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Empress of All Seasons

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,946 ratings  ·  625 reviews
In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Popular Answered Questions
Jessie The book ended as if it was a standalone book though I don't know the author's plans.
Shinrinyoku No. It isn't a love triangle. The heroine is in love with only one guy. She turns down the other clearly but gently when he confesses his love to her.…moreNo. It isn't a love triangle. The heroine is in love with only one guy. She turns down the other clearly but gently when he confesses his love to her. They remain good friends.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,946 ratings  ·  625 reviews


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Melanie

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Do not cling to the hand that holds you down”

Empress of All Seasons is an ownvoices Japanese fantasy that was a complete delight to read. I was completely immersed from the very first page, and the last page left me wanting the next book immediately. But this is a tale of family (both found and blood), and honor (both given and earned), and love (unconditionally and conditionally).

The emperor is a human who rules
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C.G. Drews
This is the kind of story with a world that will totally swallow you whole. In the best possible way! I love it when books promise epic and deliciously complex settings and then deliver. Like, tHANK YOU, I have been waiting to be totally captivated by a story world! This is also based on Japanese mythology and totally immerses you in the world with Japanese legends, weapons, food (um yeah thanks for that I’m hungry) and settings.


THINGS TO EXPECT
➸ Mari being epic with her naginata sword and sighi
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may ➹
can someone tell me [inhales] what the HELL just happened

3.5 stars

“But not every happily-ever-after includes a man.”

Empress of All Seasons is set in a Japanese-inspired world where every time the prince is in need of a wife, competitions to the death are held for all women—except yōkai.

Mari, a yōkai, has trained all her life to enter this competition, and refuses to back down until she becomes empress. Taro, the prince, has no plans whatsoever of becoming emperor. And Akira, half-yōkai, half
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Chelsea Humphrey
Even though this one didn't fully work for me, I still think it'll be an excellent story for many readers. It's not to say I didn't enjoy it at all, but I think my overall feel was too middle-of-the-road to garner anything higher than a 3 star rating towards my experience. The cover is swoon worthy and the influence of Japanese culture was stellar, and, honest to God, the intro was one of the most well written, engaging, and intriguing beginnings to an entirely unique fantasy idea that I've ever ...more
Lily ☁️
“Not everyone is all good or all bad.”


I’m going to use this quote as a starting point, and say: not every book is all good or all bad. Because it perfectly encompasses how torn I feel about Empress of All Seasons.

I think that ultimately, and sadly, I fell in love with the idea of this book based on its synopsis more than I did with the actual book itself.

I loved the idea of Mari setting out to win a competition based on wit, cunning, strength, daring, and confidence, defying expectations place
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Cait • A Page with a View
I sat on this review for several months to be sure aaaand I think this book just really wasn't a good fit for me personally... but many other readers will love it! It's an original, creative story with Japanese influences (which was by far my favorite part).

Mari is a girl who's secretly a monster and doesn't believe a guy will ever love her. Her controlling mother has directed her to steal Taro's fortune by training to enter a competition where hundreds of girls try to survive the seasonal room
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Carrie
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean is a young adult fantasy book that is inspired by the author’s own Japanese heritage. I think if you took the Japanese infused story complete with monsters and tossed it into a blender with the Hunger Games and a smidge of the Selection then blend it all up you come up with Empress of All Seasons.

Mari is a Yokai, she looks human but has the ability to transform into a monster. Yokai are feared Honoku so Mari hides who she is along with her small village of wo
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Candace Robinson
ARC received via publisher!
Acqua
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like plot-driven stories and don't mind heteronormativity
Empress of all Seasons is a YA fantasy book set in a Japanese-inspired world in which humans have enslaved magical creatures, the yōkai. Mari, the main character, is yōkai herself - as an animal wife, she's able to partially shapeshift - and she'll have to hide her powers to win the competition to marry the prince... and then steal his fortunes.

I wish I could have loved this book as much as I wanted to.
In the beginning, I thought it was going to be a fun if a bit cliché read with great worldbuil
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Sara
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
This feels like a fairly familiar read as it includes many common book tropes.
One of my least favourite tropes of all time is when the main character is deemed "ugly" until her prince (or in this case samurai) tells her otherwise and this book had plenty of that. In the first few chapters it felt as though we were being constantly reminded that Mari was unattractive which started to grate on me.

That being said it wasn't a bad story overall, the pacing was an issue for me but i thought the setti
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Ishmeen
3.5 stars - I was very intrigued by the concept and enjoyed the world building quite a lot so the fact that I am not rating it 4 stars saddens me as well. The female empowerment in this story was great and the writing style was pretty decent too. I liked where the story was going until the ending which I was not satisfied with at all. It was sort of like... that's it? I just feel like there was so much potential in this plotline and where the story could have gone. The ending seemed a bit abrup ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it

Content Warning: Graphic Violence, Slavery, Death

This action packed fantasy helped me crawl from the depths of an awful reading slump. Mari is a bad ass protagonist who is a skilled fighter, a yōkai and a caring friend. She sets out to compete to become Empress by facing seasonal rooms meant to break her in mind and body. Mari has to hide her identity from prince Taro and everyone in the competition because all yōkai in the city are forced into slavery. Akira is an outcast who is Mari's best
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Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
Hmm...cover's not bad. Definitely getting on Asian vibe so that's good at least lol
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A YA fantasy, steeped in Japanese folklore, that sounds like it was made to be an anime? Why have I not heard of this until now!?
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Nadhira Satria
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
What the fuck was that? I- we- I’m- bye
Dani - Perspective of a Writer
description
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...


Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret, she’s a yōkai! As she strug
...more
Vicky Who Reads
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, own
4 stars

#AsianYA is absolutely slaying November and 2018 in general. Because Empress of All Seasons completely blew me away with its lush world and relatable characters and amazing plot.

I thought the world was wonderful--it was lush and well-developed and rich with culture, which I definitely enjoyed. Plus, there were all sorts of magical beings--Mari being one of them--and it really spiced up the plot!

The enslavement of magical beings was handled really well, and it wasn't too dark or gory that
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Daphne (Illumicrate)
Men are conditioned to take. Women are conditioned to give.

This book is absolutely wonderful. I've read a spate of Asian-inspired YA fantasies at the moment and this is my favourite. I loved the rich world that the author built, a Japanese-inspired world where yokai are treated as second class citizens by a hateful human Emperor.

Mari is our protagonist, a yokai Animal Wife, who comes from an all-woman clan where they trick human men into marrying them and make off with their treasure. Mari has
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Beatrice in Bookland
Sep 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, did-not-finish
*I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

”The rules were simple: Survive the rooms. Conquer the seasons. Win the prince.”

DNF @42%

What a disappointment. Flat (and not very likeable) characters, way too slow moving plot, basic writing style. I don’t have enough strength (or time to waste) to keep reading, so bye book 👋🏼
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/11/04/...

Here’s another one for fans of Asian-inspired fantasy: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean is set in a world reminiscent of feudal Japan with historical and supernatural elements. It is also a world where humans and yōkai live side by side—but not as equals. Whether you are a kappa demon or a near human-looking harionago or “hook girl”, all yōkai in Honoku are required to be registered and fitted with an unbreakable iron
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rachel
if you prefer plot over characterisation, this will be more your thing

🍂 Rep: #Ownvoices Japanese cast.

🌻 Trigger warnings for body shaming, slavery, systematic oppression, rape, child abuse, parental abandonment, self-injury, childbirth, forced adoption, death, murder, exile, death by starvation, cyclones, poisoning, explosions, fire, animal attack, animal cruelty, animal death, and bullying.
Kathy - Books & Munches
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, read-in-2018
The thing that got me to pick up this book is very simple. Empress of All Seasons is an Japanese-inspired young adult fantasy, written by a Japanese author.

I do have to apologize though.. Because this is a ridiculously short review due to one thing and one thing alone: I procrastinated on writing it and.. well.. apparently I suck at writing reviews weeks after reading the book. Lesson learned, I swear.

Apart from the own voice-aspect, I absolutely loved the themes Emiko Jean incorporated in this
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Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it woul
...more
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
3.5 stars

I decided to pick this up as it was the group book for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon of 2019. Prior to reading this, I had seen it talked about online with fairly good reviews.

I did really enjoy the plot of this novel and although it did somewhat remind me of "The Hunger Games" in some ways (the competition while in the Season rooms), it was exclusively its own in other ways.

I also found the involvement of Japanese mythology extremely interesting. As I have no pre-existing knowledge i
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J.A. Ironside
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

 

3.5 stars rounded up

 

Do you like the anime films of Studio Ghibli? Do you have an appreciation for the aesthetic of Miyazaki? If so you’re going to love the world building in this book. There were times when the descriptions of the places and creatures of this book evoked the visuals of that anime in a visceral way.

 

The plot follows Mari, a yokai girl (one of the Animal Wives), who has never quite fitted in amongst her people because she
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Amy Imogene Reads
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
1.5 stars

A Japanese-inspired fantasy containing a fight-to-the-death competition to be Empress, and I was so bored and irritated with the character arcs that I struggled to finish it.

Concept: ★★★★ 1/2
Writing: ★★★
Character Depth: ★★
Romantic Element:
Pacing: ★★
General Enjoyment: did not enjoy

Empress of All Seasons sounded like a truly thrilling YA fantasy on paper. Mari, a girl who lives in an all-female remote community in the mountains, enters into the national contest—involving a fantastical
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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
My thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for a review copy of this book.

This one is again a young adult fantasy–adventure, set in a world inhabited by humans and by yōkai (beasts, some of whom are part human, or have the ability to transform), the latter being subjugated by humans, kept in collars with all kinds of restrictions. Our heroine Mari, belongs to one group of yōkai, the Animal Wives, who are exceptionally beautiful and have a human form (with the ability to change into beast
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˗ˏˋliaˎˊ˗
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
“this is true freedom, to love oneself enough not to care what others think.”

empress of all seasons had a very intriguing premise. the concept of having to conquer all the four seasons in their respective rooms was super interesting, but i found the idea and story in general to be poorly executed.

the beginning, most of all, was incredibly slow and it took like 7 chapters until we got to the actual plot. of course, i don’t mind description and useful information to introduce the reader to the
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Alienne
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
↠ 3.5 stars

Uhhh okay I’m really NOT sure what happened here - I was so so incredibly excited for this one, but it just went in a direction I did not expect at the end and pulled down a solid middle and okay-ish beginning. My mind for the last 75% of the book was just ???? filled with question marks.

Honestly I’m really surprised this novel wasn’t a duology because reading the ending really makes me think it should have been. I would’ve been so happy to read a second book, as I loved the world
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Sherwood Smith
Mari is a yokai, a supernatural being. Her clan is the Animal Wives, who are a very cunning, beautiful, and cold type of yokai. They enchant human men, marry them and rob them and return to their village with their husbands' riches. Mari is that rarity, a homely Animal Wife, which earns her mother some scorn among the fierce women. But her mother trains Mari in weapons, and from childhood sends her to kill roaming samurai as practice.

Mari hates to kill. She has an ambivalent relationship with h
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“Silence is the cousin of invisibility.” 14 likes
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