Review By Kayleigh

Roshani’s lyrical adult debut will enchant a new readership with her prose and storytelling chops.

Favourite Quote:

“Of all the things fairy tales demanded I should believe – dogs with eyes as big as saucer, amidens felled by spindles, queens who do not remove red-hot iron shoes and dance in them until they die – this is the only thing that stretches credulity. That happiness demands so little to stay.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

This is the story about a fairytale written like fairytales. It is a slow, sweeping journey into an examination about what happens after the happily ever after. Partially an obsessive love story and partially a story about the lies we tell ourselves when our stories don’t match what we see in the mirror, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride will leave you feeling unsettled in your own skin.

This is not your typical love story. I’m not sure I would call it a romance. Indigo meets a scholar who we only know as the Bridegroom. Their love is instant and obsessive. He feels bewitched by her. They both love fairytales and weave the spell of words around each other. Eventually Indigo is called back to her home to see her dying aunt. In the old home that feels shroud in secrets, the Bridegroom begins to doubt Indigo’s stories and starts to pull at the threads she’s woven. As he unravels her story, he begins to unravel Indigo herself. Does true love last through hardships? Can love survive the truth? The Bridegroom has to answer these questions to find his own ending.

Indigo is a prickly, confident and powerful woman. Throughout the book we flash back to her childhood through that magical time of female pre teen and teenage years when women’s magic and sexuality blossom. She has a close friendship with Azure, a girl who goes missing on the night of their graduation party. As we experience their friendship we learn more about Indigo and her driving motives. While this is billed as a love story, I’d argue that the true story here is about the obsessive, possessive and toxic love that can exist between teenage girls. It’s unsettling and authentic.

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is like reading a sweet dream that suddenly plunges you into a nightmare. You want to escape but you can’t find our way out until it’s too late. 

Thank you to William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.