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The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water    by Zen Cho order for
Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water
by Zen Cho
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Several characters are not who they seem in Zen Cho's 158 page fantasy novella, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water.

It begins with a rumpus in a coffeehouse. An extraordinarily handsome bandit leader (Lau Fung Cheng) walks in and takes exception to a customer's treatment of his waitress, Guet Imm, who happens to be a votary of the Order of the Pure Moon. When it's all over, the waitress decides to leave with the bandits, whether they want her or not.

She makes herself useful, mainly by washing the bandits' clothes occasionally (her cooking is abysmal), and the bandits gradually accept her presence, aside from the leader's sworn brother Tet Sang. The bandits (who don't seem very good at their profession) are running late in making a delivery to Sungai Tombak, a delivery of great interest to the nun.

As they near their objective, various secrets are unveiled and motivations become more clear, as does the violent recent history of the region. Finally, two members leave the group - beginning a new quest? The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water is a fast, quirky and intriguing read.

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