Read Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye Online


Part One Of Two PartsThe 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 tPart One Of Two PartsThe 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 that threatens to topple an empire, their tale is the saga of a desperate and unforgettable love that consumes all in its thrall. Filled with the mystery of moonlit palace gardens and the whisperings of passion and intrigue, M. M. Kaye evokes an era at once of its time, yet timeless."Another splendid tale of India." (Wall Street Journal)...

Title : Shadow of the Moon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553137521
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 803 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shadow of the Moon Reviews

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-03-03 07:56

    4.5 stars. Shadow of the Moon is a great historical epic, with love and hate, treachery and courage, set in India during the Sepoy Rebellion in the 1850s.Lucknow, IndiaM.M. Kaye takes her time setting up the story, beginning it with 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 situation for anyone involved, except for Winter's great-grandfather, the Earl of Ware and the patriarch of the family, who loves Winter. But Lord Ware is aging and frail, and so when there's a chance to betroth Winter (at age 11!!) to an older Englishman (in his 30's!!!) who's living in India and needs a (wealthy) bride, Winter and her great-grandfather both think that's a great idea, with plans to seal the deal marry the two once Winter comes of age.Unfortunately, the intervening years don't do her betrothed any good: Conway Barton has always liked to party and sleep around, but by the time Winter is 17 he's a fat, lazy old drunkard (who still likes to party and sleep around). Rather than traveling to England himself, Conway sends for Winter to come to India and marry him there, figuring he can get her to tie the knot quickly, before she figures out what kind of a man he is, if she's alone and friendless. Conway sends his young, handsome subordinate, Alex Randall, to escort Winter to India, which seems an odd and risky choice for Conway, but you have to roll with it. The meeting of Alex and 17 year old Winter does not go well; he feels honor-bound to try to warn her that she's marrying a fat, dissipated fool, and she can't believe he's bad-mouthing his superior officer and her fiancé like that! So off Winter goes to India, where a lecherous, depraved fiancé is only the first of the many problems and disappointments that she will be dealing with.I got a little impatient with Winter in the first part of the book. She's so young and almost willfully blind, but you have to make allowances for a Victorian-era upbringing. And she grows up fast. Alex is a great character, intelligent and brave, loyal to his country but mightily struggling with short-sighted decisions that his superior officers are making about how to handle the volatile situation in India. Winter isn't the only one with blind spots.M.M. Kaye doesn't pull any punches here, and the characters go through some really harrowing experiences. The death and mayhem during the Sepoy Rebellion is terrible, but overall historically accurate, and it's described in detail here. Between this book and The Far Pavilions, Kaye's other epic about historic India, I've learned a lot that I had never known about India in the 1800's, and it's been fascinating.Indian Sepoys (infantry soldiers in the British East India Company army)The ending is a bit abrupt; I would have liked an epilogue or something telling me a bit more about the fates of the characters after the fighting ended(view spoiler)[, especially Lottie's baby! Does Lou keep her? (hide spoiler)]. I think The Far Pavilions is the better book of the two, by a thin margin, but I highly recommend both of these novels to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Reading this reminded me of James Clavell's Shōgun, with fictional British characters in a foreign society with very different manners and ways. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Misfit
    2019-02-23 05:56

    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 of 17 to join her fiancee under the care of Alex Randall, who unbeknownst to her is now a debauched, obese drunk. Alex does try to tell her, but she maintains her childhood image of her "hero" and will not listen, to her great regret. Lots of trials and tribulations as our hero and heroine travel back to India, the meeting and marriage to Conway and the Sepoy rebellion, and vividly portrayed by an author who has a great knowledge and love of the country and it's history. This is not only a story of two lovers, but one of stubborn, bigoted officials hiding their heads in the sand, treachery, intrigue and the brutal way in which the rebellion played out against the British, even shocking some of their own people. As with The Far Pavilions, it is shocking to see after 150 years not much of life and politics has changed in the Far East, nor should the Europeans (or Americans now for that matter) be interfering in their life, culture and religion. Highly recommended for any lover of historical fiction, India, or just a darn good book. This would make an awesome mini series, the sequences from the attack on the British and Alex and Winter's escape are just breathtaking. As a side note for those loooking for well written books for younger readers, this should be a good choice. Originally written in the 50s, the love scenes are quite chaste. Just be prepared for some gory, though accurate, portrayal of the violence aginst the British (including women and children) during the rebellion. If you enjoy this book, I would also recommend Zemindar. The same topic, the Sepoy rebellion, and beautifully written. The author's prose was gorgeous, very reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte.

  • Hannah
    2019-02-22 04:49

    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 unfolding beauty of India is revealed to the reader in slow increments, while the building tension leading up to the Sepoy Rebellion creates subtle unease for the reader. The rebellion itself is both equal parts horror and heroism, with the characters you've come to know and love taking more and more of your interest and sympathy. The last 200 pages are, literally, un-put-down-able. Schedule your reading time accordingly - you have been warned.

  • Averil
    2019-03-23 09:15

    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 bloodthirsty Sepoy Rebellion, is savage, heartbreaking and unashamedly romantic! (I'm a sucker for romance, but dislike bodice rippers, so M.M. Kaye's modest style is perfect.) Shadow of The Moon is richly plotted and decadently described, peopled with well-drawn and unforgettable characters, bolstered by an incredible depth of background detail and historical fact throughout, and with overriding suspense which builds to a gut-wrenching last 200 pages. Near impossible to put down once the mutiny begins! You just don't find historical writers like M.M. Kaye anymore. Or lovers like Winter and Alex, for that matter. Oh Alex! I'll leave the tweeny-boppers to fawn all over the pale sparkly Edward Cullen...give me Alex Randall any day! (Hey, he's a captain AND a midwife, what more can I say?!) And beautiful, resilient Winter -- I have long loved the image of her heart shaped face and blue-black hair.During my re-reading of this 1950's novel, I realized why it had appealed so much to me as a teen, and why it hasn't lost its charm for me! There is a dose of Austen in the drawing room dramas, lavish balls and the machinations of British society, shades of L M Montgomery in the avid, dreamy descriptions of sun rises and sets, and more than enough drama, intrigue, historical detail and throat-tightening suspense to enchant me entirely!

  • Cindy Newton
    2019-03-16 04:52

    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 alive through her descriptive prose. Her prose, incidentally, sings; she's an artist with a sentence, and her words flow with effortless ease. But back to India. She creates a wonderfully vivid backdrop for the struggles of the characters--made even more compelling by the fact that the horrifying events actually took place. The main character, Winter, is a European woman whose connections to India are established through several generations at the beginning of the book. She is actually born there, and considers it her home. The male protagonist, Alex Randall, is a captain in the British army, and his love for India rivals Winter's. The story covers the build-up to and the events of The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. A lot of background information is necessary in order to understand the bigger picture, but Kaye's coverage of this history is interesting, as she relates it with the clarity of hindsight, pointing out the bungling stupidity of those in charge and the many mistakes they made. These errors were glaringly apparent to a handful of men who actually loved and understood India, but their warnings were ignored and ridiculed. Alex Randall is a member of this group, and he fights desperately to avoid the impending disaster of the rebellion, but without success. The tension as you read of his efforts is excruciating, for you can see the writing on the wall.There is a romance, but it is very much in the background as the characters are swept into these dramatic events. There is a lot of food for thought in this book, for there are many issues that relate to our world today. Times change, customs change, the way we dress, talk, communicate, spend our time changes, but people don't change. We can read of this time and this place, and watch them making foolish assumptions and decisions, ignoring history and common sense, deceiving themselves with platitudes and excuses, and see the echoes of these behaviors in our leaders of today. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction. When I read books like this, these sweeping epics that submerge you in another place and time, another culture, it is then that I can truly understand the magic of reading. I am no longer sitting on my couch in my comfortable suburban home--I am with them, with Winter and Alex on the hot, dusty plains, in the lush foliage of the jungle, in the brightly-painted rooms of the Gulab Mahal. I am suddenly immersed in the glamour and the squalor and the violence of this foreign country, and when I reach the end of the book, I'm still there. It takes a while to leave that exotic locale behind and return to my modern life. For a while, their images linger in my head, and the Hindustani words I learned while reading spring to mind automatically. I think of things from my normal life in the context of the book. This is the beauty of reading--how can anybody not love it??

  • Moonlight Reader
    2019-02-23 06:05

    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.

  • Anna
    2019-03-24 09:13

    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-lovers Winter and Alex, but hardly any dialogue. This lack of direct interaction between them meant there was a lack of direct interaction between them and me, and I didn’t feel any emotional pull towards them.This was also the case with the supporting roles; the lack of conversations meant I felt I was being told the story rather than living it with them. I was shocked by the brutality of the Rebellion, but because I didn’t have a bond with the characters, I wasn’t moved when they fell. In such a tense and distressing time, I needed to feel the story, but sadly didn’t.I enjoyed the vibrancy of the Indian settings, as well as learning about life in 19th century India, an era I’m new to. I’m interested in reading more books set against this beautiful but dangerous backdrop, and hope that other books by Kaye, or by other authors, can make me feel more connected and involved, sweeping me up in true epic style.(eek, sorry Hannah and Misfit)

  • Hana
    2019-03-01 07:56

    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 insights into the growing gulf between officials and military officers of the British East India Company and its sepoy troops. I finished two weeks ago and then took a vacation without writing my review. So here I am trying to remember the book and finding that very little stuck in my brain—never a good sign. Going back to my notes I had mixed feelings about the book even as I was reading it. Some parts were so well done and so exciting (the flight to the jungle, the bridge sabotage), but other parts dragged for me even though I know they were realistic (the long siege of Delhi, the lack of news from other areas). The introductory chapters set during the Georgian and Regency period evoke the tolerant early days of the European adventure in India. All the complex intermarriages between Mughal royalty and European traders and adventurers are well captured in the family histories of the fictional de Ballesteros, Grantham and Mirza Ali Shah clans. The easy fusion of Hindu, Mughal and European traditions is very much on target. Unfortunately Kaye then embroils her young heroine, Winter de Ballesteros, in an extremely improbably series of disasters that uproot her from India and transplant her to England where she lives a Cinderella existence. Then, in an unlikely turn, Winter is betrothed as an 11 year old to a thirty year old fortune hunter making his way up the ladder in the East India Company. It’s all much too contrived and neither the situation nor Winter rang true for me. When Winter reaches her teens, her now dissolute betrothed demands that she be shipped out to India for a wedding that will put him firmly in charge of her fortune. Kaye really almost lost me at this point. There are way too many awkward plot twists and holes. Winter’s fiancé, Conway Barton, now in charge of a fictional Company district is too much a cardboard caricature of every deeply stupid British functionary, but it was kind of fun hating him and I was delighted with his ultimate (view spoiler)[ignominious drunken demise. Alas he was not killed off soon enough and we and Winter have to put up with him for rather longer than I would have liked. But the unfortunate marriage did allow for Winter to do some rapid, much needed growing up.(hide spoiler)] .Fortunately, just as I was about to give up, Kaye shifted the scene and introduced a hero--young Alex Randall, Conway Barton’s assistant who basically runs the province while Barton drinks and plays cards with assorted Company low-life. Alex is darkly handsome with grey eyes, fluent in Hindustani, able to pass as a Pathan, with a loyal Muslim friend....Yes, yes, I know--clichés--and that is exactly the problem. Alex serves as one of those too-knowing prophets who decry the growing British greed and cultural and religious insensitivity and see the rebellion coming with 20-20 foresight. There really were a few men like Alex but it felt just a little too pat. Still, Alex is a hunk and very likable, and his adventures and the Alex-Winter scenes were fun and kept me going.It sounds as if I should have given this a two star rating but Kaye kept me turning the pages and the sections that were pure historical narrative were well done and largely accurate (except for a Kali-sacrifice scene right out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom). A map would have been helpful, along with an afterword explaining what was fiction and what was based on fact.Those who like romantic adventures with a serious historical bent will enjoy this saga. Those seeking a more literary treatment of the British Raj should definitely try Paul Scott's much more subtle The Jewel in the Crown and The Day of the Scorpion. For an excellent non-fiction treatments of the period covered by this book don’t miss William Dalrymple's superb White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India and The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857. Buddy read with a wonderful group of Goodreads friends: warning: PG for marital rape; intense scenes of massacres, beheadings, war atrocities, etc.

  • Angela Blount
    2019-02-28 08:08

    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 nearly as intriguing as his empathetic grasp of India's language and cultures. Winter eventually came around to become quite tolerable, but I read on and enjoyed because of Alex. The elegant, subtle prose didn't hurt, either. This is just one of those beautiful pieces of literature that feels as though it's seeping in and somehow improving my own capacity for literary expression. I can't say I was a big fan of the deep political aspects of the time period, nor of the bad combination of British arrogance and the oppressive caste system--resulting in the genocidal horrors that are eventually depicted. So much of the book felt like I was watching an impending train wreck in slow motion. It was obvious what was going to happen--as obvious as it was that my favored protagonist was fighting a futile battle trying to stop it. That frustration DID make it tedious at times. I got the sense that the story was essentially a history lesson designed to explain an actual event and the brutal retaliation that followed, and why it unfolded the way it did. But for that, I also have to congratulate the author. I learned a great deal about India, and about the motives of a number of different peoples during that time period. There were no easy answers, and it never felt preachy.

  • Dorcas
    2019-03-23 04:51

    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 an engrossing read and yet not a very cheerful one. The writing is 5 star but I found it rather dark and depressing. So many people die... I'm not someone who has to have a HEA (and this story does end well in case you're wondering) but I DO need some light moments, SOME happiness. And there was very little. Even the sweet moments were bitter-sweet. There are times when you want to yell at the book, "NOOOOO"!!!! Still, it's such a good story....Anyway,if you're looking for a realistic story of the Indian uprising written with amazing skill you will love this. The characters have depth and there are so many twists and turns which make for an exciting read. BUT, if you want a happy little fairy tale that gives you pleasant dreams at night look elsewhere.CONTENT:SEX: There's a sex scene which covers one small paragraph. It is not graphic by any means but in my opinion it is not suitable for YA readers.LANGUAGE: Mild to moderate depending on sensitivity.The 'N' word is used a few times (spoken by people who were in no way heroes), some B's and D's.VIOLENCE: This is a story of mutiny and there are massacres. Some is NOT pleasant reading. While not as graphic as some that writers of today produce, there ARE some brutal moments which may give you nightmares. Again,not recommended for YA audiences. However, this was what really happened and I'm pretty sure that the author used a light hand in relating the revolts. The reality was far worse.PARANORMAL ELEMENTS: The reader is led to believe at two points in the book that the heroine sees a ghost. However, this is never delved into and either confirmed or denied.Also an epileptic child of one of the servants is believed by the natives to possess the "second sight" This is never confirmed, but apparently was a common belief when people were epileptic or had mental issues. MY RATING: A strong PG-13

  • Rachel
    2019-03-16 11:16

    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 confess that I do find the main character Alex to be infinitely more dreamy than Ash and Anjuli while more beautiful is also less relatable than Winter. And who doesn't love a heroine named Winter, seriously? But there I end my comparison as they are both great stories told by a great writer in their own rights. I first read this as a stop gap in my knowledge of the vast and teeming sub-continent that is its setting. But if there is one thing that I do respect about M.M. Kaye for all her colonialist pedigree she doesn't play the role of the Westerner that comes to solve all of your problems. Nor does she go as far as E.M Forester ( what's with the Brit's and initial names?) in his one an only work set in India not so subtly titled, "A Passage to India" which was widely praised as progressive for subversively favoring the Indian plight. Which it may have indeed been when first released. Honestly, I think Forester sacrificed both plot and character development for the sake of his "message" which over the years became so obscured as to be indistinguishable to the uninitiated modern reader. Shadow of the Moon on the other hand never feels over wrought with message but neither does it shirk its task of presenting the story of a deeply troubled political time in a complicated country. Nor does she present the novel as an explanation or exculpation of either nation here at odd ends of a gun barrel but rather she sought to present it through the lens of human experience and as such it takes my breath away still and is my favorite historical novel set in the Indian Raj, which is not a category as obscure as it sounds.

  • Marquise
    2019-03-21 11:10

    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 me of another favourite, Ashton Pelham-Martyn, also created by this author for another of her works. He's very well fleshed out and compelling, and for me personally kept me reading at points where I felt I was in danger of losing interest in the narrative. But, on the other hand, there's the female character and her storyline. Her characterisation made her a very frustrating protagonist to read about most of the time, and at least a couple of times I found myself wishing that the leading female would be someone else instead of her. And when you catch yourself wishing such things, then it means the chemistry between characters was lost on you.

  • Diane Lynn
    2019-03-10 03:16

    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
    2019-02-24 10:06

    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.

  • Judy
    2019-03-22 04:54

    Over two decades ago I devoured M M Kaye's The Far Pavillions and Trade Wind. She writes the kind of long books I love: so readable and so historically instructive. Some months ago my blogger friend Helen reviewed Shadow of the Moon on her excellent historical fiction blog, She Reads Novels, reminding me I had missed this one. After I read The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, I was inspired to learn more about the history of India. I was still too timid to try Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children again after a failed attempt to read it some years ago, so Shadow of the Moon seemed just the thing. It was!The British East India Company is in the waning years of its heyday. It is about to morph into the British Raj when its power to rule India passed to Queen Victoria after an uprising that nearly bankrupted the world's most powerful trading company.Through the eyes of Winter de Ballesteros, half British heiress and half Spanish Condessa, this novel tells the story of the rebellion by the Sepoys, the Indian infantry soldiers in the British East India Company army. I really got the sense of how much and for how long India was under the power of the British: for over 250 years under the East India Company and then another 73 years under the British Raj before achieving independence in 1947.The story goes deeply into the results and discontents of misrule. It is actually astonishing how much political history Ms Kaye covers in a novel that reads like a historical romance.Winter is a typical heroine for novels of this kind. She is naive and romantic, but strong and brave. After a life of sorrows and losses, she gets her happy ending. Life for women in India was difficult in the extreme. Both English and Indian women suffered in many ways, lost babies, died from disease, and had virtually no rights. Winter can be a frustrating character but considering all the trials she survived from the day of her birth, she became a beloved heroine for me.I admired how well M M Kaye captured that aspect of womanhood where no matter how brave, smart and resilient a woman was, she was forever being left behind to endure pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood while her husband took off to settle business and political troubles. It's enough to make me want to watch Wonder Woman over and over!I loved the book. It took me seven days to read 274 pages of Susan Sontag but only four days to read 799 pages by M M Kaye. I do need both novels of ideas and those with propulsive storytelling in my reading life, but Ms Kaye combined the two so seamlessly. Now I actually feel sufficiently girded to tackle Midnight's Children.

  • Nikki
    2019-03-19 04:50

    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 reading the sample for Shadow of the Moon because once I read the sample I had to know exactly what was going to happen in it! It pulled me in from the beginning.. I will say it starts out with the history of Winter's grandparents and then her parents and I while I definitely had to know what happened to each character I did find myself ready to get on with the story of Winter herself and Captain Randall. So, while interesting to see how Winter eventually ended up being brought back to England the beginning of the book is slightly tedious and slow moving. But! Do not stop reading!! By the time Captain Randall has escorted Winter to her betrothed( who was a horrible terrible man whom Randall had tried warning her against) you are dedicated at that point to the two main characters and are beginning to know the secondary characters as well. It was probley at this point in the book, that I found myself staying up way to late at night reading and finding myself thinking about these characters quite often during the day. Winter herself as some other reviewers have mentioned did take some time for me to actually like her. She was at times quite childish and immature but in reality she was just 17 so for the most part she was still just a child. When I found I began to care for her character is when she truly began to start growing up. It was a slow process but then all of a sudden you have realized our little Winter has become a strong woman. Alex Randall, I loved from almost the beginning. The entire book is leading up to the sepoy mutiny, it was almost like watching a shipwreck about to happen.. Frustrating so much.. And when it happened, it was awful... I was actually in some shock at what I was reading and had to fight the urge to not skip as to not know who lived or died but found I could not do that for I was to invested in the characters at this point... I loved every minute of this book after probley the first 200 pages... I do wish the ending hadn't been as swift and abrupt as it was.. All I can say is I will give it a small time and then probley read it all over again!!!!

  • Alice
    2019-02-28 03:05

    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 heroes. Winter is such a strong character, but so human. What could've been a one dimensional character evolved into, to me, an icon. No matter how many times I read this story I can not help but feel everything she does. I know what is going to happen and yet am still on the edge of my seat. This book is out of print, but you can find copies of it on amazon and ebay. If you enjoy epic romances this is so the book for you! Action, romance, exotic locales, murder and has it all. I also recommend Far Pavilions as a good follow up.

  • Cleo
    2019-03-23 02:50

    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
    2019-03-21 07:59

    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 born. There is a compelling love story that runs throughout, but more than that, Kaye gives such interesting detail to the British colonial mindset of that day. She is a fabulous writer. I love this book. For years and years, it was out of print ... but it looks like that might not be the case presently!

  • Carla Soares
    2019-03-02 10:00

    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. Then I realized that was just the backstory and the real heroine, our main character, would be (Countess, I think) Winter de Ballesteros, the little girl with blue-black hair and huge dark eyes born in Luckworm, India, to a beautiful blond English mother and a handsome dark Spanish father. She becomes an orphan very early and is sent back to England to live with her mother's family. So, her story starts in England, as a child.The book is wonderfully written. The research for the sepoy rebellion is magnificent (of course, I have no idea if it's accurate, but it's definitely detailed), the characters are well drawn and intense, the descriptions of India are so beautiful that you can see it and feel it... the stifling heat and humidity, the smells and colours, the sounds even, and the story is, in itself, very interesting.So, why did it take me 3 months to read this book and why didn't I like it more? It was too much, sometimes, and too little, sometimes. The descriptions were magnificent, but there were too many of them. And it's great to know about the politics in the Company, the excess of self confidence and the constant errors and lack of understanding that led to the rebellion, but there was so much of it.. What was not enough? There was quite a bit of interaction between the main characters, of course, but because there was so much (so much!!) of the rest, it seemed insufficient, so to me this was not a love story at all, it was a story of the revolt with a little bit of love in it. I got tired of the rebellion brewing, but not happening, of the love story (sort of) brewing, but not happening...I stuck with it, and I'm glad. There is a really good part while they're finally running from the sepoy, but their love feels rushed... and I was a bit disappointed, because after more than 500 pages of waiting, I got less than 100 of the actual revolt and of their love (and rarely in the main stage). The writing of the rebellion itself, I must say, is very well done, it's gruesome and bloody and horrible, as it should be. On the whole, it's a really good book, I think, just not balanced enough for me and... well, not exactly what I expected. It was sometimes very difficult to go on...Full review (também em Português) in

  • JuJu
    2019-03-14 07:07

    I need to stop reading all this regressive, colonialist garbage. What can I say? I have been on a big M. M. Kaye thing recently. I guess I need to read "Far Pavilions" and just commit to the whole endeavor.Anyhow, I really have a love-hate relationship with this stuff. She was raised in India and clearly has a deep love and understanding of the people, landscape, and culture. You can learn an incredible amount about colonial India by reading her stuff. Having said that, the "romance" in this one (an extremely understated relationship between a British officer and a titled Anglo-Spanish heiress, is just ever-so-slightly unsettling because it a) takes place between the European characters b) who are, of course, uber-educated and, in her case, rich and titled, and c) just seems like a typical Western romance juxtaposed over a cool story about an important historical event, almost like an afterthought.I want to shake her and say, "You know, if you want to write a book about Colonial India and the Sepoy Rebellion, just do it. Don't feel like you have to slap a romance on top of it."Except that still wouldn't be a perfect solution because for all of her obvious love for this country and meticulous detail, that colonialist attitude still slips out. You know, "life is cheap in India" and that kind of thing.Anyhow, I'm trying to be honest about what I read (even if it's crap) and I read this. All 600 plus pages. It could be worse. At least Alex didn't rape Winter. (see Trade Winds)

  • Lindz
    2019-02-22 09:08

    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 Randell (I think he was a Lieutenant he had that vibe). In fact if I was more computer savvy I would put up these two photos one of an illustration of young Winter being kissed kissed in a surprisingly wind swept manicured Indian garden, next to a copy of a J. M. W. Turner painting which is all blinding sun and a hurricane of colour even on a serene scene. Trust me, your mind would have been blown. But alas an 80 year old pensioner living in Oakley has more computer skills than I do.But the point I was trying to make is, that is the contrast I loved about this novel the usual over blown love story, with cads aplenty, set against this amazing back drop with it's sense of history and sense of place. Her treatment of the Sepoy Mutiny and her brief description of the Afghan War and retreat is heartfelt and really shows the horror. This was a great place and an amusing place to lose yourself in.

  • Juliana
    2019-03-14 04:04

    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 Lottie. M. M. Kaye's research of this subject was so extensive - it really opened my eyes to the horrors of the Sepoy Revolt. She had a full knowledge of both sides of the equation: that of the Indians and of the English. I never realized that (most) English were so narrow-minded on the subject of the British Rule. They clearly believed they were given a divine right to govern. In my mind, Winter and Alex deserve a spot as one of the best couples of all time - right up there with Romeo/Juliet, Edward/Bella, Heathcliff/Catherine and Darcy/Elizabeth.Rereading this book once more, I pick up on little passages, scenes or conversation that were forgotten from the last time I read it. I love how the book changes from Alex's view, to Winter's, to Conway's, to Lou's, still remaining in 3rd person. You can understand each person's viewpoint so clearly. Truly a masterpiece! If only BBC would remake it as a movie.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-22 04:15

    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 will have to poke around here and find this one. I wonder if I can go back? You know, if it will still be as lovely now as it was then. I'm no longer dreamy eyed so it might not be the same.

  • Katy
    2019-02-26 04:59

    Wonderful story and a good background history of the Sepoy Mutiny in India. Highly recommended to all my friends.

  • Michelle Dee
    2019-03-01 05:11

    5 StarsShadow 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 tale of the hot plains of India, its troubled past and present, and the lives caught up in its turmoil. I felt the suffocating heat, the tensions of unrest within the country, the frustrations of Captain Alex Randall in his quest to prevent a sure calamity, and Winter's steady, sensible presence throught the tale.Technically this was Winter's tale; she the protagonist; her backstory the one being told at the beginning of the book. However, I was most attached to Alex and felt his character was one of great importance. He was the one who travelled far and wide and embarked on many adventures in his quest to discover the truth behind whisperings of an uprising. It was his passion for India and his personal turmoil at his inability to really affect the outcome of that country despite his best efforts that really got to me. He was, of all the characters, the most unflichingly human.Winter's story was effective as well. She helped to contrast the domestic side of Indian life with Alex's life of intrigue and danger. I admired her strength and enthusiasm, that she made the best out of dire circumstances. I didn't even mind that she stubbornly refused to listen to Alex's warnings regarding her affianced Conway Barton, because I was fully aware that she was but a naive sixteen-year-old who had religiously held onto her fantasy of her white-knighted fiance to get her through the cold circumstances of her time in England.Every time Winter and Alex's stories collided I grew more and more excited. There was always a sweet tension that thrummed between them. Awareness of both an unwitting attraction to the other, at first, and later an awareness that the timing and circumstances couldn't have been worse. My only frustration with them is that I wished they would have talked about what lay between them more. I understand that most of their silence was due to the conventions of the time. One did not admit to feelings for another man when one was married - even if the husband was an absolute clodpole. Alternatively, Alex was stubbornly unwilling to define his feelings for Winter, which was entirely understandable. As he so desperately thought in the times those feelings almost broke through his wall of resistance, "Not now!" Because yes, that probably wasn't the best time to embark on what would have seemed a doomed romance. I admired both of their sensibility in that regard. However, (view spoiler)[once Conway was dead and they were in Lucknow? They were momentarily safe and both had, by that point, internally come to terms with their feelings for the other. They were married, even. I understood and - again - admired Alex's reasons for still not wanting to give into his love and lust for Winter, but I wish he'd told her that and that she, by God, had told, him that she was pregnant anyway. (hide spoiler)] But this is just a small complaint, and whatever misunderstandings did lay between them was a constant cause for tension and anticipation on the reader's part. It was a well-done, understandable sort of plot device to use and not one simply used for the sake of heightening emotion unnecessarily.As much as I was dreamily fond of both Winter and Alex and the love that steadily grew between them, I was most enamoured of the story itself. I must have slept through a large gap of my highschool history classes or, alternatively, the focus was mostly on the British occupation and subsequent rebellion of America, because I had no knowledge of these true events of India. Sure, I knew of the British occupation of India - it is one of those commonly known facts. I didn't, however, know that it was claimed and run by the East India Company. I did not know of the atrocities that both the British and the Indians committed because of this occupation. I am fascinated by history, especially the darker moments of it. Call it sick fascination, whatever. I just marvel at these examples of human failure and wonder that we haven't seemed to have progressed all that much. I'm one of those people who owns dozens of books written on the subjects of the Holocaust, the Roman Empire, the Rwandan Genocide, the Chinese famine, etc. But these are predominantly nonfiction accounts. Shadow of the Moon incorporates real life events with fictional (and some nonfictional) characters, making the impact of such a horrific time just that much more effective and harrowing. My God, the way Kaye matter-of-factly described the (view spoiler)[massacre of Europeans, including women and children, in Meerut and Delhi (hide spoiler)] had me gaping in horror and disbelief at my tablet. (view spoiler)["Mrs Abuthnot did not scream when she died." (hide spoiler)] Wow. The starkness of that statement. Just wow. I experienced such a delicious tension and frustration as I read of Alex's exploits, knowing - just as he knew - that all his work would come to nothing due to the ignorance, pride and incompetence of his seniors. Throughout the entire novel dark uncurrents of unrest grew and expanded until it all finally resulted in that most dramatic, horrifying of circumstances. I was spellbound. Utterly spellbound. This tale has such a feel to it, dark and light in turn. It is both shadowy and luminous in nature. It wasn't a simplistic spouting of facts. It was a story, well told and expertly construed. I also appreciate and admire Kaye's telling of both perspectives. The British were both villified and heralded in turn, as were the Indians. Neither 'side' was purely good or evil, but a dangerous mixture of the two. A collective that wholeheartedly believes in its cause as good to the potential detriment of others is always dangerous. Kaye was extremely clever in the way she revealed all the threads of good and evil and everything in between that caused the events of this novel. Both Alex and Winter personified this aching dichotomy in their very selves. Both British by nationality, yet inexplicable and irrevocably drawn to a country and a cause not their own. Winter struggled with her alliances far less than Alex, but though she felt she belonged to the land of India, she did not blindingly accept the actions and practices of the people there. Alex often wondered and raged at his annoying talent to forever look at both sides of the coin. He identified that his life would be far simpler were he but blind to the plight of the Indians, yet he always chose to see more than was there, even though it was not the easier road. Perhaps this condundrum was present in Kaye herself, who was born and spent a large portion of her life in India before travelling to many countries not her own. Truly, she has paired personal experience with expert storytelling quite perfectly, in my opinion,For what this book is, and what it does, I cannot fault it.

  • Cirtnecce
    2019-03-15 06:52

    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 of Queen Victoria‘s Own Corps of Guides and write about those places including, Cyprus, Berlin, Zanzibar, her heart would always hold a special place for her adopted nation, and from this came her most successful works – Shadow of the Moon 1957, revised in 1979 and The Far Pavilions 1978.Shadow of the Moon is set in India during 1856-1858, tracing the rise and fall of the Indian Sepoy Mutiny. Being the daughter of the land and the great-niece of Sir John Kaye, who wrote the first standard account of the Indian Mutiny, her book is an exact and empathetic description of two races and nations striving to do what they believe is right, (though the author’s sympathies are clearly with the conquered race than the conquers!) without completely understanding the other’s view leading to one of the most horrific rebellions in the annals of British-India history. The book captures the politics, customs and economics that went into the making of the Indian mutiny, besides vividly portraying the characters of some of the greats of history who were instrumental in the event Lord Canning, Sir Henry Lawrence, Major William Hodson etc. The books gives a moving account of India with the heat, the bazaars, the winding rivers, the small hamlets, the acres and acres of cultivated land and her British India society with its balls, social rituals and moonlight picnics! At the heart of the book however is the heart warming love story of Winter de Ballesteros and Captain Alex Randall. Winter, the orphaned daughter of an English aristocratic mother and a Spanish nobleman, sets off from England to marry Conway Barton, whom she was betrothed to as a child. Alex Randall, Barton’s junior and an officer of the British Army, who is now working as an administrator in the fictional town of Lunjore, whose Commissioner is Barton, has been tasked to bring Winter to Lunjore. Winter’s journey to India, her marriage to Conway Barton, her flight during the Mutiny and finally uniting with Alex Randall makes the core of the story around which the politics, the battles and the history of India play out. While it sounds sordid, the love story is anything but so…it’s tender, moving and completely accurate in terms of social observances of the era. The country, her people and her heroes leap from the book and come alive as they grab your attention and force you to imagine an era long gone, in a land far away and love story that reverberates across time!What so special about the book – it’s a darn good yarn. While the love story plays out, the book also has enough suspense, intrigue and thrills, to make it a good read. These along with the vivid and lyrical description of the land and her customs, makes the novel an all-round winner that would satisfy any genre of readers – romance, descriptive, thriller, historical!!!Read it…I guarantee that you will at the least enjoy it if not love it!!

  • K.l.
    2019-03-04 08:00

    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 Mutiny, what the British women and children suffered is really brought home, but at the same time she manages to sympathise with the native Indians, fighting for their culture in the wake of the great British Empirical Engine! You feel comtemp for the great socity ladies who refuse to adapt to their new climate and expect a proud an ancient culture to adapt to them. You sympathise with those rare men and women of the time that realised that grave mistakes were being made in the treatment of the natives, while shaking your head in disbelief at the sheer stupidity of the Commissioners who could have averted so much tragedy and bloodshed by merely being sensitive. What a phenomenal writer! You live, breathe and feel nineteenth century India in this truly amazing novel!

  • Linda
    2019-03-09 05:12

    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 historical fiction and don't mind spending a few (more or less, your results may vary) days longer than usual on a book I can guarantee a rip snorting time.I spent many a day at my bus stop fuming aloud about some injustice (and there was always some injustice) happening to my favorite character of the moment, forgetting that the whole world could hear me. Do Alex and Winter get their happy ever after?? Read and find out.

  • Joan
    2019-03-15 02:50

    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 Doubleday book was missing half its text and was only later reincorporated into the complete story it is today. I'm grateful to have both volumes.