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

Hey all, Dani here.

It’s Saturday, the last day of July, the day before my birthday, and I’m back with another review. Today was supposed to be my normal D&D day, but between a little bit of out-of-game drama between two players and my grandfather passing away a couple days ago, we decided to cancel…which honestly just makes this even harder for me. All I wanted for my birthday was to sit around a table with my friends and play D&D, and that’s not going to happen now. I’m hoping this little four day getaway with Damian will help…four days of being in the middle of nature and eating more simple food and reading and TV and relaxing in the hot tub.

Anyway, it’s time for another review, so let’s go ahead and get started.

A 2021 Locus Award Finalist!

A Lambda Literary Award Finalist

Book Riot Must-Read Fantasy of 2020

Amazon’s Best of 2020 So Far


“Fantastic, defiant, utterly brilliant.” —Ken Liu

Zen Cho returns with The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, 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 Thoughts:

Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed this novella. It had some action in it, and a quest, and a found family situation. There was also some interesting conversations about morality and faith and gender identity and sexual identity.

But I’ll also say that because it’s a novella, a lot of characters are thrown at the reader at once, and I found myself reading through some passages a couple times as I tried to figure out who was who, especially when there were multiple ‘he’ and ‘she’ conversations and descriptions being thrown about. It was basically the type of story that you really need to pay attention to a bit to fully grasp everything that is going on, because there is a lot. That happens sometimes with getting a complete story in fewer pages.

But I did like what I read, overall. Following this oddball group of thieves, who really aren’t as bad of bandits as conflicting viewpoints might try to depict them, was an entertaining experience. There was plenty of conflict, both within the group and from outside the group. There were some fun and surprising secrets revealed in just under 200 pages.

So this was a pretty quick read and I can say that I would recommend it, if it sounds interesting to you.

– – –

All right, that is all from me for today. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.

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