BOOK CORNER: Author explores the banning  of books, storytelling in fantasy

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

In Q’ntana, stories are banned, storytellers are exiled or executed, and the moon’s light has been extinguished. Now, one young bard must embark on The MoonQuest to restore story to the land and light to the moon, using only his stories to guide and keep him safe.

So goes “The MoonQuest: The Legend of Q’ntana,” by Mark David Gerson.

The author describes “The MoonQuest” as a story he had to write.

“In one of her memoirs, Madeleine L’Engle wrote this of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’: ‘I cannot possibly tell you how I came to write it. It was simply a book I had to write. I had no choice.’ That’s how I feel about ‘The MoonQuest,’” Gerson said. “It was a story I had to write, even as I had no idea what I was doing or what the story was about as I was doing it.”

In the book, Gerson presents themes such as the dangers of book-banning, censorship (including self-censorship) and the power of storytelling. The story also reflects the consequences that can arise such as stifling both imagination and independent thought. 

“The MoonQuest” wasn’t written with a specific audience in mind, but Gerson finds himself satisfied by the response from adult readers.

“I began writing this book at a different time in a different country (Canada), and at a time in my life when I wasn’t paying particular attention to current events,” Gerson said. “Yet, adult readers consistently tell me (as they have all the way back to the book’s first edition) that this story is remarkably current and stunningly relevant.”

“The MoonQuest” will no doubt captivate readers.

“Of course, I hope readers will be drawn in by a compelling story and will, when they reach ‘the end,’ close the book with a mix of satisfaction and regret,” Gerson said. “Hopefully, that regret will be eased by the knowledge that more Legend of Q’ntana books are in the pipeline.”

“The MoonQuest” is the first in a series of books. The next book, “The StarQuest” is set to be released next spring.

In addition to being an author, Gerson is a coach, counselor, mentor and writing workshop facilitator. He is based in Los Angeles. For more information about the author and his work, visit

“The MoonQuest: The Legend of Q’ntana” is available for $17.95 (paperback), $8.99 (eBook), and $24.95 (audiobook) via and from online booksellers everywhere.