Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (received ARC via NetGalley)
Suzume’s life in alternate world Japan was near perfect. She had a father who adored her. A cousin, Aimi, who was more like a sister. A home full of love, even if she was always kept under the watchful eye of her beautiful but stern mother.
But that was before. Before the men clad in shiny black armor stormed her home. Before she witnessed those same men accuse her father of treachery. Before she saw those brutal men murder both her father and her cousin.
But things change for Suzume. And her life is suddenly not so perfect.
Leaving behind the place she called home was hard. But living with the murderer of her father and beloved cousin is even harder. When Suzume finds out her step-father, Lord Terayama, was behind the murders she runs. With the help of her shadow-weaving abilities she leaves behind her world, her mother, and even herself.
From lowly beggar to sought after lady of the court Suzume reinvents herself time after time in the hopes of coming one step closer to her ultimate goal: to seek revenge on the house that brought her down.
Will Suzume succeed? Or will she die trying?
Shadows on the Moon written by author Zoe Marriott joins several other retellings of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. However, Marriott’s retelling doesn’t rely on simply putting her own spin on the tale, instead she write a new, bold, and beautiful tale of her own.
Using subtle key aspects of Cinderella, readers will quickly pick up quickly at what makes this a Cinderella story. For example main character Suzume was once the young lady of a wealthy household, but after a series of unfortunately events ends up being a drudge in the kitchen. Not only that but she also has her own fairy godmother, who even though isn’t magical, but someone who makes all of Suzume’s revenge dreams come true.
Marriott’s writing is strong, and moves like water with a certain fluidity. She has crafted a story that reads like true life, but has a magical quality to it. Marriott’s description are lush and vibrant. Readers will be able to see the foreign land in which Suzume lives, they will be able feel the emotions of every living being that graces the pages of Shadows on the Moon.
Not only is Shadows on the Moon well crafted, but it’s a multi-layered story that tackles an array of subjects. From magic to ones social standing, this is one deeply messed up (in a good way) yet enthralling story.
Shadows on the Moon is chock-full of memorable characters. But of them all the most memorable one is main character Suzume. She’s a strong heroine that persevered through the toughest of all situations. Even though she sometime relies on her magical capabilities, it’s her inner strength that she really relies upon. Suzume isn’t only a great character, but she’s also a great role model to female readers – she’s flawed but honest, she small yet fierce, she’s full of magic yet startlingly real.
Even though Shadows on the Moon is long – four hundred and sixty-four pages long – it’s a well paced story that will keep reader’s attention. Reader’s will fall in love with the allure of the story, with artistry of the writing, and with the realistic characters.
Chock-full of memorable characters, Marriott’s characters are unlike any other characters to grace the pages of a book. Just like the storyline, there is something magical about Shadows on the Moon