Cover Image: The Last Tale of the Flower Bride

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride

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Member Reviews

This storys is so lush-- beautifully written, I was captivated immediately by these two women's story. They're mysterious but in different ways. I didnt expect the ending at all, this was a book I devoured start to finish and wanted to start again as soon as it was over.

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Roshani Chokshi's writing style never fails to entrance you and pull you deep into the mythical worlds that she creates. I absolutely loved the haunting mystery aspect of this book and the way the perspectives were handled was extremely clever. The way that mythology and reality were blended and blurred made everything feel fantastical and a bit unreal. This was a very atmospheric book that made readers work for all of the information that they got and only grudgingly gave up its secrets -- much like Indigo herself.

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A man who was a scholar of myths and fairy tales married a mysterious and beautiful woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. Indigo is a wealthy heiress, and she made her bridegroom promise that he would never ask questions about her past. When Indigo finds out that her aunt is dying, they return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams. The bridegroom finds traces of Indigo’s friend, Azure, in the house. Azure disappeared suddenly when the girls grew up. As they spend more time in the house, Indigo’s husband discovers more hints about Azure’s life. He wants to figure out where she went, even if it means breaking the promise he made to Indigo.

This was an evocative, dark, modern fairy tale. The House of Dreams was a character in itself, revealing things about the past to certain people. The story was quite mysterious, with hints being revealed slowly. Once I got into the story, it was hard to put down. I predicted the final twist about halfway through the story, but I was glad that it happened because it made sense for the story.

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a dark and beautiful story.

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a digital copy of this book.

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Read if you like: gothic vibes, Mexican Gothic
This story was so good! We have the bridegroom who marries Indigo, a mysterious and beautiful woman. When they go back to her family home, she requests that he not look into her past. But he cannot help himself and it seems like the house is trying to tell him something.
I loved the gothic and creepy vibes. I've enjoyed Chokshi's YA books and really liked this venture into adult fantasy! Overall a great book!

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The Tale of the Last Flower Bride follows three main characters who have given their lives – in one way or another – in their desperate search to find the fae.

Fabulously wealthy and reclusive, heiress Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada has always been bewitched by faerie tales. Indigo’s fortune has gone to developing her private collection of mystical artifacts, from crumbling texts to taxidermied beasts of legend. Fascinated by the mystical, it’s no surprise that when Indigo meets a beautiful academic who’s spent his life studying folklore, she adds him to her collection too.

After a whirlwind romance, Indigo strikes a bargain with her new bridegroom: he can have her heart, so long as he never asks her about her past. The Bridegroom (an unnamed narrator) eagerly agrees, all the while knowing that legends are full of figures who could not help but break their vows.

When the couple visits Indigo’s childhood home, the Bridegroom’s vow is tested – and just like those figures he has long studied, he succumbs to temptation. For the House of Dreams is alive with the secrets of not only one girl’s past, but two: to unravel the truth about his wife, he must first discover the fate of her childhood best friend, Azure.

The stakes in The Last Tale of the Flower Bride are high, and Roshani Chokshi doesn’t shy away from difficult themes. Indigo, Azure, and the Bridegroom are all desperate to escape their realities for the Otherworld, and with good reason. Readers should be aware that neglect and child abuse are prominently discussed, including sexual abuse and violence. It’s not gratuitous or without purpose, but it is difficult to read.

That difficulty can be largely attributed to Roshani Chokshi’s writing, which is at a career high here. Chokshi’s writing is so distinct: she uses highly stylized descriptions and creates a heightened emotional atmosphere for her characters, with everything feeling somehow “more real” than reality. Dual timelines and dual narrative perspectives are used with great effect to build a sense of unease, tension, and mystery as the story reaches its climax. Not everyone can pull this kind of thing off, but I think Chokshi does it well. Personally, I greatly preferred Azure’s voice to the Bridegroom’s and would’ve been happy to read a story told entirely from her perspective.

Just as I was disappointed by half the narrative voice, for me, the story also failed to deliver on half of its premise. Marketed as a fantasy romance, that’s what I was anticipating, so I was disappointed to find that the romance is toxic insta-love and the fantasy elements are scant. It’s almost as if this book wasn’t a fantasy romance at all…

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride intentionally defies categorization, but if pressed, I would describe it as a gothic psychological drama inspired by fairy tales. All-consuming love, a spookily sentient-seeming mansion, and globe-spanning fairy tale rituals are core elements, but this is not a fantasy novel. It’s a story about children whose circumstances are so unfair, so awful, that they must create an escape for themselves inside magical lands to survive.

Since Chokshi decided to “go there” with the Otherworld, I wish she’d truly gone all the way. The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a good book, but with slightly different choices, I think it could’ve been great.

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The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a darkly romantic and gothic novel about a marriage between a scholar and a wealthy heiress that begins to unravel through lies, secrets, and betrayal from their past, as well as in their marriage.

This was the first book I’ve read by Roshani Chokshi, and it definitely won’t be the last. The writing in this book was so beautiful and captivating, it was a great read to escape from reality for a little while.

The secrets revealed at the end were very predictable though and something I saw coming fairly early on in the book, which did take away from how much I enjoyed this book unfortunately.

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I have mixed feelings for The Last Tale of the Flower Bride. It is a gothic and magical read with mysteries of the fae sprinkled throughout and lost children trying to cope and navigate difficult situations. This was the highlight of the book for me.

We follow an unnamed scholar of myths, who falls fast and hard for the mysterious and beautiful heiress, Indigo. They are married seemingly overnight and are enraptured by one another. The Bridegroom's past haunts him - he lost his little brother, but in a way that made his brother cease to exist in everyone's minds except for the Bridegroom. Their relationship is a strange one - Indigo warns her husband to not pry into her past while playing games with him using myths and fairy tales. I didn't fully but into their relationship being genuine since there were strange happenings and so many secrets.

Once we arrive to Indigo's childhood home, the House of Dreams, the Bridegroom finds out that Indigo's childhood best friend Azure has also disappeared (the 2nd POV). Their friendship is one that is highly toxic and co-dependent, but them being children, you cannot wholly blame them for their lack of parental figures being around. As a result, it made me disinterested in the story and made for a slow-moving read.

There is also a sentient house that plays a minor role, not much is said about it by the end. The ending of the book wasn't all too surprising, but I do give the author credit for her writing skills. I simply wished for more connection to the characters enough to care!

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The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a lush and gothic exploration of obsession, marriage and friendship. The novel tells the present story of Indigo and the unnamed Bridegroom, and the past of Indigo and Azure. Both stories reveal secrets, consider hope and lead to haunting betrayals. Roshani Chokshi offers beautiful descriptions and dialogue that straddle the line between fairytales and modern/urban fantasy in a dual timeline.

This is a book that leaves you questioning each passage, wanting to understand the depths of each character's desires, as well as whether the magic is real. Savour the writing and don't expect this to be necessarily be an easy read. The relationships are toxic and the characters' actions are questionable.

CW: toxic relationship, death, emotional abuse, SA, domestic abuse, violence, gaslighting, pedophilia, blood, terminal illness, bullying

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Roshani Chokshi literally never fails. I’ve only ever read one book by her so far, which was The Star-Touched Queen, and that was so beautifully written, so I was beyond excited for this one!

I can go on and on about the writing. It was so poetic, beautiful, haunting, and rich. Roshani Chokshi has a way with words; the complexity and sophisticated tone of the poetry-like language complimented the tone and themes of book so well.

Although I have never read gothic novels before, Roshani Chokshi casted a magical spell on me with The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by breathing life to a tragic, gothic novel filled about love, abuse, fairytales, friendship, secrets, obsession, the search for truth, and how the world treats children to the point where they create magical worlds to escape and feel safe in.

This book was so much more than a gothic novel; it was a story of belonging in a magical world, a story of friendship, although toxic, and a story of escaping. It felt almost like a dream, which is ironic considering the House of Dreams being the primary setting for all the happenings in the book.

I highly recommend fans of fantasy, gothic, tragic stories, and basically everyone else to read this!

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Already I know people who I would recommend this book to, it had just enough of everything to make a great story.

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The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a beautiful twisty fairy tale within a fairy tale - the story pulled me in, every sentence, intentional, melodic, and woven together with meticulous prose, I felt a sense of perpetual tension, that feeling of not too much, but just enough, throughout the novel, and I was not disappointed with where we ended up. When I stopped reading, it was like I remembered to breathe again.

It is unsettling, romantic, haunting and fascinating. I will be thinking about this novel again and again.

The novel is told from two perspectives, Azure and The Bride-Groom, and they jump comfortably between the past and the present - telling a story filled with grief, neglect, unreliable memories, the struggles of finding ones identity in adolescence, and the magical worlds children create to escape terrible realities. I found most of the characters complicated and mostly loveable.

All that said, this story needs a bunch of content warnings.

Grateful to both Netgalley and the Publisher to have had the opportunity to read it a bit early and share my thoughts, I am eager to post my review and talk about this incredible story elsewhere, once the tentative agreement between Harper Collin's and their employees is finalized.

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The Last Tale of the Flower Bride was one of my most anticipated reads of 2023 and feels exactly up my alley. Thankfully, it lived up to my expectations and delivered a lush and beautiful fairy-tale fantasy that follows a bride and groom as they visit her childhood home to say their goodbyes to her aunt. While it's a bit of slow read at first, the book draws you in and captivates you with its gothic intrigue.

Very worth checking out!

As a note: I will not be posting this review elsewhere until the contract for Harper Collins' employees formally goes through and the strike comes to an end.

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Just as a note before this review begins: I will not be posting this review elsewhere due to Harper Collins' unfair contract with their workers.

Rating: 4.5/5

This book was beautiful and, in general, just absolutely enthralling. It was also my first Roshani Chokshi book, and I have so far been convinced that she has potential to be an auto-buy author for me. I'm really hoping she writes more adult gothic fantasy books, because I personally want more.

I took my time with it, and at some times, I had to take a break from how full the writing was, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Reading it as slow as I did made it so that I was able to fully digest all of the wonderfully lyrical sentences and the symbolism behind them. It was dark, gritty, but at its core, it remained a beautiful and often times, tragic story about failed toxic relationships (or, at least, that's what I took away from it). The characterization of Azure and the Bridesgroom is interesting, as well, because they are almost complete mirror images of one another, and it's further illustrated through the alternate timelines. Chokshi is very intentional in her writing and her use of literary devices, and as an avid reader, I really appreciated that about her writing style. She is also very good at weaving plotlines together and foreshadowing her intentions through symbolism.

Overall, this book was absolutely incredible. I'm not able to give it a full 5 stars, but it's so damn close to it.

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"The Last Tale of the Flower Bride" is one of the most beautifully-written novels I've read in recent memory.

This modern fairy tale is filled with unforgettable moments of magic realism, accentuated by sumptuous descriptions and vivid imagery.

The story itself borrows elements from both well-known and obscure fairy tales, creating a fever dream of a fable investigating the dichotomies between memory and reality, repression and abuse.

It's as charming as it is unsettling.

If you're looking for a trippy, dreamy nightmare of a novel, then Roshani Chokshi's "The Last Tale of the Flower Bride" is for you.

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The bridegroom, a lover of fairy tales, marries Indigo, a mysterious heiress. They exchange a vow that the man would never look into her past. However, Indigo is forced to return home to the House of Dreams when her aunt falls ill and the man has a hard time not seeking answers to the questions unravelling in front of him, including what happened to Indigo’s childhood friend.

The book alternates perspectives between Azure and the bridegroom, whose name I don’t think is ever mentioned. Both seemed like incredibly unreliable narrators. It was clear they weren’t revealing the whole truth and were blinded by their motives but why? However you as the reader don’t know this at first. It just becomes more and more apparent as the climax builds towards something unravelling but, you can barely predict what. 

There was magic interwoven throughout the story but with the narrators being unreliable I never actually could figure out if there was actual magic or if they were just suffering from delusions? Was it some sort of cult like worship? Sometimes it seemed like it was alluded to being real but, then it couldn’t possibly be because it wasn’t actually confirmed but, then maybe that was entirely the point? I don’t recall the last time I’ve turned a book’s pages so fast trying to get answers. This one left me wondering a lot about what I had just read long after I had finished.

The book is an interesting exploration of love and its toxicity. It explores how much we as humans are willing to ignore in the name of love. How it’s almost human nature to romanticise the messiest parts of it. It takes a look into rather brutal fairy tales and mythology that have withstood the test of time.

I don’t know how to describe this story other than it’s good. Read it, you can thank me later. 

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for providing an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Steam: 🔥/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.75/5
This is a Harper Collins title. I will not be sharing this review anywhere else until the Harper Collins union receives a fair contract.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a gothic romantic thriller about toxic relationships, friendship, and the allure of power. The book is set in the House of Dreams, a creepy and sentient mansion. It is dual timeline, focusing on Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada’s present marriage to a man known only as the Bridegroom, as well as her childhood friendship with Azure, who mysteriously disappeared. The heart of this story is about grief, abuse, neglect, and how children can create magic and wonder in their lives when they need it.
The first half of this book didn’t capture my attention at all. It starts off very slow, but it is intriguing enough to make the reader hope for a shocking plot twist at the end. That is exactly what Roshani Chokshi delivers. Not only did the ending make me gasp loud enough to wake up my cat, it was also the first in months to make me cry.
The characters in this book were so captivating. Indigo was so well crafted. Everything from her behavior to her questionable and choices all make her a frighteningly intriguing protagonist. Her motivation to achieve the life she wanted was both inspiring and terrifying.

Azure is another incredibly well written character. She is the antithesis to Indigo while also being so very similar to her. Their dynamic was executed perfectly, full of tension and love and unspoken words. Azure’s story with her family, with Indigo, and with the House of Dreams all culminated in her being one of the most layered and unique characters I’ve ever read.

I still have so many questions about the Bridegroom. I loved his devotion to Indigo and the internal turmoil he experienced when beginning to question her morality and her past. He knew what he stood for and didn’t back down. He was curious and relentless, and I loved seeing Indigo and her world from his perspective.

I honestly would never have guessed the plot twist. It was devastatingly well done. I obviously can’t tell you anything about it, but it is one you won’t want to miss. Read this book and let it consume you and fill you with dark thoughts of the flower bride.

tw: loss of a loved one, extreme nightmares, blood, gore, domestic abuse, child abuse, child neglect, child abandonment, gaslighting, animal death, human death, murder, mention of child death, bullying, cheating, codependency, suicidal ideation/thoughts, drugging, pedophilia, CSA.

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Beware of promises made to keep secrets unknown, especially when they belong to the one you love.

Chokshi's fairytale-infused story follows a bride and her groom as they return to her childhood and ancestral home to say goodbye to her aunt. As a story, The plot is a little too vague and not even the character focus could distract me from that. I wanted more plot development which would have led to character development. I did enjoy how she incorporated other tales and myth into her world, but again they didn't add anything but filler in my opinion.

Indigo is quite the enigma and as the story unfolds, I like her less and less. How entitled and selfish she is, how uncaring about the others in her life unless what they do or feel is to her benefit. However that air of mystery and coldness is what attracts her husband, it is what makes him agree to a life with her without knowing her past. And as the reader goes deeper, that promise seems to become insidious and seductive, prompting her groom to go poking where we shouldn't. She is an expert at control and we see how that evolved in her relationship with the ghost of the house as well.

I love stories that use the surroundings as characters and in this, the house is very much a character, looming as observer, protector, and bearer of secrets, we get glimpses of all the little actions it takes when it comes to the girls and their interactions. It looks out for those under its roof while holding on to truths that could lead to freedom.

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I did like this book and I do like the author’s writing but it really took me some time to get into the story.

I know some who would love this one.

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Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins Canada for an egalley in exchange for a review.

This book wasn't even on my radar until I read a Goodreads article discussing the books other members of the site were excited about in 2023. I ended up requesting this and twenty others from NetGalley. So far, I have managed to be approved for seven and declined for two. I have very little self-control when it comes to books.

Well, I am happy to report that Roshani Chokshi definitely delivers in creating a hauntingly gothic atmosphere. Narrated by The Bridegroom, we hear the tale of Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. An enigmatic woman who keeps the stories of her past closely guarded but loves her husband's devotion to fairy tales. Theirs is a passionate and loving marriage and three years fly by quickly. However, when the pair return to Indigo's childhood home and stories emerge of a young woman named Azure, Indigo's childhood best friend, the bridegroom soon wonders if he knows his bride at all.

Once I began reading this tale which is intricately laced with myths, fairy tales, and obsessive love, I was a goner. It's quite a tale and I definitely understand why it has so many readers excited.

#TheLastTaleoftheFlowerBride #NetGalley.

Expected Publication Date 14/02/23
Goodreads Review Published 26/01/23

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Roshani Chokshi encapsulates the allure of escapism and how mythology and fairytales can help us cope with ugly realities, or sometimes, distract us to the point of denying the real world. This was a tale of lies and secrets, devotion and betrayal, and how love is not always a good and beautiful thing.

We jump between two time periods: one in the present day, where our protagonist, a scholar of myths, has married the mysterious heiress Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. Their marriage is passionate, playful and endlessly romantic. Indigo only has one condition: the Bridegroom cannot pry into her past. The other point in the timeline we revisit, ironically, is that of Indigo's childhood, and that of her friend Azure, who nobody has heard from since their graduation from high school,

Chokshi references myths like those of Melusine, or Eros and Psyche, and makes us dwell on the question of whether love is found in blind loyalty or in uncovering a truth and coming to terms with it.

This hit all the right marks and kept me up until 3am, because I had to know what happened. A twisty, dark, and lush tale of codependency, secrets, cruelty, fear and love.

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