Title: Shadows on the Moon
Author: Zoe Marriott
Release Date: July 2011
Published By: Walker Books
Goodreads Rating: 4.07 stars
Review: Suzume officially died the day the Prince's men accused her father of treason and slaughtered her family. Only with her shadow-weaving skills was she able to escape, changing her face and her identity to save her own life. Everyone knows that she - known as Yue - is destined to capture the heart of the Prince, but only she knows that she'll use the power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her - not even love.
SHADOWS ON THE MOON is a unique book, not just for its intriguing concept but the way the tone was crafted. This read like part feudal era historical fiction and part fairy tale, and since I love both types of novels, I really enjoyed this kind of combination. The shadow weaving element added a great touch of fantasy and gave the book a sort of "magical realism" feel, which went along nicely with the themes.
I have to admit, I was surprised by the depth of this book. Most fairy-tale-type books tend to gloss over character development and the like and instead focus on short, quick, and interesting plots. However, Suzume had a very complex personality, and I appreciated how thoroughly her inner character conflicts were explored. Her life was difficult and she suffered from a lot of guilt and other complicated emotions, and the author developed these skillfully.
Of course, it wasn't just the characters that were surprisingly well-written in this book. The plot itself was suspenseful and very difficult to stop reading. I actually had trouble putting this novel - or rather, my Kindle - down while I was reading this, which doesn't happen too often for me, so it's a measure of how gripping the story line is.
All in all, SHADOWS ON THE MOON is a wonderful fairy tale retelling set in an imaginary but distinctly Asian feudal-era world. From the well-explored characters to the un-put-down-able plot, this novel will not disappoint any readers. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fairy-tale-esque books or just wants to read something different.