Having only really read Marjorie Liu in Monstress, I was so intrigued by this short story collection. And I was absolutely delighted. It’s a collection that gives you just a taste of what I’ve come to know Liu for – beautiful and expansive world building. At the same time it’s paired with empathetic and intriguing characters. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Briar, bodyguard for a body-stealing sorceress, discovers her love for Rose, whose true soul emerges only once a week. An apprentice witch seeks her freedom through betrayal, the bones of the innocent, and a meticulously-plotted spell. In a world powered by crystal skulls, a warrior returns to save China from invasion by her jealous ex. A princess runs away from an arranged marriage, finding family in a strange troupe of traveling actors at the border of the kingdom’s deep, dark woods.
Concluding with a gorgeous full-length novella, Marjorie Liu’s first short fiction collection is an unflinching sojourn into her thorny tales of love, revenge, and new beginnings.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Tangleroot Palace: Stories is an immersive and intricate short story collection. Normally there’s a clear favorite in a collection for me, but in The Tangleroot Palace: Stories I can’t pick my favorite! Liu infuses each story with such expansive world building in such a short time – I’m constantly impressed. Another talent Liu has, especially in world building, but also in story crafting, is knowing when not to say. When to leave holes and gaps and moments of suspended intrigue.
Each story in The Tangleroot Palace: Stories has feedback and reflection from Liu which only heightened my enjoyment of the story. I loved being able to see the thought process, the timeline, and the themes after reading. Plus, I even went back and read a few another time! I loved the portrayals of women in The Tangleroot Palace: Stories. The characters have such intricate stories and moments, memories and ambitions. There is a myriad of visions of strong, ambitious, and brave women which made my heart sing.
The Tangleroot Palace: Stories is a collection of vampires, princesses, and monsters. If you were as intrigued in Liu’s work from Monstress, then you have to read this collection. This collection is perfect for already established fans as well as newcomers like me!
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