The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water
Zen Cho. Tor.com, $19.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-250-26925-6
With this whimsical fantasy novella, Hugo Award–winner Cho (The True Queen) delivers a wuxia-tinged tale of banditry and brotherhood. After a group of bandits save Guet Imm, a young nun of the Pure Moon Order, from harassment, she joins them and tags along on their exploits. The bandits have recently come into possession of a sacred object of the Pure Moon Order, which they intend to sell, but their endeavors both to find a buyer and to steal more goods consistently go awry. When Guet Imm, whose true motivations come as a late reveal, discovers a fellow devotee of the Pure Moon Order within the bandits’ ranks, both characters must reckon with and reevaluate their faith. This quirky sketch of the Tang Dynasty offers more mischief than martial arts or magic, which will disappoint readers hoping for action, but fans of found family narratives will enjoy the band-of-brothers dynamic of the bandits. This cheeky take on old-school tropes is pleasant but slight. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (June)
Correction: An earlier version of this review misgendered a character.
Reviewed on: 02/26/2020