The Blonde Bookworm: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean -- Review

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean -- Review

Monday, January 21, 2019

Title: Empress of All Seasons
Author: Emiko Jean
Pages: 384
Publishing: November 6th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers


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.


I absolutely loved all of the Japanese elements of this novel and felt that those cultural elements really helped this novel stand out. The characters were a lot of fun and I kept finding myself turning the pages faster and faster. I loved all of the excitement and how action packed the novel was from start to finish. 

There were a few portions of the novel that felt a little jumpy at times and I would have liked to see a few more unique elements to the plot. All in all, it was a surprisingly fun and entertaining read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy YA fantasy. Thank you to HMH Young Readers and Netgalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 3/5 


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