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The Majesties

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3.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,020 ratings  ·  505 reviews
In this riveting tale about the secrets and betrayals that can accompany exorbitant wealth, two sisters from a Chinese-Indonesian family grapple with the past after one of them poisons their entire family.

Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for sup
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Hardcover, 257 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Atria Books (first published July 2nd 2018)
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Arung Yes. It was published under the title of Under Your Wings by Penguin Random House.

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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  2,020 ratings  ·  505 reviews


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Felicia
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Go read the description for this book.

Just bear with me here... go on.
I'll wait.

*insert final Jeopardy theme music*

Sounds dramatic, mysterious, thrilling even. I mean it says "riveting and disquieting thriller" right there!

I'll take 'What is not even close? for $800, Alex'.

This book doesn't know what it wants to be and subsequently ends up being nothing to speak of.

It wants to be a family drama, with extraneous drama that lends nothing to the story.

It wants to be a thriller. No. Just no.

A myst
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Carol (Bookaria)
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, fiction
This novel is described as a thriller in the lines of Crazy Rich Asians as if it had been written by Gillian Flynn. It was more of a family drama where the main character opens the story by waking up in the hospital, 300 hundred members of her family have been fatally poisoned, including children.

No Gillian Flynn book has reached this level of destruction, so no, it was not as described. 

However, I needed to know why one of the characters felt the need to poison her family, so I dutifully read
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Michelle
2.5 rounded up.

Part of me thinks I’m being generous, but then I don’t know. Telling you what I think about this book will be very challenging. You will get a different answer every time. I haven't read Crazy Rich Asians, but from other reviews I've read - that characterization missed the mark. I would liken this much more to My Sister, the Serial Killer, minus the dry and dark humor that made that book really shine. I needed something else in this book.

The Majesties is a heavy read (with a rea
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Jesse bowtiesandbooks
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Synopsis
Gwendolyn wakes - deeply injured and blinded - in a hospital bed. The sole survivor of a poisoning that has claimed the lives of her entire family. Her sister, closest confidant and best friend in the world, was responsible for killing their entire bloodline. Dying, paralyzed, and unable to speak, Gwendolyn sifts through her memories attempting to make sense of her sister's carnage.

Review
The major point of contention most have with this novel is its "not really a thriller". It is ma
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Monica
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I’m not positive how I feel about this story. There were very interesting parts but it was mostly wealthy,egotistical people looking down on the general public. As stated with lots of sub-par stories, there was a decent plot but poor execution.

Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Jessica Woodbury
This is one of those crime novels where the mystery isn't who did it but why. I also suspect it's going to divide a lot of readers, since it has an unusual twisty ending that is more common in the quick-paced thriller set of crime novels than the slow literary character studies like this is.

The CRAZY RICH ASIANS comp is not good, though. This is not a funny book at all. It's deadly serious and it may be about rich Chinese-Indonesians, Indonesia is not Singapore, and tonally they have nothing in
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Elle
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There has been a massacre. In the first sentence of the first chapter, the narrator, Gwendolyn, reveals that her sister Estella murdered three hundred people. They’re members of her family, extended family and friends, poisoned for no discernible reason. This is where the story starts, but also where it ends.

It would be wrong to classify this as a thriller or suspense in the traditional sense. If you’re looking for heightened happenings similar to the initial bombshell to be peppered throughout
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Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
What a BOLD beginning! The novel starts with Gwendolyn - our narrator - in the hospital. She’s the sole survivor of a mass murder.

The scene: her Opa’s birthday party
The guests/victims: her wealthy family and their friends and colleagues, some of the wealthiest Chinese families in Indonesia
The culprit: Gwendolyns sister, Estella

Gwendolyn is in a coma and narrates the story from that state. She recalls moments from their privileged lives that may have led Estella to murder their family. The nove
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Karima chermiti
2.5 " dissapointing " Stars

The Majesties , a story about family wealth and the betrayals , disappointments and heartbreak that comes with it , is deceitfully engaging only to lose the intrigue and depth the moment we stumble on that tragic plot twist. Way to ruin a good story just so you can make it edgier and crazier.

The book is about Gwendolyn and Estella, two sisters from a Chinese-Indonisian wealthy family and how their relationship evolved with time. There is also a mystery in this book a
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niri
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: half-of-a-whole
first read sept 2018, under your wings proof copy: i honest-to-god did not put this down at all: it grabs you from the very first pages and does not let you go until the VERY last. perceptive, chilling, and exquisitely crafted and paced — the kind of book you want to reread immediately after you finish.

reread 2020: the majesties US proof copy
Kitty Marie
This was a mostly blind read. All I knew were a few vague things like the cover being gorgeous and intriguing. Also, that it’s Asian-American fiction, probably literary, and centers around a family. It’s nice sometimes to go in with little info and get caught off guard.

I’ll just get this out of the way first and foremost- for me The Majesties clicked in a way that was effective and distinctive. Even just the first chapter pretty much blew me away. This book tries to do a lot. The first noticeabl
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Jennifer

The Majesties is a book about two sisters.

This book is being marketed as a thriller. But IMO it is not really a thriller.

The narrator is Gwendolyn (1st person POV). Her family is Chinese and lives in Indonesia. The book starts with her being sort of unconscious/in a coma. We find out that her sister Estella has poisoned a group of people.

The cover is so unique and the story sounded so intriguing. I like reading about different cultures. So I was excited to read this book.

But the entire story is
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Jordy’s Book Club
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“When your sister murders three hundred people, you can’t help but wonder why- especially if you were one of the intended victims- though I do forgive her, if you can believe it.”
⠀⠀
I guess I should have stopped staring at the stunning (STUNNING!) cover of Tiffany Tsao’s #TheMajesties and started reading the actual book sooner, because if that opening sentence doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will! I cracked this book open last night and was up late into the night trying to finish.
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
Wow, this has terrible ratings... but it sounds AMAZING.

I hope I can finagle a copy. :D;
Roman Clodia
Great beginning ('when your sister murders three hundred people, you can't help but wonder why') and a good ending that has a kind of twisted logic to it - but I found the pacing of this not quite right.

There's a l-o-o-o-o-n-g central part where all kinds of wheels are turning but the story doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. Various trips merge into each other and a whole courtship/difficult marriage seems to take up far more page space than is warranted (though the end deals with this in part
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Nursebookie
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whew! What a fantastic read this is! I loved reading about multi-generational family drama that explores what happens in wealthy and prominent Chinese families that look perfect on the outside but rotten in its core. Tiffany Tsao is a brilliant writer that was able to explore and challenge the complexities of family relationships in the realm of the Indonesian cultural norms and societal prejudices. A shocking beginning and an even shocking ending. I devoured this in one sitting and still mesmer ...more
Theresa
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, trauma
Thank you, Netgalley and Atria for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Before I begin, let's take a moment to marvel at that beautiful, eye-catching cover. Ahh. What a sight!

I wish I could say "The Majesties" was just as beautiful and riveting as the outside but unfortunately, this book was a disjointed mess. I'm kind of a stickler when it comes to a certain writing style. I found the descriptive imagery and dialogue to be forced, awkward, and mundane. Almost every sentenc
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Suzanne
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey, Netflix, here's mini-series gold -- an unusual literary thriller about a "filthy rich" Indonesian family, a sort of "Crazy Rich Asians" meets "Big Little Lies." ...more
Katy
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Well that was intriguing, not riveting but in some way intriguing. I would give this book a 3.5 and have rounded it up to 4 because of the fabulous cover!!

For our February book club we were to select a book based on its cover, without reading any summaries or reviews or even the title if you could manage to do that. I selected this book because I liked the bright yellow cover with the somewhat abstract image, and a butterfly. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, no idea what the storyline wo
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Sarah
Jul 27, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
1.5 rounded down

I found this to be an incredibly dull, pedestrian read which didn't work for me on any level. Don't believe the comparisons to Crazy Rich Asians - while the family are Asian (Indonesian) and are crazy (no spoilers) and kind of rich the plots of the books couldn't be more different. This is being billed a thriller but I didn't even understand the twist when I got it - and didn't care enough to go back and work it out.

Honestly not sure why I finished this, and I'm not sure who I'd
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Rachel
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
There were elements of this book I really enjoyed - the opening pulls you in, the discussions of race and wealth and family secrets are all interesting, and the writing is good. However, halfway through I considered putting it down, because it just wasn’t keeping my interest. I spent the majority of the novel hoping the payoff was worth how much the book dragged in the middle and for me it wasn’t. The ending was sudden and fell flat.
Jaclyn Crupi
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Under Your Wings got its claws into me early with its clever and captivating structure, the lush prose (damn good writing here) and its deep dive into complex family dynamics. Who knew I needed a book about bringing down toxic family empires! If you want a read that will grab hold of you from page 1 and not let go, then this is it. And what the hell was that ending!?!?
Sachi Argabright
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
* 3.5 stars | THE MAJESTIES opens with Gwendolyn, a woman from a wealthy Chinese-Indonesian family, waking up as the sole survivor of her sister’s attempt to poison everyone at her grandfather’s extravagant 80th birthday celebration. In her coma-like state, Gwendolyn searches her memory for the reason why her sister would commit such an act, and recalls her family’s dark secrets she uncovered before their demise.

So as you can probably tell from the premise, this book starts off with a bang! The
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Melissa
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
The only survivor of her sister's mass poisoning of their entire extended family, Gwendolyn lies in a coma and tries to figure out what led Estella to murder 300 people. The tangled history of the Sulinado family includes corrupt business practices, spousal abuse, startling religious conversions, multiple casual murders, and jewelry made out of living bugs. This is no thriller or murder mystery but there is a bit of suspense related to what terrible thing the family will do next in their pursuit ...more
Amira
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Thriller?


Family Drama ?



Besides the detailed descriptions of the life of MULTIPLE side characters too many for my enjoyment or interest and the WTH is going on rushed ending,
The main problem of this book is the false advertisement.

Gone girl ? Really ?
I only saw the movie, but I'm sure the book wasn't like this.

Anyway, I liked the writing overall.

It is a decent family drama with a weird ending, that got me debating whether I liked it or not.
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Tiffany PSquared
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A jaw-dropping, moving family drama with a first page that will arrest your attention like nothing else you'll read all year. This is the book you pick up for the cover and don't put down until the very last page. ...more
tara
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so quietly intense and relentlessly gripping that it was a struggle to put it down last night, and i picked it up first thing this morning. what a wild ride!!!
The Nerd Daily
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Kaylie Seed

The cover of Tiffany Tsao’s novel The Majesties is an abstract painting of a head with a monarch butterfly and this stunning yellow cover is enough to draw a reader in and to want to learn more about what this story is about. The Majesties begins with Gwendolyn (Doll) Sulinado in a coma, on life support, recounting the murderous actions of her sister Estella on the evening of their Opa’s eightieth birthday celebration. The reader imme
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Alena
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it
An odd combination of frivolous and dark - this is like Crazy Rich Asians as a psychological thriller.
Cat
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gwendolyn and Estella live in a world where the money is no object. A career is senseless, but if you must, here’s a huge conglomerate you can run. Food, travel, fashion, everything is within reach. Growing up in the lap of their Chinese-Indonesian family’s luxury, what could possibly go wrong?
As Gwen slowly regains consciousness while lying in the hospital recovering from an apparent attempted murder, she must untangle the web of deceit and lies that she and her sister navigated through in orde
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Yonda!: The Majesties 2 2 Nov 04, 2020 04:49PM  

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Tiffany Tsao is the author of The Majesties and the Oddfits fantasy series.

She also translates Indonesian fiction and poetry into English.

She received her Ph.D. in English from UC-Berkeley in 2009 and now lives in Sydney, Australia with her spouse and two offspring.

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