Hello gorgeous people!
This is the review of a book I don’t see many people mentioning and I think they should because it’s a very good story. And I need more fanart of this book, my heart needs it so please read it!
Empress of All Seasons is about Mari, who has trained all her life to become empress, to become one she has to win the competition that takes place each generation in the palace. All the candidates have to survive the seasonal enchanted rooms in the palace and conquer the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Anyone can participate, except yōkai, supernatural creatures and spirits that the human emperor wants enslaved and destroyed. One problem is, Mari is a yōkai.
This book might not be one of my favorites, but I think it teaches some very valuable lessons. The story is told in multiple perspectives, we have Mari’s, Akira’s and Taro’s. I enjoyed reading about the three of them a lot. It was very easy to fall into Emiko’s writing style and be intrigued by the story. And she also broke my heart like a trillion times, but everything’s fine…
However, we get introduced to a lot of demons and since the names were in Japanese, it was even harder for me to remember them all. Thankfully there are explanations for it through out the book, but I should have had a notebook by my side to write down all the information about those creatures.
I liked Mari, Akira and Taro a lot, like I said. Their backstories and the challenges and fears they faced shaped them into the people they became in the end. I don’t want to say much because of spoilers, but I liked their developments. Sadly, this book is a standalone, I would have loved to see more of them in another book. Although, Mari is what stands out the most in this book, she wants to be free, to fit in in what society tells her to be, and honestly, she is the kind of role model we all girls should look up to.
Also, because this story is only told in one book, the story doesn’t have unnecessary moments or information. Actually, there were things I would have liked to read more about or to have the chance to understand better, but that didn’t interfere with how much I enjoyed the story.
As mentioned, this book teaches us some very important things that we always need to remember. Such as to love ourselves for who we truly are, and to never feel like we need someone else to make us feel complete. At least, these are things I forget frequently, but having Mari as an example, I will follow her steps and try to be a little bit more like her.
There were a lot of quotes I liked from Empress of All Seasons and I’m going to share some of them with you.
Sometimes words are so much more difficult to form than fists.
Funny how love can drive you to hate.
Through pain you will achieve greatness. Through suffering you will gain honor. Through sacrifice you will rise.
It’s easy to pass judgment; far harder to understand.
Men are conditioned to take. Women are conditioned to give. Never let a man take anything from you. Your smiles, your humor, your body.
A man too full of himself is empty inside.
He liked his space. The quiet. And now she filled his silences.
Nature is the most vengeful of partners.
“I do not wish to strip you of anything. But I do wish to build a bridge between us.”
Silence is the cousin to invisibility.
I truly believe this book needs more hype in the book community. I recommend this book to anyone, it is easy and fast to read. If you like fantasy, Japanese or Asian inspired stories, this book is for you. Oh, and don’t forget to have some tissues by your side when reading the last chapters.
Until the next post!
Happy reading 💙