Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Empress of All Seasons

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 empr...

Details Empress of All Seasons

TitleEmpress of All Seasons
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Young Adult Fantasy, Fiction

Reviews Empress of All Seasons

  • Melanie
    ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. “Do not cling to the hand that holds you down” Empress of All Seasons is an ownvoices Japanese fantasy that was a complete delight to read. I was completely immersed from the very first page, and the last page left me wanting the next book immediately. But this is a tale of family (both found and blood), and honor (both given and earned), and love (uncondi...
  • may ➹
    can someone tell me [inhales] what the HELL just happened3.5 stars “But not every happily-ever-after includes a man.” Empress of All Seasons is set in a Japanese-inspired world where every time the prince is in need of a wife, competitions to the death are held for all women—except yōkai.Mari, a yōkai, has trained all her life to enter this competition, and refuses to back down until she becomes empress. Taro, the prince, has no...
  • Chelsea Humphrey
    Even though this one didn't fully work for me, I still think it'll be an excellent story for many readers. It's not to say I didn't enjoy it at all, but I think my overall feel was too middle-of-the-road to garner anything higher than a 3 star rating towards my experience. The cover is swoon worthy and the influence of Japanese culture was stellar, and, honest to God, the intro was one of the most well written, engaging, and intriguing beginnings...
  • Lily ☁️
    “Not everyone is all good or all bad.” I’m going to use this quote as a starting point, and say: not every book is all good or all bad. Because it perfectly encompasses how torn I feel about Empress of All Seasons.I think that ultimately, and sadly, I fell in love with the idea of this book based on its synopsis more than I did with the actual book itself.I loved the idea of Mari setting out to win a competition based on wit, cunning, stren...
  • ˗ˏˋliaˎˊ˗
    “this is true freedom, to love oneself enough not to care what others think.” empress of all seasons had a very intriguing premise. the concept of having to conquer all the four seasons in their respective rooms was super interesting, but i found the idea and story in general to be poorly executed. the beginning, most of all, was incredibly slow and it took like 7 chapters until we got to the actual plot. of course, i don’t mind descriptio...
  • Carrie
    Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean is a young adult fantasy book that is inspired by the author’s own Japanese heritage. I think if you took the Japanese infused story complete with monsters and tossed it into a blender with the Hunger Games and a smidge of the Selection then blend it all up you come up with Empress of All Seasons.Mari is a Yokai, she looks human but has the ability to transform into a monster. Yokai are feared Honoku so Mari...
  • Sara
    This feels like a fairly familiar read as it includes many common book tropes. One of my least favourite tropes of all time is when the main character is deemed "ugly" until her prince (or in this case samurai) tells her otherwise and this book had plenty of that. In the first few chapters it felt as though we were being constantly reminded that Mari was unattractive which started to grate on me.That being said it wasn't a bad story overall, the ...
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    "Do not let fear decide your fate." representation: own voices Japanese inspired world and characters, f/f side relationship. [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]★★★★This was so different than what I was expecting! It had some hunger games vibes and some avatar vibes, while also doing its own thing implementing Japanese folklore. I also loved the feminist themes and the unexpected ending! Did...
  • Ishmeen
    3.5 stars - I was very intrigued by the concept and enjoyed the world building quite a lot so the fact that I am not rating it 4 stars saddens me as well. The female empowerment in this story was great and the writing style was pretty decent too. I liked where the story was going until the ending which I was not satisfied with at all. It was sort of like... that's it? I just feel like there was so much potential in this plotline and where the st...
  • Nadhira Satria
    What the fuck was that? I- we- I’m- bye
  • Tori (InToriLex)
    Content Warning: Graphic Violence, Slavery, DeathThis action packed fantasy helped me crawl from the depths of an awful reading slump. Mari is a bad ass protagonist who is a skilled fighter, a yōkai and a caring friend. She sets out to compete to become Empress by facing seasonal rooms meant to break her in mind and body. Mari has to hide her identity from prince Taro and everyone in the competition because all yōkai in the city are forced int...
  • Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. 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...
  • Beatrice in Bookland
    *I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*”The rules were simple: Survive the rooms. Conquer the seasons. Win the prince.”DNF @42%What a disappointment. Flat (and not very likeable) characters, way too slow moving plot, basic writing style. I don’t have enough strength (or time to waste) to keep reading, so bye book 👋🏼
  • Vicky Again
    4 stars#AsianYA is absolutely slaying November and 2018 in general. Because Empress of All Seasons completely blew me away with its lush world and relatable characters and amazing plot.I thought the world was wonderful--it was lush and well-developed and rich with culture, which I definitely enjoyed. Plus, there were all sorts of magical beings--Mari being one of them--and it really spiced up the plot!The enslavement of magical beings was handled...
  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    ↠ 3.5 stars Uhhh okay I’m really NOT sure what happened here - I was so so incredibly excited for this one, but it went in a direction I did not expect at the end and pulled down a solid middle and okay-ish beginning. My mind for the last 75% of the book was just filled with question marks.Honestly, I’m really surprised this novel wasn’t a duology because reading the ending really makes me think it should have been. I would’ve been happ...
  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    Empress Of All Seasons is a very enjoyable ownvoices Japanese Fantasy novel, that stood out through its intricate world building and strong characters. “Do not let your fear decide your fate.” After abandoning my ARC for entirely too long, I decided to get the audiobook from the library and consume this book via audio. Hanako Footman's narration was very good but it did give me a little bit of trouble with keeping apart the differen...
  • Daphne (Illumicrate)
    Men are conditioned to take. Women are conditioned to give.This book is absolutely wonderful. I've read a spate of Asian-inspired YA fantasies at the moment and this is my favourite. I loved the rich world that the author built, a Japanese-inspired world where yokai are treated as second class citizens by a hateful human Emperor. Mari is our protagonist, a yokai Animal Wife, who comes from an all-woman clan where they trick human men into marryin...
  • Alienne
    Harsh and absurdly long review ahead! If you enjoyed this book that's awesome. I did not.So, I'm going to try something different and focus on the positives first for once. I liked the concept of the book. I liked that it was a Japanese-inspired fantasy, I liked the worldbuilding a lot, and I liked almost every scene set in the Animal Wife village of Tsuma. I liked the mythological excerpts, those were cool. I liked that for a brief, shining mome...
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/11/04/...Here’s another one for fans of Asian-inspired fantasy: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean is set in a world reminiscent of feudal Japan with historical and supernatural elements. It is also a world where humans and yōkai live side by side—but not as equals. Whether you are a kappa demon or a near human-looking harionago or “hook girl”, all yōkai in Honoku are re...
  • ♠ TABI ♠
    "You should want to be better for yourself, not for someone else." All right, after chewing on my thoughts and feelings about this for a while . . . I think I've finally narrowed down the reasons for my annoyance with this 'could-have-been-brilliant' story: It shouldn't have been a standalone. Seriously!! So many things were pushed aside or rushed for the sake of making this a single story, when even if more length had been given to it (please gi...
  • Amy Imogene Reads
    1.5 starsA Japanese-inspired fantasy containing a fight-to-the-death competition to be Empress, and I was so bored and irritated with the character arcs that I struggled to finish it. Concept: ★★★★ 1/2Writing: ★★★Character Depth: ★★Romantic Element: ★Pacing: ★★General Enjoyment: did not enjoyEmpress of All Seasons sounded like a truly thrilling YA fantasy on paper. Mari, a girl who lives in an all-female remote community i...
  • rachel ☾
    if you prefer plot over characterisation, this will be more your thing🍂 Rep: #Ownvoices Japanese cast. 🌻 Trigger warnings for body shaming, slavery, systematic oppression, rape, child abuse, parental abandonment, self-injury, childbirth, forced adoption, death, murder, exile, death by starvation, cyclones, poisoning, explosions, fire, animal attack, animal cruelty, animal death, and bullying.
  • Kathy - Books & Munches
    The thing that got me to pick up this book is very simple. Empress of All Seasons is an Japanese-inspired young adult fantasy, written by a Japanese author. I do have to apologize though.. Because this is a ridiculously short review due to one thing and one thing alone: I procrastinated on writing it and.. well.. apparently I suck at writing reviews weeks after reading the book. Lesson learned, I swear.Apart from the own voice-aspect, I absolutel...
  • Lauren Stoolfire
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.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...
  • Joanna
    They’re definitely some good parts about this book. I think a lot of the cultural elements were well represented in this book but I have to say the ending is what really dropped this book from being a four-star read down to a three star read. I think that Taro was portrayed unfairly in this book. He was sympathetic for the youkai and I think he would have stood beside Mari if she had explained who she was and what had happened. Her inability to...
  • Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
    3.5 starsI decided to pick this up as it was the group book for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon of 2019. Prior to reading this, I had seen it talked about online with fairly good reviews.I did really enjoy the plot of this novel and although it did somewhat remind me of "The Hunger Games" in some ways (the competition while in the Season rooms), it was exclusively its own in other ways. I also found the involvement of Japanese mythology extremely ...
  • J.A. Ironside
    ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars rounded up Do you like the anime films of Studio Ghibli? Do you have an appreciation for the aesthetic of Miyazaki? If so you’re going to love the world building in this book. There were times when the descriptions of the places and creatures of this book evoked the visuals of that anime in a visceral way. The plot follows Mari, a yokai girl (one of the Animal Wives), who h...
  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
    My thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for a review copy of this book. This one is again a young adult fantasy–adventure, set in a world inhabited by humans and by yōkai (beasts, some of whom are part human, or have the ability to transform), the latter being subjugated by humans, kept in collars with all kinds of restrictions. Our heroine Mari, belongs to one group of yōkai, the Animal Wives, who are exceptionally beautiful and ha...