Hi Everyone! It’s Becky, again. I just finished read Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book and it was a little different then I expected. Here are my thoughts.
Title: Empress for All Seasons
Author: Emiko Jean
Note: I listened to the audio book.
Summary: In Honoku, the new empress is found through a series of deadly competitions. Mari has spent her whole life being trained to win the competition but she doesn’t want to compete because of her deadly secret. Mari is yōkai, someone born with the ability to transform into a beast. Mari can’t leave the competition but if she is found out she will be executed. She must take on the challenges and do what it takes to survive and marry the prince.
Review: Empress of All Seasons was an interesting take on epic stories of good versus evil embedded with a mythology vibe. The story at times felt very familiar and similar to other YA fantasy books. The best way to describe it may be Hunger Games crossed with The Selection with a smidge of Asian history mixed in. Yet, even with all those aspects jumbled together Jean wrote a story that is engrossing and incredibly fast paces. Plus, it is always awesome to read a book that has a strong female main character that is able to save herself and defeat the bad guy. I loved that part. However, there were times when I was thrown by the dialog in the book. Several of the characters speak in very modern ways which was jarring compared to the historical settings. Even with the tiny issue Empress of All Seasons was a fast and engrossing read that will appeal to fans of YA fantasy and manga.
Rating: 3 out of 5