Strident Sings the Moon is the fifth and final book in the Skywatchers series.

Hantor the Tarkan is determined to gain control of the sun-circle, symbol of the native sun-serving tradition, on the day of the winter solstice. Although Mikon and his council have the clandestine support of some powerful lawgivers, they fear that they cannot have second-guessed all Hantor’s stratagems, and indeed, this proves to be the case. The powerful Tarkan Empire anticipate that Hantor’s efforts will weaken Sheruflan resolve and split its recently joined communities into smaller factions, over which the Empire will be able to gain control without needing to wage a costly war.

Hantor also aims to wrest his daughter away from the moonfollowing community in which she is being brought up, and is prepared to use violence or trickery to do so. Those protecting her are vigilant, but they are not devious enough to uncover all the plots against them.

The Sheruflan priests, of both the sun and the moon, fear that their traditions and hopes will be swept away by the events of the forthcoming solstice and their aftermath. But can a song help to swing the balance in their favour?

Strident Sings the Moon tells of a clash of cultures, where it initially seems that only by defeating or gaining power over those who are different can one’s own traditions be preserved. It reminds us that there is a third path, a way that seeks neither to dominate those who are other, nor to submit to them. The issues facing the protagonists are just as relevant to our more sophisticated society, and thus their approach and the lessons that they learn resonate with our own troubled times.