All, Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Empress of All Seasons PH Blog Tour + Book Review – November 2018

Synopsis: 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.

Title: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Publication: November 6th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9780544530942

This book is about Mari, a girl who has the power to shape shift into a beast called an Animal Wife. Now it’s not as horrible as it sounds. The shape shifting premise isn’t actually a turn off, it’s kind of like a power of sorts. She joins the competition to win empress of the empire. She competes with other girls and it seems like The Selection by Kiera Cass but only the competition and the girls are less focused on. The main plot is the plot against the emperor and the situation with the yokai and the empire.

Mari is a strong female characters and she’s quite unique from any other female heroine I know. She’s different from Aelin and America from similar books. I’m not sure how to describe her but as she battles the other girls in the competition, she shows compassion for them without knowing who they are. The competition seemed so fast because of how fast paced this book was. And another thing to know is that there’s a war at the end of this book and the events after that will hook you.

This book is set in an Asian empire setting and there are many references to Japanese culture. The main heroine has a strong character from the very start of the book until the very end. This book is also heavy in action and assassination plots.

From the very start of the book, you’re going to be immediately immersed in the action of the book. It starts with Mari battling a Samurai and the whole world and the characters are then introduced. I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself in this world probably because of the writing style. It hooked me but there were times that I couldn’t tell what would happen next a few events kind of seemed confusing to me, a part of that is because of the characters. I wasn’t able to fully distinguish them from one another probably because their Asian names sounded the same, but that’s just me.

The writing style was pretty good. I was hooked and by the end of the book, I didn’t want to stop reading. Especially because everything was finally making sense and everything was falling into place. The characters are also pretty amazing and bad-ass. They were very unique in character which you’ll find out once you read this book.

What I loved about this book is Mari’s romantic relationship with the crown prince. It slowly developed and as they continued to spend time with each other like their little talks and the parties and how strong their relationship was. Despite Mari finally admitting who she was, the turnover point and the ending of their romance was romantic. I swooned over everything. I don’t want to spoil what happens with their romance but just know that it’s heartrenching and it will make you have so many up and down feels.

This book also reminded me of The Queen of Blood where in strong female characters battle for the throne. Mari was unique among all the other girls and secrets are uncovered. She isn’t the only person to watch out in this book, her childhood friend, the sonf of nightmares is also a very interesting character and his story is also exciting.

I highly recommend this book to fans of The Queen of Blood, Heir of Fire, The Selection, and Flame in the Mist. And also to fans of fast paced stories and strong independent female characters. It’s the perfect read if you’re looking for a diverse read (there’s no heavy LGBTQ factor in this book) with feels and an amazing fast paced plot.


About the Author

When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain.

QUICK FACTS

Name: Emiko, Emi, Emmers Bemmers Boo Boo (only my mother calls me this)

Occupation: Writer and reader, most days reader before writer

Location: Vancouver, WA

Family: Yes. One husband. Two children – b/g twins!

Previous Occupations: Bug tamer, teacher, florist, candlestick maker and vagabond. My friends and I once (poorly) fixed up an old van. We drove it across the country. The bumper fell off and we lost the brakes in the Redwoods.

Qualifications: None. But I strongly believe in “fake it till you make it” and asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

Favorite foods: ALL OF THEM. Though I do have a special place in my heart for girl scout cookies, frosted animal cookies and anything with pasta.

Favorite time of year: Fall. I also love Christmastime (even though I’m Jewish).

Favorite music: Depends on mood and activity. For writing: Mumford and Sons, The Strumbellas, The Head and the Heart, Queen, Bowie, Pink Floyd … For general work (building this website, creating graphic etc.): Anything hip-hop, specifically Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Dyme Def, Atmosphere, Matisyahu …

Favorite authors: Too many to count.

Last concert: Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne

Favorite television shows: Antiques Roadshow, Call the Midwife, anything BBC, anything real housewives (no judgement please)

Least favorite things: The word “moist” – I dare you to find it in one of my novels.

Unusual talents/facts: I am fantastic at finding four leaf clovers. I can also make three loops with my tongue. I’ve also won my fair share of Texas Hold’em tournaments.


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