THE ORDER OF THE PURE MOON REFLECTED IN WATER
REPRESENTATION: Trans protagonist, queer side character, Chinese-inspired characters/ world
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Fantasy Novella
Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown is one of my all-time favorite books, so there was no way I was passing this novella up! As such, I really went into it mostly blind. The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but that wasn’t a bad thing!
From the summary description, I was expecting an action-packed martial arts fantasy, possibly with a humorous take. Instead, the slightly lyrically feeling title and cover art are probably a better indicator of the story inside. While there are definitely a few action-filled moments, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water is a quiet, reflective (hah!) story about finding yourself and your place. It’s a great character-driven story.
Cho’s writing is beautiful and perfectly suits the characters’ inner conflicts over identity and spirituality. The world-building is immersive and vivid, despite the short length of the story. As always Cho perfectly blends fantasy elements into her world, creating something that feels magical and yet completely organic.
I liked the group dynamic between Guet Imm and the various bandits. The found family dynamic was well done and would have been even better with more time to develop and grow. I liked what we saw of the brothers but, aside from Tet Sang and Lau Fung Cheung, I didn’t really feel that I got to know them that well.
If you’re looking for a story that’s memorably unique and beautifully written, pick up The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water.
Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.
A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.