Monday, July 16, 2012

Shadows on the Moon

Title: Shadows on the Moon

Author: Zoe Marriott

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: 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.

Review: Lots of people have called this book a Cinderella re-imagining, but Shadows on the Moon kicks Cinderella's butt. 

Suzume saw her father and her cousin (who was like a sister to her) murdered, and hates herself because she was able to get away when they weren't. She thinks it's her fault they are dead. Right after this, she must assume a new identity. Not only are the two people Suzume loved most in the world dead, but everyone is acting as if they never existed and that Suzume is someone she is not, so she beings cutting herself. This is a first for me because usually when main characters go through things like that, it makes them stronger, makes them become warriors, and they go for revenge. But watching loved ones die is emotionally scarring, and it doesn't really affect someone positively. I really enjoyed the feudal Japan setting. I totally called it on the stepdad, and the mom, too. I wanted Suzume to get her revenge so badly, but I didn't want her to give up everything for it. I wanted that monster to get his comeuppance, but I also wanted Suzume to stop blaming herself for her father and cousin's deaths and realize it wasn't her fault. As the saying goes, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Well, I got my cake, and I ate it too, but it wasn't very delicious. The revenge wasn't nearly enough. I wanted him to suffer, like he had made so many people suffer, and I was so angry that he got away with a punishment that wasn't harsh enough. I wonder who Suzume was at the end, though. Was she the Suzume she was at the beginning, or was she Yue, or perhaps Pipit?

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