Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen ChoThe Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

Published by Tor.com Publishing on June 23rd 2020
Also by this author: Black Water Sister
Pages: 176
Goodreads

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.

I got The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water as a gift for Sinterklaas. I love Zen Cho’s writing so I was looking forward to this but only now did I give myself the time to read it. It’s a novella, not too long, but that doesn’t matter for the story.

A monk joins a group of thieves after an incident getting her fired from her job at the coffee house. As they continue their travels to sell stolen goods, we learn about the monk’s order, the main character’s relationship with the goddess and the order, and the war devasting the land. It’s a beautiful story of duty and loyalty (to one’s self and a deity).

I’m always in awe of how much worldbuilding authors can put into shorter work. This book is no exception. It’s the small details that give a clear and vivid image of what the world looks like. That in addition to Cho’s writing and fun characters, made for a fun read. While there was nothing that stood out to me, it felt like a warm comfortable sweater. A book you’ll revisit because it’s a safe place to be.

I give The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water 4 stars. It’s an enjoyable novella with interesting characters in a setting and situation you’ll probably not find often.

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