Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean

— DISCLAIMER: I received a eARC of this novel via NetGalley – thank you to both Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for the opportunity! All opinions expressed in this review are my own. —

Wow, I just realized exactly how long it’s been since my last post! Life has been insane on my end, and time has simply flown by. Luckily, I’m on holiday for a week now, and I hope that I can manage to prepare a few posts to ensure that I’ll get around to posting more regularly again! But now, have a review of the wonderful Empress of All Seasons!

As the eARC I received did not have a cover yet, I haven’t been able to take a picture that does the book justice, but I hope that I can remedy that once my finished copy arrives (I liked this so much I immediately had to preorder it!) – for now, have the cover image from the publisher’s website.



SUMMARY: Mari, a teenage girl who grew up in a village of women with supernatural powers, a society despised by the culture they are part of, is sent to compete to become Empress and steal the Emperor’s fortune. However, she accidentally falls in love with  the future Emperor, not knowing who he is, making her mission much more complicated. Things are not what they seem, and the story is full of intrigue, vengeance, and conflicting interests.

OPINIONS: Based on Japanese mythology, and it’s historical feudal system, this is a fascinating tale of tolerance and the lack thereof. The main characters are all wonderfully multi-dimensional and grow throughout the story, which is like catnip for me. It is rare that charaters have such a natural growth process over the course of a story, and I think that this is a large part of why I loved this book so much.

While the main story is about tolerance and the future of the whole Empire and it’s society, and can in parts be seen as an allegory for the flaws of our current society, the side plot of the competition for the future Emperor’s hand reads like a fairy tale. This mix is what makes this book stand out from the many great books published this year, and lets it tell its story in a unique way. The ending is unexpected, not the traditional happy end too many stories feature, but amazing and empowering.

Thank you, Emiko Jean, for giving us this wonderful story, and readers, go and get yourself a copy!

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