Cover Image: The Tangleroot Palace

The Tangleroot Palace

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Member Reviews

Thank you, NetGalley and the publishers for providing me an eARC of The Tangleroot Palace.

The Tangleroot Palace is a collection of 7 short stories that vary in genres and topics. The collection has a bit of everything, which I really appreciated, and they all still felt connected to the main aesthetic of the collections in general.  The writing was beautiful yet dark but it didn't feel too heavy at the same time. Some stories were stronger than other ones in my opinion, and some I wished that I could've seen a bit more of. Overall this was a solid collection that I was thankful to have read.
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Im really conflicted with this book. The collection of stories, all had very intriguing themes and plots, but the first half of the book was so hauntingly beautiful and yet the last three stories came off as boring to me.  Despite that im so glad i got to read this because the first 4 stories really are *that* good.
* sympathy for the bones
I got so haunting vibes from this because the writing style fit so perfectly well with the tone of the story. It was atmospheric, and so, SO beautiful. I wouldn’t say its lyrical but, i honestly don’t know the writing style just took a hold on me until the character work decided to show itself. The main character’s thoughts, how her mindset changes, why she is the way she is, the way the magic was fleshed out in such a short story, ive got nothing but praise for the author. The ending again, was ironic and the darker themes were explored so well, i’m hesitant to call it gray morality because she too admits to her own doings but that certainly had reasons, this haunting tale is a unique take on a character who we would usually see as an antagonist. The voice was so distinct and well defined.

* The Briar and the Rose
This was a queer reimagining of sleeping beauty. The author maintains the dark and haunting original themes at the same time giving it a fresh perspective. I adored the character work of Briar and the romance was truly heartwarming and the plot while meandering, had a much deeper thematic plot going on between the lines and behind the words. This paired up with the beautiful and atmospheric writing style the Briar and the Rose is truly a masterpiece.

* Call her Savage
This is probably my favorite one on this book. The writing style was again phenomenal, but what truly made this story worthwhile was its character work. The story follows the Lady Marshal Xing through the Opium wars as she, after heavy losses and betrayals comes back to fight for her nation. It showcased what war does to a person, how one’s moral compass changes so much after being a killer, after so much violence, how people’s entire mindset and perspectives changes. Xing was so well realized with such a distinct voice, i fell in love with her. And the queer romance, if one could call it that, was haunting and tragic but what moved me most was Tom and Xing on that final scene. When all is lost and its just them against the colonizers. I absolutely love this story so so much and i cannot recommend this enough.

* Last Dignity of Man
This one. Damn. Right up there with Call Her Savage. Again the writing style was so atmospheric and impeccable really, it added so much to how well defined the character Alexander was and how distinct the voice felt. The premise is so so unique. A man who basically owns half the city with all this power with such a unique kink. I appreciate the author bringing topics most people dont even talk about let alone write about, but beyond that this was still fundamentally a story about wanting to be loved. Hoping that somewhere someplace, someone would love him. And thats such a strong message no matter how different he deals with that i think we all relate to it so so much and thats what it makes this story so special. The sci fi element and plot too was surprisingly enjoyable  because i don’t usually love sci fi plots like this but this worked. 



* Where the heart lives
* After the blood
Both of these, felt so disappointing idk after those 4 banger stories i expected something more. The writing style was not as atmospheric either and it didn’t capture me like the other 4 did. The characters felt weak and not that distinct and the plots were boring honestly.

* tangleroot Palace
I guess with this one, again the writing style became more descriptive than atmospheric and I didn’t love that. I didnt care much for the romance but the romance was a pretty huge part of the story. Honestly it was too tropey and the fact that the romance aspect was presented as a plot twist made it as disappointing as it seemed to me because it felt too obvious and yeah i just didn’t like that. The world isn’t particularly something i enjoyed either. Its still an okay story but barely. :((

All in all i  highly recommend the first 4 stories, the last 3 not so much but get this book for the first 4 its worth it!! Thank you to Tachyon Publications for providing me with an arc via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. 

I love Liu's graphic novels so naturally I was excited for this one, and it's the first non-comic piece I've read by her, but not the last. 

It's a collection of short stories, fairytale stories with a twist, each very different from the other. 
It changes between genres and has everything from voodoo, witcher, princesses, vampires and mad scientists. 

As most things Liu writes it's beautiful and really well written, you can easily connect fall in love with the characters even though you only know them for a few pages, and the worldbuilding for each story is superb. 

More please!
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Marjorie Lui is an excellent writer who creates vivid worlds and characters.  This collection of her short stories is well worth the read.

Ms. Lui explains that this is the first collection of her short stories. She ties each story into its backstory.

The stories are in different genres but each is fascinating and well done. I highly recommend giving this a try.

I  received a free copy. I am leaving my honest review.
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I'm not typically a reader of short stories, but Marjorie Liu totally blew me away. Each story had such a unique and complex world that it honestly felt like I was just reading a ton of mini novels, which was an amazing experience. Each tale brought something beautiful and totally original to the table and I truly felt completely immersed in every sentence Liu wrote. Tangleroot Palace was probably my favorite and I loved its ending, but literally, all of these stories are ones I fully intend on revisiting and convincing as many friends as possible to read. The Briar and the Rose was such a bittersweet tale of love, Sympathy for the Bones was so dark and mysterious, and After the Blood was a supernatural setting unlike any I'd read before (I could go on and on about all of these stories). All in all, The Tangleroot Palace was a fantastic collection of stories that really made me think about humanity and life in ways I'd never really considered with such dynamic characters. Definitely check this book out.
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I cannot wait to write an expansive review about this book, this collection is full of strong women, dark magic and all the questions we have asked once in our life.
Hauntingly beautiful and entrancing, some terrifying because of the closeness to our reality. All of them full of truths.

¿What would you do for love/live/freedom/power...? What and who are you willing to sacrifice?
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The Tangleroot Palace is probably one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. I loved Marjorie Liu’s Monstress series, but I had never tried any of her short stories before now. Each and every one of the stories here is one you want to see more of. They are, at once, perfectly paced and yet not nearly long enough.

I won’t go through each story individually because I wouldn’t really have much new to say about each one after a point, but there wasn’t a single story in this collection I didn’t love. There’s a fair bit of variety in genre — all are speculative fiction, but in amongst that you have fantasy, science fiction, alternative history and a bit of a dystopia too.

The best part of this collection, I think, is that it doesn’t matter what genre or plot Marjorie Liu chooses to write about, you’re always fully absorbed in it by the end of the first paragraph. She has this knack of worldbuilding so seamlessly along the way too, which is great because there’s not exactly time in short stories for info-dumps. But at the same time, it’s that skill that makes me desperate to see what she’d do with a full length book.

And then, obviously, there are the characters. I think probably the best way to illustrate just how good Liu is with characters is this: in a story about a man with a Lex Luthor kink (yeah), creating giant waste-eating worms, I found myself nearly crying.

Really then, this is one you do not want to miss out on.
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This book is a true ode to beauty not only of language but also of the stories written here. 
The author presents us with a book with seven tales covering different stories about vampires, witches, princesses with powers, scientists who play gods, etc. 
All characters featured in the stories are beautifully described: they suffer, feel, love, fight, and convey all their emotions to the reader. Strong, brave, and very human characters are running through these pages. We can find love stories that go beyond any prejudice. 
Although the tales are short and the stories aren't told from the beginning, their reading hooks you from the first word and does not let you go to the endpoint of each narration.  
It only takes one word to resume the whole book: perfect.
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