adventurous challenging dark mysterious medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? A mix
- Strong character development? It's complicated
- Loveable characters? It's complicated
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a beautiful twisty fairy tale within a fairy tale - the story pulled me in, every sentence, intentional, melodic, and woven together with meticulous prose, I felt a sense of perpetual tension, that feeling of not too much, but just enough, throughout the novel, and I was not disappointed with where we ended up. When I stopped reading, it was like I remembered to breathe again.
It is unsettling, romantic, haunting and fascinating. I will be thinking about this novel again and again.
The novel is told from two perspectives, Azure and The Bride-Groom, and they jump comfortably between the past and the present - telling a story filled with grief, neglect, unreliable memories, the struggles of finding ones identity in adolescence, and the magical worlds children create to escape terrible realities. I found most of the characters complicated and mostly loveable.
All that said, this story needs a bunch of content warnings.
Grateful to both Netgalley and the Publisher to have had the opportunity to read it a bit early and share my thoughts.
Moderate: Sexual harassment, Body horror, Emotional abuse, Toxic friendship, Murder, Child abuse, and Classism