The Moth Keeper by K. O’Neill

The Moth Keeper
by K. O’Neill

Anya is finally a Moth Keeper, the protector of the lunar moths that allow the Night-Lily flower to bloom once a year. Her village needs the flower to continue thriving and Anya is excited to prove her worth and show her thanks to her friends with her actions, but what happens when being a Moth Keeper isn’t exactly what Anya thought it would be?
The nights are cold in the desert and the lunar moths live far from the village. Anya finds herself isolated and lonely. Despite Anya’s dedication, she wonders what it would be like to live in the sun. Her thoughts turn into an obsession, and when Anya takes a chance to stay up during the day to feel the sun’s warmth, her village and the lunar moths are left to deal with the consequences. 

Another adorable, sweet story by K. O’Neill. Anya is young, but she’s also taking up a big responsibility within her village, tending to the moths that they rely on. She’s eager to move into the role, and reluctant to admit that she may need more help than she’d like. Surrounded by a handful of found family members doing their best to both keep an eye on her and respect her independence.

The art is lovely and the world is interesting, although I do wish some things were explained a bit more clearly. I felt a little confused in the beginning about the two villages we see and the context of some flashbacks. However, I do think the theme of the story remains clear. Anya’s troubles and the way things resolve were just as impactful as if I had understood every little thing about the world.

I loved the exploration of burnout, of Anya feeling like she had to accomplish her tasks entirely on her own. It’s not always so simple to ask for help when feeling like doing so would be seen as failure. I enjoyed seeing Anya learn that she has people who are willing to help her, as well as finding out how she solves the problem she unintentionally created by hoping for something different.

I recommend this for all ages if you’re looking for a heartwarming story with found family.

2 thoughts on “The Moth Keeper by K. O’Neill

  1. I’ve read a few of the Tea Dragon books, I like the illustrations but I feel like the storylines are forgettable and weak. I’m not sure whether I’ll read this one or not. Great review! 🙂

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    1. I agree with that. I loved the art and the actual tea dragons, but the overall plots were weak. This one had a stronger theme but could have used more worldbuilding and character work. I’m a bit more forgiving with both since they’re marketed toward children.

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