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The Majesties

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  103 reviews
In this riveting and disquieting thriller about the secrets and betrayals that accompany exorbitant wealth—imagine Crazy Rich Asians as written by Gillian Flynn—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,
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Atria Books (first published July 2nd 2018)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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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.

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
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 after fatally poisoning 300 members of her family, 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 the main character felt the need to eradicate her family's line so I dutifully read on, and
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.
Elle Rudy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
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
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
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!?!?
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
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!!!
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."
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
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
The Majesties is marketed as “if Gillian Flynn wrote Crazy Rich Asians”. The Majesties is not that. Not even close. It does give off Crazy Rich Asians vibes, but doesn’t touch Flynn with a ten-foot pole.

The Majesties is an interesting concept, but it’s poor executive leaves much to be desired. The slow pacing, almost non-existent plot, and unlikeable characters makes The Majesties a boring read that is a slog to get through.

The Majesties is bogged down in its over reliance on exposition. There
Bookish Anki
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I was too excited to read this book, after reading the synopsis which mentioned Estelle’s poisioning their whole clan. When I started reading few pages especially the first line of the book, I really felt this could be a good one, I was eager to find the answers to why Estelle killed her entire family precisely three hundred people, and what if she didn’t then who might have framed her? But after few pages it felt more like a family fiction no sign of thriller or a mystery, I am glad that this ...more
Jim Skinner
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't see that ending coming!
Dec 10, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: netgalley
DNF. This book does not live up to being the thriller promised by the blurb, and it didn't hold my interest.

*I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cassandra Kavanagh
I almost feel guilty for not liking this book when most people leaving a review here loved it...About a 1/4 of the way in I checked the goodreads reviews in order to make a decision on whether to persist with reading it or not and the glowing recommendations I found encouraged me to continue ,but I should have trusted my own feelings and stopped because I wasn't enjoying it and completing this book to the end became a chore.

I found the story forced and contrived. I honestly felt like it had been

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
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this book was that it made my family look normal! Knowing nothing about the division of classes in Indonesia, especially regarding those with a Chinese background, I was nonetheless quite interested in the backstory, the stereotypes, the discrimination, etc. I was less attached to the main focus itself: the betrayals and interference of a powerful family in the lives of their supposed loved ones (often with fatal consequences). My main disappointment was in not becoming ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HELLO????? (!!!!!!) it was amazing period
Jessica (booksterjess)
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars. "Imagine Crazy Rich Asians as written by Gillian Flynn" says the blurb for The Majesties. I love both of those things, and I found the book cover stunning, so I couldn't wait to read this.

The premise is interesting: two sisters from a Chinese-Indonesian family grapple with the past after one of them poisons their entire family. I love character-driven dramas and admittedly, stories about wealthy people doing terrible things. However, this was neither a thriller nor an exciting family
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Wow. It started with a bang and then just got progressively more boring. The twist at the end was unexpected but this was so dry I just skipped to the end to see what happened after trudging through the first 20%. Way too much unnecessary family drama that took away from the "thriller" aspect.

Thanks to netgalley for the arc.
Lolly K Dandeneau
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
review tomorrow but I didn't expect that ending!
Thank you to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Majesties.

I've never read Rich Crazy Asians but I was intrigued by the premise of The Majesties because of the thriller aspect so I was excited when my request was approved.

Also, really cool cover.

** Some itty bitty spoilers ahead! **

Gwendolyn and Estella are as close as sisters can be.

Raised in luxury and wealthy in a prominent Chinese-Indonesian family, the women have had to navigate social expectations, the rigidity of their Asian culture,
Lolly K Dandeneau
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
via my blog:
'Blood does run thick. Even if poison trumps all.'

A wealthy, successful, prominent Chinese Indonesian family has been poisoned, every single one of them, by one of their own. “It was caught on a surveillance tape, so there’s no denying that Estella was the culprit”. As Gwendolyn “Doll” lies in and out of consciousness she is left trying to comprehend how her sister Evelyn could commit so evil an act. Why would she want to destroy their entire
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Riley
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gwendolyn and Estella were as close as sisters can be, but when Estella poisons the entire family and Gwendolyn is the only remaining survivor it forces her to reflect on their relationship. Set in the opulence of upper-class Indonesia, the sisters have wanted for nothing. However, as Gwendolyn retraces her footsteps, it becomes apparent that the family has dark secrets that might have contributed to Estella's betrayal.

This mystery is a jigsaw puzzle that is explored through memories, you pick
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Color me intrigued from the get-go!

“When your sister murders three hundred people, you can’t help but wonder why - especially if you were one of the intended victims...”

I MEAN WHOA. If that doesn’t make you want to read a book, I don’t know what will. The only survivor, Estella’s sister Gwendolyn, narrates the events leading up to the mass murder from her hospital bed, where she lies in a comatose state. The Majesties brilliantly hooked me in from the beginning, however it lost it’s momentum
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
THE MAJESTIES is a complex, epic tale of family deception, murder, and gross wealth. The story is wild, and it starts off with something so shocking that I think the book has some trouble finding it's footing after the fact. Estella has murdered 300 (!) members of her family and the sole survivor, her sister, is lying in a coma and relaying their lives which lead up to this horrid event. This book truly baffled me, honestly.

Set in Indonesia around the time of the 90s financial crash (which took
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a fascinating turn of events! Story, of a wealthy Indonesian-Chinese family, begins with a woman poisoning everyone at her grandpa's 80th birthday party, and story proceeds back in time, the reader learning about the relationship between her and her sister (the narrator Gwendolyn), about her abusive husband, and all the problematic family traumas that happen leading up to this ending.

The focus is on a morally-compromised family, and the main characters, 2 sisters, who navigate the world of
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao. It's the story of two Chinese-Indonesian sisters, Gwendolyn and Estella, and at the very start of the book we learn Estella has poisoned their entire family. The rest of the book goes on to recount what happened that lead to the poisoning.

The book has been dubbed a "Crazy Rich Asians" meets Gillian Flynn. Some of the lavish descriptions in the beginning of the book had a Candice Bushnell/Sex and the City season 1 vibe to me, which I liked. As the story
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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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