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Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
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Shadows on the Moon (edition 2011)

by Zoe Marriott (Author)

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1531678,096 (4.18)7
Member:wyvernfriend
Title:Shadows on the Moon
Authors:Zoe Marriott (Author)
Info:Walker (2011), Paperback, 454 pages
Collections:Library Loans, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, read, 2012, library, december, fantasy, nn, pseudo-japan, oriental, shadows, magic, romance, revenge

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Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Setting, story, and characters were multi-faceted and compelling. I kept getting incredibly frustrated with the main character--GET OVER IT, ALREADY!!--but that's what made it feel more real. However, I was kept from a higher rating because of one lie told by an otherwise trustworthy person, upon which much action depends. I found it unbelievable and it kind of lessened the impact of some of later events. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
The opening of this novel definitely grabbed my attention. I mean, her family is attacked, most of them killed, and there are the first signs of her power. Um, awesome and tragic? I think so. On top of some of her family members dying, Suzume also has to deal with the fact that since her dad was marked a traitor, if anyone finds the remaining members, they too will be killed, as will anyone who helps them. Yikes, right?

This is a thing that happens a lot in history and probably now too. People get judged based on the actions of a single family member. For example, in Escape from Camp 14, which I read a few weeks ago, if a family member is found guilty of treason, the whole family is condemned to a camp...for generations. Families are raised in the camps; they have schools, because even the kids born after the incident are guilty of whatever their parents or grandparents did, so they can't leave. Argh! This makes no freaking sense, so how about we stop doing it! People can't help their families!

Oh, also inspired by this book is a rant about being a woman. Basically, it can be summed up into the following: it sucks to be a woman! Certainly, it sucked hardcore to be a woman in the past. While this book is definitely not straight historical fiction, I don't doubt the accuracy of every single female being completely at mercy of male society. Argh! Whoever it was that originally decided women should be second class citizens, I hope he never got any and I hope he's in the special hell.

Anyway, done ranting now and going back to the book. I loved it, even if it did make me ranty. Most historical fiction does that to me, because the way people were treated just makes me so mad. The storytelling is completely beautiful. I spent much of the book trying to figure out if it was history with a small fantasy element or a history based on Japan. It seems to be a combination of both, a retelling set in a fairy tale Japan. Whatever that means. Definitely not 'History,' because I'm pretty sure Onieto's country does not really exist, and that, even if it does exist somewhere in Africa, there was no trade with Japan. Marriott openly says at the end that this not intended to be history at all.

Speaking of Onieto, my goodness does Marriott know how to write a scene to make the reader swoon. He's amazing. I love how he accepts Suzume with any name and any face. I love that he can sense her. I love how sweet he is to her, and how much respect he has for her. Which, of course, meant that every time Suzume breaks his heart because she feels as though she is unworthy of love, I wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her to lock it down. If someone amazing is willing to love you, accept that miracle, don't push them away to create a self-fulfilling prophecy about your not deserving love!

I mentioned that this is a retelling of a fairy tale. Apparently, the fairy tale in question is Cinderella. I would never have figured that out, had I not read reviews by other bloggers. While I totally sensed the fairy tale-ish quality too it, the story definitely didn't bring a particular tale to mind, nor, thinking of Cinderella, am I especially convinced. Only very loosely does it fit my conceptions of Cinderella at all. Some liberal changes have been made. I approve of what Marriott has done, but it just came out feeling more like her own story than a retelling, if that makes any sense. Actually, the more I think on it, the more impressed I am about the skews she put on the original fairy tale, like how her evil step-mother is a combination of her step-father and her jealous mother. Ouch.

Suzume can be hard to like sometimes. She makes a lot of bad decisions, blinded by her pain and her hurt. Rather than dealing with her admittedly awful life in healthy ways, she cuts herself and throws herself at vengeance. She's much colder and more calculating than a lot of YA heroines, a lot less interested in love or her own well-being. Still, I could not help but root for her, both because she was a mess for a reason and because I love Onieto.

Shadows on the Moon is haunting and beautiful. Though I was not previously familiar with Marriott's work, you had better believe I'll be hunting more of it down! ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |

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 more 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 [b:Shadows on the Moon|9741685|Shadows on the Moon|Zoë Marriott|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1328187214s/9741685.jpg|14341418] has a ball, a prince and a stepfather? 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 more 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 more than heated glances and unexplained feelings of being drawn towards the other. I understand this more 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. ( )
  emleemay | Mar 30, 2013 |
Interesting retelling of Cinderella set in a fantasy kingdom similar to feudal Japan. Suzume is a shadow weaver, able to create illusions to hide and disguise. She has needed these skills ever since her father was executed for treason and her cousin who was closer than a sister was killed. Suzume's stepfather betrayed her father to marry her mother, who rejected his offer of marriage years ago. Now Suzume is fascinating her stepfather, and that can only bring death, so now she must hide as a drudge in the kitchen, using her shadow weaving skills, in order to survive. But she wants more that to survive, she wants vengeance! ( )
  TheMadHatters | Mar 30, 2013 |
One of my favorite fairy tale retellings ever. Set in a fantastical Japan, the plot was wholly original, and except for a few classic moments (Suzume hiding in the fire place's cinders, and later dropping her shoe over a windowsill) I was so wrapped up in that I completely forgot I was reading the Cinderella story. I especially loved the emphasis on otherness, lack of belonging, repression, and fear of becoming who we're meant to be. The only let down for me was the end, which felt rushed and left a few plot lines and characters dangling. ( )
  annemlanderson | Mar 30, 2013 |
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On my fourteenth birthday, when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us.
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Book description
It's Cinderella, turned on its head and set in a faerytale version of Feudal Japan. It's a story about revenge, and obsession and about magic, and about what happens when people lie to themselves and others. But mostly - and most importantly - it's about love, in all its varied, beautiful and frightening forms.

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
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A powerful tale of magic, love and revenge with a strong female lead set in fairy-tale Japan; this is Cinderella meets Memoirs of a Geisha.

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Zoë Marriott is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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