Cover Image: The Tangleroot Palace

The Tangleroot Palace

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A highly intriguing and gorgeously rendered collection of short fiction, all themed around concepts of owning oneself and claiming one's place in the world, particularly as a woman.
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What a collection of horror, fantastical stories! It's my very first time reading Majorie Liu's work and her writing style is just lyrical and full of magical things. My favorites are Sympathy for the Bones and also The Briar and The Rose.
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"Love is powerful, replied the storytellers. Love is divine. That is the answer to every tale we tell. What sleeps can always be awakened with love."

I received an e-ARC copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Tangleroot Palace will be available on June 15th, 2021.

I've been introduced to Marjorie Liu's work because of Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, and I have been eager to see her written work after that. And oh boy, this short story anthology held on to the promise of what I've seen from her so far, and delivered in great heights.

This short story collection held a wide range of genres, ranging from fantasy, horror, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic times, but all the stories have a central surrounding theme to them that I loved to see depicted. While most of them aren't connected with one another, some similarities were there that it was almost uncanny at how they aren't connected (supposedly). I also loved the notes she had included in the end of each novella about its origin and creative writing process.

1. "Sympathy of Bones" - a story about witches, dark magic, and a lot of voodoo! (3.5 stars)

2. "Briar and Rose" - a very twisted Sleeping Beauty retelling, and possibly my most favorite story! (5 stars)

3. "Call Her Savage" - an alternate history story wherein China and Britain are at war with each other, and genetic manipulation comes into play. (3.5 stars)

4. 'The Last Dignity of Man" - an anti-hero (villian-like?) story featuring a bright and young mad scientist who has a fascination for comic book heroes, and a multi-billion corporation with a top secret government project. (4 stars)

5. "Where the Heart Lives" - a story of a young woman finding herself working for a strange family in an equally strange yet magical forest but full of unknown creatures. (3 stars)

6. "After the Blood" - a post-apocalyptic story featuring a deadly virus pandemic and Amish vampires! (4 stars)

7. "Tangleroot Palace" - a classic princess story of her father marrying her off to a ruthless warlord of another kingdom, and escapes to seek out her own path. Another favorite of mine, and I really wish this has a more extended story! (5 stars)

Over-all, this collection has been one thrilling and compelling read, and I am still wishing that these stories would get explored more in the future. I am highly recommending this anthology for everyone, because it is so worth it!
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"New York Times bestseller and Hugo, British Fantasy, Romantic Times, and Eisner award-winning author of the graphic novel Monstress, Marjorie Liu leads you deep into the heart of the tangled woods. In her long-awaited debut collection of dark, lush, and spellbinding short fiction, you will find unexpected detours, dangerous magic, and even more dangerous women.

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."

If you have no idea who Marjorie Liu is I'm no longer talking to you until you've read this book and ALL of Monstress to date.
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I went into this expecting a graphic novel, because this is how it had been presented to me, as a collection of short stories in a graphic novel format. Which is why I was so disappointed that it was simply a regular collection of short stories. 

I love Marjorie Liu's other work called Monstress, which is a graphic novel series, thus when I saw this on netgalley I knew I had to try to get my hands on this. The cover is gorgeous and has the same art as her other series, which is one of my favorite. These stories had what I love in her work which is amazing world building. 

TW: it is super gore and has some topics and scenes that could be preferable for some people to avoid this collection. some are implied such as rape.

It is an horror, fantasy, gory LGBT+ collection, the depictions are graphic in some instances and I loved how, in such a short a mount of pages, she managed to put so much without it feeling like it was going too fast.  While some of the stories are better than others, in my opinion, they are all at least a 3 stars and some are nearly a 5 stars.

They touch way, love, what we would give and be willing to do to be free and how trauma and events can change us. You will find in there all sorts of main characters, including a villain and a vampire. This was a nice collection that left me wanting full novels, her writing is captivating.

Overall I really enjoyed my time reading the stories one by one, in between books. If you love gore, fantasy, horror and amazing worldbuilding and characters this is for you !

3.75/5 stars.

Bookarina.
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Although I've had Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening on my Kindle forever and have had X-Men: Dark Mirror on my TBR, this is actually the first book I've read by Marjorie M. Liu.

While the ideas were all very interesting and the tales dark and lovely, this was a bit hit or miss for me. I think the short story format just wasn't working for me, but that doesn't mean others won't absolutely love this.

None of the stories were bad, but the only one that really pulled me in and kept me engaged until the end was The Last Dignity of Man. I absolutely could have read a full-length novel of that one; I loved it. The rest were okay-good, not great.

I will certainly dip into some of Liu's other work in the future. I can't help but feel that maybe I would have enjoyed these stories more had I already been introduced to the author's style. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
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(I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

The cover for The Tangleroot Palace immediately caught my eye- Sana Takeda is a wonderful artist- and when I saw that Marjorie Liu was the author, I knew I wanted to read this book. I haven't read as much Monstress as I'd like, but I've read enough to want more by Liu.

This collection of stories is a quick read, with the titular story, a novella, at the end. All the stories seemed to deal with loneliness, in some fashion- often loneliness alleviated by love, but not always. I'm not sure whether this was intentional, but it added a cohesiveness to the collection that I think worked. I would also like to thank Liu for the older protagonists in some of the stories- I love reading about older women, especially in fantasy. Another thing I really liked about the collection was her notes at the end of each story about why she wrote each one, and how she often side-stepped whatever the prompt was for those stories written for prompts.

"The Briar and the Rose" was a lovely take on the Sleeping Beauty story. I loved Briar (hot older lady!) and Rose's curse was really interesting and well done. The ending hinted at their future together in such a delightful way, too.

"Where the Heart Is" was also lovely. I'm a sucker for characters finding homes for themselves, and all the relationships were just so good. The idea of pining for a person so long they become an idea is also one that really interests me, and I would have loved to read more about Maude and Henry's time together.

The stand-out story, to me, was 'The Last Dignity of Man.' I've been a comics fan since high school, and so I loved that element of it, but the heart of the story- a man who is desperately lonely, who wants to be a super-villain but also tries to be good- broke my own heart. I want to wallpaper my house with copies of this story.

"The Tangleroot Palace" novella was charming, and really nailed a lot of standard fairy tale tropes. It didn't really turn any on their head, but that's more than fine- sometimes you just want a good fairy tale, and this delivered. Sally and Mickel were a cute couple, and I loved their ending.

All the stories in this collection were good, but the above were the ones I liked most. I'd love to read more from Liu (and I really should catch up on Monstress).
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Each setting is unique and different. At the end of every short story, Marjorie M. Liu would insert a short note to explain what inspired her to write it which I thought was a really nice touch.

As it’s a collection, at every start of a new story, there’s a sense of confusion and disorientation for the first few pages. Despite that, Marjorie M. Liu’s immersive writing immediately snapped my attention and I just found myself back into the flow of reading each story.

☠︎ SYMPATHY FOR THE BONES

Clora’s under the teachings of Old Ruth, a hoodoo woman, who takes requests of those who are desperate. The crafting of hoodoo stitchwork requires bones and magic. In Sympathy for the Bones, it’s about the things people do for freedom without considering the cost they will be paying.

☠︎ THE BRIAR AND THE ROSE

Hired by her mistress, the duelist knows all her wicked ways and who she truly is. Rose and Briar could only meet on Sundays when the mistress slept, and through that time, they fell in love. There’s a whimsical, fairytale-esque vibe to The Briar and the Rose.

☠︎ CALL HER SAVAGE

As war rages between the Chinese and the British, Xīng McNamara returned to the battlefield reluctantly. The story develops as the reader finds out about the relationship between Xīng and Maude that left a 10-year gap. Furthermore, there’s great description of the war and incorporates steampunk into it.

☠︎ THE LAST DIGNITY OF MAN

RanTech is manipulating these worms that grow to huge sizes as they continue consuming sludges and toxins. Alexander, the CEO, questions the morality of it. However, there’s this question of is he a villain or the hero of the story? Regardless, this man’s story is saddening.

☠︎ WHERE THE HEART LIVES

This might be my favourite out of all the short stories. It has a combination of human connections and magical elements that created a perfect setting. The woods near their house is mysterious, magical and a dangerous place to enter.

☠︎ AFTER THE BLOOD

Post-apocalyptic setting after a plague that decimated the world and left only 20% of humanity behind. Features three characters who aren’t accepted by the people around them. This was a very quick read but Marjorie M. Liu still did a great job in the setting and the characters.

☠︎ TANGLEROOT PALACE

To quell any potential invasion by the barbarians, the king decides to let the notorious Warlord marry his daughter, Sally. Wanting another option that will prevent her horrible wedding-to-be and keep the peace, the only place she can get an alternative is in Tangleroot and that’s where Sally will venture to.

While it has a little predictability and the romance is the total opposite of a slow burn, this short story has it all: magic, a sleeping queen, a witch, and a traveling troupe. This full-length novella had me wishing for more.
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A fairytale anthology collection with various retellings and more. Absolutely mesmerizing storytelling.  Seven different stories, all filled with magic, adventure, and even a little bit of romance. I would have to say my favorite stories were The Briar and the Rose ( a sleeping beauty retelling) and The Last Dignity of Man ( another take on Lex Luther x Superman). It was an unexpected collection but each story was such a great read, on top of that at the end of each story is a note about why the author wrote it and some other notes, and it just adds such a lovely touch. I would highly recommend this read for anyone interested in fairytales, folklore, or just looking for a great short story!

*Thanks Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*
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holy lordy i don't even know what to say. this was definitely a rollercoaster. all these stories were filled with horror, magic and best of all, powerful women aspects and i adored it and will be pre-ordering this. i rated each individual story and then found the average to rate the book in total but lets talk about them individually. 

↝sympathy for the bones: ★★★☆☆ 

“it certainly was not for god that i was a conspirator to murder”

tw: death, murder, dismembering, bones and collection of them, blood

this was all types of creepy. from a weird old lady controlling a child and dictating her everymove to her collection of random hands for no apparent reason until the end, honestly, i was confused from the very beginning. while this was definitely not my favorite story, it was a strong beginning.

↝the briar and the rose: ★★★★✬

“i will try my best to dream. i will look for a way to be free”

tw: rape, blood, death, miscarriage 
 
this one is a retelling of sleeping beauty, way more darker than the original one for sure. the characters in this one were immensely detailed and created. i loved the two main characters and honestly, this one hurt me. the haunting version of sleeping beauty was better than the original one, i would adore a full length novel on this one for sure. 


↝call her savage: ★★★★★

“there were gods in the sea, but xing had never prayed to them, nor to any holy spirit since she had buried the tin star”

tw: war, drowning, death, poison, bullets 

this was definitely one of my favorites, and i require a full novel at this instance. the characters in this short story felt so real and i just wanted more about them. It follows Xing, who has to deal with losses and betrayals and truly depicts the trauma and changes in morality a war could cause a person to endure. just give me more on this story please.


↝the last dignity of man: ★★☆☆☆

“they’re growing faster than we anticipated, mr. lutheran. we’ll need bigger cages soon”

tw: gore, blood, death, mention of drunk driving

i would call this one a weaker short story. while the writing style was great, the whole plotline lacked a bit. its about a mad scientist of some sort? who wants to be loved? or something? i am not too sure in all honesty, it was extremely forgetful. 


↝where the heart lives: ★★★✬☆

“she understood now, what could drive a women to abandon all”

tw: kidnapping, mention of death 

this story, although not my favorite, definitely deserves a good mention. it focused on romance a lot more than a few of the other ones, but it was a romance about yourself, and learning about your self-worth, in a creepy way. it was more of a fairytale vibe, but i truly enjoyed it. 


↝after the blood: ★★★★☆

“i didn’t have time to grab my coat. only shoes and the shotgun”

tw: blood, cutting, guns, pandemic

yes. yes. yes. yes. all the love for this one. there were cats mentioned in every page and i loved it. it spoke about monsters that live and a woman with secrets and a very interesting man. also, this was all during a pandemic, so relatable (not really but whatever). honestly, it could have been a five star, but i genuinely felt this could have worked better as a novel than as a short story. it lacks more details.
↝tangleroot palace: ★★★★★

“only the right kind of fool is ever going to want you”

tw: blood, arranged marriage and death

that quote is relatable. anyways, this was a fantastic novella to end with. while predictable, i have to give it its props for being a story about a powerful woman, who is stuck in an arranged marriage with a warlord ( poor poor her). and of course, as all women do who refuse to marry, she looks into a forest for a possible escape. a forest. like where there are trees. and that is it. but it made sense in the book. all in all, this was such a good novella and i seek more 

overall opinions: 

i consider this to be one of the best anthologies i have read. ever. i normally hate short stories, i feel like something is always missing, but this made it work for the most part. i absolutely recommend this to everyone. i adored it and want to reread it now. 

brb, going to preorder my own copy
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

First off, I want to say that I've enjoyed reading Majorie Liu's comics from Marvel, as well as her most recent best-selling series, Monstress.  As she writes in the Introduction, Majorie Liu may have been the first woman of color writing for Marvel Comics.  As a Chinese-American myself, I want to support #ownvoices authors as much as possible during this time.  When I saw that I was approved to read this ARC ahead of its release date, I was so excited!  Thank you again to the publisher for giving me this opportunity!

The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie Liu is an eclectic, imaginative collection of prose short stories by a visionary writer.  The short story collection includes retellings of fairy tales, gothic horror, alternate-realities with magic, science fiction, and fantasy.  Really, this book includes every genre that I enjoy reading.  Marjorie Liu's writing is fantastic and it transports you away to a different world.

Here's an excerpt from the first story "Sympathy For the Bones,":a chilling, Gothic horror tale about dolls:

"Persimmons had fallen overnight and the deer had not got to them. Quick business, but careful; those thin orange skins split open at the hint of a tense finger, and I ruined more than I cared to admit. Popped them in my mouth to hide the evidence. Spit out the seeds into my palm, and tucked them into the satchel where I kept the needle and thread. The rest, what was perfect and frostbit, I carried in the can for old Ruth."

And here's an excerpt from my favorite story in the collection, "Call Her Savage," when Chinese sea captain Shao meets Xing, a leader of a band of riders.in a magical alternate-reality set during the Opium Wars between Britain and China:

"There were gods in the sea, but Xīng had never prayed to them, nor to any holy spirit since she had buried the tin star. Yet she found herself on the cusp of prayer as she plummeted fifty feet to the dark Pacific, a leather harness buckled around her torso and shoulders, dangling like some gristly worm at the end of a long hook."

It's worth getting the entire book for the final novella, The Tangleroot Palace, alone.  It's about a princess engaged to a fierce Warlord who somehow ends up in the middle of the mysterious woods called the Tangleroot.  It has romance, action, fantasy, and a great villain.  It reminded me of the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer Armentrout and Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan.  

Overall, The Tangleroot Palace is an amazing collection of short stories by a trail-blazing fantasy author.  It includes stories from all genres.  A recurring motif in this book is that of powerful heroines fighting their circumstances, whether they're lost in the fairy-woods or in the middle of the cantankerous sea.  If you're intrigued by any of the descriptions of the stories, or if you're a fan of the fantasy genre, I highly recommend that you check out this book when comes out in June!
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For those that still are confused: NOT A COMIC BOOK.

Anthology of short stories and novelletes , ranging from fantasy to horror and post-apocalypsis.

Apparently a good portion of readers know Marjorie M. Liu from the graphic novel Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, but I have been a fan of her ever since I read The Iron Hunt from her incredible urban fantasy series Hunter Kiss.

Here she presents us with some of her short stories, of which I knew a couple; At the end of these Liu gives some comments from when they were written, some of which she considers to be part of the universe of her ideas (like Dirk & Steel), that is to say full of magic.

1)“Sympathy for the Bones” (4.3 stars)-for me a re-read- is a tale full of dark magic , hoodoo dolls, witches, and desperation in the mountains.

2)“Briar and Rose” (5 stars) is a retelling of Sleepy Beauty. A very interesting, and again dark story, of saphic love, dark witches, and a woman warrior looking to free her love. Skip all the stereotypes.

3)“Call Her Savage” (3.5 stars) steampunk and alternate history, where China is at war with England, and have colonies in America (Scot-Irish and Chinese people). A Marshall is call back to help. War , betrayal, and pain.

Took me a while to get me into this story, a bit confused by the setting. So much elements here. First frustration to hope for a full novel here.

4) “The Last Dignity of Man” (3 stars) a... genious mad scientist? a wannabe villain that dream about a hero? something like that. However, strangely this man with his loneliness pull at my feels.

5)“Where the Heart Lives”(3.5 stars) it's more in the fairytale side, with mysteries in the woods, strange dreams, a lost love, and a young woman finding acceptance and a place for herself.

6)“After the Blood” (3.5 stars) post-apocalypytic story, where the Amish are seek for farming skills, there are monsters in the woods, and a woman hide secrets but the powers calls. Oh, and a (view spoiler). Cats are your best friends ;)

Again , leaves us wishing for a novel here.


7)“Tangleroot Palace”(3.6 stars) A princess who must marry a warlord, escapes to the forest looking for a possible solution, But she found old magic (view spoiler). With a bit of humor , a bit predictable but quite charming. I like the idea of strong woman saving herself.

And yes, a theme with the Woods, old magic, and souls trapped. Don't forget the broken people.


+My thanks to Netgalley and publishers for the digital ARC.+
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I only read Monstress series from Marjorie Liu and I adored that series. The Tangleroot Palace was on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. It is difficult for me to rate short stories because I rate each story. And overall rating was usually different from what I expected it. As for the book, I love the author's imagination and writing style. The notes at the end of each story were really great to understand what the author thought when she wrote the story. My favorite stories were Sympathy For The Bones,  The Briar and The Rose and Where The Heart Lives.
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I thought this was a wonderful collection of short  stories! I really enjoy collections of a single author’s short stories, so I was excited to read and review this one. I had not previously read any of this author’s work, but have heard wonderful things about their Monstress series. I’m going to review each story individually since I enjoyed some much more than others (the 4 star review is based on the average from each rating and rounded up) 

Sympathy for the Bones - 3/5 stars - This story had an interesting concept, but the characters didn’t grab me. I was surprised the author said this was her favorite short story, because unfortunately the writing style was just not appealing to me. Thus, I would have liked seeing a stronger story as the introduction. 

The Briar and the Rose - 4/5 stars -  I liked this one a lot, it played on the original Sleeping Beauty fairytale in an interesting way. The concept was really well done, although it did end a bit too quick for me, 

Call Her Savage - 2/5 stars - I felt like this was just way too complicated for a short story. There are definitely some interesting concepts there, but I honestly didn’t find myself enjoying it while reading it. 

The Last Dignity of Man - 5/5 stars - This doesn’t really feel like it fits in with the other short stories thematically  (this is very science-y and doesn’t really fit the nature or fairytale/folktale/fantasy vibe of the others), but I found it so poignant and the perfect kind of weird. It definitely had some gross elements, but I loved the superhero/villain concept to this. It was overall just really unexpected and unique. 

Where the Heart Lives -  5/5 stars - This was so magical, sweet, and just overall fairytale perfection, I thought this was just really lovely and reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli film. 

After the Blood - 4/5 stars - This was rich and fascinating. I felt like I didn’t get enough information to fully understand what was happening, but I almost didn’t mind because it had such a mysterious atmosphere. I’m not familiar with the author’s Dirk & Steele series, so maybe I’m missing the details to truly understand this? However, Amish Vampires is a concept never to ignore. Great post-apocalyptic vibe!

The Tangleroot Palace - 4/5 This was very cute! I really liked Sally’s character and while there was a lot going on with this story, it came together really nicely in the end even though it was a bit predictable. This has some really great classic fantasy vibes!

As you can see, I ended up liking the latter half much more! A few of the stories had enchanted forest elements, which might have felt a bit repetitive, but I felt as though they all had a very unique quality! I liked that this ranged from very sweet fairytale romance to really dark things like vampiric creatures and creepy science experiments. It had a little bit of something for everyone!
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The overall vibe of this book is captivating.  I did feel like most stories were taken from a larger one.  Which made me feel like I was missing important background.  The first story "Sympathy for the Bones" is easily my top favorite, a dark fantasy inspired by hoodo featuring stronog characterised personalities.  It had the right balance between eerie mystery, magic and gray morals.  

It is however a pity that the stories following after this one fell flat in comparison for me.  A retelling of Sleeping Beauty, an alternative colonised Earth in war, a girl venturing into a dark forest, a dystopian based on Amish zombies, and a high fantasy novella about a princess learning her part in the world.  The novella, also named "The Tangleroot Palace", would be very interesting as a full novel.  It just didn't feel fleshed out enough as a novella, which made me feel hungry for more.  The other stories kind of fell flat in their action and character depth but they were still of a high quality.  All in all, very enjoyable collection of stories, that prove this author has a wonderful imagination.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I discovered this on Netgalley and loved the cover, and even though I'm not familiar with the author's previous work, I wanted to give it a try!

The Tangleroot Palace is a collection of short stories ending with a novella of the same name. I will summarize the stories included in this book.

Sympathy for the Bones is about a girl raised by a witch who learns the witch's ways and they create hoodoo dolls. The witch is malevolent and controlling, renowned for taking care of people's "problems" and the girl chafes against the strict rules of the witch.

The Briar and the Rose is a Sleeping Beauty retelling. A witch takes over the body of a beautiful woman and hires a female guard (the mc). But controlling another's body takes a toll and the witch's spirit must rest one day a week. During that day, the spirit of the real woman wakes and the guard slowly begins to fall in love with her and resolves to find a way for them to be together, by defeating/expelling the witch. (wlw rep)

Call Her Savage takes place on an Earth with an alternate history: China settled America before the Europeans and claimed it as their colonies. They discover crystal skulls with magic powers that turn into energy sources and also empower people. The main character is a superpowered woman of legend, retired but forced to do one last-ditch mission in a war they are losing.

Last Dignity of Man is about Alexander Lutheran, CEO of a biotech company who has a kink for Superman/Lex Luthor roleplays. He bonds with this older guy and employs him as a janitor. There's a government contract that goes horribly wrong. (mlm rep)

Where the Heart Lives is about a girl who is sent to work at this old house for an older woman. But the house, the woman, and the residents are not what they seem. Something lurks in the woods.

After the Blood is about a post-pandemic/dystopian world that is ruled by the people who were accustomed to life without technology beforehand (like the Amish) Some people have adapted strange abilities, including types of vampirism. Some people fall to become zombie-like creatures. There are still plenty of cats, though!

Tangleroot Palace is a more traditional high-fantasy, fairytale-like novella. A princess is forced into a betrothal to a neighboring warlord of legend and runs away prior to her marriage, into the Tangleroot Forest to discover why it calls to her. There is a long-imprisoned queen inside that beckons.

It's always hard to rate short story collections because some stories I like a lot more than others, so then the collection as a whole comes out feeling average to me. I enjoyed The Briar and the Rose the most, I think. Where the Heart Lives took an unexpected turn that made it stand out to me. Call Her Savage was interesting, but it left me wanting a lot more than a short story because the concept didn't feel properly explored/utilized given its short length versus complexity. Tangleroot Palace was also enjoyable, but not very remarkable to me. I was indifferent about After the Blood, and didn't like Sympathy for the Bones or Last Dignity of Man.

So I'd rate them, in order, 2 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, 2 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, and 3 stars which comes out to an average of precisely 3 stars.
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The stories in this book got better as the book went on.
At first, I was completely lost. I didn't feel that the stories made sense, or if they did it wasn't until the very end that I started to get them. I'm not sure if that was just personal to me, but I was very confused for the first 3 stories.
The 4th was when things started making sense, although the use of giant faeces eating worms to present ideas about the business world was a creative choice I don't really understand, I guess it would suit other readers better.
5 & 6 I really liked. The stories made sense, explored some interesting themes, and made for good reads.
All of them had good messages, but it took a while for the stories to really make sense to me.
That said, I did really enjoy the last few, and would be interested to read some other work from this author to see what they can do with longer stories.
All in, it wasn't really for me, but I definitely think it is worth the read.
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Marjorie Liu comes through with this collection of her short stories! All of the stories have appeared elsewhere, but now the author has taken the opportunity to gather them under one cover. A couple I had encountered before, but enjoyed renewing my acquaintance. My favorite was the last piece which gave collection its name - "Tangleroot Palace" - a tale of magic, fated love, and a spooky forest. So it you like out-spoken heroines, eerie tales, and stories told at a slant, be sure to grab a copy of Tangleroot Palace!

Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title!
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I love a good anthology and had never read any of the authors works before.
Each story was written and different from each other, no two were the same. 
The characters were decent, with some standing out as more memorable than the others
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I hadn't read anything my Marjorie Liu prior to the Monstress series, but with how much I love that, combined with the stunning cover by Sana Takeda, how could I resist her short story collection? 
A sweet sapphic Sleeping Beauty retelling, a runaway princess finds a new quirky family, an apprentice using dolls to seek revenge on her teacher, a villain's shot at redemption. Liu's stories gave me goosebumps, made me swoon, and at times cracked me up. This definitely a collection to have.
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