Shadows on the Moon
By Zoë Marriott
Publication date: April 24, 2012
Candlewick, 464 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
“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.
— Goodreads.com description
“I never liked Cinderella as a little girl. I hated the fact that she needed someone else to come along and rescue her. Then it occurred to me: what if Cinderella were strong and brave – and out for revenge all along?” — Zoë Marriot on Shadows on the Moon
Kids these days can’t stop saying “epic.” And it’s really annoying and overused and all that, but holy cow you guys – THIS BOOK WAS EPIC, as all fairy tale-esque stories should be.
There were so many twists and turns and time elapsing in Shadows on the Moon that I was almost always thinking to myself, “Whoa, did that just happen?” I mean, to give you an example, Suzume is essentially three different people throughout the course of the book — Suzume, Rin and Yue.
You’d think this would come off as confusing, but instead it was entirely intriguing to see how Suzume’s identity changes altered her and how others viewed her. I was intrigued by the plot, the romance and the characters from start to finish.
Bonus factor: The setting is beautiful — an alternate universe that’s based on ancient Japan. It’s been so well researched and is so beautifully written, that I just felt transported.
Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott is a great book for anyone who loves takes updated fairy tales (Cinder perhaps, or Princess of Glass), Asian settings (Cindy Pon) and especially Marriott’s previous works (Daughter of the Flames).