Empress Of All Seasons
The competition to become the next Empress of Honoku is about to begin.
The rules are simple;
Conquer each of the seasonal rooms, Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall.
Marry the Prince.
Become the Empress.
All women of the Prince’s generation are eligible to compete, all except the yõkai – supernatural monsters and spirits.
Mari has spent her whole life training for the competition, but she is hiding a secret. Mari is yõkai. If Mari fails to keep her identity hidden she will be disqualified and enslaved or killed for treason.
A story told through the eyes of yõkai Mari, Prince Taro, who does not wish to be an Emperor like his father and Akira, a half-yõkai, half-human outcast.
Their fates will collide, their hearts will break. A story of duty, love, loyalty and betrayal, how will it end?
I can not figure out my feelings for this book, my thoughts are still a mess even now. I finished this book about two weeks ago and I’m still struggling to write my opinion down.
I loved this book… in case that wasn’t obvious. I believe this book is set in a fictional Japan, or has elements of Japanese folklore, which is brilliant for diversity.
It’s described as an edge of your seat YA novel and I wholeheartedly agree. I couldn’t put this book down for long, I needed to carry on reading to find out what would happen next!
I was enthralled by the characters and their different POV’s, it was fascinating to read about their individual lives and their own adventures which all happened within the same city.
The first character we’re introduced to is Mari, she is an easily relatable character. Although she is part of a family of yõkai, she has never felt like one of them. Mari has been trained by her mother for a different destiny.
Akira is a quiet, steady character who is a friend of sorts to Mari when she needed one most. I found Akira to be a very humble boy, who didn’t yet understand his purpose in life.
Prince Taro is determined to change his own destiny when we first meet him, he has his own family issues within the castle walls and dreams and schemes of escaping his father’s clutches.
All three of these characters play an important role within the story, and each character develops and grows in maturity, self-worth and confidence. If possible I would describe this book as a coming of age novel for these three characters.
Around half way through, the drama and anticipation really climbs up a notch and you start rooting for your favourite characters.
I was left completely shocked by the ending of this book, no spoilers but this book is not predictable in any way. It’s very refreshing to read a standalone fantasy novel with an ending you didn’t expect.
If you enjoy action packed fantasy novel set in a Japanese setting then I definitely recommend picking up this book when it’s published on the 6th of November.
I read an ebook version of this novel through Netgalley.