Third Moon Passing | Critical Book Review

In Third Moon Passing by Rina Olsen, readers are plunged into a mystic and legendary journey through rural Korea, where gods and monsters reign supreme. Olsen’s narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the 1870s Korean peninsula, poised on the brink of Western intrusion, setting the stage for an epic tale of divine intervention and mortal destiny.


Plot and Characters:

The story revolves around Chansol, the daughter of a mountain god, Moonso, the son of the Dragon King of the West Sea, and two human Korean girls, Wolhwa and Daseul. Their lives intersect unexpectedly, leading them on a quest that spans from their humble rural island homes to the depths of the Underworld and the opulence of an underwater palace.

As they navigate this perilous journey, secrets unravel, familial ties are tested, and the specter of American imperialism looms large. Olsen weaves a complex tapestry of characters, each grappling with their own destinies and the clash between tradition and outside influence.


Themes and Cultural Exploration:

Third Moon Passing delves deep into Korean folklore and history, shedding light on a period often overlooked. Through a blend of real historical figures and meticulously crafted fictional characters, Olsen paints a vivid picture of a society torn between preserving its traditions and embracing the encroaching Western world.

The narrative confronts the tensions between imperialism and cultural preservation, as well as the struggle of gods to maintain their relevance in the face of evolving belief systems. Through richly detailed storytelling, the novel explores themes of honor, duty, and the delicate balance between individual desires and collective responsibilities.


Writing Style and Execution:

Olsen’s prose is enchanting, drawing readers into a world where magic and reality intertwine seamlessly. While the abundance of characters and intricate plotlines may initially overwhelm, the payoff is well worth the investment. Each folktale and historical nugget adds depth to the narrative, immersing readers in the vibrant tapestry of Korean culture.


Conclusion:

Third Moon Passing is a spellbinding debut that seamlessly blends fantasy with historical fiction. Olsen’s meticulous attention to detail and masterful storytelling make for a captivating read that will linger in the minds of readers long after the final page. With its richly imagined world and compelling characters, this novel is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressHistorical Fiction / Fantasy388 pages9781639889051

In Third Moon Passing by Rina Olsen, readers are plunged into a mystic and legendary journey through rural Korea, where gods and monsters reign supreme. Olsen’s narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the 1870s Korean peninsula, poised on the brink of Western intrusion, setting the stage for an epic tale of divine intervention and mortal…