The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a dark fairy tale about fairy tales, where nothing really is as it seems. There are secrets within secrets--but will the revealing of the secret be what breaks the curse or what triggers it? That's the risk the Bridegroom has to take.
Indigo Maxwell-Castenada is a figure full of mystery and enchantment. She is rich and famous - and utterly eccentric, living in a world defined by her own rules. But the deeper you dig into the mystery, the more you find that it isn't really an enchantment. The Bridegroom dreams of a brother that he has lost. Indigo hides a best friend who has disappeared and is never to be spoken of. And the House of Dream's quest, it seems, is to reveal everything that has been carefully hidden and talked around for all these years.
It's hard to tell what's real and what's not in this fairy tale. Where does the enchantment begin, where does the hard, ugly truth end? Hidden under the glitz and glamour of the Castenada wealth, obscured by the magic of Faerie, is a dark tale of manipulation and abuse. This is a tale of memories buried because one cannot bear to remember them, of pasts obscured so that they do not hurt in the present. Yet with all that is hidden, there is this thread of truth that refuses to be buried, that screams to be uncovered...
...but at what cost?
It's still a love story of sorts - inasmuch as Indigo and the never-named Bridegroom understand love. This is a twisted love that cannot bear to let another go, that always lives in the fear of being left behind, and thus makes it so that their partner can never leave. It is utterly self-serving, taking all and giving nothing. At points, it felt like madness; a child so lost to their delusions that they cannot live in the real world - and cannot let others do so too.
It's hard for me to put an actual star rating to this one. It was a little too dark for me to truly enjoy - especially towards the end, and yet the lure of Faerie was strong enough to keep me going. Do read with caution.
Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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