Shadows on the Moon is beautifully written and Suzume is a heartbreakingly flawed yet strong character, especially for someone so young who went through so much heartache in such a short time. The story opens with Suzume's father and beloved cousin/sister and all the household staff being killed on order of the royal family. Suzume escapes, but she doesn't know how she was able to do it. She meets Youts, an older man who pops in and out of her life when she most needs it.
I wanted to smack Suzume's mother in most of her scenes in this book. How a mother could be jealous of her child and belittle her as many times as she did is beyond comprehensible to me. How Suzume survived at all is astonishing. Her inner strength, even though she thinks she doesn't have any, is awe-inspiring. Cinderella? Heck no. More like Katsa from Graceling or Katniss from The Hunger Games or Eona from Eon. Yes, she's that strong and that determined and that deep of a character.
Marriott pulled me in with this story and I was consumed by it. My heart was ripped out when Suzume's was. My heart was light when Suzume's was. My heart was broken when Suzume's was. I cried, I laughed, I ached with Suzume.
Throughout this book, I expected it to be continued into a trilogy. I was pleasantly surprised at how it ended. Nay, I was shocked at how it ended. This had one of the best endings that I have read in a book. It had revenge, love and loss all rolled up into one all too quick chapter and my God, it was good. Kudos to Marriott for giving me a new character to cheer for, a new female to compare others to from here on out.