The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho
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.
The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water was a beautiful and somehow delicate novella that I really passionately wish was a full novel instead of a short story. I loved this story a lot but the reason I gave it 4.4 stars instead 5 is because I found myself wanting more not just because the story ended and I liked the characters but because it feels like there was so much potential for this story but it was cut short in the restraints of a short story. This would have been an epic novel if it was in fact a full length novel instead of a novella. Other than that, this was novel was an amazing escape. The world building was spot on (in the glimpse you get of the fantasy country) which makes me a little more sad that we didn’t get to see more of it.
When I first found this novel and started reading this, I thought it was going to lean more into wuxia and be action oriented, but I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out to be a gentle and funny novella that covered found family, spirituality, identity, and so much more. Even the ending was heartwarming. At first when I realized where the ending was going I had mixed feelings, but as the final scene progressed I enjoyed it more and more.
Fung Cheong was definitely my favorite character. He honestly just gave me diva vibes and his dynamic with Set Sang was one of my favorite parts of this novella. I have to admit that I did not like Guet Imm at first, but after a while I warmed up to her. Honestly, the whole dynamic Fung Cheong and his bandits had were amazing. At first they sounded scary and intimidating based off of the fact that they were perceived as bandits and wanted, but once you actually see them you see that they are all like a family.
The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water was an amazing and beautiful book that has effectively put me in a reading slump because I now find myself in a small book hangover. I can’t seem to pick up another book because this book has left me with the sensation of being speechless. Don’t be surprised if there are a lot of graphic novel reviews coming because I can’t seem to pick up a book without thinking about The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water.
Let’s take some time to just sit and enjoy this book cover because it is phenomenal! This beautiful cover art is by Sija Hong.
- Have you read this novel?
- If so, did you enjoy it?
- Have you had a reading slump/book hangover before?
- What did you do to get out of it?