Book Reviews

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

Ever since Sorcerer to the Crown I’ve been a fan of Zen Cho and so I was so excited for this novella! While The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water was something I did not expect, I still enjoyed the read. Find out all my thoughts on this queer novella focused on the characters by reading this book review.


Zen Cho returns with 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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I think from the blurb you might expect a non-stop action plot, but what I loved about The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water was actually the characters. Not only are a bunch of them queer, but all the action is focused on what it reveals about the characters. What do their movements betray about their pasts? About the lies they’ve chosen to tell? There is action and mystery, but what intrigued me were the character mysteries. Why are they motivated and what secrets are they hiding?

The story is more focused on the eclectic group of thieves. Their bonds, loyalties, and betrayals. It’s fast paced novella that manages to deliver heaps of action, with some introspection. I wish we had gotten to know more about the other thieves, since there were some that seemed really intriguing. Throughout the course of the novella, we only get to know two characters in depth, and while I really liked them, I just wanted a bit more side character depth.


All in all, if you want to read a great novella, which is a great Pride read, and fast paced, check out The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water. Especially if you’re been a fan of these religious orders in fantasy – like I am! It’s also gorgeous! Find The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite queer novella?

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