Suzume leads a carefree life as an only child, playing on her father’s modest estates in a land similar to feudal Japan. One horrible day, soldiers storm in, accuse her father of treason and kill them all including her beloved cousin. Suzume hides with the help of an old kitchen servant who discovers Suzume has a knack for disguising herself. She can create illusions that alter her appearance. The old servant begins to teach her the art of weaving illusions. Away from home during the massacre, her mother returns with their male family friend in tow. After mourning a bit, the family friend quickly proposes to Suzume’s mother. It is not hard to figure out who orchestrated the murder of Suzume’s father. Suzume’s life takes another twist when she has to escape from her stepfather’s estates. She ultimately has to choose between a life of revenge or true love. The part of the book that I was not comfortable with is the cutting that Suzume does to herself to handle her emotional stress. Suzume’s character is already complex. There isn’t a need to add cutting to her many burdens. This is different Cinderella twist set in an Asian culture steeped with mysticism, murder, love and loss.
NetGalley Review Publication date 4.24.12