April 19, 2012

Review of Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott

“On my fourteenth birthday when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us. We saw them come, Aimi and me. We were excited, because we did not know how to be frightened. We had never seen soldiers before.”
Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself.
Suzume died officially the day the Prince’s men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity.
Is she the girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands?

Everyone knows Yue is destined to capture the heart of a prince. Only she knows that she is determined to use his power to destroy Terayama.

And nothing will stop her. Not even love.

Expected Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJj1vsKhjW8″ autohide=”1″ hd=”1″]

** This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion. **

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with Shadows on the Moon since I had gone into the novel with my eyes blindfolded. What I do know, is that from the start of the novel to the finish, I had found the novel a totally intriguing read. Not only was it an original re-telling of the Cinderella tale, twisted into a new plot, but it was also based in a fantasy land where tons of Japanese and Chinese terminology was used. What I found interesting was that the Cinderella in this story is one that I won’t soon forget. Suzume was such a sorrowful character that I couldn’t help but like her. From the start of the novel to the next two lives she would end up living, I couldn’t help but feel sorrow with her. I loved how Suzume was an emotionally broken character who had experienced so much loss and torment and how vengeance was beginning to consume her in such a beautifully written way.

Now, considering that I said two other lives, I feel I’m obligated to add that Suzume is a Shadow Weaver. Which is a person who can use the shadows and the light to create illusions and upon being hunted by her wicked step-father, Suzume is forced to use those abilities to create whole other lives for her to survive. Personally, I found that each life Suzume experienced had my mind spinning and thinking in ways it never had before. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try to: With every “part” of the novel, it started with Suzume entering a new life. The novel starts off with Suzume, a daughter of noble birth with a life that seems pleasant, up until that life is taken away. After she discovers that her step-father really is evil, she ends up as Rin. A drudge who is a servant in his household. And after that she becomes Yuen, who will become Shadow Bride and finally have revenge served on a silver platter. All through those “life-times” I found myself noticing that everything can be taken away in so little time. Deep stuff.

I did enjoy the romance in the novel between Suzume/Rin/Yue and the foreigner Otieno, who stole my heart the moment he saved Suzume’s life. After that, it was simply chance that continued to bring the two together (does anybody else hear the word destiny playing on the wind?). I absolutely loved that Otieno would constantly find Suzume/Rin/Yue so that the two of them could be together, and how he made himself clear that he loved her and only her for the rest of his life. Total awww *la cute face* moment and I know that throughout the novel, whenever Suzume/Rin/Yue broke his heart for her own sake, that my heart broke with Otiento’s.

While there were a few times when I would lose interest or become confused, it was still a read worth enjoying. I would recommend this to fans of the fantasy genre, or people who just want to lose themselves in a good book…

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