Candlewicke 13: Under the Crescent Moon

Book Three of the Candlewicke 13 series

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
604 Pages
Reviewed on 03/29/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Multi-Award-Winning Author Milan Sergent studied creative writing in college and began writing the novel series "Candlewicke 13" in 2007, a year after featuring some of the series' characters in his solo art exhibition, titled "Outsiders and Apparitions," near Rockefeller Center in New York City.

An artist and poet since adolescence, a few of Sergent's works were published in Scarlet Literary Magazine. He lives with his wife, Rebecca.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Candlewicke 13: Under the Crescent Moon is the third book in the Candlewicke 13 Series by Milan Sergent. The story of Valor McRaven and his sister Doomsy Gloomsy continues as they try to become magic apprentices at Mystic Steeples. This is all they ever wanted and it seems like their dreams are just within their reach. However, just like everything else in their lives, it isn’t easy and it seems like things are about to get even more difficult than before. They have to fight their past, try to find out why so many people are being murdered and why an equally alarming amount of people are disappearing. In doing so, they also have to be careful of all the witches that seem to want something from them, but they have absolutely no idea what it is. Can this sibling duo stay safe while trying to make their dreams come true?

This is young adult fiction at its best. I remember falling in love with the chemistry between Doomsy and Valor and I am so happy to see that their bond grew. They are stronger together, they understand each other better and they work together so well. The plot is amazing. I think the author has not only justified the story but actually given more for the reader to anticipate. The bonus “chapter” is actually very helpful for anyone who is picking up this book first without reading the first two books in the series. With the included maps and the glossary of terms, the bonus ensures that readers understand the characters and the story at its core. This is yet another job well done. I enjoyed the pace, the reactions of the protagonists and the incredible illustrations. This is a wonderful story and I hope Milan Sergent has more in store for us. As always, brilliant!

K.C. Finn

Candlewicke 13: Under the Crescent Moon is a novel for young adults penned by author Milan Sergent. Continuing the excellent Candlewicke 13 series with this third installment of magic, suspense, and incredible mysteries, we return to the epic adventures of Valor McRaven and his not so charming sister Doomsy Gloomsy. This novel contains yet more illustrations from the world of Mystic Steeples and its magical teachings, and also has a companion guide to the series and the world itself. In this tale, Valor and Doomsy are being hunted down in Mystic City as they continue their quest towards the truth behind the Great Deception.

It’s been a while since my last adventures with Valor and Doomsy in the asylums and amusement parks, and now the mysteries of the McRaven family and the prophecies ahead are getting clearer and more exciting by the moment. As usual, author Milan Sergent presents a fully immersive world for YA readers across the age range to delve into and get totally lost in, not least with the fantastic addition of the Encyclopedia Hoopenfangia to help readers keep track. This is a truly epic novel compared to the last two, with plenty of twists and turns in its complex plot, and a ton more worldbuilding for Valor and Doomsy to guide us through. The character development here is more real than ever, bringing the kids into a new maturity through what they have faced so far. Overall, fans of the current Candlewick 13 series will be delighted with Under the Crescent Moon as an extensive and excellent new series addition.

Liz Konkel

Under the Crescent Moon by Milan Sergent is the third book in the Candlewicke 13 series. Valor and his sister Doomsy have new trouble ahead of them in this latest installment. The siblings discover more about their role in a prophecy and join Mystic Steeples as apprentices to study magic. Along with their friends, they use the power of a mysterious book to travel through time and work together to solve murders. A trip to a haunted mansion pushes them to confront their own pasts and has them reflecting on everything that’s been buried. The book also contains stunning illustrations and a portion of a companion guide that will give readers a peek at characters, maps, and terms.

Milan Sergent brings this world to life with vivid characters, a delightful grim setting, and suspense that will keep you guessing as to where Valor’s adventures will lead. The characters are charming and fitted perfectly to the theme of the world with names such as Valor, Doomsy Gloomsy, Booger Fay, Rose Decay, Eggburn, Stabbah Scarveda, and Creighton. The world is an amazing and wonderfully dark place with a sense of humor that’s charmingly grotesque with situations such as a hair salon with embalmed former owners on display in the window. The world is filled with all sorts of beings that are spooky and creatures that include dragons, enchanted pets, and ogres. The story blends mystery with a magical adventure and a journey into the past.

Sergent weaves together several threads that brilliantly build upon each other with a magical book that lets them travel in time, a murder mystery, a magical school, a haunted mansion, and a look into the ghosts of their past. Each thread builds Valor and his friends’ adventures toward greater discoveries, danger, and suspense with the friends working together in an adventure that can only be described as epic. The dialogue is fun and has a formal style to it that fits perfectly with the characters and this world. Sergent has created a world that’s unique and the kind of place that pulls you along with the characters on their journey, with Under the Crescent Moon delivering a deeper look into this world - an unforgettable adventure that has mystery, danger, ghosts, and magic.

Asher Syed

Under the Crescent Moon by Milan Sergent is the third book in the coming of age wizardry and fantasy Candlewicke 13 series, preceded by book one, Curse of the McRavens, and book two, Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest. This installment continues to follow the young sorcerer Valor McRaven, his younger step-sister Doomsy Gloomsy, and their companion Aaron in their perilous return to Mystic City. This is a world with a whole host of different fantastical creatures and levels of magic, putting the young trio into situations where their strengths, particularly Valor's, are tested beyond abilities they knew they had, particularly with dabbles in the dark magic. All the while, questions surrounding the Great Deception linger—questions Valor is fixed to answer.

Candlewicke 13: Under the Crescent Moon is a spectacular novel which author and illustrator Milan Sergent has packed with adventure and suspense. I love following young, ambitious, but equally vulnerable protagonists, and Sergent delivers with world-building and character development that is rich and layered. My favorite ancillary character was one called Houmas, who is brought to life in a brief moment of exceptional detail as he chucks a severed deer head at Valor. It's amazing to me how even glimpses of creatures and their interactions with the protagonists, however quick and passing, feel as deeply portrayed as those who are more entrenched in the story. The illustrations are gorgeous and the maps, glossary, and outlines round out this book. For those who have faithfully followed the series, the fourth book, The 13th Hour Begins is promised for release soon. Highly recommended.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Candlewicke 13: Under the Crescent Moon by Milan Sergent is Book Three of the Candlewicke 13 series. Valor and Doomsy Gloomsy have returned to Mystic City on the strength of a prophecy. Attempting to train as magic apprentices, the pair of siblings are also being hunted. They find themselves pitted against ghosts from their past, face witches who want nothing more than to control them, become embroiled in disappearances and murder and even travel back through time via a book that is leading them nearer to The Great Deception. The big question is, can they triumph over all that is trying to stop them and can they finally unravel the mystery of The Great Deception? Plus, as a bonus, a sample of the Encyclopedia Hoopenfangia companion guide is included, complete with maps and a dictionary of terms.

Candlewicke 13: Under the Crescent Moon by Milan Sergent picks up nicely where Book Two left off. Like the first two books, it contains a series of hidden clues – can you find and follow them? And, like the first two books in the series, this is another exceptional offering from Milan Sergent. A fantastic addition to the series, the story continues to follow McRaven and Doomsy Gloomsy’s trials and tribulations, their adventures and battles, and there is plenty of action to keep you reading. The characterization just gets better and better and the plot is a masterpiece. Milan Sergent continues to display his amazing imagination and way with words as the story pulls you deep into it, transporting you to a land of magic and fantasy. A fabulous story that you could try reading as a standalone but, trust me, you need to read the entire series in order to get the full effect.