“𝐈𝐟 𝐈 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫, 𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐰𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐬.” “𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐮𝐬. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐧𝐞.”
- Author : Rin Chupeco
- Series : A Hundred Names for Magic
- Release date : March 3rd 2020
- Publishing house : Sourcebooks Fire
- Number of pages : 432
This is also one the book I pre-ordered because I had just finished her series The Bone Witch and it was such as good read that I was so looking forward to reading Wicked as you Wish.
Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
Tala : She’s an eighteen-year-old girl from the Philippines. She lived in the Kingdom of Avalon until she was six years old. She has been living in the Royal States of America for twelve years along with her family. She has a curse which allows her to repel and negate magic. All along the book, I had a feeling that she was a little bit passive, maybe because the others did almost all the fighting. She’s good at asking questions and eavesdropping, though. While she did fight or use her magic a bit, it seems like she was the third wheel.
Prince Alexei : He is the only survivor of the Avalon royal family and has been living in « in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there ». He plans to reconquer his kingdom which was frozen completely because of the Snow Queen. He is helped by some people sent by the Cheshire, his best friend (Tala) and the Firebird. I have loved how his behaviour had changed along the book. At first, he was high-spirited but the closer they get to his kingdom, the gloomier and angrier he becomes. This is partly due to the devastation and the large number of people who were killed. He still has several seemingly important secrets but he doesn’t want to talk about it yet.
It is not me you fear. An outland kiss is not enough to break so great a curse, my liege. To you, a kiss will always be a question. Are you the one ? Are you ? Will you break this curse ? Will you break me ? Will you make me whole ? Will I let you ?
Zoe : She is one of the people the Cheshire sent. She comes from a noble family and uses a lightning whip (the Ogmios named after its creator). She is the leader of the ragtag group and has been doing a pretty good job. Her and another party member (Cole) are not getting on very well because her boyfriend and him have been getting in fights. But we can see their relationship improving as they finally have the time to get to know each other.
Once, it was the mark of leadership, conferred only to those worthy of that title. Ogmios himself was noted for his eloquence as much as his fighting. All those who wield his whip make for worthy leaders.
Cole Nottingham : He fights with a scythe called Gravekeeper which seemed to be infused with dark magic. From what I’ve read, strange rumours about his family have been spreading for centuries, some are false, others are true. He isn’t the most talkative character and most of the time he tries to get on Zoe’s nerves, but there’s more to him than what he is showing. He is intelligent, powerful and seems to be able to talk to wolfs. However, by the end, we learn a bit more about his past and what he went through and it did not seem to be a great childhood.
Loki Sun-Wagner : He is a non-binary man using a stick which he can extend or shorten as he wants. So he always uses « we » and people always refer to him using « they ». It was a bit confusing at first because I’m not used to that. He mostly keeps to himself.
West : He has the power to turn into pretty much anything and is, with Ken, the most talkative of the group. He seems to be someone one can rely on and be friends with. The scene with the dance in the village was funny because we saw him as a womaniser and he was all excited to speak with other women.
Ken : He is part of a clan called the Inoue and uses two swords : the Yawarakai-te which can cut no living thing and the Juuchi Yosamu which has a curse inside. If both swords are not close to each other, the Juuchi Yosamu will drive him mad. There seems to be a lot he does not know about his swords and he is still testing them.
The story follows a group of 7 people who are trying to take Alex back to Maidenkeep which was frozen by the Snow Queen. They are helped by a Firebird, one of Avalon’s most powerful magical artefacts.
The first fifty pages were hard to get into because the world was not appealing to me. We were introduced to a lot of characters and each one had a nickname so I was lost at first.
Wicked as you Wish mixes a lot of worlds or references (the Cheshire from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland , the Sheriff of Nottingham’s grandson, Arthur Pendragon with Excalibur (Nameless Sword here)…). I’ve found myself trying to guess who was who and this little game was nice !
On another note, I loved learning about Filipino’s culture whether it was the vocabulary, the expressions, the recipes (which seemed mouthwatering by the way). The glossary at the end was really helpful but not every word was written down, so I had to look them up online. I also loved the chapter’s titles which were funny such as « in which a seeress arrives for dramatic effect« .
The relationships between the group evolve little by little. All along their trek to Alex’s kingdom, the characters get to know each other (some are more reluctant to talk about their past) and learn to rely on each other. At some point, they found themselves separated from the others and have to work together to reach their destination. Each character had a well-defined personality and I enjoyed them, especially Cole, Ken and Zoe. I’m looking forward to learning more about them in book two !
Overall, it was a good read but the world is a bit all over the place and a bit confusing. The story in itself and the characters seem great and I’m eager to see more of Tala (especially considering the end) and how the story will evolve given what happens at the end.