Shadows on the Moon
By Zoe Marriott
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763653446, 464pp.)
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
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A powerful tale of magic, love, and revenge set in fairy-tale Japan.
Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create 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 is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver.
Zoë Marriott is the author of The Swan Kingdom and Daughter of the Flames. About Shadows on the Moon, she says, "I never liked Cinderella as a little girl. I hated the fact that she needed someone else to come along and rescue her. Then it occurred to me: what if Cinderella were strong and brave — and out for revenge all along?" Zoë Marriott lives in England.
"Cinderella" is reimagined as a revenge story set in an alternate feudal Japan. A dark yet very fresh fairy-tale reinvention.
Beautifully written, with diverse and fascinating characters, an intriguing plot, and a romance that will steal your heart. One of the most innovative fairy-tale retellings I've read in years.
—R.J. Anderson, author of Spellhunter and Ultraviolet
Shadows on the Moon weaves a spell as deft as any by its main character. Beautiful and cruel; a mesmerizing read with an intoxicating love story.
—L.A. Weatherly, author of Angel Burn and Angel Fire
Marriott plays with the motifs of the Cinderella story in fresh new ways, recasting the classic fairy tale as revenge quest in a pseudo–ancient Japan, and her powerful exploration of familial betrayals and the personal cost of vengeance dovetails seamlessly with the more familiar fairy-tale themes of love, belonging, and multiple identities. . . The atmospheric writing, compelling secondary characters, and emotional complexity of this adaptation give it broad appeal and make it a standout addition to the perennially appealing field of fairy-tale novelizations.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A rich cultural context and strong female characters make this novel reminiscent of Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING (Harcourt, 2008) and Arthur Golden’s MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (Knopf, 1998). The "Cinderella" theme is interwoven with just the right strokes, creating a magical reinterpretation that is much richer than a mere retelling. Although several hot-button issues such as self-mutilation and gender identity are dealt with in an explicit manner, the fast-moving plot, intense action, and compelling characters will pull readers through to the satisfying conclusion.
—School Library Journal