The balance is tipping. Something shifts in the world of Lunis Aquaria. Menacing creatures, daunting deserts, and treacherous mountains. Hardships and solace, friendships and love. Read the stories of what went on before the world is lost in disparity and meet the heroes who will one day restore harmony.
Tales of Lunis Aquaria is a collection of nine short stories set in the fantastical world of Lunis Aquaria.
The coming of beasts ~ The sacred maiden ~ Moonflower ~ Thomas and the wolf ~ The witch from Monterra Mountain ~ Shepherd’s Stick ~ Archipelago of wonder ~ Decapod’s ire ~ Lovers across time
Humans have been telling each other stories since the dawn of time, and are any more precious than fairy tales? The fairy tales of old were a lot darker than the ones turned into Disney films. I’m a big fan of these darker fables which exist to teach children lessons about the dangers of the world. The Tales of Lunis Aquaria by Tessa Hastjarjanto reminds of these fairy tales, only instead of coming from our human history, they belong to a whole other world.
Tales of Lunis Aquaria is thus a collection of nine short stories written as fairy tales or fables within its own secondary world. Each of these stories could stand alone as their own thing, though they are connected by themes of nature and adventure. The Tales are framed by animal guardians or spirits of the world, as represented by the beautifully illustrated cover, and these guardians introduce the world of Lunis Aquaria while watching over it. I’ve enjoyed many Studio Ghibli films, and these stories remind of those, especially the Miyazaki films that focus on the natural world and magical vibes, such as Princess Mononoke, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, and so on.
Of the nine stories, my favourites were about travelling across the world, particularly Moonflower, a tale of a boy climbing a dangerous mountain to impress a girl with the legendary moonflower, and Shepherd’s Stick, the story of a scholar exploring the desert and looking for ghosts. I also quite enjoyed Decapod’s Ire, which was a sea-faring adventure about fighting a deadly sea creature!
I’m not entirely sure if this book would fit under cozy fantasy, as I’m not that familiar with cozy fantasy as a genre, but reading through these stories certainly gave me cozy vibes, even if some ended in tragic circumstances. There is a peaceful stillness to these stories and the world of Lunis Aquaria. It’s what I would describe as a ‘quiet’ book, and that is no bad thing. The world needs quiet books as much as it needs loud ones. At only a hundred pages, this is a light read. I would have liked certain stories to be longer, such as Moonflower and The witch from Monterra Mountain, but I believe the author will be expanding this world in further books.
I’d definitely recommend Tales of Lunis Aquaria for those looking to snuggle down on a sofa with a warm drink and just spend the evening immersed in a magical world of wonder. These short stories may be just the soothing balm you need after a hard day, and that’s what fantasy is all about – escaping to another world.
Tales of Lunis Aquaria is a lovely collection of fairy tales within its own magical world and would suit cozy fantasy fans.