Red Moon and Black Mountain

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Red Moon and Black Mountain
Red Moon and Black Mountain.jpg
cover art from first paperback edition, Ballantine Books, 1971.
Author Joy Chant
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Vandarei series
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 276 pp.
Followed by The Grey Mane of Morning

Red Moon and Black Mountain: the End of the House of Kendreth is a fantasy novel by Joy Chant, the first of three set in her world of Vandarei. It was first published in hardcover by George Allen & Unwin, London, in 1970. The first paperback edition was issued by Ballantine Books as the thirty-eighth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in March, 1971. The Ballantine edition, which was also the first American edition, includes an introduction by Lin Carter. U.S. hardcover editions followed from the Science Fiction Book Club and Dutton (1976). The book was reprinted frequently by various publishers in both countries through 1983,[1] but has since gone out of print. It has also been translated into German and Swedish.

The novel is a high fantasy showing influences from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis's Narnia series. It won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for 1972, and science fiction editor and critic David Pringle rated it as one of the hundred best fantasy novels in 1988.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The story involves three children of our own world transported to the world of Vandarei and there separated; the older boy Oliver is adopted by horse-lords, and in a peculiar time-dilation effect grows to adulthood among them, forgetting his origins, while his younger siblings, taken in by the princess In'serinna, remain children and pursue their own quest. All their adventures are part of a larger effort to defeat Satan.

Critical reception[edit]

Opinion regarding the book is divided between those who see it as an impressive achievement in its own right[2][3] and those who see it as an overly-slavish imitation of Tolkien.[4] In the introduction to the subsequent Vandarei novel The Grey Mane of Morning, Chant explains in detail how she created her fantasy world as a young girl. According to her, elements of Vandarei and its mythology which appear to imitate Tolkien's Middle-earth or C.S. Lewis' Narnia stories actually have independent origins.[5]


  1. ^ a b Red Moon and Black Mountain title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  2. ^ "Red Moon and Black Mountain by Joy Chant"
  3. ^ Stoddard, James. "Mentor of Fantasy: The Unicorn Days"
  4. ^ Alroy, John, and Wilson, David Bertrand. "Wilson & Alroy on High Fantasy Novels: Joy Chant, Red Moon And Black Mountain (1971)"
  5. ^ Joy Chant, afterword to When Voiha Wakes (Ballantine, 1983).

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lin Carter. Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy. NY: Ballantine, 1973, pp. 162-63.

External links[edit]