TBR Pile Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected In Water, by Zen Cho

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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.

My Review

This is one of my signed, numbered first editions from Goldsboro Books in London. It’s rather a beautiful piece of work as an item as well as a story.

This novella took me a short two hours to read.

Guet Imm goes on a journey from naïve anchorite to more a worldly nun. Through joining the bandits and saving them financially, she begins to understand the changing world around her. Tet Sang is forced to face his past and make decisions about his future. Between the pair a relationship of sorts develops, through argument and meditation.

I have a feeling this book story is set into a fantastical version of 19th century Korea. It’s an interesting setting, it feels almost like history but not quite. There’s unexpected magic. It’s a myth until it isn’t. I was enchanted by this novella.

I quite enjoy reading fantasy set in different cultures, because as much as I enjoy traditional European/Euro-American fantasy, it’s important to see things from different angles.

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