The Ruby Key (Moon and Sun Series #1)

( 12 )

Overview


Bestselling fantasy writer Holly Lisle brings us her children's debut with a lyrical, fast paced fantasy for middle-grade readers!

Mankind is Sunkind
And rules by the light;
Nightlings are Moonkind,
And rule in the night;
Or there will be war.

Human and Nightlings are never to meet, but when Genna and her ...

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Overview


Bestselling fantasy writer Holly Lisle brings us her children's debut with a lyrical, fast paced fantasy for middle-grade readers!

Mankind is Sunkind
And rules by the light;
Nightlings are Moonkind,
And rule in the night;
Or there will be war.

Human and Nightlings are never to meet, but when Genna and her brother Dan venture into the old forest at night, they encounter a Nightling slave who reveals a terrifying secret: Genna and Dan's village chieftain has made a dangerous deal with Letrin, ruler of the Nightlings, offering the lives of his people in exchange for his own immortality.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 9 to 14.

In book one of the "Moon and Sun" series, the relationship between humans and the mysterious nightlings changes during Offering Night. Genna and her brother Dan risk their lives to save their mother, then stumble upon the truth about a nefarious plot of their father's best friend, Banris. He has bartered away the lives of the entire village for his own immortality by making a deal with Letrin, the corrupt nightling king. Genna and Dan befriend a rebellious nightling slave who helps them make their own deal with Letrin. They must now travel through the nightling world, as well as forgotten parts of their own human world, for a reason. As their journey progresses, Genna and Dan discover secrets, magic, and the treacherous Moonroads, as well as the fact they are not only fighting to save their loved ones, but all of humankind. Author Holly Lisle has previously written adult fantasy novels, and this book reads with adult complexity. It is immediately mesmerizing and creates a deep, unique world where the future depends on a 14-year-old girl. This is a good book to generate discussion about responsibility, leadership, and trust. Reviewer: Renee Farrah

VOYA - David Goodale
Lisle invents a distinctive world where an uneasy truce exists between humankind, who rule by daylight, and nightlings, who rule by moonlight. One night, fourteen-year-old Genna and her brother, Dan, meet a nightling slave named Yarri. She informs them that their village's ruler has made an evil pact with the Kai-Lord of the Nightlings, Letrin, offering his own village in exchange for immortality. Genna and Dan forge their own pact with the Kai-Lord in order to save their village. With the aid of Yarri and a talking cat, Genna and Dan learn to navigate the moonroads that allow travel between worlds as they seek to satisfy their half of the bargain with Letrin and earn the ruby key. Lisle creates an imaginative story, but the book's biggest defect is the amount of help Genna and Dan are given. Yarri and the cat seem to pull them along and direct them at every turn. Two-thirds of the way through the book, the author arranges for Genna, the protagonist, to be alone. Not so coincidentally, the next chapter is titled "Alone," but even from this point Genna seems to be swept forward mostly by circumstance. The subject matter and cover will tempt teens to snatch this richly detailed fantasy, the first book in the Moon and Sun series, off the shelves, but other titles such as Wooding's Poison (Orchard, 2005/VOYA December 2005) and De Lint's Little (Grrl) Lost (Viking, 2007/VOYA October 2007) are better choices for teens searching for fantasy with strong female heroines. Reviewer: David Goodale
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8- Gennadara and her brother, Danrith, live in the primitive village of Hillrush and are surrounded by danger. Like other humans, they can go out only in daylight, and they have an uneasy truce with the nightlings, creatures of the nearby forest who only come out after dark. All are ruled by Letrin, an arrogant and powerful being who lives in a kind of underground fairy mound. Genna and Dan's father is thought to be dead, and the children are terrified of their evil Uncle Banris, who conspires to marry their very ill mother. When the siblings sneak out at night to milk sap from the taandu trees to cure their mother, they are catapulted into a series of wild adventures involving a young nightling, a talking cat, magic moonroads, and plenty of beasties and ghoulies. They must find a young man named Doyati to save their family and the villagers from death at the hands of Letrin. While the book offers enough requisite fantasy elements-a seemingly impossible quest, plenty of magic, poetic language, and brave young protagonists-the plot twists need too much overt explanation to ring true, and the overly complicated fantasy structure sinks under its own weight. The nightling is an intriguing character, but her facile ability to smooth over difficulties strains credulity.-Quinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD

Kirkus Reviews
In this first volume in a new series, the dwindling human race clings to a tenuous peace with the fairy-like nightlings, years after a fateful epic battle. Fourteen-year-old (human) Genna and her younger brother Danrith stumble into this conflict one moonlit evening when they encounter a forest nightling who warns them that their uncle has made a bargain (involving their murder!) with nightling Kai-Lord Letrin in exchange for his immortality. Genna and Dan immediately travel to Arrienda to bravely cut their own deal with Letrin to save the lives of their family and fellow villagers. What follows is an often-suspenseful journey through moonroads and shadows haunted by a grotesque monster worm, warrior ghosts, demon dogs and worse. A sharp-tongued cat offers rare comic relief along the way, though the abundance of fond observations of cat behavior seems excessive. Lisle's overall clean, casual style sometimes clashes with both a stiffer formality and the occasional bafflingly convoluted sentence. Still, fantasy fans will find both a satisfying adventure quest and the lively coming-of-age story of the reluctant heroine Genna. (Fantasy. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545000130
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Series: Moon and Sun Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 820,142
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


HOLLY LISLE is a native of Salem, Ohio, but she's also lived in Alaska, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. She is the author of many bestselling adult suspense and fantasy novels. The Moon & Sun books, THE RUBY KEY and THE SILVER DOOR, are her children's debut and are published by Orchard Books. She has three children, a handful of cats, and believes writing is the best job a person can have. She currently resides in the Deep South, with her family.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    This is my favorite children's book. If i had children I'd read

    This is my favorite children's book. If i had children I'd read it to them. I just hope one day I'll get to.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Childrens book

    Everyone in my family including my 9 year old daughter enjoyed this book. Its a must read for any young reader and adult.

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  • Posted December 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    LOVE IT SO, SO MUCH! <3

    Dear Reader,
    This book was amazing. At first I thought it seemed a little far-fetched if you know what I mean but then, after about 30 pages into it, it captured me. The challenges Genna faces with every new person, thing, object, ect. But, the only doubt I had about this book, is that I can barely make it though a book unless it has romance in it. So, it was a little disappointing when I found out the age of Doyati. But then, around a little after the climax of the book, something happens to him to, lets just say (cause I don't want to spoil it for you but, I think I might) he magically becomes Genna's age, or some what older, and she finds him attractive and handsome. Also, like the last page and I quote this, "I turn and caught Doyati watching me, a small, private smile on his face. His cheeks flushed and he averted his eyes." Now that was incouraging to the romance in it. Also, that is the part where he tells her she will have to start studing magic with him, so as you can see, he is falling for her and I wish so badly that I had The Silver Door right now so I could reach it. Enjoy! <3 <3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009

    LOVED IT!!

    THis is one of my fav. books EVER!!! ( and thats saying something because ive read over 500 books and im 13) Great charecters and imagination! the second book was awsome i just wanted more Doyati in it/

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  • Posted February 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good start to what I hope will be a good series

    Normally, I don't like fantasy - I find much of it to be cliche. But this was an engaging tale with relatable characters and nice plot twists. It did get a bit confusing at times, but for the most part, one can sail through it without getting too perplexed. I've bought this book and am looking forward to the next in the series.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Harmony for TeensReadToo.com

    Due to an agreement between the humans and Nightlings, the two are never to meet. But when Genna and her younger brother, Dan, venture outside at night, when everyone is supposed to be safe inside, to get a special sap to save their mother, things begin to change. They are told by a Nightling slave the truth of what is really happening between the Nightlings and humans. The leader of the human village, Genna and Dan's "uncle," has made a deal with the Nightling king that will result in his own immortality but the downfall of every other human. <BR/><BR/>Genna and Dan must strike their own deal with the Nightling king and set out on their own journey to not only save themselves and their family but everyone in their village -- as well as the Nightlings. <BR/><BR/>Filled with adventure and striking prose, THE RUBY KEY is one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a while. The characters, even the non-human ones, were realistic, and every single one of them played an important part in the unfolding plot. The plot itself was unpredictable and filled with twists and turns you never see coming. The ending even keeps you begging for more. <BR/><BR/>Holly Lisle may be an accomplished adult author, but her name is sure to become a popular one among teen fiction, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    THE RUBY KEY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just finished this book yesterday and it was the best when it comes to adventure and keeping your imagination running. I love all the twists in the story and Doyati sure is funny. I just can't wait for the next book. I hope all the the other people who have read this book enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    The Ruby Key is wonderful!

    Last night I finished The Ruby Key, the new book by Holly Lisle. What a great book, perfect for any young person -- or adult -- looking for a good fantasy. Genna's world is a place that I hope Holly Lisle will return to time after time. That world is divided into day and night, day ruled by humans, night by the nightlings. Genna and her brother Dan discover that their 'uncle' has made a horrendous deal with the lord of the nightlings: He has traded the lives of the people of their village for immortality. Genna and Dan make their own deal with the evil nightling lord and start off on an impossible quest to locate a child and return him to the nightlings. Along with them travel an annoying cat -- which is both more than and less than a cat -- and a young, bright nightling. But naturally things aren't what they seem. Genna soon learns that the world is different than she had always been told and that her quest has far-reaching consequences. There are monsters and moonroads (you'll have to read the book to discover what those are) and villains and heroes. You will be both surprised and pleased at how it all turns out. The Ruby Key truly reminds me of the best of Andre Norton. Genna has resources and bravery that she doesn't even know she does, and this book is the beginning of her journey. I'm looking forward to the next book. By the way, the book itself is gorgeous with a wonderful cover and neat flourishes throughout, a handsome addition to any library. Add it to your library today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2009

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    Posted September 8, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

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