November 6th, 2018
Mari is yokai, a type of non-human spirit. She is what’s known as an Animal Wife–a shape changing spirit that marries a man and runs away with his fortune. Except Mari isn’t like the others of her kind–her mother has trained her for something else.
When the son of the emperor grows old enough to marry, a great contest will be held to find him his perfect mate. The palace has four magic rooms, one for each of the four seasons. Each has it’s own dangers, and during the contest women will try to survive each room and conquer it. When they can become the Empress of All Seasons, they may marry the future emperor. This is what Mari’s mother has trained her for–to become the Empress of All Seasons, and steal her people a vast fortune.
The only problem is that if she’s found out as yokai, they’re sure to kill her. In this empire, yokai are treated horribly, and sometimes collared as slaves.
This was an interesting one. It was a pretty new and inventive story, but it also felt like an older myth or fairytale. I quite enjoyed it, and the characters were well rounded enough to remain interesting throughout. Beautiful setting, and a beautiful story.
JL Jamieson is a strange book nerd who writes technical documents by day, and book news, reviews, and other assorted opinions for you by night. She is working on her own fiction, and spends time making jewelry to sell at local conventions, as well as stalking the social media accounts of all your favorite writers.