Follow the author
Star Mother: A Novel Kindle Edition
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.
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
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
- ASIN : B08SBS41XV
- Publisher : 47North (1 Nov. 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 3782 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 268 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 5,328 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from United Kingdom
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
My first book from Holmberg, I was intrigued by the blurb to this book and also by the glowing reviews. The book gets off to a fairly promising start, the story quick to get going. I liked Ceris' sense of fun and it was hard not to feel for her as she learned that her fiance is in love with another villager, and in part this is what spurs her to sacrifice herself to the Sun-God, so that her intended can be released of his vow to her and marry the woman he loves, and at the same time her family's honour can be retained.
I was at this point intrigued to learn more of the world-building and mythology behind the story, as Ceris finds herself transported to the realm of the Sun-God. Unfortunately, this is where things started to become a little disappointing for me. I took it as a bad sign when suddenly everything began to be described as a 'not-something' e.g. the not-walls and the not-floors, which very quickly became rather tedious reading.
Overall, I have to say that the story was written in too childish a way for me personally. I understand that perhaps the author was aiming for a fairy-tale like feel, but me for her way of writing just didn't appeal. Her characters too felt under-developed for the most part, as was the whole world-building generally. Certainly, there were some interesting ideas here, however, I just felt they were not well executed or developed.
We spend a few chapters with Ceris in the Sun-God's realm, until she gives birth to her star. At this point everyone is surprised that she survives the labour, and she requests to be returned to her village. I did feel for Ceris when she learned that seven hundred years had gone by and the sense of loneliness she felt. At this point she embarks on her journey to find her descendants and this whole middle section of the book, I have to say for me personally was very much a drag, and difficult to get through. I was interested by Ristriel, who we are told is a trickster, but who agrees to help Ceris. The relationship that develops between them is sweet, but overall there wasn't enough going on, nor was the story being told in an engaging enough way, to really hold my attention.
The book also started to get a little confusing. The Sun-God suddenly shows up and wants Ceris to come back to him. Overall, I didn't particularly care for the Sun-God's character. I understood that the author was trying to convey that he was very much bound by the laws of the Universe, and that it hurt him to watch mortal women perish in order to birth his stars, and hence he didn't get close to them. But still just the fact that Ceris survived, didn't seem a good enough reason in itself for him to suddenly act as though she meant anything to him. Nor did his actions towards her every really suggest that she did, as he was always so caught up in his own affairs with the Moon and so on.
The idea of the Sun and Moon being at war did interest me, and the way other Godlings were caught up in this. However, again I didn't think this was executed in the best way, and at times the fantasy elements didn't really make much sense to me, and just seemed very abstract ideas that hadn't really been fully developed or thought through.
Alongside these tensions going on between Sun and Moon, there is a lot of confusion as to who Ristriel really is and why Sun seems to be after him. The last quarter of the book did pick up for me again, as we finally start to get some answers and see how things tie together. Again there were some interesting ideas here, I just thought it was a bit too late really to be enough to save the book overall.
Ristriel was my favorite character, and I did think his whole backstory was extremely sad. Ceris, whilst I did like, was rather one-dimensional, and also at times confusing e.g. at the end she is in love with Ristriel, yet she still enters into a relationship with Sun, seemingly just to pass away the years, until Ristriel is released from his prison.
Overall, whilst I liked some of the ideas here, this was not my cup of tea, and I won't be reading the up-coming sequel Star-Father, which I believe continues Sun's story. 2.5 stars
Pick yourself up a copy and dive in to this wonderful, emotional and magical tale of love, family and starlight.
As someone who has worked with teenagers in care, I found the plot around her relationship with her mother to be similarly superficial. The behaviours described could not simply be brushed off and forgiven in the span of a few pages. Nor was there any real attempt to understand her mother's motivation for her cruel disinterest.
Ultimately this is a tale of a young woman who has never known what it is to feel loved. She is the victim of (celestial) human trafficking, has a child with whom she has no relationship and goes on to engage in unfulfilling and manipulative relationships. I simply don't recognise the beautiful love story mentioned in other reviews.
To do the story justice would have taken three or four times longer, would have introduced and, crucially, developed some more characters and relationships, and would have explored themes of loss, abandonment, isolation, courage, resilience, and learning from the mistakes of the past.
Whilst that is true for me of most of the author's works I did particularly enjoy this one.
The magic in this one is the magic of the olds gods, the sun, the moon and the demi goods and other beings that exist in in the same realms. The concepts of the different places and beings reminds me of greek mythology so if you prefer magic of that nature to wizards then this is one for you.
The plot was well thought out and the emotions and sacrifices were genuinely moving. Full of heartbreak of different kinds and challenges in a detailed fantasy world but there was a satisfying HEA for all involved in the end that felt hard-earned rather than contrived.
I look forward to reading the next in the series but Ceris and Ristriel are special and this one will be tough to beat. I definitely recommend.