The Tangleroot Palace
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The Tangleroot Palace

4.23 (48 ratings by Goodreads)
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[STARRED REVIEW] "Liu's mastery of so many different subgenres astounds, and her ear for language carries each story forward on gorgeously crafted sentences. This is a must-read"
--Publishers Weekly [A Top-10 SF/F/H 2021 upcoming title] 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16.51mm | 454g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1616963522
  • 9781616963521
  • 977,506

Review quote

A Publishers Weekly Top-10 SF/F/H 2021 upcoming title [STARRED REVIEW] "A collection of short stories exploring the emotional complexity, diverse physicality, and layered sexuality of resourceful women. In 'Sympathy for the Bones, ' Clora is old Ruth's unwilling apprentice witch in Kentucky, forced to murder men with hoodoo magic or surrender her soul. Having lost her family, Clora longs to know what it feels like to love and be loved, even as she plans her escape. Another kind of escape is brewing in 'The Briar and the Rose, ' a retelling of 'Sleeping Beauty, ' only this time the charming prince is a brown warrior-woman who must walk the dangerous line between freeing the woman she's come to love and her duty to her mistress¬--the sorceress who inhabits Rose's body six days out of seven. In 'Call Her Savage, ' a striking magical alternate history, ex-Lady Marshall Xīng MacNamara--who comes from New China, on the Pacifica coast of an America allied with its Native peoples--must kill her former lover Maude in order to stop the Redcoats from colonizing the world. Rounding out the collection are a story about Amish vampires and a secret marriage in a plague-ridden future that gingerly explores trauma and strength; a gay wannabe-supervillain looking for a superhero to love him in a story that asks what true vulnerability can awaken; and a princess, determined to forge her own path through sentient trees and evil queens, who wrestles with how to remain true to duty, heart, and mind. Within each tale, author Liu gives a masterclass in the art of storytelling. She doesn't waste a word or a comma, nor does she miss an opportunity to dive into what makes us human, no matter who we are or who we love. In the title novella, the protagonist learns that "some trees are bark and root, and some trees have soul and teeth." So, too, will readers find that Liu's writing is all 'soul and teeth.' Neither will release them quickly. The only drawback to these seven stories is that readers will want far more time in each world."
--Kirkus "The Tangleroot Palace is charming and ruthless. Tales that feel new yet grounded in the infinitely ancient, a mythology for the coming age."
--Angela Slatter, author of The Bitterwood Bible "This is a superb collection from start to finish. Mysterious, beautiful and strange, harsh and charming, it fires the emotional palate."
--Charles de Lint, author of the Newford series [STARRED REVIEW] "Liu (the Monstress series) charms with this spellbinding collection of six short stories and one novella. The standouts are "The Briar and the Rose," a darkly fascinating retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," in which a female duelist discovers her witch employer is living in the stolen body of Princess Rose, and helps Rose to regain it; and "Call Her Savage," a steampunk western set during the Opium Wars and following half-Chinese antiheroine Lady Marshal as she struggles to be the hero others need her to be. Also of note are the haunting and eerie, "Sympathy for the Bones"; "The Last Dignity of Man," about a would-be supervillain who realizes he must be his own superman; and two stories set in the world of Liu's Dirk & Steele paranormal romance series: the atmospheric historical fantasy, "Where the Heart Lives," which serves as a prequel to the series, and the dystopian "After the Blood," about Amish vampires, set in the series's future. The title novella offers a more standard secondary world fantasy, about a runaway princess drawn to an enchanted forest, but uses this familiar plot to probe the character's feelings of being trapped. Liu's mastery of so many different subgenres astounds, and her ear for language carries each story forward on gorgeously crafted sentences. This is a must-read."
--Publishers Weekly "Some authors excel at one thing; others can do it all. Whether it's fairy tales or superheroes or the post-apocalypse, Liu always delivers, and with her own unique spin."
--Marie Brennan, author of Driftwood "Beautifully written, deeply engaging, and full of wonder and strong female characters.
--Grimdark Magazine "A spellbinding collection."
--Book Riot "Rich and evocative tales with just the right amount of bite."
--Kelley Armstrong, author of Bitten "Excellent."
--Book Lover's Boudoir "Vivid writing that lights up my brain. Evocative settings. Memorable characters engaged in dark struggles. When I read Marjorie Liu's stories, I know I'm in the hands of a master."
--Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty Norville series 5/5 Stars. "Each tale brought something beautiful and totally original to the table and I truly felt completely immersed in every sentence Liu wrote."
--A Series of Various Events Praise for Marjorie Liu "Marjorie Liu is magic! Her writing is passionate, lyric, gritty, and riveting. She belongs high on everyone's must-read list."
--Elizabeth Lowell, author of Only Mine "With each new book, Liu adds more depth and dimension to her world and more credence to her reputation as an exceptional talent."
--Romantic Times "If you have yet to add Liu to your must-read list, you're doing yourself a disservice."
--Booklist Praise for Monstress "Brilliant. . . . Stuffed with intricate myths, dense history, crisscrossing political relationships and magical technology, the world of Monstress is everything a fantasy reader could want."
--NPR Books "[T]his is a book that will be wildly embraced by all fans of graphic literature."
--School Library Journal "With Monstress, the Chinese-American writer and her Japanese Illustrator now have a platform that allows them to represent the breadth of their cultures and aesthetic interstes; the writing and art blend influences ranging from Asian folklore to pop culture Kaiju like Godzilla and Pacific Rim, from 20th-century Shanghai to Victorian-flavored steampunk."
--LA Review of Books "Monstress might be the most ambitious comic book on the market. It takes guts to go all out and create a swirling fantasy adventure at a time when the industry is trending toward sci-fi, superhero, and more grounded stories."
--VOX Praise for the Dirk and Steele series "I didn't just like this book, I LOVED this book. Anyone who loves my work should love it too."
--New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan "A fresh thrill for newcomers in the market for an extraordinary romance."
--Publishers Weekly Praise for the Hunter Kiss series A highly recommended read for fans of urban fantasy, and for Ms. Liu's paranormal romance fans who have yet to take the plunge."
--The Book Smugglers
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About Marjorie Lu

Marjorie M. Liu is a bestselling novelist and comic book writer. She is the author of more than 19 novels, most notably the urban fantasy series Hunter Kiss and the paranormal romance series Dirk & Steele. She has twice received the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, for The Mortal Bone and Tiger Eye. Ms. Liu's graphic novel work at Marvel includes Black Widow, Han Solo, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men. She is the co-creator of Monstress from Image Comics, which has won multiple Hugo, British Fantasy, and Harvey Awards. Ms. Liu was the first woman, and first woman of color, to win an Eisner Award in the Best Writer category. At BookExpo, Ms. Liu was a featured speaker alongside Rachel Maddow, Ta-Nehesi Coats, and Malcolm Gladwell. She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, MTV, and been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, Atlantic, and USA Today. She is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker, appearing on panels at San Diego Comic Con, the Tokyo Literary Festival, the New York Times Public Lecture series, Geeks Out, and the Asian American Writers Workshop. Ms. Liu was born in Philadelphia, grew up in Seattle, and has lived in numerous cities in the Midwest, as well as Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Prior to writing full-time, she was a lawyer. She currently lives in Boston and teaches comic-book writing at MIT.
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Rating details

48 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 40% (19)
4 44% (21)
3 17% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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