Tuesday 2 March 2021

Book Review: The Tangleroot Palace - Stories by Marjorie Liu (Fantasy/Short Stories)

Title: The Tangleroot Palace: Stories
Author: Marjorie Liu
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: 15 June 2021
eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy / Short Stories
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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.


The Tangleroot Palace was a mixed bag for me. I adored the interesting LGBT retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which was imaginative and worked so well. A couple of the other stories were also fine, but some I struggled to engage with, finding the characters a little two dimensional. In a short story you don't have many pages in which to build worlds or characters, so what you do needs to be spot on from the start, and that wasn't always the case here. That said, although I couldn't fully get into some of the pieces, I could appreciate the clever ideas behind them in the way they played with popular tropes from fantasy and fairytales. So if you are a fan of fairytale retellings and fairytale-like short fantasy, this is a book you might want to check out.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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