Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean Read Along – Part I


Title Empress of All Season

Author Emiko Jean

Section Covered Part I (Chapters 1 – 15)

I had an idea today about a new type of post.  Since I haven’t finished reading Empress of All Seasons yet, I thought it would be a good opportunity to write my thoughts out as I progress through the story.  Please note, this post will be riddled with spoilers, so basically, it’s perfect for anyone who has already read this book.

Initial Thoughts

I was super excited to read this book.  I love Japanese culture and folklore so a book about yokai and oni sounded super interesting.

Favorite Quote

“His brain stored millions of memories, each like a painting chronicling the seconds of his life.”

— Page 24

Emiko Jean’s writing style is very descriptive and full of metaphors.  Her characters all seem wise beyond their years and I really enjoyed the richness she gave each character.

The above quote is about Taro, the current Emperor’s son.  He is incredibly sad and longs to leave his destiny of being the next Emperor behind.  He remembers his life with such vivid detail but most of his memories are sad.

Favorite Character

Akira (the Son of Nightmares) – again, I just feel so bad for him.  He loves Mari and she doesn’t love him back, his face is full of scars, and he and his parents are outcasts.  This poor guy just can’t catch a break.  Although I like Mari quite a bit, and I think she’s a pretty good person (more details on that below), I still think Akira is too good for her.  I want him to find someone who appreciates him.  He left his life and parents behind to chase Mari to the capital when she basically doesn’t want him to.

Dear Part II, please stop torturing Akira (and me by extension).

Main Character Notes

Emiko Jean basically leads you to believe that Mari is not a very nice person in the beginning of the story.  (She also leads you to believe that Mari’s mother, Tami, is heartless as well.)  However, as Part I unfolded, we learn that Mari has more compassion and remorse than any other character.  Not only does she not actually kill the men her mother has her practice against, she actually feels badly about injuring them at all.

By the conclusion of Part I, I am convinced that Mari is the Empress that the people should not only want, but need.

Final Thoughts / Hopes for Part II

I want Mari to realize that she loves Akira (although, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon, if at all).  But I want it to!

All of Part II should be about the epic contest described on the dust jacket, otherwise, what are we all doing here.  I was promised a contest, and so far, I have not seen it!

As much as I do not like love triangles, the one that is hinted at here needs to start forming.  It’s like there are three random points not connected at all — that’s not a shape Emiko Jean!  Let’s get it together and decide whether or not this is going to be a triangle or some other kind of geometric object but I can’t keep waiting around.

Bonus Quote — Just because I loved it

“You must take this leap.  The jump always makes the fall worth it.”

— Page 74


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