Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean - Book Review (no spoilers)

Apr 24, 2018

Empress of All Seasons
By Emiko Jean
Release Date: 06 Nov 2018

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group.
HMH Books for Young Readers.
Genre: Teen & YA
Links: Amazon | Book Deposity  |B&N | GoodReads
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Summary: 

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.
Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.
Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.
Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

My Review:

MY HEART IS DESTROYED.

Empress of all seasons is a brave, inspiring and utterly captivating tale that everyone needs to add to their TBR pile immediately.

This book is base in Japanese folklore .The mythology is simply beautiful and the writing is poetic. It is action packed, full of romance and self-discovery. This both is all about honor, duty and family. The characters are relatable, real and in search of their own path.

I was so pleasantly surprise will all the real life issue this books deals with. It is not afraid to be different.

Empress of all seasons is a book about a girl who was raised to believe she was not beautiful in a society where beauty is everything. She is force to compensate her lack of beauty in strength.
Sounds familiar? Well maybe is because even though this book is fantasy it clearly reflects our mistakes as society. It still a reality that the value of a girl is proportional to her beauty. Even though we are growing and evolving as society, there are places where girls have to be beautiful to be happy. As a Mexican daughter whose grew up with impossible telenovela standards and whose family also believes beauty is everything this book really resonated with me.

Emiko Jean inserts real life issues like slavery, racism, and feminism and identity into this book in such a clever way.

This book is a offers a fresh and different take on Romeo and Juliette with sprinkle of Throne of Glass. I know it sounds like a weird combination but it works wonderfully. I laughed, I cried and I think my heart actually stopped for a minute there. I read this in one sitting, and let me tell you  a book has not captivated me like this in a very long time.

The book is a standalone and I am so sad because I would love to see the journey of these incredible characters continue, but again it just shows how strong Emiko Jean’s writing is. She is able to develop a whole complex society in the span of a just one book. I really hope we get a book two because it would make an epic adventure.

Empress of all seasons touches on feminist issues. It shows what a patriarchy society causes on BOTH men and woman. The heavy expectations of gender roles children have to carry and the consequences that certain believes parents have affect their children.

Emiko Jean has a bestseller in her hands coming this November. I can’t express how amazing and captivating this book was, and how much I related to it. Remember the name Empress of all Seasons because you will be hearing a lot about it soon.

*Thank Netgalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for providing an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review*
 

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