Shadows on the Moon

Shadows on the Moon Trained In The Magical Art Of Shadow Weaving, Sixteen Year Old Suzume Is Able To Recreate Herself In Any Form A Fabulous Gift For A Girl Desperate To Escape Her Past But Who Is She Really Is She A Girl Of Noble Birth Living Under The Tyranny Of Her Mother S New Husband, Lord Terayama, Or A Lowly Drudge Scraping A Living In The Ashes Of Terayama S Kitchens, Or Yue, The Most Beautiful Courtesan In The Moonlit Lands Whatever Her True Identity, Suzume Is Destined To Capture The Heart Of A Prince And Determined To Use His Power To Destroy Terayama And Nothing Will Stop Her, Not Even Love

I ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I finished reading my first book The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton I think I was about eight, but I ve never changed my mind in all the years since then I got my first publishing contract when I was twenty two, but had to wait until I was twenty four to see that book published it was The Swan Kingdom.I live in a little house in a town by the

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  • Paperback
  • 464 pages
  • Shadows on the Moon
  • Zoë Marriott
  • English
  • 09 January 2019
  • 9781406318159

10 thoughts on “Shadows on the Moon

  1. says:

    This is the story of an emotionally scarred girl who self harms to relieve some of the pain that comes with betrayal whilst on a journey across an AU Japan in search of revenge Oh yeah, and she also has the power to weave shadow illusions you know that thing you saw out of the corner of your eye, that thing that isn t there when you look properly probably a shadow weaver at work What could you possibly want from a story Okay, what you could possibly want is about fifty pages cut out of the second half, that bit of totally unnecessary meandering about that is done for no good reason I can see But otherwise, this is a hardcore tale of revenge that doesn t really deserve the Cinderella comparisons I know some people love a good Cinderella retelling but I never was the story s biggest fan Come on, the bad people are ugly and the pretty people always win in the end If a girl doesn t have itty bitty feet, then she can t marry the hot dude Er, not for me So Shadows on the Moon has a ball, a prince and a step father So what Suzume attends the ball for vengeance, has no interest in the prince and cares deeply for her stepbrothers Suzume is way cooler than any Cinderella.The book opens with the murder of Suzume s father and cousin who is like a sister to her because the family were wrongly accused of traitorous activity Suzume and her mother are taken in by Lord Terayama and given a home but is Terayama as kind as he seems Or does he have sinister intentions Along the painful journey Suzume takes, she matures and grows a lot, having to become several different people along the way From riches to slavery to the streets, Suzume learns the extent of her supernatural talents as she goes And as her abilities strengthen, so does her desire for revenge against the one who took her happy existence away.For me, this book is mainly about a girl filled with anger and sorrow and the way she deals with it This was what I really liked But I think some people and I kind of agree will find the final revenge somewhat anticlimactic Perhaps don t read this after recently watching Ms Kiddo wreaking bloody havoc in Kill Bill Also, the romance part of the story gets better as it goes along but it inarguably starts with nothing than heated glances and unexplained feelings of being drawn towards the other I understand this from Suzume s point because Otieno was a foreigner and looked different, mysterious, etc but I didn t really understand Otieno It would be like me going to Japan and being mystified at the sight of would you believe it Japanese people Despite these few things, I really enjoyed it I like a good revenge story and I think Asia or Asian inspired settings are my new favourite.

  2. says:

    Love comes like storm cloudsFleeing from the wind, and castsShadows on the moon This lovely, poetic Cinderella retelling set in a Japanese inspired fantasy world known as the Moonlit Land utterly captivated me from start to finish I ve become quite the connoisseur of fairy tale retellings of late, and this is a standout for me in the YA category It s a mature YA Instead of swimming in the shallows, it dives into deeper waters, tackling heavy themes like adultery, betrayal, murder, revenge, and suicide with the detail and gravity they deserve The MC is an introspective one, and the story is told in first person narrative, so each of these themes is examined in careful detail One recurring theme throughout the book is downfall So often in YA stories with the central plot revolving around revenge, the betrayal and fall from grace of the main character is swift, bloodless, and or painless Not so in this book Her downward spiral takes up the first 3 4 of it When we first meet her, she is called Suzume, and is the beloved daughter of a country poet Then, tragedy strikes, and her peaceful world is shattered by violent scenes of butchery and bloodshed Just when she begins to accept her new role in society, another twist of the blade turns, and once again her world is rocked Forced to don the mantle of a common kitchen drudge, she assumes the name of Rin Another twist of the blade, and she is Yue, yet, to the two people most important to her in her new life, she is known as Pipit A young woman of many names and still faces, Suzume Rin Yue Pipit is a complex and carefully crafted character that I believed in from the first She is introspective, cunning, committed to her cause, ruthless at times, intelligent, but also flawed Which, to me, makes her a believable character I would highly recommend this book to readers interested in a unique, feminist, and diverse take on one of the most popular fairy tale retellings The only thing keeping this from a five star read for me were some details that I couldn t really overlook For a full examination of these, I recommend reading Lisa s wonderfully written review This review can also be found over at The Alliterates.

  3. says:

    What if Cinderella were a mysteriously gifted and emotionally scarred young girl What if, than true love and happily ever after, she longed for revenge What if the prince were merely a means to an end What if the fairy godmother were the elder prince s non traditional kabuki dancing lover Shadows on the Moon, a fantastic re imagining of Cinderella, is the answer to all of these questions Taking inspiration from feudal Japan although there s a disclaimer at the beginning most of the details are pure invention , Zoe Marriott has crafted an emotionally complex and unique version of the old fairy tale Suzume is mostly content to be the plain looking brown sparrow next to her sweet, beautiful cousin Aimi With her father, the poet, they live a quiet, rustic kind of life Her mother, who s often cold and disapproving, is away on the tragic day when guards come from the city and accuse her father of treason In terror, Suzume manages to draw on previously latent stores of power to escape, but she is left alone Much too soon, her mother is remarrying a greedy and powerful man and Suzume s life is changed forever It s obvious that Zoe Marriott spent a lot of time getting into the mind of her main character What would the mindset and emotions of a girl who s been abandoned by one parent and forced to watch the other one murdered look like Ms Marriott does an amazing job of painting Suzume s internalization of her grief, her low self worth, and her bitterness It s not always easy to read, but mostly it feels authentic.I did have a bit of a hard time with the love interest, however On the surface, he seems like a prime candidate for my top ten list of literary super hunks But as of his character was revealed, the initial infatuation wore off quickly He s so optimistic and innocent, so ready to believe that everything will be right in the world He feels almost child like And I m not sure how a girl like Suzume, who s been through the ringer and back, could truly fall in love with someone like that Maybe she would look at him with a certain fondness, like a mother looks on a child who has a lot to learn But I think that there also has to be some wariness associated with a person who s that untested and unformed What will he be like after he experiences true hardship and pain It s an unknown However, I do really appreciate the stark difference between the two of them it lends a lot of plausibility to Suzume s belief that he s too good for her It s a lot easier to be a good person when you re surrounded by supportive family and have lived in a warm, loving, open society for your entire life.I also had a hard time with Suzume s reasons for attending the ball I mean, as soon as I read that there was a ball on about page five or so I knew that eventually, that s where Suzume would end up But the whole reason that she decides to attend felt very forced and contrived view spoiler Really So much incredible effort for such a miniscule chance that she ll actually succeed There has to be easier ways to get revenge Couldn t she have just hired some ninja assassins or something Akira must have the money hide spoiler

  4. says:

    Actual Rating 3.5 stars In Shadows on the Moon by Zo Marriott, Hoshima Suzume s life changes within moments when her father is accused of treason against the Moon Prince, and she sees her once happy life stolen and destroyed In the panic that follows, something strange awakens within Suzume, an ability to disappear and blend into her surroundings as she flees her devastated home Once the situation settles, Suzume s mother returns from her trip and retrieves Suzumealthough Suzume herself is uneasy by the way her father s friend, Terayama Ryoichi, swoops in and takes Suzume and her mother into his household without hesitation Grief overtakes Suzume even as she slowly begins to realize the sinister possibilities behind why her father was accused of treasonMany readers have been fascinated by this Japanese flavored take on Cinderella, so I was enthusiastic to start reading it because thanks to my years of anime watching manga reading I ve been in love with Japanese culture for quite a while However, once I did begin the novel, I found myself a bit conflicted there were elements I absolutely loved while some other things annoyed me In some ways, my reading experience reminded me of how I felt with Marissa Meyer s Cinder another YA Cinderella retelling, oddly enough Given my mixture of opinions, I decided to tackle my review in an untraditional way, so here are the pros and cons I encountered as I read Shadows on the Moon Pros Yay for diversity in YA Asian heroine, Asian inspired land, a love interest who is of pseudo African descentawesome I would love to see many explorations of diversity like this in fiction, especially in the fantasy genre that s far too often white European influenced The idea of shadow weaving illusionary magic was innovative and mysterious Even though illusion as a magical ability is in no way uncommon in the fantasy genre, I was still intrigued by the ability and its varying uses I wouldn t even mind following other shadow weavers in other books hint, hint Suzume s journey from nobility to tragedy was very intriguing and, at times, haunting As I followed Suzume through her varying circumstances, there were few times I didn t feel my heartstrings tugged Even with my opinions all tangled about this book, I always felt sympathy for Suzume as a character I admired and appreciated how some very serious real life issues, such as self harm and contemplation of suicide, were handled over the course of the story It s rare to see such thoughtful consideration for these issues in contemporary fiction and even so in fantasy Given how little these issues are seen in fantasy novels, you would think fantasy characters never experienced the kind of self destructive depression so often found in real life But that wasn t the case at all in Shadows on the Moon The depression here manifests in very real and sometimes very harmful ways The ending satisfied me yet left than enough room open for a potential companion novel or sequel I would love to see of this world, whether it be the Moonlit Lands or Athazie, because there is so much possibility in this mysterious world of magic manifesting in such intriguing ways Cons Compared to most YA novels, the build up of the story was slow, so much so that it was sometimes a detriment to the story This is entirely a matter of taste Some readers gobble up novels that take a hundred pages or to get going as for me, I m rarely one of them Shadows on the Moon nearly lost me a number of times throughout its first 200 pages, but I kept on because I love and want to see Japanese influenced stories The pay off, of course, was eventually there within the pages thank goodness As much as I enjoyed the Japanese spotlight in this story, I couldn t help but feel that the handling was either too faithful or not ambitious enough depending on the point within the story Do I believe this story could have been told without the Japanese words sprinkled throughout the narrative and would have lost very little through it Yes Do I believe that the story seemed a bit too reliant on Japanese culture and background despite being a new world land Yes As a fantasy land, it really didn t seem divorced enough from real life inspirations It s one of those stories where, if it had been tweaked a little and sold as historical fiction with hints of magical realism, I would have been much happier The romance, as sweet as it became, was built on a shaky foundation I eventually liked Suzume and Otieno, her love interest, quite a bit together though it took me a while to warm up to them Electricity ridden glances, traces of insta love, and clandestine meetingsnot the newest territory for the foundation of a relationship in YA It didn t help that Suzume and Otieno shared their first conversation on page 170, have a few scattered conversations to which the reader is not privy, and then on page 178 they kiss for the first time Much telling and not showing went on in the early stages of building their relationship, and I was disappointed by that In some ways, I understand every writer fears that their novels will be shunned for focusing too much on romance but romance, no matter how heavy or light, should always resonate with the reader I didn t always feel that here However, near the two thirds mark, I found myself charmed by the interactions of Suzume and Otieno No, I was never fully convinced by them, but I was happy for them when they were together I felt the very nature of how the shadow weavers recognized and sensed each other to be less of an interesting nuance and of a plot contrivance Far too many times did Suzume get out a sticky situation just because there was another shadow weaver nearby, and I felt that to be a bittoo easy I d rather the heroine help herself, find a way by herself, than to fall back on others of her kind who happen to be nearby to help Suzume, despite her strength as a character, was far passive than I would have liked as far as her revenge storyline goes For much of the latter two thirds of the novel, Suzume hungers for revengebut her pursuit in itself is not very active Though a promise not to harm her enemy bars her from direct vengeance for a small part of the story, I couldn t help but be a bit frustrated by Suzume s lack of activity she is a far cry from Edmond Dantes of the infamous The Count of Monte Cristo, which Marriott herself cited in an interview was part of the first inspiration for Suzume s tale , who actively sought ways to see his vengeance enacted, always the puppet master pulling strings Suzume s eventual plan of action which wasn t even her own idea, but another s seemed the safe way to ensure that the reader would not fault Suzume in any way Even the eventual revenge doesn t come from a maneuver on Suzume s part but a chance circumstance If she indirectly commits acts of vengeance, even despite all the intent within her heart, how can we condemn her As I said, all of it seemed a safe way to approach a female character who wants revenge.Despite my qualms, I would never claim Shadows on the Moon is a bad novel or even a mediocre one in many ways, the story is very fascinating and refreshing Some of my issues with the plot and characterization simply impeded my overall enjoyment of the novel As for other readers, I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves Japanese culture and or fairy tale retellings If one or both apply to you, then chances are that Shadows on the Moon will be a new book for you to devour and love.

  5. says:

    I m not going to be short with the praise here I loved Shadows on the Moon pretty hard But this isn t a light hearted novel to be embarked upon by just anyone Hardcore epic fantasy fans used to large tomes, new worlds, language and speech that they re not previously familiar with and novel pacing that takes its time, will be the ones who really get this book.Suzume is a complicated character with an intense story to tell Shadows on the Moon chronicles this sprawling, high fantasy tale faithfully and with great attention to detail Once again, this will probably be something those familiar with the genre will appreciate The nerdy details and pedantic chronicling of a new world and submersing yourself into it occupies a particular reading niche that s not going to endear itself with everyone This is a book for a patient reader, someone easily swept up in something different and amazing A lot of it hinges on how you relate to Suzume, who I personally adored.She s not a typical heroine in that she is vengeful and very dedicated toward that revenge Bloodthirsty and, at one point, vicious She doesn t lie to herself to make nice with the world, she doesn t make up excuses for other people being horrible She is an astute observer of human nature, intensely aware of the people around her flaws and all.The novel is flush with rich language, and gorgeous writing Marriot takes her time in description to give form and purpose to every aspect she focuses on I assure you I don t want to wax poetical about this and, I m about to sound really wanky when I say that she often manages to describe the essence of something just as much as what it is.Steph will say that it just kind of moseyed along and stalled at points I have a very respectful, well thought out argument to the contrary.Don t go giving me your reasonable, understandable criticisms I won t have it Of course, there s two absolute scene stealers in the book Otieno and Kano Kano Akira, the fairy godmother, because she was just delightful and sweet and hilarious Then Otieno because he was delightful and sexy as hell I loved him so hard and that little lawn scene between him and Suzumi DAMN girl Over all, I loved the writing, the attention to detail, the story telling and the characters This is most certainly not going to be a book for everyone but it is one of the best damn Cinderella retellings I ve ever read This review, and others like it, can be found on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.

  6. says:

    Shadows on the Moon is a remarkably well told, fascinating story about Suzume, a young girl who s lost her home and her entire family when the soldiers came to her house to accuse her father of treason Aside from Suzume, who miraculously survived by making herself invisible to the soldiers, the only member of the family left alive was her mother, and only because she was absent when the soldiers came Left with nothing at all and in constant fear for their lives, Suzume and her mother have no choice but to assume new identities and go to live with Teryama san, her father s closest friend It soon becomes clear that Teryama san has his own agenda and that he is not nearly as kindhearted as he initially seemed to be He is determined to marry Suzume s mother and keep her all to himself, at least until he grows tired of her and turns his attentions to Suzume The only person Suzume can turn to is Youta, an old servant that followed her all the way from her father s house and showed her nothing but kindness from when she first saw him Youta tells her that she is Kage Oribito, a favorite of the Moon, and that she has the gift of concealment that manifested itself when her life was in danger As Suzume starts learning to use her powers, her enemies become and clear, and she gets obsessed with seeking revenge.Aside from Suzume, who was well developed and had strengths and weaknesses the first person narrative helped with that , others were typical fairy tale characters We had a dead parent who was nothing but gentle and loving a wicked stepfather although the mother was just as wicked a prince without a single flaw not one, but two fairy godmothers I must admit that I liked being able to relax into these patterns The story wasn t that predictable, but the characters behavior was, and I found that oddly comforting I was a little disappointed at first because the beginning seemed middle grade than young adult, but pretty soon it became clear that I couldn t have been wrong For example, the implied sexual relationship between Suzume s mother and Teryama san, while her father was still alive, is not something you normally read in middle grade books As the story progressed and Suzume faced one disaster after another, as her choices became increasingly hard, the tone of the book also changed and in some ways, the book grew up and hardened together with Suzume At the beginning, she seemed much, much younger that she was supposed to be and often far too na ve for a 16 year old girl, but nobody could call her na ve by the time she got her revenge Although Shadows on the Moon is set in Moonlit Land, which makes it a fantasy novel, the influence of Asian cultures, Japanese in particular, is so strong that I often forgot that it is not set in feudal Japan I think I d have preferred it that way, actually just a touch of paranormal in a very real setting This way I knew that it was supposed to be fantasy, but I never believed it entirely because there were far too many bits and pieces from the real world that prevented me from being pulled in completely I also thought that Suzume s supernatural abilities were given too little attention But truthfully, none of that stopped me from thoroughly enjoying Shadows on the Moon I picked it up at the best possible time and once I did, I was unable to put it down Here s the short of it no one should ever be too old, too tired or too cynical for fairy tales Most days, I would be the first to say that I m all those things, but most days I d be very wrong Read this when you get a chance, it ll be good for you For this review and , please visit The Nocturnal Library

  7. says:

    Shadows on the Moon was a disappointing read I had every expectation of liking it I love Japanese culture, history, and food I watch anime I even took three years of Japanese in high school I m also a sucker for Cinderella stories so the idea of a Japanese inspired Cinderella intrigued me There were many good ideas in Shadows on the Moon but unfortunately they were poorly executed.Hoshima Suzume leads a tragic life Shortly after the death of her father and cousin, her beautiful but cold mother marries her father s wealthy friend, Terayama Ryoichi in order to avoid poverty and ruin It quickly becomes apparent that Terayama san is a cruel and selfish man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants Forced to flee from her stepfather, Suzume assumes the identity of Rin, the kitchen servant, and later Yue, the courtesan, in order to take revenge on Terayama san for the injuries he s inflicted on her Along the way Suzume falls in love with Otieno, a handsome foreigner, and is mentored by Youta, a servant, and Akira, an ex courtesan, who help her develop her power of illusion called shadow weaving.I hate to give points to a book simply because of ethnic diversity I shouldn t have to because it shouldn t be a rare occurrence but unfortunately in the current YA market I must praise Shadows on the Moon for not only having a Japanese inspired setting the Moonlit Land , but also for having a love interest from an African inspired culture It s nice to see an author attempt to write a story from a non western perspective even if in many ways the author s own culture comes through in the text.My main problem with Shadows on the Moon is that, although the Moonlit Land borrows heavily from historic Japan including language, customs, food, and clothing, the characters were very modern and western in their thoughts and actions For example, there seemed to be a distinct lack of respect for authority, and the importance of honor is absent Most of the characters, including Suzume, are very individualist rather than collectivist In contrast, their customs are based on a non western collectivist belief system, which begs the question of how these cultural practices came to be.Further, the main character idealizes Otieno s culture, which is open and expressive, two very western concepts This was problematic in two ways One, because it assumes that expressiveness and openness are better than the alternative, and two, because there was no explanation of where Suzume had learned her appreciation for foreign culture It s also interesting to note that I thought the characters, including those from the Moonlit Land, were shown to be fairly expressive, though we re told that they aren t.The second biggest issue I had with this book was the writing It was overly simplistic for the targeted age group Although it improves towards the end, the first two thirds were filled with short choppy sentences and lacked sentence variability Additionally, the author chose to throw in random Japanese words throughout the text, which were distracting The words were not used consistently and there were some instances where the words weren t defined, which could be problematic for those not familiar with the Japanese language On top of this, using Japanese words simply didn t make sense because the story didn t take place in Japan Presumably the characters were speaking in their own made up language which was then translated into English because a no one would be able to understand it, and b because most authors are not as brilliant as Tolkein and lack the skills needed to develop their own language Given this assumption, it makes no sense to include Japanese words when English words would have sufficed.In addition to the cultural issues and simplistic writing, I found that the pacing and characters to be problematic Several times over the course of the novel, I was very bored because of how slowly the plot moves Too much time is spent on mundane tasks, such as the kitchen tasks during the Rin portion of the book, and courtesan training in the Yue portion There is surprisingly little action in this story for how long it is Additionally, I didn t find the characters to be very compelling Many of them were unlikable, others were underdeveloped, and Suzume is inconsistent She also frustrated me quite a bit because a lot of her unhappiness was due to her own actions or inaction which made it hard to sympathize with her Suzume s love interest was far too underdeveloped for me to feel anything for him, and their love was unbelievable since there was no basis for it It was another case of instalove as acknowledged by the love interest himself Neither their personalities nor their backgrounds seemed to be very compatible The only thing they had in common was magic.In short, this book at its heart wasn t very Japanese, the writing was weak, and the plot and characters weren t very compelling I would recommend that readers looking for a good Asian inspired fantasy story check out Eon Dragoneye Reborn and its sequel Eona by Alison Goodman, which are better written and have a much developed plot, romance, and mythology.

  8. says:

    5 Words Family, revenge, power, beauty, magic.Oh My God.How on earth did it take me so long to read this wonderful, beautiful book It was amazing and I will absolutely read from this author It s like she just UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING EVER I could not get enough.I will absolutely read by this author, because this was just incredible.YA Shot Buddy Read 9th May 23rd May.

  9. says:

    Rating 3.5 StarsIf you ve been following my status updates for this book, you can probably understand why I am so conflicted over my rating On one hand, Shadows on the Moon is an incredible story Although it is marketed as an Asian re telling of Cinderella where our princess must avenge the death of her beloved father, it is less of an Edmund Dantes eque revenge story and of a contemplative tale of self growth.If you read the synopsis of this story, it easily leads you to believe that Marriott s tale follows the general outline of a well known fairy tale Contrary to popular belief, however, very little of this actual story is centered around any type of Cinderella type story It has its main players, but everything else is left up to the imagination of the author Now, this is both a good thing and a bad thing On one hand, the narration never feels forced or stifled by the fairy tale it is based on, much like Marissa Meyer s Cinder did for me Yet, at the same time, I found that this story lacked plot for much of its length For a little over half of the story, the true emerging plot was hard to find We journey with Suzume as she watches her father killed before her eyes, as she discovers her powers as a shadow weaver or one who can weave illusions, as she cuts herself, dealing with her grief the only way she knows how, as she falls in love with a handsome foreigner, as she commits acts of indescribable cruelty and runs away from her life Only then is she presented with an opportunity for revenge and she cultivates herself to become Yue, the most beautiful woman, so she can win the favor of the prince and, in turn, seek her vengeance Nevertheless, I cannot disregard the fact that the beginning of this story is slow and hard to get into It is a chore to pick it up, especially without any goal seemingly in sight Once it really gets going, though, it utterly sucks you in Despite the near insta love of the romance in this novel, I utterly fell for it It is sweet, caring, and perfect without unnecessary misunderstandings or drama Suzume s growth throughout the novel, her careful exploration of her grief, and the detail to aspects of the society in this fantasy world is all masterfully created Each of the secondary characters serve a larger role and have their own depth and truly, I loved this story BUT, I must warn readers not to jump on board with the revenge scheme too much In the end, it is all rather anticlimactic, the villains I once thought to be complex, gray figures revealed to be nothing than stereotypical black and white characters to end the story quickly Suzume easily wraps up what should have been a long ordeal and all in all, the resolution to the revenge that fueled Suzume s life for so long was massively disappointing I did enjoy it immensely, but I can t say if I really recommend it for a lot of other readers You need to be patient and possibly not a fan of The Count of Monte Cristo. Or, you know, if you are, just don t expect epic revenge adventures from Asian girls that are on the sword fighting, cunning level of what Alexandre Dumas can write I honestly went into this book expected Suzume to turn into a shadow weaving ninja assassin, but sadly, this doesn t happen Shadows on the Moon is very much unexpected and while this isn t a bad thing, it wasn t always good either You can read this review and on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.

  10. says:

    4.25 Okay okay I need to like scream because oh my lord.In the beginning I was kind of iffy about this book, I wasn t sure where it was going and I had NO idea what to expect.The story was dark, heartbreaking and compelling In the darkness was this BRIGHT, JOYFUL sun, also known as Otieno He made this book Seriously if not for Otieno, the negativity would probably have killed the story, so the stark contrast of his character just gave it LIFE When I read books I REALLY focus on the characters than anything else so I was happy that there were such complex and amazing characters driving the story forwards Zo Marriott did a great job with putting a new twist on Cinderella, though up until the last few chapters, the book was of a 3.5 stars for me, because I was getting tired of the CONSTANT self hate since that s what dominated in this story and everything else seemed almost secondary But like I said, the last few chapters were SO worth it If you re looking for a retelling, and like the idea of a fairy tale Japan, I definitely recommend this.

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