Reviews of Moon and the Sun, the (1997)
Review by tollbaby (2003-07-13)
This fantastic story set in the court of King Louis XIV was a page-turner. I could barely put it down! Deeply descriptive, as period stories usually are, this book scrapes beneath the veneer to reveal the pretenses and the dirt beneath the gilt in the royal court. The glamour is stripped away to show the people beneath the positions.
The sea monster's presence reveals the basic dilemma of human nature. We want to learn all we can about new things, new people, new creatures... but we also fear that which is different from ourselves. This story brings discrimination to its basest level. Although Marie-Josčphe has a special relationship with the creature, it too is tinged with common prejudices. She sees the creature as intelligent, but not necessarily as an equal.
The cruelty inherent in the dissection of the male sea creature - before the female's eyes - demonstrates the disregard with which Man regards his surroundings. No one except Marie-Josčphe seems to see anything wrong with dissecting the creature's mate before her.
This is an amazing story that, although the author might not have intended it, makes us think about our social responsibilities towards the other creatures around us.