Shadows on the Moon

Shadows on the Moon

by Zoe Marriott

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763659936
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 910,563
Lexile: HL800L (what's this?)
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Zo? Marriott is the author of The Swan Kingdom and Daughter of the Flames. About Shadows of 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?" Zo? Marriott lives in England.

I grew up with an older sister and a younger brother who ganged up on me mercilessly whenever they could get away with it (teaching me to fight dirty at an early age). We had a small menagerie of rescued strays ranging from canaries to kittens, all of whom I liked much better than my siblings. I struggled between being a princess (because I liked frilly dresses and tiaras) and being a tomboy (because I could run faster and spit farther than any of the boys). I resolved this by being a princess whenever my hair had grown long, and being a tomboy whenever my mum noticed how long my hair had gotten and chopped it off with the kitchen scissors.

I decided I was going to be a writer as soon as I finished reading my first book—The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton—and mad as it sounds, I never changed my mind. The first story that I wrote was about a rabbit and a pig having a party. The second was about a girl who found a pair of magic shoes that made flowers grow wherever she walked. I live in a peaceful little house that has the sea on one side and marshlands on the other. Both landscapes provide inspiration for my work. For company I have two cats, one named Hero after the Shakespearian character, and the other Echo after the nymph from the Greek myth. I also have a sprocker—a springer/cocker spaniel cross—called Finn, but normally he’s known as the Devil Hound. I sing a lot, talk to myself a lot (writers are allowed to do this) and read a lot, usually when I’m supposed to be writing.

About My Work:

I usually work in my front room, hunched over a laptop, but I also do a lot of planning and playing around with things in my trusty notebook, which I take with me everywhere. Every time I start a new book I get out a new notebook, label the front page with the working title and the date, and then do lots of elaborate doodling around the title with silver and gold pens to make it look official. By the time I’ve finished the book the notebook is usually stuffed with maps and bits of paper and full of barely readable notes that say things like: “Wingspan? Speed? Eye-Color—Do they even sing? Make something up, useless!” I would never let anyone look in one of my notebooks. I’d be far too embarrassed.

Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1. I once cried for half an hour after accidentally standing on a moth and squashing it.
2. I can’t ride a bike, and I never could—but I broke two fingers trying to learn.
3. When I was little, I was convinced that wolves lived under my bed. I still can’t let my hands or feet hang over the edge of the mattress, just in case.

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Shadows on the Moon 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
SusieBookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While not the most well-written retelling of Cinderella that I've read, Shadows on the Moon is by far the most interesting take on the traditional story. It's set in some previous time in Japan, but this Japan comes with shadow weavers and strange foreigners from the land of Athazie. There is no traditional fairy godmother, and Suzume is no traditional Cinderella. Out for revenge, she is strong-willed and determined to do anything necessary to seek vengeance on those who killed her family. Yet Suzume has her own flaws unique for fairytale retellings: she resorts to cutting and burning herself to release anger and other emotions, and her actions are not always above moral scrutiny. Suzume's story in Shadows on the Moon will hold readers attention for its not inconsiderable 450+ pages. The action is fairly constant, and between the author's writing style and the formatting of the book, the novel is actually a quick read for its page count. Better yet, the novel is so different from "Cinderella" that you eventually forget it's a retelling and stop looking for and expecting the events of the traditional tale; Shadows on the Moon is good enough to hold its own as an epic story without the added bonus of being a retelling. While I found that I could foresee some of the consequences of Suzume's actions and the ultimate conclusion to the novel, this did not mean that I knew how the end of the novel would be reached, and that, coupled with the unique characterizations of the Cinderella, prince, and godmother characters, made this a totally worthwhile read. My one complaint with the book is, as I hinted in the first sentence of my review, that Marriott's writing is almost, but not quite, equal to the story she tells. I'm not really sure what the problem is - was it that the plot moves too fast, or that there's not enough explanations for some things? - but the writing and the story never completely clicked together. Still, they come close enough to make Shadows on the Moon a great read for just about every variety of reader.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: A beautiful tale about love, family, and revenge set in mythological Japan.Opening Sentence: On my fourteenth birthday, when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us.The Review:Suzume¿s life completely changes after she witnesses the death of her father and cousin, and only narrowly escapes through magical means. The book is set in a fictional feudal Japan-esque country called the Moonlit Land. Marriott went into great detail about the culture and customs, which was fascinating to read. There is a type of shadow-weaving magic that allows those skilled at it to create glamours over themselves to change their appearance or even disappear altogether. Suzume learns that she has a skill for shadow-weaving, and uses it to her advantage.Suzume and her mother are taken in by her father¿s friend, Terayama-san. He soon proposes to her mother and the two are married. Suzume is going through a difficult time in her life, and no one seems to notice her pain. One thing I really liked about this novel is how real Suzume¿s feelings felt, and the hidden pain of her depression. Her only confidante is the older cinder sweeper, Youta. He also becomes her teacher in the art of shadow-weaving. She uses her shadow-weaving to hide her real feelings from her family.Suzume overhears that Terayama-san had set up her father¿s murder, and decides to run away. She doesn¿t get very far, and changes her identity to hide in her own house¿s kitchen. Suzume believes it is her duty to avenge her father and cousin¿s deaths. The book is separated into three sections based on what Suzume calls herself. After she leaves her parent¿s home, she creates a new identity with the help of her new friend Akira. Her goal is to still get revenge on her step-father, but changes her tactics.Throughout the book, Suzume has interactions with Otieno, a handsome stranger from a foreign land. Through her changes, he still finds her and shows his love for her. It was all very romantic, but it was a bit surprising because they don¿t have many encounters before Suzume becomes Yue. One thing I did like about their relationship was how Suzume was not afraid of the foreigners like everyone around her, and always saw them, especially Otieno, as beautiful.The underlying story is based on the tale of Cinderella, but Suzume is no helpless princess. Certain details are similar to the traditional story, but this is definitely not a retelling. I really loved how the story progresses, and how the characters are depicted. The writing style is formal, but it reflects the ceremonial traditions of Asian culture. The ending seemed a little rushed, but Suzume¿s final decision is what I would have chosen. I would recommend this novel for anyone interested in fantasy, romance, and traditional Asian culture.Notable Scene:I could hardly wait to be alone that night, hardly wait for the dinner to be over, so Mother and Terayama-san would climb into their flower-hung palanquin and be borne off on their tout of Terayama-san¿s lands. When the chattering guests finally departed, Mai accompanied me to my room. It was not thought proper for a maiden to be unattended at night, but while Terayama-san and Mother were off on their wedding trip, I had the power to ban Mai from my room, and I did, sharply.That night one cut was not enough. I broke open the scabs of other cuts, old wounds that I had made over the past three months, and made new ones, slashing again and again with the curved silver blade I had stolen from Mother¿s manicure tools. I felt no relief. I heard nothing but the shrill cries inside me.The blade slipped from my fingers and rolled across the tatami mat, leaving a wet trail behind it. I stared, panting. My throat was dry and sore, and my lungs were tight, as if I had been screaming, but the only screaming had been inside, I was sure of that.Head swimming, I reached for the blade. There was soft plopping noises as I extended my hand.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Her real name is Suzume (sparrow), but she is also Rin (cold) and Yue (moon). That¿s because Suzume¿s world ended the day her family was murdered. Living with her mother and her new stepfather, Lord Terayama, Suzume inadvertently practices her shadow-weaving: the art of creating illusions out of thin air. Her talent comes in handy as it becomes clearer to her that has life is in grave danger. As Suzume shuffles through her many identities, what happens when her one goal of avenging her father¿s death is slowly but surely replaced by another more tender?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 in feudal Japan, but rather a society similar to it. And Marriott has certainly done her research. Things such as the vocabulary for different kinds of clothing and the exact procedure for a tea ceremony may not add directly to the plot, but they certainly help immerse readers into Suzume¿s lush, simultaneously foreign yet familiar, world.Suzume masterfully treads the thin line between her mask of feigned placidness and actually being a placid character. After all, at what point does the person you pretend to be actually become a part of you? However, Suzume¿s soothing narration helps ground what could be melodramatic events, so that they never go beyond the point of credibility. Her reactions to the events happening to her are natural and relatable. We sympathize with Suzume, and also hope that, if we are ever in a similar situation (which hopefully we won¿t be!), we can endure in a way as strongly as she does.SHADOWS ON THE MOON is a big book, but it never feels too long. It is a fantasy of epic worth and length that will nevertheless fly by, appealing even to readers who don¿t often read fantasy. Suzume is a heroine for the modern-day reader, and Zoe Marriott¿s unique take on the Cinderella tale will have you soaring through its pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful tale of love and despair. A young girl who loses everything then lives 3 different lives and succumbs to powerful depression. This book is relatable to many self-harmers who feel as if they are living multiple lives. A very emotional and heartwarming story. I absolutely reused to put it down. As the main character goes through so many identaties, all connected with recognition by a fellow shadow weaver and growing attraction to the main character, she finds that revenge is indeed an unnecissary thing. Although she wants it more than anything in the world, she turns out to want her love more. This story will captivate you in a way that will make you feel as if you were her. Reccomended for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
M_McRoberts More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars actually! I loved this story, which surprised me as I had never heard of it and happened to stumble upon it while perusing the library website for an EPub to hold me over til another book came in. Never did I think I'd enjoy the story so thoroughly. I loved the atmosphere the writer created and the Japanese flavor woven into the realm. I enjoyed that Sasuke's thoughts and doubts and pain are realistic; they are expressed in her thoughts and actions. I also appreciate that an author had the guts to illustrate inner turmoil using cutting. The thought processes are there and it isn't glorified, but it also illustrates how Sasuke really deals with her pain. I wish the ending/resolution wasn't quite so succinct. I would have liked to see the resolution fleshed out a little bit more; not that I felt anything was missing, but I felt that the story could have had a bit more depth in its resolution. Overall, this was a great retelling of a fairy tale - you'll just have to figure out which one...
pagese More than 1 year ago
There was something about this book that called to me from the start. I'm not real versed in books set anywhere in Asia (I know I'm really generalizing there but work with me). But, I had this on my wishlist before it even had a US release date. To say that Suzume's life hasn't been easy might be a gross understatement. She watches her father get brutally killed. Her mother drags her off when she marries another man under the pretense that it's for the protection (so they won't be in ruins). But, she sees something her mother doesn't when it comes to Lord Terayama. When she begins to fear for her own life, she goes into hiding right under his nose. She eventually feels she needs to leave the safety on the household. Through all of this she learns that she is capable of a certain kind of magic. With a little bit of instruction, she can put herself in a position to extract revenge on those who have wronged her. I found the story enchanting. Suzume was an interesting character and I felt every heartache along with her. I understood why she felt the need to cut herself. I understood her absolute dedication to her goal of extracting revenge. I understood her confusion on living for herself and carrying on her families memories. It was all beautifully crafted together. I also loved the explanation of her shadow-weaving. It was an interesting type of magic that I don't recall every reading about before. I think my favorite part of this book was the intricate cultural details. It may not be entirely real, but it felt like it could be. I loved the idea of the Moonlit Lands and the Shadow Princess. It had a historical fiction feel with a cultural that I'm completely unfamiliar with. If I can find more books like this...I might have a new country I love to read about! I tore through this book. It closes nicely, but I think it leaves room for a sequel. I would read it if she wrote it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had heard of shadows on the moon someqhere and decided to read it. So i checked out a copy from rhe library and did so. I had no clue what it was actually about untill i got my hand the the book . I reaf it and loved it. Shadows on the moon is an amazinf book. Ironicly i found a connection to cinder by marrisa meyer in it. They are both modern cinderella stories and both set in asia. Cinder is in china and shadows on the moon is in japan. They are both really good book. I highly reccomend both of them to all.
Truly_Bookish More than 1 year ago
Set in a fantasy version of Japan, Shadows on the Moon is about a young girl, Suzume, who suffers a horrible injustice and becomes obsessed with getting revenge, even if cost her everything: her identity, love and even her freedom. Suzume is the Cinderella-like character in this fairytale retelling but she is like no other Cinderella you have ever met. She is flawed and vulnerable yet so incredibly strong. I am a very character driven reader and I absolutely loved Suzume, even when she was making awful decisions based on her need for vengence. Zoe Marriott writes Suzume’s tumultuous emotions so well, I felt like I was experiencing them with her. I so wanted her to get revenge on her oppressors! I know it was wrong but Suzume’s pain was so real and the injustice so great, I wanted them to pay for what they did. I am an escapist reader and tend to avoid issues books and Shadows on the Moon has some serious issues. Suzume has a lot of anger and is depressed. Her mother, a cold and uncaring woman, won’t let her talk about her pain so Suzume starts cutting herself to release her pent up emotions. We are not talking a onetime thing here guys, she cuts repeatedly throughout the book. Normally, heavy issues like this would be a turn-off for me but Marriott’s writing is so good and the entire plot is so well done, I could not stop reading this book! The secondary characters are also very well written and I was most surprised by Suzume’s love interest, Otieno. He was strong, handsome and totally unexpected! I love that Marriott does not focus on the romance in this book. It’s something that sustains Suzume but it’s her need for revenge that drives her and the story. I have not even touched on the magical, shadow weaving aspects of this story or the breathtaking setting (while it’s fantasy, looks a lot like feudal Japan) – they are awesome and not to be missed! Overall, Shadows on the Moon is a fantastic fantasy novel with very realistic contemporary issues. It’s dark, it’s sad, I could not put it down and the ending is completely satisfying. This is my first book by Zoe Marriott but it will not be my last. I already got one of her earlier books, Daughter of the Flames, from my library and I can’t wait to dig in! Content: Implied sex, kissing and violence. There are some mature themes that you may want to discuss with your teens before they read this book including the cutting/self-harm (that I mentioned before) and contemplated suicide. There is also a transgender character who has a long term relationship with a married man and characters discuss prostitution. This book is recommended for older/more mature teens and adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the ShadowClan leader's den.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here the apprentices of Shadowclan will rest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadingCorner More than 1 year ago
The classic Cinderella is beautifully re-imagined in Shadows on the Moon as a tale of heartbreak and revenge. Woven into the tapestry of a fantasy world, Shadows on the Moon tells the story of Suzume, whose father and cousin were brutally murdered right in front of her--a day that will haunt her all her life. Life goes on for some, but Suzume constantly grapples to pull herself into her new world--her step-father's world. Revelations will shatter her world and choices will leave her drowning in her sorrow and remorse--until she is offered the chance at vengeance and will stop at nothing to get it. Something about Suzume captured me from the first pages. Her personality had a depth that we see throughout the novel as she grows up, transforming, through unfortunate circumstances, from a spunky young girl to a shadowed young woman shut off from her emotions and world. Her strength, however beaten she may seem at points, is incredible and it is emphasized in her moments of cunning and bravery. She's a survivor and someone who makes difficult decisions, but her ferocity is often tempered by moments of frailty that remind the reader that she's really just a young girl The world that Ms. Marriott has crafted was beautifully done. The descriptive and formal writing style, while a tad jolting at the beginning, is something that you settle into gradually. As I delved deeper into the story, the setting came alive more and more and I could imagine myself walking down the paths right alongside Suzume. While the world is a fictional fantasy land, Ms. Marriott seems to draw from Japanese culture and I loved how beautifully those elements were woven into the story. It really added a profound sense of culture to the world. Shadows on the Moon is a fairy tale retelling that really stood out to me. The unique world and characters made this story so much more than just another retelling for me. The way that she moved the story alone rang true as a Cinderella re-telling but in the end the unique elements that Marriott added make it stand on its own as a unique story that explores deeper emotions--fear, loss, betrayal, and revenge.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with Shadows on the Moon since I had gone into the novel with my eyes blindfolded. What I do know, is that from the start of the novel to the finish, I had found the novel a totally intriguing read. Not only was it an original re-telling of the Cinderella tale, twisted into a new plot, but it was also based in a fantasy land where tons of Japanese and Chinese terminology was used. What I found interesting was that the Cinderella in this story is one that I won’t soon forget. Suzume was such a sorrowful character that I couldn’t help but like her. From the start of the novel to the next two lives she would end up living, I couldn’t help but feel sorrow with her. I loved how Suzume was an emotionally broken character who had experienced so much loss and torment and how vengeance was beginning to consume her in such a beautifully written way. Now, considering that I said two other lives, I feel I’m obligated to add that Suzume is a Shadow Weaver. Which is a person who can use the shadows and the light to create illusions and upon being hunted by her wicked step-father, Suzume is forced to use those abilities to create whole other lives for her to survive. Personally, I found that each life Suzume experienced had my mind spinning and thinking in ways it never had before. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try to: With every “part” of the novel, it started with Suzume entering a new life. The novel starts off with Suzume, a daughter of noble birth with a life that seems pleasant, up until that life is taken away. After she discovers that her step-father really is evil, she ends up as Rin. A drudge who is a servant in his household. And after that she becomes Yuen, who will become Shadow Bride and finally have revenge served on a silver platter. All through those “life-times” I found myself noticing that everything can be taken away in so little time. Deep stuff. I did enjoy the romance in the novel between Suzume/Rin/Yue and the foreigner Otieno, who stole my heart the moment he saved Suzume’s life. After that, it was simply chance that continued to bring the two together (does anybody else hear the word destiny playing on the wind?). I absolutely loved that Otieno would constantly find Suzume/Rin/Yue so that the two of them could be together, and how he made himself clear that he loved her and only her for the rest of his life. Total awww *la cute face* moment and I know that throughout the novel, whenever Suzume/Rin/Yue broke his heart for her own sake, that my heart broke with Otiento’s. While there were a few times when I would lose interest or become confused, it was still a read worth enjoying. I would recommend this to fans of the fantasy genre, or people who just want to lose themselves in a good book…
Magluvsya03 More than 1 year ago
I would first like to thank Netgalley and the publishers who allow us to read books from them via thier galleys :) I have found some great books on there. This book is mix (FOR ME) between a fairy tale and Milan (yes the cartoon)... Let me explain. It's not set in present time, as they ride horses, however it could be in present time as it's got a feel for dystopian-not quite sure, BUT it doesn't matter. The lead character-Suzume, but I can't keep that name, as she assumes different names thoughout different stages in her life. She starts out as Suzume, the carefree child and has a pretty great life. Then the soldiers come and life tragically and dramtically changes. Then, (& I must say, I hated her mother) Suzume's mother remarries in order to save them from dispair. More tragic things happen and she becomes someone else. (Just like Milan, she is willing to give up herself to help her family, even if she has to hide herself to do it) The fantasy side of this story is intriguing, as shadow-weaving is like a magical ability to change appearances and like the fae who can glamour themselves. Things are a little more complicated, but you should read to find out. Now, on the romance side, Suzume wants nothing more to avenge her family-that means throwing away a true love journey. I think I could understand this in the way that when you love your family, you want the best for them. However, she is a small-ish, teenage girl, with no higher class influence, until she meets a wonderful friend, and she goes a little crazy with her justifications in wanting her vengeance. I have never read a book written like this, nor with this type of culture, so I must say-that really appealed to me. Also, the characters and their backgrounds are just fascinating. The writing is supurb, other than a few cultural words that I were quite sure what they meant, but the author tries to make it for you to understand the meaning in her own way. I don't want to give too much away, but, this book is a fresh read. It's something you should read if you are more into the bigger plot line with a little supernatural on the side, and a lovely ending :) I think I will have to pick up more books by this author! :) 4 Paws!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it when a book surprises me in such a positive way that, although I don't expect it, I fall in love and hate when the story ends. This was exactly what happened with "Shadows on the Moon." The story is apparently a re-telling of the classic Cinderella story, set in an imagined interpretation of feudal Japan. I use the word "apparently," because I really had no clue, while I was reading it, that this was a re-telling until I saw another blogger mention it. The story is so unique and nontraditional, that the parallels of Marriott's tale and Cinderella are only there if you really dig for them. 'Shadows on the Moon" itself is completely stand-alone and has an ability to keep you guessing. The story focuses on Suzume, a young girl with a very special talent called "shadow weaving." This talent enables her to "weave" illusions over herself - cloaks of night and darkness, serene facial expressions, and other physical perceptions. Her skill comes in handy the day men come to kill her father. Without knowing what is happening, Suzume uses her gift to escape a grim fate and ends up haunted with the knowledge that she survived when she shouldn't have. Her new life becomes one big illusion, and her need for revenge becomes her one ultimate goal. It is out of this need that Suzume encounters twists and turns, all of which paint a thoroughly imagined and engrossing story. I'm not going to lie - there are points in the book that are dark, and the themes dealt within are controversial and more contemporary. Marriott writes these so well into a book that is historical in nature, without making them feel out of place. Vivid, and engaging, the story is really one that transports you into a different world - a world of exotic strangers, kimono-clad ladies, and blooming cherry blossoms. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters alike and would strongly recommend this book to anyone - not just lovers of fairy tale re-tellings.