The Moon Child

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Overview

An outcast from the barrio, Maria was feared and shunned because of her moonpower--a psychic ability to communicate with enchanted spirits, and see the future in dreams and visions. When she is forced to choose between two men--tragedy occurs. Their lives become entangled like the roots of a balete tree, as they journey through the dark labyrinth of love, passion, and betrayal.
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Overview

An outcast from the barrio, Maria was feared and shunned because of her moonpower--a psychic ability to communicate with enchanted spirits, and see the future in dreams and visions. When she is forced to choose between two men--tragedy occurs. Their lives become entangled like the roots of a balete tree, as they journey through the dark labyrinth of love, passion, and betrayal.
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Editorial Reviews

Cindy Penn
"Alex Roces creates a remarkable literary work rich in mythos and spirituality in "The Moon Child." Like Michiavelli's "The Prince," "The Moon Child" becomes a treatise on the truth about power, revealing the difference between perceptions of one who holds power, and the truth of their nature. Like "The Celestine Prophesy," however, Roces also inspires improvement, growth, and honesty, in addition to examining the nature of truth and love. Specifically, Maria is misunderstood and underestimated. With a sincere heart full of love, she stands misjudged by the very people who need her most because they fear her power.

With these complex layers concealed beneath the deceptively simplistic narrative, "The Moon Child" reads like a fairy tale. Yet tales within the tale reveal observations and teachings rich in meaning, as Roces brings a rich understanding of psychology and metaphysics to the narrative. As a result, "The Moon Child" achieves a complexity that will hold its readers mesmerized. With an enthralling voice as lovely as the music that holds Juanito's listeners entranced, "The Moon Child" comes very highly recommended."
editor of Wordweaving

Nancy Jackson
"...I was hooked from the first paragraph through to the climactic ending. The characters were so thoroughly described that I felt I knew each of them personally. The Moon Child is a spiritual tale of the worlds of goddesses and powers of magic, love, and truth. The story flows smoothly and adds flavor with its believable and delicious dialogue. I highly recommend this enchanting tale. Alex Roces has a winner here and I look forward to more of his works."
Sime~Gen
Pat H. Fredeman
"In a flowing and mesmeric style, Mr. Roces paints a magical landscape in the lyrical language of "twilight dreams," through which, in search of love, his characters move, entangled in a web of destiny that extends from aeons past to the present, from celestial time to earthly time, from the revolution of the heavenly spheres to the nipa huts of Malana, the 'garden of love.' Mr. Roces's presentation reveals the presence of a real voice, a rarity in contemporary literature."
author of Paradise Regained
Celia A. Leaman
..This story, so beautifully written, is both mystical and magical. It feels Latin. It flows. It is rich, sensual and poetic. At times I felt my spirits soaring with its language. Alex Roces' prose, which I likened to Kahil Gibran's, a few times brought tears to my eyes for their sheer beauty. Alex embraces, with no inhibitions, a philosophy that some would call New Age, and yet I am loathe to categorize this book. I prefer to see it as a remarkable and unusual work...
Nancy Jackson
...I was hooked from the first paragraph through to the climactic ending. The characters were so thoroughly described that I felt I knew each of them personally. The Moon Child is a spiritual tale of the worlds of goddesses and powers of magic, love, and truth. The story flows smoothly and adds flavor with its believable and delicious dialogue. I highly recommend this enchanting tale. Alex Roces has a winner here and I look forward to more of his works.
Pat H Fredeman
In a flowing and mesmeric style, Mr. Roces paints a magical landscape in the lyrical language of "twilight dreams," through which, in search of love, his characters move, entangled in a web of destiny that extends from aeons past to the present, from celestial time to earthly time, from the revolution of the heavenly spheres to the nipa huts of Malana, the 'garden of love.' Mr. Roces's presentation reveals the presence of a real voice, a rarity in contemporary literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931201209
  • Publisher: Day to Day Enterprises
  • Publication date: 7/5/2004
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Maria was an outcast from the barrio, and the wild forest was her home. Like an outlawed angel, she was feared and shunned in Malana. Many folks in the barrio believed she was not human, but an enchanted being who became flesh. She had no father and no mother and was found in the forest one moonlit night under a balete tree.

She was a small girl, barely five feet, with a slender and lithe little figure. Her dark luminous eyes were pools of moonlight, her creamy skin like golden brown chocolate, and her jet-black hair was a shiny silky cape, waist-long, and scented with coconut milk.

By dawn you could see her running over the hills and meadows with her windswept hair. At dusk she would be sitting on the riverbank, a bluebird perched on her shoulder, gazing far, far away into the twilight skies.

So many stories were told about her. Frightening stories. An evil witch with great magical powers, that's what she was, they said. She would appear in the barrio at midnight, luring young men to follow her back into the hidden forest groves. There, she laid with them, made love to them, her sweating naked body gleaming in the moonlight. Then, at the height of her frenzied rapture, she transformed herself. With the dark magic of her moonpower, she turned into a huge, ferocious wildcat. She slew her lovers, ate their hearts and livers, and left their bones and carcasses to rot under the scorching sun.

The women of Malana openly hated her.

"Maria is a curse to our barrio," they said. "She causes our men to sin with lust."

The men of Malana secretly desired her.

"Come to us, Maria," they said, "and be alone no more. We would sacrifice anything just to spend one night in your arms and toshare your dreams."

The men lusted for the rich, smooth texture of her skin, her supple curvaceous body, her dark almond eyes filled with moonlight and love's sweetest, darkest secrets.

"We curse you, Maria," the women said.

"We love you, Maria," the men said.

The vile curses of the women could not harm her, nor could the sweetened words of the men entrap her. She remained untouched by the mud stains of malice and lust.

"I am free," Maria said. "To live my life as the wind. To sleep with the moon, and rise with the sun. I am free."

But her freedom came with a price. And, as the seasons passed, her loneliness deepened like a drowning sea that ebbed and flowed upon the shores of her soul.

She sat by the riverbank, gazing into the changing color of the skies, and listened to the melancholy love songs the river sang to her.

Tears filled her eyes. "Do not sing of love," she said. "I am afraid of it."

Wearing a white kimono blouse and a tube-shaped red skirt, Maria climbed a beautiful green hill, jasmine growing white and fragrant on its smoothly rising slope. She reached the hilltop; it was grassy, tabular and flat as a cake. A fire tree grew there. Exploding with bright red flowers like a chandelier of flaming kisses burning on its boughs and branches.

Maria sat beneath the fire tree. Bluebirds swooped through the branches with cheerful voices. Their silky, turquoise blue feathers spangled with sunlight. She clapped her hands and they descended, perching on her arms and shoulders. Smiling, she fed them with the red flowers of the fire tree. The bluebirds burst into a happy song, and Maria's laughter was like sparkling stardust.

But something suddenly frightened the bluebirds and they flew away. Someone had come, trespassed through the hill, and was approaching her.

"Maria!" A deep voice called, and a man appeared. "Maria. Don't run away." But she was already hiding behind the fire tree. "My name is Arturo." She was peeping at him with shy and suspicious eyes, a trembling, frightened doe ready to flee. "I don't mean any harm. I only want to give you a gift."

He was tall and broad of shoulder. He wore dark trousers and a loose unbuttoned shirt revealing a muscular chest with skin like dark leather. He had the manly bearing of power and authority, and a bolo hung from his waist.

She had seen him many times before, roaming the forest, searching for her. But whenever he drew near, she ran away and hid among the pillars of vines, giant ferns, and limestone caves where he could never find her. But he kept on returning to the forest, searching for her with tireless determination.

This time she chose not to run away. She was curious about the gift he offered. No one had ever given her a gift.

From his pocket he took out an alms-pouch made of deerskin. He moved closer to give her the pouch. But when he saw how she backed away nervously, he did not go further and remained where he was.

"I will leave it here." He placed the gift at the base of the tree trunk. His dark, deep-set eyes gazed at her with intensity. "I love you."

Pain flashed in her eyes. And her tears escaped from the prison of her heart. "Do not speak of love. I do not desire it from you or from anyone."

"I love you," he repeated with a passion that could not contain itself. "You're always running away. You're always hiding. You should learn to make friends and be part of the barrio."

She suddenly grew angry. "What do you want with me? I will never be part of the barrio. They hate me and curse me. They say I turn into a wildcat and feed on human flesh. Shouldn't you be afraid of someone like me?"

"I don't believe in these stories. I believe you are a good and beautiful girl who deserves to be loved."

"You mentioned love again. If you say it once more I will leave."

"I cannot help myself. I love you."

She was gone, swiftly slipping into shrubs and trees, sprinting away. Arturo was left alone, but he was smiling. She had taken the gift. He knew that she lived in a nipa hut hidden deep in the forest, together with Lucila, an old and wise woman, known in the barrio as the Witch of the Winds.

"I don't know how much longer it will take, but I will have you as my wife."

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    delightful romantic fantasy

    Like the aging healer Lucila, Maria was abandoned as a baby. Lucila found her and raised her as her own, teaching her ¿daughter¿ how to use herbs to heal the nearby villagers in spite of being outcasts, undesirables and even physically abused for not knowing their lineage. Lucila also knows that her ward has power as the MOON CHILD................ Maria befriends all the spirits, flora and fauna of her forestry home, but is uncomfortable with humans except for her ¿mother¿. The barrio Captain Arturo falls in love with Maria, but she initially shies away from him until he persuades her that they belong together and he would never purposely hurt her. They move into a home together not realizing buried beneath is the grave of Maya, a forest mortal maltreated by the villagers whom she cursed before dying. Additionally, Pacita, who loves Arturo, plans to destroy his relationship with Maria. At about the same time, Juanito comes to the forest playing the flute like a God as he hypnotizes all the women in a search for a soul. He may have found his soul when he falls in love with Maria. ................. This delightful romantic fantasy that in some ways feels like A Midsummer Night¿s Dream focuses on the need for belonging through nurturing and love. Several key protagonists behave even spitefully due to loving someone else though in some cases it is unrequited. The fantasy elements enhance the basic need to have someone love you. Though clearly Maria¿s tale, the support cast, (whether magical or human, kind or enviously desperate) enchant the audience in search of the ¿elusive butterfly of love¿..................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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