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The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic

Review

The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic

Leigh Bardugo’s THE SEVERED MOON is not really a book, but an insightful journal. In this book, Leigh Bardugo returns to give you help on your writing projects that you are never really sure what to do with. THE SEVERED MOON is quite literally a year-long journal that gives you a different writing prompt for every day of the year. The prompts range from serious to outlandish and to just about anything in-between.

"THE SEVERED MOON [is] not only an exceptionally beautiful book, but one that encourages writing consistently every day."

Personally, I really liked the idea of a writing journal that gave you something for every day of the year. This makes THE SEVERED MOON not only an exceptionally beautiful book, but one that encourages writing consistently every day. I think this is wonderful because even if you do not write every day, you can use it for writing prompts when you are in a writing slump. It is pretty cool that although most of the writing prompts could be seen as an echo to Leigh Bardugo’s book series, like The Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows, or KING OF SCARS, but they don’t have to be if you don’t want them to be. Bardugo gives you the freedom to choose what you want but also provides a boost if necessary by allowing you to perhaps relate her characters to the prompts. The most important thing established here is that you keep writing because you will get better. Because of the unusual format, I believe I can best show you what the book will be like by answering one or two of the prompts.

Writing Prompt: Describe a garment you would like to wear that would give you power.

My garment would be some type of underclothes because if people cannot see it, then it is less likely they will suspect paranormal forces to be at play. It would probably not be anything you wear on your midsection because more often than not, it will probably be a target for others. After all, the midsection holds all of your most valuable organs and your head makes you quite vulnerable if attacked. Legs are used as a power play for most enemies because they hold symbolic meaning to be crippled before your enemy or brought to your knees by a well-placed knife. However, it also depends on the ability that the garment grants me, and if the garment would also apply itself. For instance, if the ability was invisibility, would the garment also disappear with me or would it always be visible, so I must hide it? Another route you could go would be the big and flashy approach, a menacing crown or a regal cloak, as it would inspire more visible fear. However, that would be also a more visible target for others to easily locate and attack. Jewelry would be smaller and easily hidden with other jewelry, but would also be easier to lose sight of or fall off. It would be quite awkward if you could not use your abilities because you misplaced a ring the night before.

Writing Prompt: What kind of power do you associate with the night sky? How could it work for you?

I would associate the night sky with healing powers. Night is where everything is okay. The breeze is cool, and the sky is bright and endless. I find comfort in the quiet and peace in the stretched sky. This healing power could work for me by incorporating healing later in my series. Since some powers were originally there in my series, but others were created or acquired with time, I could make healing either an acquired ability by elderly water controllers, or a completely different category by making one of the created abilities the ability to heal with a specific element or even heal with anything in the other categories. This healing ability could even be twisted into a way of mental torture for war prisoners because often for those with PTSD, they would heal much quicker if they weren’t afraid of the calmness and stability that has been missing from their life. If these people have mental trauma, they are afraid of who they will be when they are healthy again. Furthermore, “healthy” is relative and some people who do bad things do them for a good reason. “Healing” would depend entirely on the person who wields the ability and who she is surrounded by. If she thinks it would be better for you to forget your whole life because of specific events, her ability would have to allow her to do it. Also, if she was kept in captivity a long amount of time, was manipulated mentally by the evil people and couldn’t heal herself, then she could hypothetically kill people because she could be told it would help them and believe it.

Reviewed by Lauren F., Teen Board Member on February 14, 2019

The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic
by Leigh Bardugo