As a mega fan of Roshani Chokshi, I knew I had to read The Last Tale of the Flower Bride. And it was as magical, whimsical, and deadly as I figured it would be. If you love a lyrical story that gives you fairy tale vibes all about ‘monstrous’ women, keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after–and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride immediately is reminiscent of fairy tales. With a distinctive “Bluebeard” vibe, it’s a story about the price of both knowledge and happiness. Beginning with the intersection of ignorance and peace, Chokshi weaves a story about the connection of love and fear within us. Within the ones we love. It’s gorgeous and lyrical which would evoke fairy tales from the balance of whimsy and danger alone. Yet at the core of The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a story about the pieces of ourselves we consider monstrous, which society brands us as such.
Full of stories which make us bleed, it’s about what we would see if we let ourselves be seen. It simultaneously becomes a story about finding someone who we can show all our edges to, and also the juxtaposing feelings of fear and love. Of obsession and loss. All the edges of the world which wounds us. On the fairy tale side, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride becomes about the secrets and sanctum we find in other worlds, in the imagining of magic. The power of force and will. Of bending people to our wills.
Relationships built off isolation and control. Some people are just too good at twisting words to lies and truths. These connections that bloom and wither. The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a case study in love. In all its decay and poison as well as its passion and curiosity. All the secrets we hide from the ones we love. A knife edge of possessiveness to our love, to the rush of being loved. Words fail me to describe how much I adore The Last Tale of the Flower Bride. Find it on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.