Shadows on the Moon (The Moonlit Lands #1) By Zoe Marriott

12769215Shadows on the Moon
(The Moonlit Lands #1)
By Zoe Marriott
Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
Published April 24th 2012 by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio

Time for another YA novel.  I do like listening to YA audiobooks.  They are easy flowing and most of the time great stories.  Every once in a while, I’ll run into a book that just is too young too keep my attention.  This one was not one of those.

“Shadows on the Moon” was promoted as an alternate take on the Cinderella story.  While I did get some of the feeling of the Cinderella story adapted to this tale from the Far East, I thought the story would have been better promoted without the comparison.  The idea that Suzume, the one who is telling the tale, is a shadow weaver (one who can create strong illusions) creates a universe from a female point of view which can be held up to the standards of the Harry Potter series and others.  I will warn you there may be spoilers ahead.

Suzume is very young when her father is executed for treason, which turns out to be just a setup by her soon to be step-father.  Her step-father was seeking the hand of her mother in marriage.  When younger Suzume’s mother and step-father were sure to be wed, but Suzume’s father came into the picture.  Once Suzume’s father was out of the picture the step-father, Tereyama, steps in and demands all attentions on him.  when Suzume’s mother gives birth to twin boys, Suzume’s life is in danger.

She runs away and works as a Drudge in the Tereyama kitchen using her shadow weaving to cover her real identity.  Soon disaster strikes and Suzume is forced to run away again.  She is soon befriended by a former Shadow princess, Kano Akira.

A shadow princess is chosen by the Shadow Prince at the Shadow ball.  This is somewhat of a competition between the beautiful girls of the land that dance and charm their way to be chosen.

Kano Akira begins training Suzume to compete and through a series of training montages (yeah I had old 80s movies running through my head as i read those sections), haikus, and meetings with a prince from a land far away, Suzume finds a way to get her revenge.

Amy Rubinate is able to read the story in a way that not only keeps the listener listening intensely.

Great high fantasy, fiction that will entertain anyone over the age of 16.

Publisher’s Summary
Sixteen-year-old Suzume is a shadow weaver, trained in the magical art of illusion. She can be anyone she wants to be – except herself.

Is she the girl of noble birth, trapped by the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Land?

Even Suzume is no longer sure of her true identity. But she is determined to steal the heart of the Moon Prince and exact revenge on her stepfather for the death of her family. And nothing will stop her. Not even her love for fellow shadow weaver Otieno, the one man who can see through her illusions.

Set in a fairy-tale version of ancient Japan, Shadows on the Moon shakes up the Cinderella story with its brave, resourceful, and passionate heroine.

©2012 Zoe Marriott (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.