Empress of all Seasons
In a deadly tournament to become empress, any may enter but only one will survive, and one competitor doesn't just plan to win, she's going to steal the Emperor's fortune. . .
In 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, and you...more
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 wh ...more
THINGS TO EXPECT
➸ Mari being epic with her naginata sword and sighi ...more
“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-yōk ...more
“Not everyone is all good or all bad.”
2 1/2 stars. 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 exp ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
representation: own voices Japanese inspired world and characters, f/f side relationship.
[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]
This was so different than what I was expecting! It had some hunger games vibes and some avatar vibes, while also doing its own thing implementing Japanese folklore. I also loved the feminist themes and the unexpected ending! Didn't see that one coming!
trigger warnings: violence, se ...more
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 Mar ...more
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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 stru ...more
“Do not let your fear decide your fate.”
After abandoning my ARC for entirely too long, I decided to get the audiobook from the library and consume this book via audio. Hanako Footman's narration was very good but it did give me a little bit of trouble with keeping apart the different points of views. As far as the writing goes, I thoug ...more
”The rules were simple: Survive the rooms. Conquer the seasons. Win the prince.”
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 👋🏼
#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 ...more
Uhhh okay I’m really NOT sure what happened here - I was so so incredibly excited for this one, but it 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 happy to read a second book, as I loved the world this was set ...more
One of my biggest gripes in this book was how Taro was portrayed because it was so unjust. He was sympathetic for the youkai and I think he would have stood beside Mari if she had just explained who she was and what had happ ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
🍂 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.
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
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
Character Depth: ★★
Romantic Element: ★
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 ...more
All right, after chewing on my thoughts and feelings about this for a while . . . I think I've finally narrowed down the reasons for my annoyance with this 'could-have-been-brilliant' story: It shouldn't have been a standalone. Seriously!! So many things were pushed aside or rushed for the sake of making this a single story, when even if more length had been given to it (please give me excellent bricks okay I love them) there ...more
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 ...more
|YA Buddy Readers'...: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean - Restarting September 20th 2019||15||68||Oct 13, 2019 04:45PM|
|Sirens Conference: Empress of All Seasons||1||13||Jun 14, 2019 09:41AM|
|Nothing But Readi...: Empress of All Seasons --Emiko Jean ( March 2019 Young Adult BOM ) starts March 16, 2019||82||336||Mar 25, 2019 07:53AM|
|Challenge Corner: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean -> Starting November 10th, 2018||2||5||Nov 23, 2018 11:13PM|