Empress of All Seasons
When Mari is sent by her Animal Wife family to the Imperial Palace to compete against the seasons to become the next empress, she is not expecting to actually fall in love with the prince or to actually believe he might be different enough from his father to set her people, the yōkai, free from slavery.
Empress of All Seasons opens strong and fierce, introducing readers to a Japanese-inspired world where magic reigns but “demon” yōkai are distrusted. Chapters alternate between Mari’s point of view, that of the Imperial Prince, and that of a yōkai styling himself the Son of Nightmares. Their fates interweave as they struggle to balance getting what they want with doing what seems best for the country, and the result is both fascinating character development and luscious intrigue.
Unfortunately, the story unravels in the last quarter of the book. The once intricately-plotted story becomes rushed, and the characterization becomes less nuanced. Empress of All Seasons is often gripping and breathtaking, but it deserved better. It deserved to be a duo so the plot could be unfolded slowly and with more care.
|Page Count||384 pages|
|Publisher||HMH Books for Young Readers|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|