Release Date: June 23, 2020
Publisher: Tor.com Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, Wuxia
“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.”
Zen Cho’s streak of incredible fiction continues with The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water. Former nun Guet Imm invites herself into a band of men who insist they aren’t bandits but “roving contractors” after two of them get her fired from her job at a coffeehouse. In their defense, Tet Sang and Lau Feng Cheung were trying to protect her honor by fighting the skeezy dude who insulted her. But no matter. They take her in, begrudgingly, and she soon finds her place. Until she finds out what they’re really transporting and who their mysterious buyer is…and until the not-bandits find out there is more to Guet Imm than they were led to believe.
Like everything she writes, it’s exhilarating and inventive, with a dose of biting social critique and swooning romance mixed in for good measure. It’s historical-esque fantasy setting is feminist and queer in ways you might not expect. There is less martial arts than I wanted in a wuxia story, but plenty of found family charm to make up for it. And it contains all of Cho’s signature wit and cleverness readers have come to expect.
Zen Cho is one of my many auto-buy authors. I don’t care what she writes; I will always read it because I know it will be excellent. So it should be no surprise that I utterly and completely loved The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water. There is no amount of money I wouldn’t pay for a whole series of novellas about Tet Sang and Guet Imm.