Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create 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 is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver.
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Stand Alone Novel
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance
*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*
The cover does not do this story justice. I know that you, insert reader’s name here, are one to judge a book by it’s cover, we all do. So let me give you this piece of advice here and now. Do not judge Shadows on the Moon by it’s cover because the story emits a much more powerful, drawing sensation than the artwork. The power of imagination will always do justice over the outer layer given to you.
–“A powerful tale of magic, love, and revenge set in fairy-tale Japan.”–
This happens to be my second or maybe third, no I lie it’s second, Cinderella retelling this year so far. The first being Cinder taking place in China which worked a wonder on me in a positive way mixing the Asian culture with futuresque details of such a diverse universe within the novel. Sorry! I am wandering down a review path that I’d already taken eariler this year! But the setting of Japan will always be my favorite thing to read about it. No, I’m not obsessed, and no I’m not an otaku for those who are reading and know what that term means, you do not need to fret. I enjoy Japanese culture and traditions so this novel piqued my interest very nicely and did not fail to keep me entertained. Even with a slowpaced start, I was able to wrap myself in this story like a warm blanket on a snowy evening by the fire.
Those who have never read much about Japanese culture there is one thing that I do warn you to adjust to and take in as it’s given to you and that is the names: Suzume, Run, Yue, Terayama, Akira, Otieno; you just have to take them as they are, maybe say them a few times in your head to diferentiate and remember because looking at them you might think: “Oh, good Lord. There is no way I can even pronounce or even remember those names, they just sound or look so incredibly awkward.” And they’re not! Just take a breath and work with it.
–“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.”–
Okay! I don’t know how I’ll be able to regugitate my feelings towards this novel but I’m going to try. Suzume, the girl of many names throughout the duration of this novel, she grew on me more than I would have thought. Broken, distrought, alone, in the beginning ends up being a brave soul that grows in strengh emotionally. Everything about her kept me reading. Tragedy after tragedy sparks in Suzume’s life and though things seem unbearable she pulls though and soars beyond. The emotions and romance that spark from her story, the journey and the incorperation of Cinderella in such a setting facinated me to no end.
A tirade of emotions, romance, action and culture to pull you in makes Shadows on the Moon a fantastic novel to pick up and read!
First Line: On my fourteenth birthday, when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us.