Title – Shadows on the Moon
Series – The Moonlit Lands #1
Author – Zoe Marriott
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 437 pages
Publication Date – 2016 by Walker Books
ISBN – 9781406367577
My Rating – ★★★★/5
Suzume is a shadow weaver, which means she has the power to create illusions, allowing her to be anyone she wants. Which is a useful gift for someone who’s running from their past. But who is she really? A brokenhearted girl of noble birth? A drudge hiding in the kitchen of a great house? Or Yue, the most captivating courtesan in the Moonlit Lands?
Whoever she is, this girl is determined to capture the prince’s heart and use him to destroy the man who killed her family. Nothing will stop her – not even falling in love.
I received a copy of Shadows on the Moon from Walker Books Australia to review. This is a retelling of Cinderella set in fairy tale Japan.
I’ve never read the original Cinderella fairy tale but I’ve seen the Disney movies. Cinderella wasn’t my favourite princess but I always felt bad for her. Suzume on the other hand didn’t give me much time to feel bad for her. Yes, bad things had happened to her and her family and her mother was a selfish, horrible woman. I really hope she got what she deserved.
Suzume wanted to get vengeance for her father and cousin, who were both murdered in front of her. But along the way she falls for someone and he’s getting in the way of her plans. Suzume wants to honor her family but she doesn’t see that by making herself unhappy isn’t honoring them at all. They’d want her to be happy. I think that’s the best way to honor the people we’ve lost, to live the best life we can and make them proud of us.
But in saying that, I loved the ending. I think the revenge that Suzume wanted came out better than she planned. And it was thanks to her selfish mother that it did. I think it was a very fitting ending for both of them. Although I don’t actually know what happened to Suzume’s mother, but I’ve had fun imagining.
I also loved the world Shadows on the Moon was set in. I don’t know anything about Japanese culture so I can’t compare them. But this isn’t meant to be based on a specific culture. I think it says at the start of the book that this world is a work of fiction. It’s full of magic, betrayal and friendship. And yes, there is some romance too.
There is a companion novel to this, Barefoot on the Wind, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and set in the same world. I kind of want Suzume and her friends to make an appearance but I’m not expecting them to because it’s not a series. It would be nice though to see more of what happened to some of the characters.
I’d definitely recommend Shadows on the Moon to anyone who loves fairy tale retellings. It’s such a great twist on Cinderella. I can’t wait to read Barefoot on the Wind.
*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*