Empress of All Seasons By Emiko Jean Read Along – Part II

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Title Empress of All Seasons

Author Emiko Jean

Section Covered Part II (Chapters 16 – 33)

Initial Thoughts

I was so excited after reading Part I to dive into Part II.  I liked Mari so much more than I did initially and I was ready to see where her story took her.

Favorite Quote

“There will always be something stronger, smarter, faster, better than you.  Let it reveal itself.  Patience is a virtue.”

— Page 24

I loved this quote for so many reasons.  Most importantly, my grandfather used to say “Patience is a virtue” all the time so reading the whole line filled me with nostalgia and familiarity.  I also like that it represents what Tami taught Mari.  Her mother’s methods weren’t always kind, but Tami made sure to prepare Mari for anything she could face in the Season Rooms.  Tami pushed her daughter to be more than just an Animal Wife.  She wanted her to be better and with that, she had to know her limits, her enemies weaknesses, and she had to know how to find them.

If Mari hadn’t been patient, she wouldn’t have won the competition.

Favorite Character

Taro (the Emperor’s son) – I wasn’t crazy about him in the Part I.  He was very much the “Cold Prince” as the people of Honoku call him.  We got to see a lot more of him in Part II and I liked him so much more because of it.  He actually showed that he might be worthy of Mari and I think the love blossoming there might be real.

Main Character Notes

Mari – my feelings on her are the same from the end of Part I.  I like her a lot.  She’s a kick-ass female protagonist with a good heart.  As of now, she really can’t do anything wrong.  I really like her character.

Akira (the Son of Nightmares) – he went downhill a lot for me in Part II.  I liked his devotion to Mari in Part I but now I find his desperation a little too much.  He’s getting involved with something he doesn’t even understand.  The Yokai Revolution isn’t really his fight, and he knows that.  He just wants to exploit the cause to prove his love to Mari.  Which is why I now prefer Taro as Mari’s love interest.

Asami – I thought she was interesting and I wished we could have seen something from her POV.  The story Eoku: God of War, Military, and Night, tells the story of four types of yokai who fought for dominance over their kind.  Since an oni and the jorogumo were the last two standing, I thought the Winter Room would parallel that fight.  Mari representing the oni and Asami, the jorogumo.  I would have liked to see a stronger parallel there, otherwise, what was the point of bringing up that story or Asami’s type of yokai.

Final Thoughts / Hopes for Part III

I’d like to see so much more with Taro and Mari.  Since we ended this section with Mari being declared the winner, I’d love to see their wedding (and a happily ever after), but that might be far fetched.  There is a battle coming and Akira is the only one who can warn Mari.

I think we also need to see some clarity on who Mari will choose, Akira or Taro.  This is why I hate love triangles!  Someone always walks away disappointed.  However, it’s necessary.  And, if I’m using my opinions from the end of Part II, I’d say that I’d be nothing short of devastated if Mari doesn’t end up with Taro.

I think Taro’s father can definitely stand to go.  He’s basically cruel and worthless.  Taro should take off all the yokai collars and he and Mari can rule both yokai and humans alike.

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