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.
When Suzume's father, cousin, and the servants of the house are cruelly murdered yet Suzume escapes; her world is turned upside down. She is lost and scarred. She is taken in by the sole other survivor of the murders, Youta. He teaches her shadow-weaving, a skill that she used unwittingly to escape the soldiers. Her mother returns from traveling abroad to find most of her family dead. Her mother had already been cheating on her late husband with his best friend and marries him to retain some honor. Suzume meets Otieno, another shadow-weaver and a form of Insta-love! ensues.
When Suzume realizes that her step-father is a controlling, possessive, evil man that ordered the hit on her family in order to be with her now pregnant mother and that he knows she knows; Suzume becomes Rin, a drudge working in the kitchens, to escape his wrath. She uses shadow-weaving to change her appearance and truly "become" Rin.
A lot of time is spent just having Rin do her duties in the kitchen and cutting herself to dispel some of her pent-up rage, sorrow and general feelings inside. The cutting felt like something that was not necessary to Suzume's character but oh well.
When Rin runs off because her persona as Rin is no longer safe in the kitchens of her step-father's household, she gets into some scrapes and ends up in a prison cell. She meets another prisoner there and helps the prisoner escape with her.
The prisoner is a fellow shadow-weaver, Akira, who is also the Shadow Bride.
The part that really annoyed me about Akira is that she is not actually a girl. "She" is a boy who was brought up as a girl and became the frelling Shadow Bride, the mistress of the Moon Prince. Yep. Not quite sure howwhy that relationship was thrown in....it was some creepy squick. And then Akira is referred to as a "she" the entire rest of the book. Excuse me? Just adding to the oddness of it all more. Yuck.
Anyhoo....Akira tells Rin that if she can become the new Shadow Bride, she can request that her step-father's household be given dishonour and shunned. It all would depend on Rin creating a new persona and seducing the Moon Prince. Rin agrees and soon she has transformed into Yue, a beautiful young woman.
She pines for Otieno. I quite frankly didn't care about them. Otieno had no personality, barely in the book except when he randomly showed up to kiss SuzumeRinYue and I couldn't have cared less about either of them or
their love life.
She trains to be worthy of the Moon Prince. It takes forever and bored me to death.
When Yue gains access to the Moon Prince's courts, Akira starts giving Yue birth controlherb, because who knows what she'll have to do to get further access to the Moon Prince and his attention? Ick. Really? Thankfully, nothing happens.
She is almost raped by a sick-messed-up official and Otieno saves her and she expresses her gratitude in a intimate manner.
Then she leaves him.
And is accepted as the Shadow Bride.
Realizes that she can't go through with it.
Leaves the Moon Prince's chambers; gets the hell of of dodge.
Her mother tries and fails to convince her that her step-father is nice and Yue should come back home.
Step-father tries to kill Yue and Yue shadow-weaves him (rather confusing when in the book. Not entirely sure what went on) and he will get his comeuppance.
Runs into Otieno.
They kiss and run off into the sunset.
I. Disliked. This. Book.
The writingprose was fine.
The idea for shadow-weaving was awesome but we didn't know enough about the art to truly appreciate it.
Characters were unbelievable, boring, underdeveloped, and I just didn't connect nor did I care. Except for Youta! But he was not in it very much. *frowny face*
Book was way
too long and could have been edited a lot. Or, you know, had something actually happen in the book. Action please? Anything? No? Okay.
Content wasn't a whole
lot but terribly unnecessary.
Plot was barely there and then ended up not mattering in the least.
I found it to be a waste of my time.
Content: Birth control, homosexuality, a fairly low-level "fade to black", a attempted rape scene, a lying cheating mother, etc...