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8 minutes

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi (BOOK REVIEW) || A new top book!

This book is everything I wanted and everything I didn’t know that I wanted. This is most definitely a top book of 2023 (I say top books instead of favourites 😁).

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc through the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review. The book cover and details are taken from Goodreads and The Storygraph. The content warnings are taken from The Storygraph; from me reading the book, or from others’ reviews. I try my absolute best to find the cover art/designer but unfortunately I am not always able to do so. The page numbers/audio hours are taken from the version that I’m reading from (if an e-arc, the digital version then). The featured image is my own. All opinions expressed are my own. This is a spoiler-free review with slight references towards the spoilers, be they plot or characters.

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The Last Tale of the Flower Bride -Title: The Last Tale of the Flower Bride
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Narrators: Steve West and Sura Siu
Audio Length: 9 hours and 17 minutes
Year Published: 2023
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Cover Art/Designer: Will Speed (and taken from Shutterstock.com)
Age Demographic: Adult
Genre: Mystery ~ Fantasy ~ Fiction ~ Gothic
Rep: Persian sapphic mc, Bedouin character (not explicity said)
Stars: use thisuse thisuse thisuse thisuse this
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Copy: Audio Review Copy (Netgalley)
CW/TW: (Taken from The Storygraph) Graphic: Toxic friendship, Emotional abuse, Death. Moderate: Pedophilia, Child abuse, Domestic abuse. Minor: Blood, Sexual harassment 

Inside every story is a secret. Inside every marriage is a lie.

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 Timesbestselling 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 soon finds 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 disappeared without a trace.

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.

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic novel about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.

When I say I want a gothic novel this is what I want. This dark, atmospheric story that absolutely captivates every one who dares enter its pages. You can’t stop yourself from reading it. I’m quite certain in saying that you will cancel your plans to continue reading this book because I probably would’ve.

I read the audiobook and it was a fantastic experience. It definitely added to how much I enjoyed reading this as I’m not so sure I would have had the same level of enjoyment had I read it as a book. The two narrators were very well chosen and they enhanced my reading so much that I don’t think they could’ve chosen better narrators if they tried. They also added to the experience of the audio and how much I enjoyed it. Even if you don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks I think this one would be an amazing start.

But also I would love a physical copy to be able to annotate as I went along. There were so many amazing quotes that I heard and wanted to highlight, I wanted to see them written down on a page. Yes, I suppose that’s why people buy physical copies as well 😅. Really, I think what I want the most is for when you open the book the audio starts playing for each page – yes, like those singing birthday cards 😂.

I actually like codependent characters in books. I don’t have an actual reason or reasons, but I like them. Maybe it’s the way they interact with each other. That while they do love each other, it’s a type of harmful love, even if they don’t see it; or the harm is a gradual one. Or maybe it’s just that I like to see the characters hurting each other because it’s close to angst and I love angst? (which, yes… is not a good take, I know that😅). Either way, this codependency in this book was well-written; Chokshi did such an amazing job at it – if she decides to write another book featuring a codependent relationship, I’m all for it!

if you’re not a fan of codependent relationships or if you have issues with it then I don’t recommend you read the book. As much as I want just about everyone to read this book it’s important to remember that not everyone is able to read what everyone else is reading (because of the content in the book).

I found Indigo to be such an interesting character. Everything is about Indigo – she chose the games they would play, the outfits they would wear, everything was about what she wanted to do. I don’t think that Azure ever got to suggest something but even if she did I think it would be a case of “is this you or Indigo’s influence?”.

The thing about Indigo – like many other manipulative people – is that she makes you feel so special, includes you in private moments so that you think you’re very special to her. You only start seeing her issues or the fact that you matter less in the relationship when you’re about ready to leave or when you’ve had enough of it all. You’re left thinking (or at least I did) how much does Indigo love Azure? And of that love, how much of it is real and how much is that possessive type of love?

Now I absolutely loved the characters. Indigo and Azure were for sure the main characters and then there was the unnamed man who married Indigo and narrates his own chapters in the present while Azure narrates hers showing her relationship with Indigo and everything they did together.

We’re never told the name of Indigo’s husband. His chapters are First Person POV and they’re just named The Bridegroom. I liked that because it added to the fairytale feeling of the story. I also loved how fascinated he was with fairytales and how that fascination was actually more of an obsession. And also probably the reason why he and Indigo were drawn to each other. Indigo is definitely basically a walking, talking fairytale, and he’s only too happy to be caught up in her. I think she was also drawn to him because he loved to recite fairy tales – and she was all too happy to let him do so.

Azure was quite an interesting character because she both wanted to do everything with Indigo, go anywhere with her; and also strikeout and create her own name. Her desire to walk both paths, be both people, had the same amount of desire for them – she never really wanted one dream over another until later on in the book. I like characters who know what they want but also characters who are afraid to express their feelings, follow their dreams for whatever reason. Most of the times – like 90 or so percent – there comes a time where they do blurt out their feelings, shout out their dreams to the world. Those scenes are always quite emotional because they’re finally getting to say what they want to say, they’re putting themselves first.

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As I’ve experienced before with The Gilded Wolves, Chokshi once against proves herself with impeccable writing and a captivating plot. Chokshi’s characters are always multi-layered and you want to know more about them from the start. I’ve never found myself to be bored while reading her books and I don’t expect to with her other books that I haven’t read yet.

Have you seen this book around? Is it on your tbr or have you maybe read it as an arc or just when it came out? Have you read other Chokshi books and are now eagerly waiting to read this one? Because if I didn’t like Chokshi before this book I would definitely be after this.


4 responses to “The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi (BOOK REVIEW) || A new top book!”

  1. Great review..!!! I just finished listening to the audio a couple of days ago and it was such an experience. I couldn’t stop… Utterly captivating..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, glad you liked it! Yes it is super captivating!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. i recently bought the audiobook and can’t wait to dive into it! i’m glad you loved it so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you’re gonna have such a ride! Thank you 💜


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About Me

Hi! I’m DB and I really like reading! I mean, of course I do – otherwise this wouldn’t be a book blog. It would be full of pictures of my cat. But come and look at whatever I’ve got on this blog!
Read more about me in my About page.

March 2023

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