Shadows on the Moon
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Shadows on the Moon

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,708 ratings  ·  368 reviews
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". 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 und...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by Walker Books Ltd
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Catie
Dec 13, 2011 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Jo
What if Cinderella were a mysteriously gifted and emotionally scarred young girl? What if, more than true love and happily ever after, she longed for revenge? What if the prince were merely a means to an end?

What if the fairy godmother were the elder prince’s non-traditional kabuki dancing lover?

Shadows on the Moon, a fantastic re-imagining of Cinderella, is the answer to all of these questions. Taking inspiration from feudal Japan (although there’s a disclaimer at the beginning – most of the de...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
(Actual Rating: 3.5 stars)

In Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott, Hoshima Suzume's life changes within moments when her father is accused of treason against the Moon Prince, and she sees her once-happy life stolen and destroyed. In the panic that follows, something strange awakens within Suzume, an ability to disappear and blend into her surroundings as she flees her devastated home. Once the situation settles, Suzume's mother returns from her trip and retrieves Suzume...although Suzume herself...more
Jo
“People trust their eyes above all else- but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I hope I never become too cynical for fairy tales. Gorgeous.

High Points.
Eastern influences. Love. Revenge. Grief. Shadow-weaving. Breath taking prose. Fairy tales. Loyalty. Haikus (More books should have haikus). Training montages. Rags to riches. Kimonos. Magic. Doesn’t shy away from the darkness. Heart-breaking. Heart-wa...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Shadows on the Moon is a remarkably well told, fascinating story about Suzume, a young girl who’s lost her home and her entire family when the soldiers came to her house to accuse her father of treason. Aside from Suzume, who miraculously survived by making herself invisible to the soldiers, the only member of the family left alive was her mother, and only because she was absent when the soldiers came. Left with nothing at all and in constant fear for their lives, Suzume and her mother have no c...more
Emily May

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...more
Kat Kennedy
I’m not going to be short with the praise here. I loved Shadows on the Moon pretty hard. But this isn’t a light-hearted novel to be embarked upon by just anyone. Hardcore epic fantasy fans used to large tomes, new worlds, language and speech that they’re not previously familiar with and novel pacing that takes its time, will be the ones who really get this book.

Suzume is a complicated character with an intense story to tell. Shadows on the Moon chronicles this sprawling, high fantasy tale faithf...more
Lisa
Shadows on the Moon was a disappointing read. I had every expectation of liking it. I love Japanese culture, history, and food. I watch anime. I even took three years of Japanese in high school. I'm also a sucker for Cinderella stories so the idea of a Japanese-inspired Cinderella intrigued me. There were many good ideas in Shadows on the Moon but unfortunately they were poorly executed.

Hoshima Suzume leads a tragic life. Shortly after the death of her father and cousin, her beautiful but cold m...more
Trinity
This book gave me shivers. The good kind.
I have always been drawn to the mystery of eastern cultures and this Japanese fairy tale world that Marriott wove together left me breathless. I loved the imagery of the moon and the concept of shadow weaving was so beautiful. The whole book snapped with beauty.
The story itself was an emotional, heart wrenching tale of a young girl thrown into grief and betrayal and her journey for revenge and forgiveness.
I cared deeply for our heroine and the many masks...more
Keertana
Rating: 3.5 Stars

If you've been following my status updates for this book, you can probably understand why I am so conflicted over my rating. On one hand, Shadows on the Moon is an incredible story. Although it is marketed as an Asian re-telling of Cinderella where our princess must avenge the death of her beloved father, it is less of an Edmund Dantes-eque revenge story and more of a contemplative tale of self-growth.

If you read the synopsis of this story, it easily leads you to believe that Ma...more
Steph Su
YOU GUYS, do you know how long I have waited to read this book? Since Zoe Marriott first revealed the gorgeous UK cover for SHADOWS ON THE MOON, over a year ago. I simply can’t resist a beautiful Asian face on a YA cover, and I have enjoyed Zoe’s previous books. I am so, so happy to say that SHADOWS ON THE MOON was one of those rare books that I didn’t want to end.

There is something great to be said about every element of this book. According to the author’s note, SHADOWS ON THE MOON is not set...more
Krystle
2.5 stars.

Ah, I just love books that incorporate, in some way, Asia but more specifically, Japan. Can you say excited? I was really eager to read this and while I wasn’t entirely satisfied, I wasn’t left miffed, which is a very important thing.

I’ve read a book from this author before (The Swan Kingdom) and I liked it fair enough, so I guess I knew what was getting into but I did up my expectations seeing as how I expected her to improve upon that one to this one. For the most part, her world bui...more
Noelle
3.5 stars
Shadows on the Moon is a lovely retelling of Cinderella set in a magical version of feudal Japan. The Cinderella of this story, Suzume, witnesses the murder of her beloved father and cousin and barely avoids death herself. The traumatic event shatters Suzume and she compartmentalizes the broken pieces to survive.

Marriott does an excellent job portraying Suzume's post traumatic stress disorder and the effects of suppressing emotions out of fear (or other reasons). The circumstances of th...more
Katya
Jan 25, 2012 Katya rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wanted Romeo and Juliet to end happily
Shelves: 2012, arc-galley, teen-lit
Also found on my tumblr.

Cinderella meets Memoirs of a Geisha? I don't think so. This book is Cinderella meets Hamlet, Othello and Salome.

Fourteen year old Suzume witnesses the murder of her father and the massacre of her whole household. The only one that survives is her mother, because she is away on some visit or another. Shortly thereafter, Suzume's mother remarries to one of her father's old friends. Suzume is, naturally, upset, and turns on herself in her grief. She also discovers that sh...more
Misty
4.5, 5 for unflinching-ness.

If you've seen my Top 10 Fave Fairytale Retellings vlog, you'll already know this is going to be a super-positive happyfuntime review. I mean, this landed at number 6, so yeah, obviously I liked it lots. But now I get to tell you why, and as much as I am glad to do that, I just want to start by expressing how I wish I had read this book as part of a group. A book club, a lit class - doesn't really matter, but I think this book would make for such good discussion, and...more
the golden witch.
This one sadly just didn't work for me, and didn't quite hold my attention. I wish I could say otherwise as the blurb sounded really awesome, and the idea of a retelling of Cinderella combined with shadow weaving really intrigued me. While the premise was wonderful, "Shadows on the Moon" ultimately failed to deliver for me.

I was a good chunk into the book and I still wasn't feeling the hook landing where it should have been. Ideally, a hook should land into the reader within the first chapter,...more
Isabel
I first found out about Shadows on the Moon more than a year ago, and the minute I did I fell in love. For twelve months I frantically counted down the days to its release, expecting what I knew was probably FAR too much from even the author of one book I adored, and another that I thoroughly enjoyed. When I finally got my hands on Shadows I was incredibly excited to read it -- and also very nervous. For the first time I was scared that I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I had anticipated. But the m...more
Vernieda
Essentially an Asian fantasy retelling of Cinderella woven around a revenge plot.

+++ good diversity and representation! The fantasy setting is mostly based on Japan with some Chinese touches. There are envoys and diplomats from Africa. One of the major supporting characters in the second half of the book is trans.

+ an interracial relationship in which both parties are not white! That doesn't happen often in genre fiction.

+ the revenge story was good. Suzume has massive survivors guilt and it fu...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Wow, wow, wow. This is one of the best Cinderella retellings I've come across. The story is rich, the writing lovely and the romance heart-breaking. This book just got so so many things exactly right. Zoe Marriott, I am impressed and saddened that I have no other books of yours to read at this very moment.

Just as amazing the second time around.
Nafiza
Gorgeously crafted, intricately detailed, Shadows on the Moon illustrates Marriott’s remarkable story weaving skills. Suzume’s evolution from the carefree girl who frolicked with her cousin under the cherry blossoms to the strong woman at the end of the novel is particularly compelling. The novel is reminiscent of Alison Goodman’s Eona series in its depiction of the struggles of a girl against severely adverse situations. I remember thinking that Marriott has done her research in the writing of...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Here's a book that I really loved. I flew through Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott, desperate to find out how it would end. It was really addictive reading for me, especially as it gave such a new and strong outlook on the Cinderella story. I loved the setting (a fantasy world similar to feudal Japan), Suzume's character, from her magical abilities to her vulnerability and especially her relationship with the beautiful and honourable Otieno (who is utterly swoon-worthy!).

Shadows on the Moon i...more
TheBookSmugglers
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers HERE

The day of Suzume’s fourteenth birthday was also the day that changed her life forever when the men came to kill her family after her father’s name was dishonoured in the Court of the Moonlit Lands. They killed her father and her cousin, who was the sister of her heart, right before her eyes. It was on that day that Suzume, prompted by survival instinct, learnt that she was a shadow-weaver, capable of creating the illusion that saved her life as s...more
Elevetha
1.5 stars. Blah. I did not like this book. The overall idea of Cinderella being a brave strong girl who decides to take matters of revenge in her own hands and has the magical ability of shadow-weaving was decent but the execution of it in this book was junky. Not only were the characters just inane and boring; the story turned into mindless stupidity.

(view spoiler)...more
Isamlq
I gush now… (again)

This late in the year, I truly wasn’t expecting another one of these books~ another one of these books that I love. I’ve been on a reading wave of ups and downs and kept things interesting by switching from realistic contemps to paranormals to adult UF’s and to whole a hell lot of ‘dytopias.’ Sure, I’d come across some duds but thankfully there were some really good ones in there as well. This definitely counts among the latter.

Two things I am sure of : (1) I was not expecti...more
Sophia
SPOILER ALERT!


Through a beautiful portrayal of Japan, with the foundation of Cinderella, and with fragrances from Memoirs of a Geisha, Shadows on the Moon is a stunning and unique novel.
The fairy-tale setting of the novel gave it plenty of charm, and the writing style was sophisticated and poetic. The main character, Suzume, was incredibly complex. I was amazed by how—through a web of traditional characters and settings—Zoe Marriott also incorporated Suzume’s cutting. For whatever reason, it...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
Shadows on the moon is a beautifully woven tale which I thought was a wonderfully written with a real "fairy tale" like feel to it. I enjoyed every page and didn't want it to end.

Shadows on the moon has been described as Cinderella meet memiors of a Geisha and I really think that is a brilliant comparison to start with. I loved the orientalness (not sure that is a word but hey!) of the book and loved pretty much everything thing that came along with that orientalness like the setting, the cultur...more
Heidi
Originally reviewed here.

Love comes like storm clouds
Fleeing from the wind,
and casts Shadows on the moon.


On Suzume’s fourteenth birthday, the men come for her and her family. Accusing her father of treason, he and her cousin who is as a sister to her, are struck down. Suzume escapes, revealing a power she did not know she had—the power to shadow weave. She cultivates her talent, learning to bend the world around her, create mantles of light and shadow that hide her from sight. She is able to man...more
Sarah Reynolds
Japanese version of Cinderella. I really enjoyed this one. Definitely not your average Cinderella story, there is an evil step parent, a young girl forced into kitchen work and a grand ball, but this Cinderella is bent on seeking revenge, not true love. In fact she's almost blinded by it. Suzume is very human, imperfect. But i really like her character. With the beautiful background very reminiscent of ancient Japan, and of course, a touch of magic, I truly found this a great read, and a very di...more
Steph Sinclair
I really loved how this one had diversity and eastern influence. The writing was gorgeous and the love interest totally swoon worthy. The main character had a good amount of character development and I really could connect with her. The beginning was a little slow for me, but the second half was much better.
Victoria Griffith
Shadows on the Moon is a superbly-paced fantasy, refreshingly set in Japan.
Alex
The best piece of fantasy I've read for a while :) Couldn't put it down.
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1025280
I've known that I wanted to be a writer since I finished reading my first book; 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton. I think I was about eight, but I've never changed my mind in all the years since then.

I got my first publishing contract when I was twenty-two, but had to wait until I was twenty-four to see that book published (it was The Swan Kingdom).

I live in a little house in a town by the...more
More about Zoë Marriott...
The Swan Kingdom Daughter of the Flames (Ruan, #1) FrostFire (Ruan, #2) The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade, #1) Darkness Hidden (The Name of the Blade, #2)

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“People trust their eyes above all else - but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there” 147 likes
Better naked and alive than decent and dead, I thought.” 27 likes
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