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The Majesties

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  269 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, theyve relied on each other for
Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Atria Books (first published July 2nd 2018)
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Average rating 3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  905 ratings  ·  269 reviews

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Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 Im being generous, but then I dont 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)
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,
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Im 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 readers copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
What a BOLD beginning! The novel starts with Gwendolyn - our narrator - in the hospital. Shes the sole survivor of a mass murder.

The scene: her Opas 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 novel
Elle Rudy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. Theyre 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 youre looking for heightened happenings similar to the initial bombshell to be peppered throughout
Jesse bowtiesandbooks
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.

The major point of contention most have with this novel is its "not really a thriller". It is

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
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
Wow, this has terrible ratings... but it sounds AMAZING.

I hope I can finagle a copy. :D;
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. ...more
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 its Asian-American fiction, probably literary, and centers around a family. Its nice sometimes to go in with little info and get caught off guard.

Ill 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 noticeable
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
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trauma, netgalley
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
Jordy’s Book Club
When your sister murders three hundred people, you cant 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 Tsaos #TheMajesties and started reading the actual book sooner, because if that opening sentence doesnt grab your attention, I dont know what will! I cracked this book open last night and was up late into the night trying to finish. If you
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 ...more
Rachel SV
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 wasnt 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 wasnt. The ending was sudden and fell flat. ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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.
Tiffany PSquared
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.
Sachi Argabright
* 3.5 stars | THE MAJESTIES opens with Gwendolyn, a woman from a wealthy Chinese-Indonesian family, waking up as the sole survivor of her sisters attempt to poison everyone at her grandfathers 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 familys dark secrets she uncovered before their demise.

So as you can probably tell from the premise, this book starts off with a bang! The
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!?!?
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."
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gwendolyn and Estella live in a world where the money is no object. A career is senseless, but if you must, heres a huge conglomerate you can run. Food, travel, fashion, everything is within reach. Growing up in the lap of their Chinese-Indonesian familys 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 order
The Nerd Daily
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Kaylie Seed

The cover of Tiffany Tsaos 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 Opas eightieth birthday celebration. The reader
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 doesnt touch Flynn with a ten-foot pole.

The Majesties is an interesting concept, but its 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 are
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
Bookish Anki
I was too excited to read this book, after reading the synopsis which mentioned Estelles 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 didnt 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!
Michael Livingston
Gripping, strange and very, very dark - this is a surprising and engaging book about privilege, shitty families and revenge.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was weird.
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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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