Wicked As You Wish
1 journaler for this copy...
An unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch trilogy about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong
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 lame, 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 spell breaker, 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.
I really do intend to go back and finish it, I promise!
Good thing I did - turns out I barely remembered the events of the early chapters.
I love a fairy tale mashup, and this book is crammed with references to so many folktales and world mythologies! To name just a few (because I think it's impossible to remember them all after a single reading): Russia's Firebird, the Snow Queen, the kingdom of Avalon from Arthurian legend, Baum's Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Japanese mythology, and the Norse gods. It's all woven together to create a world that at times feels cluttered and overly complicated, but it's always interesting.
My favorite part of the novel is the Filipino family at the center. Tala's people are warriors, strong and proud, tasked to protect the kingdom of Avalon. Here in the United States, immigrants from the Philippines often work in lower-paying service jobs like home health care, cleaning services, or farm labor. It's wonderful to see them celebrated as powerful and important.
This is also a queer-positive book. Our main character, Tala, is straight but the prince of Avalon is not, and one of his warriors is non-binary.
This version of the United States, now called the Royal States of America (ominous), relies on magic to fuel its technology. Teens still have cell phones and other devices, but they aren't charged with electricity. Because magic always comes with a price, which can manifest in weird curses and unpredictable side effects, this seems like a very volatile material on which to build your civilization. But this is fantasy, so I let this go.
I thought this book was meant to be a standalone novel, but on the bottom of the ARC it mentions that it's Book One in the A Hundred Names for Magic series so a sequel should be coming.
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