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Shadow of the Moon

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  3,205 Ratings  ·  227 Reviews
Part One Of Two Parts

The author of THE FAR PAVILIONS returns us once again to the vast, intoxicating romance of India under the British Raj. SHADOW OF THE MOON is the story of Winter de Ballesteros, a beautiful English heiress come home to her beloved India. It is also the tale of Captain Alex Randall, her protector, who aches to possess her. Forged in the fires of a war t

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Paperback, 803 pages
Published June 12th 1980 by Bantam Books (first published 1957)
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Daný You might have found the answer already, but it is seen as part one in relation to Kaye's novel The Far Pavilions.

Community Reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. Great historical epic, with love and hate, treachery and courage, set in India during the Sepoy Rebellion in the 1850s.

description
Lucknow, India

M.M. Kaye takes her time setting up the story, telling about the parents and grandparents of the main character, a half-English, half-Spanish girl with the unlikely name of Winter. Winter spends her first six years contentedly living in India, but when her parents die, she is sent to live with her English relatives. It's not a particularly happy situatio
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Misfit
Star crossed lovers, the British Raj & India, what more can you want in a book? This was just an amazing book. Once the author set up her characters and story line things just cooked along -- be prepared for the last 200 pages, because you will not surface for air until it's done! We have Winter, a wealthy heiress born and orphaned in India and sent to England to be raised by mostly uncaring relatives(except for the great-grandfather). When her great-grandfather dies, she is sent at the age ...more
Hannah
I can't do justice to a book like this. Thoughts and observations on an epic, sweeping saga can't be encapsulated into a 2-3 paragraph review saying how wonderful the characters, plot, writing, etc. was. Yes, I write these kind of reviews all the time, but for a book like this, it's virtually impossible.

So, I'll begin and end with this:
If Gone with the Wind was Margaret Mitchell's love letter to the old South, then Shadow of the Moon is M.M. Kaye's to historic India. Under Kaye's pen, the unfold
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Averil
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
One of my all time favourite books! I fell in love with this novel as a 16 year-old and have spent the last nearly two DECADES trying to remember the name of it. Finally, thanks to Goodreads, I was able to dig up the title, and then I scored myself a treasured rare copy!

At last reunited with M.M. Kaye's epic masterpiece, I have been spellbound and enthralled for the last week, hating every minute spent away from my book. This tale of love, courage & survival set in India during the bloodthir
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Cindy Newton
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! It has been a favorite of mine for years, and this re-reading certainly hasn't changed that. M. M. Kaye spent a great deal of her life in India, and does (in my opinion) a powerful job of capturing the essence of that country--the sights, the sounds, the scents. You can feel the heat baking your skin, hear the noise and bustle of the colorful bazaar in the streets of the city, see the heat waves shimmering over the dusty streets, the exotic foliage and animals--it all comes ali ...more
Moonlight Reader
This was the second to the last remaining novel in my M.M. Kaye reread. I saved The Far Pavilions for last.

This book was fantastic. Epic, consuming and deeply romantic. Winter and Alex are a heroine and hero for the ages. The last 200 pages is unputdownable.
Angela Blount

A sweeping romantic epic. Somewhat reminiscent of Wuthering Heights in its charming setting, rich descriptions... and in the use of weepy, waifish women as catalysts to the overarching plot.

While I spent the first half of the book having great difficulty sympathizing with the young, delusional, and allegedly enchanting protagonist, Winter, I felt compelled to keep reading for a number of reasons. Not the least of which involved a fascination with Captain Alex Randall. His staunch honor code was
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Anna
This book is mostly set in India as the 19th century Sepoy Rebellion against the British gathers pace and attacks with devastating results.

I enjoyed parts of it to a 4 star level, particularly Sabrina’s heartbreaking story, and Winter’s neglected childhood in England, her long journey back to India, her new life there with the awful Conway, and her dramatic escape as the Rebellion took savage hold.

So why only a 3 star rating? There was plenty of ‘he thought, she thought’ between our would-be-lov
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Hana
Three and a half stars. Historical romance set in Hindustan during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. M.M. Kaye was born in Simla and lived much of her life in India. She was a close friend and mentor of Paul Scott whose magnificent novel, The Jewel in the Crown, covers the events leading up to Partition and Independence, some ninety years after the Rebellion and its bloody aftermath. M.M Kaye writes lyrically of India and her descriptive passages are splendid. Shadow of the Moon is also full of insi ...more
Dorcas
Some reviewers call this book a love story. But that is such a small part of it unless you want to classify the love of India as part of that love story. In which case, yes, it is most definitely a love story. But as far as romance, it's there, but is not the crux. First and foremost, this is a story of the uprising of India against the feringhi (foreigners) and here lies the turmoil: on which side does one belong when one belongs on neither side and yet both? And can one survive it?

I found this
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Rachel
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I first read "Shadow of the Moon" as a young girl freshly enamored of M M Kaye's writing and my first encounter with her work in "The Far Pavilions". I was both disappointed and relieved at the reduced scale. Although it weighs in at 400+ pages (depending on your addition) it does not touch the level of geo-political rhetoric that Far Pavilions some times fell into. But with characters that are just as strong and clearly developed it is a much more, to me at any rate, enjoyable read.
I must
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Diane Lynn
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Just as good on reread, deserves every one of those five stars. The Sepoy Rebellion lasted for about a year and marks the start of the British Raj. With the uprising and a sweet love story plus so many characters to know and love (or hate) this is one of my favorite books. I'm at a loss to write a proper review. But do yourself a favor and read the complete long version, not the shortened original 1956 version!
Molly
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
i don't care if there's cheesy bits, i must've read this book through at least eight times, and always pick it up to look at on the rare occasion when i can't sleep. set in colonial india, there's riots and history and violence and, yes, a ridiculously romantic main plot. i am not ashamed. i love this book.
Marquise
I have very mixed feelings on finishing this book; on one hand, I liked the storyline with all its adventures, twists and turns, which overall made for an enjoyable read and often not easy to predict, for Kaye has a decent mastery of storytelling that keeps you interested despite the length of the novel. And then, there's the characterisation of the protagonist, who's one of the most interesting leading male characters I've encountered in historical fiction recently, with flashes that reminded m ...more
Nikki
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness! Where or where do I start?? First off, M. M. Kaye being my favorite writer of all times I literally have no idea how after all these years I have not read this book or The Far Pavillions or Trade Wind. Seriously how did I miss them? All in all, I'm actually so glad I did because now I have more books to look forward to reading! So... I downloaded the samples of all three books and was going to read each sample to decide which book I felt like reading first but I ended up only rea ...more
Alice
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alice by: Rachael and Willow
A group of older friends I had when I was 16 introduced me to M.M. Kaye. The first book of hers I read was Shadow of the Moon. Due to school commitments I think it took me almost a week and I hated every moment I wasn't with this book.

From the very beginning this book enchanted me. It is filled with the very essence of India and its people. For years Alex was the epitome of everything that was perfect in a man- in some ways he still is. He does, at any rate, remain one of my all time favorites
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Cleo
The romance aspect of this book kept it from being five stars. Five stars for the historical aspect and three stars for the romance averages out to four stars!
Carol Jones
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite novel ever, and I have read it more than eight times. It is an "escape" love affair for me. It is a piece of historical fiction. I love it from cover to cover. M.M. Kaye describes India so thoroughly and beautifully, you feel that you have lived there yourself. It is the story of the uprising of Indian sepoys against the East India Trading Company (and basically all foreigners), and the events that led up to that catastrophic event in the year 1853, 100 years before I was bor ...more
Carla Soares
Wish I had half stars for this one, to give it 3,5.

This book was sold to me as a romantic tale set in troubled times in India. The kindle edition is 628 pages long, but I don't mind long books. It is divided in parts that match, I think, different phases of the main character's life and the whole story (it's over 700 pages in paper editions) could be made into a saga. And maybe it is, in paper?

I started reading it and was very surprised at first, because the romance was told in very few pages.
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Lindz
This is a very sweaty and pungent novel. Romantic historical drama at it's best and how it should be, like an over ripe plum. Though slightly profic ( not sure if that is a word???) Young Winter de Ballesteros with the warm ivory skin and blue black hair dreams of exotic India. A nice contrast between the cool up right cold England with the more colourful blinding Inida, yes I got that one, yet Kaye did drop in some Spanish blood to make her fiery and emotional against the stoic Lieutenant Alex ...more
Juliana
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone, and anyone
Recommended to Juliana by: Auntie Huhu
This book was different than any kind of book I had ever read. It was utterly captivating the whole way through. The ending was very satisfying, though it was quite broad.

The characters literally jump off the page, and are so realistic it's sometimes hard to believe this novel is a work of fiction. How unfair that these characters cannot come to life in human form!
The lonely, innocent Winter. The drunken, cruel, cunning Conway. The wonderful, intelligent, hard-working Alex. The naive, loyal Lo
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Leslie
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember this! It showed up in my Updates feed here on GR because Hannah is reading it and I thought I remembered it after reading just the title but was sure after reading the little blurb. I used to have a little collection of M.M.Kaye I started back in the 80's after a knee injury kept me off my feet for weeks. It all began with The Far Pavilions of course and that led to a mad scramble to read all her books set in INdia. (That whole India love affair began in 1979 with the Secret Garden) I ...more
Katy
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story and a good background history of the Sepoy Mutiny in India.
Highly recommended to all my friends.
Michelle Dee
5 Stars

Shadow of the Moon is a daunting book to review simply because of its epic size and nature. I haven't read anything like it. It reminds me of those old movies I love - Casablanca, It Happened One Night, etc. It had that same classic, romantic, timeless feel about it.

M.M. Kaye is, quite obviously, a very established storyteller. She was the objective narrator for this tale. I literally felt as though I was sitting by a fire on a cold winter's day as she spun an epic, romantic, thrilling t
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Cirtnecce
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
So what is my idea of a historical romance?…..Have you read a book perhaps little known called “Shadow of the Moon” by MM Kaye?

Ms Kaye was born in colonial India in 1908 and spent her early childhood and much of her early married life in the same country. Born into a family that for generations had served the British Raj, her love for the country and her people was clear in her writings. Though after India’s independence, she would travel the world with her husband, Major-General Goff Hamilton o
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K.l.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, 1800-1900
MM Kaye has to be one of my all time favourite authors! She captures the spirit and the ideals of Raj and pre-Mutiny India so well that one can almost smell the scents and see the dirt, danger, beauty and magic of early colonial India. Winter de Ballesteros is initially a rather annoying character, and while you always know that she will end up with the hero, the poor couple go through some truly terrible times. For me, the most amazing thing in this book was the descriptions of the actual Mutin ...more
Linda
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweeping epic story using the backdrop of the rebellion of the Sepoys (or Indian soldiers) in India against the rule of the East India Company.

I spent more time with this book than any other so far this year. It was a big ol' thing that required it's own bag to transport it to and fro from work so I could read it on the bus and at lunch. Good thing it was so engrossing or it would have been easy to hate this book. I really can't improve on what people have already said so if you enjoy historic
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Joan
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The first time I read this book, it was a Doubleday Book Club copy from the 1950's that belonged to my mother. I was hooked. The backdrop of history was as much a character of the story as Winter and Capt. Alex Randall were. M.M. Kaye blended history and fiction with such exquisite care, it was hard to separate them. I read this book numerous times, and kept it for myself until my mother found a copy at a used book store (with a dust jacket) and took hers back. Later, I discovered that the Doubl ...more
Nisha
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My top 3 books of all time
Samanta
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-kaye, favorites
I would give it a 10 if I could. M.M. Kaye is a master of her craft.
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M. M. Kaye (Mary Margaret) was born in India and spent her early childhood and much of her early-married life there. Her family ties with the country are strong: her grandfather, father, brother and husband all served the British Raj. After India's independence, her husband, Major-General Goff Hamilton of Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (the famous Indian Army regiment featured in The Far Pav ...more
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“Common sense will nearly always stand you in better stead than a slavish adherence to the conventions.” 126 likes
“There is no particular merit in fighting for your own skin when you know that it is fight or die, but there is considerable merit in being prepared to die when you know you can escape quite easily. Put at its lowest, there is a certain stubborn foolhardy heroism in that.” 3 likes
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