3 Things About This Book
| Centers Around the Powerful Acts of Believing and Lying | Reality Seamlessly Interwoven with Myths and Fairytales | Rich Imagery and Metaphors |
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi
Published: 2023 by Hodder & Stoughton
Genre(s): Fantasy, Gothic, Horror
How long can you last if your partner in marriage has a past they refuse to share with you?
If they turn cold or unhappy at initial probing so you’d immediately stop in fear that the beautiful fantasy of love shatters. If they know more about you than you do about them and it feels as though you’ll never know all of them as they will you.
How long can you last?
For one man, it lasted until the past came haunting his wife again and that’s where The Last Tale of the Flower Bride truly begins.
Written with gorgeous prose filled with lush imagery, this book is its own dark fairytale that centres around the powerful acts of believing and lying, creating a world where reality is seamlessly interwoven with fantasy. It starts with the bridegroom whose name we never find out, falling for Indigo, a wealthy heiress who greatly feels as though she’s a creature from the Otherworld. They strike a deal where in exchange for her heart, he cannot pry into her past. Thus, they marry and everything’s dandy until Indigo has no choice but to bring them both back to the House of Dreams, introducing the series of cracks that later, shatter their happy fantasy. Consequently, as these cracks appear, the bridegroom can no longer resist and begins to search between the veils of the world for the truth.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a mesmerizing experience. The gothic atmosphere, the precariousness of the balance between reality and fantasy, the many lies and the parallels between the story’s world and the myths and folklores we know today — the more I read, the more in love I am with the book. It’s a brilliant ode that emphasises how the scariest monsters will always be humans.
Nevertheless, all the aforementioned also worked against the book’s favour because despite them (plus the beautiful prose), there wasn’t a balance to the emotions from both perspectives. The bridegroom’s POV felt more and more detached as he dug further in search of the truth while Azure’s POV came more and more alive. Eventually, the emotions from Azure’s POV overtook the bridegroom’s, leaving his side hollower than before. Although I suspect that this was done on purpose since we never learn his name and the title of the book itself says the story isn’t about him, I can’t help but wish there was a little more depth to his side of the story.
If you adore myths and folklore, gothic horror, magical realism and lush imagery, this book is for you.
Thank you so much Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!
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