February 24, 2022

#BookReview: Star Mother (Star Mother #1) by @CNHolmberg

Synopsis: A woman’s heart proves as infinite as the night sky in a breathtaking fantasy by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg.

When a star dies, a new one must be born.

The Sun God chooses the village of Endwever to provide a mortal womb. The birthing of a star is always fatal for the mother, and Ceris Wenden, who considers herself an outsider, sacrifices herself to secure her family’s honor and take control of her legacy. But after her star child is born, Ceris does what no other star mother has: she survives. When Ceris returns to Endwever, however, it’s not nine months later—it’s seven hundred years later. Inexplicably displaced in time, Ceris is determined to seek out her descendants.

Being a woman traveling alone brings its own challenges, until Ceris encounters a mysterious—and desperate—godling. Ristriel is incorporeal, a fugitive, a trickster, and the only being who can guide Ceris safely to her destination. Now, as Ceris traverses realms both mortal and beyond, her journey truly begins.

Together, pursued across the Earth and trespassing the heavens, Ceris and Ristriel are on a path to illuminate the mysteries that bind them and discover the secrets of the celestial world.


Rating: 5 Stars
My Review: 
And then I cried, and then I cried some more, and then I was mad at the Sun, and then I cried some more.

I was not capable of putting this book down today. Ceris Wenden's adventure was inspiring, and heart-rending. I cried with sadness, but also for joy. I felt all the feelings of these characters. 

This was my first time reading a book from Charlie N. Holmberg and I am supremely impressed with her handling of human emotion. I have never had children (I miscarried when I was younger), but I deeply felt Ceris's connection to her Star. The (sort of) love triangle was handled with dignity and grace, and such beauty it truly added depth to the story.

This book touched my heart. I would strongly recommend it for any folk-lore, fantasy, or literary lover. The world-building unfolds with the story up until the very end. There is enough of a whimsical feeling to bring you into a whole other world that somehow feels like home.


Praise for Star Mother

“Readers will find entertainment and hope in this sweeping, mythic tale.” Publishers Weekly

“In this stunning example of amazing worldbuilding, Holmberg (Spellbreaker) features incredible creatures, a love story, and twists no one could see coming. This beautiful novel will be enjoyed by fantasy and romance readers alike.” Library Journal

“Gods and men mingle in this fantasy tale of celestial beings, battling gods, and time travel. Fans of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (2008) will appreciate the unique characters in this fantasy adventure.” Booklist

Praise for Charlie N. Holmberg

“Holmberg knows just how to please fantasy fans.” Publishers Weekly

“Holmberg is a genius at world building.” Booklist

From the Publisher

It’s a common trope in science fiction and fantasy that the protagonist’s mother is either dead or evil. That’s why the good mothers, like Molly Weasley, Helen Parr, Essun, and Sarah Connor, that do exist in the genre, stand out. I love a good coming-of-age story about a younger woman in fantasy, but as a mom of two, I find myself being ever more drawn to the rarer mother character.

Ceris Wenden is an anomaly in her world simply because she survives what no other mortal has: giving birth to a star after a ritual mating with the Sun God. But what comes next when you thought your life was over? Ceris finds herself displaced in time, with no purpose except any new one she decides to make on her own.

You don’t have to be a mother to relate to Ceris’s journey across the heavens and the Earth to discover herself, new love, and a reason for being. And whatever it is in the universe that drives you and makes you excited to be alive, in this book, 
you are seen.

—Adrienne Procaccini, Editor

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