Release Date: February 14th 2023
Publisher: Hodder Books
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars
A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales—the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after—and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.
Combining the lush, haunting atmosphere of Mexican Gothic with the dreamy enchantment of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is the sort of book that grips you as soon as you read the first page and absolutely does not let you go. The story follows a man obsessed with myth and fairytales as he ends up married to the mysterious and beautiful Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. Their marriage is built on a promise that he must never look into her history or pry into her secrets. When the couple learns that Indigo’s aunt is dying they must return to Indigo’s family home – the House of Dreams and the bridegroom discovers a childhood best friend that mysteriously disappeared. Can he resist prying into Indigo’s past and what will be the consequences if he does?
I really enjoyed Roshani Chokshi’s Guilded Wolves series so when I heard about The Last Tale of the Flower Bride, I was incredibly intrigued. This book feels completely different and I think that really shows Chokshi’s talent as a writer. Despite finishing this book a while ago I still find myself thinking about it. Intricately plotted, the story is full to the brim with atmosphere and a sense of mystery. This story is beautifully written and the hazy, Gothic sense of unease that lingers throughout the story had me turning pages long into the night.
Chokshi does an amazing job of bringing the setting to life and images of the old, creaking house really sprang to life. The characters were so complex and fascinating, particularly as their secrets were revealed and things began to unravel. The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a triumph and definitely my favourite book from Chokshi so far. If you’re looking for a book full of lush, lyrical prose and a captivating plot, this one is definitely a must read.