The White Road of the Moon, 376 pages. Knopf (Random), 2017. $18. Language: PG (5 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (some blood).

When Meridy finds out that her aunt is about to force her into an apprenticeship, she decides that its time to leave her small mountain village. First she stops at her favorite alone a spot, a deserted village, populated by a series of ancient to old ghosts that only Meridy can see – and interact with. But a person suddenly appears, de
Debbie Gascoyne
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, kindle, 2017
A lovely YA high fantasy standalone (yay! let's hear it for standalones). I'm beginning to trust Rachel Neumeier as a writer, even (or maybe especially) though none of her books has been much like the other. All, however, are quality writing with believable and likeable characters and textured world-building, and here the backstory is slowly revealed as the viewpoint character discovers things. This one really does have shades of Guy Gavriel Kay, in the heart-stopping moments of heroism and sacr ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars; but I rounded up.

Didn't start out very clearly; this is a wholly imagined world with complicated looking names. The author, in my opinion, did a poor job of introducing the reader to her world and what it's "rules" are. So the first 50 pages were rough.

However, once I got a firmer understanding of what the world and its characters were, it read smoothly from there. I feel this would make a good crossover book for adult fantasy readers as well. It's very complex, lots of characters, m
Matthew Galloway
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 Stars.

A glance at the bibliography shows me that the only other book by the author I haven't absolutely loved was the other most recent Knopf book, so I kind of wonder how much has to do with their editorial process. Certain lines in this book (and the other) seem repetitive, for some reason. That ends up being a shock for me because the author typically has a beautiful way with words.

Otherwise, the story is interesting with many engaging characters. I liked the way Magic worked. I was not
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this stand-alone epic fantasy, fifteen-year-old orphan Meridy, an outcast because of her witchy black eyes and dark skin, runs away from her hateful Aunt Tarana, who plans to sell her as a laundry apprentice. She begins to understand her supernatural powers when she encounters a ghost boy, ghost wolfhound, and a mysterious injured stranger. Escaping from brigands, she joins a company of merchants traveling together for safety and makes friends with Jaift, a merchant’s daughter who also has ma ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Once she realizes that her aunt has ill intentions toward her, Meridy decides to leave her home in Tikiy-by-the-Water, having no idea what her future holds. But at least her destiny will be in her hands. After meeting a mysterious stranger who disappears and a ghost boy and dog, she finds herself caught up in an ancient battle and discovers special talents that make her valuable to both sides of the conflict. She finds a fast friendship in Jaift, the daughter of some traders who allow her to tra ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is the third Rachel Neumeier book that I've read and one thing that really impresses me about her writing is how she has managed to create such unique and well-rounded worlds for each of the novels I've read.

Unfortunately, though, I just didn't enjoy this one. I found it super hard to get into and nearly gave up on it half a dozen times. It wasn't just all the foreign names but that the pace seemed to drag - it felt like everyone was sitting around talking about things and trying to figure
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, tfn
This was a decent middle-grade/YA take on exceedingly traditional fantasy tropes (the Dark Sorcerer who destroyed the city of the High King in ages past is now rising again!) with some weird twists (half the supporting characters are ghosts, and a decent number more get killed and become ghosts; death/afterlife beliefs/religion are sketched in but not quite up to this aspect of the plotting), lovely descriptions of fantasy cities, and thankfully no romance for once. I think it’s one of the less ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, teen-tween
I read The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, which was very similar in the the world mythology of bone witches. This book was good but perhaps for a younger reader that does not want to get the darkness that Bone Witch seemed to exude.

This was an interesting exploration of a fantasy world that leads our main character Meridy on a fast passed adventure helping new friends and racing against the ultimate war with a dark entity. Meridy is courageous and spunky and a delightful witch.

The ending was good ev
☽ cyberpink ☾
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a charming read. There were some areas I felt needed some refinement, it was a little slow in the beginning (looking at other reviews, I guess I'm not the only one who thought that!)-- but overall, fun and magical. I loved that the focus of this book was on platonic relationships! It's a breath of fresh air in the genre. ...more
Madeline (The Bookish Mutant)
The cover was beautiful, but other than that, there wasn’t really much else to this book. Rather boring, with a slew of made-up words--now, I’m usually fine with made-up names, words, and languages, as long as they aren’t overly cheesy, but these were completely nonsensical and had...oh, two or three accent marks on every other word?

Sorry, but this one just wasn’t my thing. :(
Taylor Tallman
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a marvelous book. It is a tale of friendships, romance, and just a bit of magic. You can time travel, make new friends and talk to ghosts. There is also some sorcery. Rachel wrote this book in the eyes of the character Meridy. Meridy can talk to ghosts, do magic, and even save the world. I recommend this book to you magical readers trying to find out who you are
Diane Lynch
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was great! A story of friendship and the choice to keep doing the right things that will help someone instead of the easy thing. Loved the imagery and the interaction with the ghosts are not creepy.
K Grant
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Interesting world. This is more epic than i was hoping for. I was looking to find a young woman grow out of ignorance. This was more...defeat evil and maybe save the world. Ghosts were the "magic" and some interesting characters were mixed in the battle against good vs evil. ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Really liked the first half, but things were a little muddled throughout the rest. There was a nice wrap-up though, that gave an earned closure.
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction, fantasy
Good, but maybe because it was for a ya audience, it was slightly predictable, or maybe formulaic is the word I am looking for. Still enjoyable.
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved this one up until the ending decided one of the main characters wasn't worth remembering. ...more
Jessica Walters
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
It seemed in a loop about the differences between witches and sorcerers. This book had flavor but was like soda sitting on the counter...a little flat. Or a stale cookie.
Melissa Lindhurst
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So amazing. I'm still in this confused state of sad and happy by the ending. I am so glad I decided to read this book! ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Interesting story concept; writing is fine; editing was not done well.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A nice throwback to oldie YA, but kind of boring and confusing at times. 3 stars.
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Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead.

She n

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