A.K.A I Should be Going to Sleep but I Just Had to Start this Review And Then I Decided to Sleep Half Way Through Writing It But Ended Up Writing the Rest Anyway
Format: Australian paperback
Publisher: Walker Books
Date Started: 1st May 2012
Date Completed: 8th May 2012
“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.
If there is one thing I have learnt from reading Zoe Marriott’s, other than finally remembering to add that second t onto her last name, is that she can be relied on to provide wonderful fairy tale retellings and stories. Her debut, The Swan Kingdom was the second retelling of the Six Swans I had ever read, and I devoured that in one sitting. If it weren’t for the complication of school, I’m sure I would have done the same with Shadows on the Moon.
This particular novel is said to be a retelling of Cinderella. But that is not true. It is so muchmore.Marriott mentions it in a note at the beginning: she never truly believed that Cinderella was a poor demure girl who just wanted to go to the ball. She believed that there were darker motivations at play, and it is these that drive the main character in the novel.
Suzume, whose name changes throughout the novel for various reasons, is a very interesting character. I loved her. It was particularly interesting to read about her relationship with her mother and how different events changed her thoughts and feelings toward her, considering how both lost the same family and dealt with it in different ways.
It was surprising to come across the subject of inflicting self harm on oneself in this novel. It was my first time reading such a thing, but you’d think that with the amount of YA I read I would have come across it sooner. I didn’t have any issues reading these actions. Suzume tells us her reasons at the time for doing them, and how those change throughout the course of the novel.
Otieno was another character I truly enjoyed reading, I just wish we got to know him a little better, or a few more pages were spent on his development and his relationship with Suzume. As with Akira and a few of the other, more minor characters.
I know this review isn’t flowing well, but it’s late, dark and I’m falling asleep typing it. So I’ll finish saying that this book had twists at the end. It surprised me. And I’m glad it did. An ending like the one it gave me was not entirely what I was expecting when I started. It had action, resolutions, and the all important Cinderella moment(s). It’s the type of book that you wouldn’t mind a sequel to, but at the same time am unsure because it ended so strongly.