As a huge fan of Rin Chupeco, you know I was going to do anything I could for an ARC of Wicked As You Wish. My extreme begging was successful and I am proud to say I loved it. Talk about something with heart, hilarity, and depth.
Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.
And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….
I don’t know if I can pick my favorite thing about Wicked As You Wish. Whether it be Tala’s family, the group dynamics, or the fabulous world building, it’s a difficult choice! I had such high standards coming into Wicked As You Wish since The Bone Witch trilogy has to be one of my fave ever. But Wicked As You Wish is something entirely different in an amazing way. Tackling issues of privilege and past mistakes, there are moments of pure humor and the world building is this kind of kaleidoscope of fairy tales from all over the world.
Wicked As You Wish almost shifts in the light as you read it. I fell in love from the beginning and the chapter titles, because it was already indicative of the wry humor throughout the book. The world building is fresh, snappy, and such a joy to read especially if you love fairy tales and folklore! Not to mention the politics involved in the world as Tala discovers the corporate greed that threatens the safety of citizens. Wicked As You Wish has a self-reflexiveness – acknowledging the privilege of larger magical families, heirlooms, and opportunities.
One of my favorite elements had to be the family and the community around Tala. There’s such a genuine warmth, a recognition of shared memories, and love you can feel without words. Even more so, the Tala’s family gets even more complicated as the book goes on – asking us questions of redemption and past mistakes.
Wicked As You Wish is a thrilling and entertaining ride that has high stakes, but is also full of snark and fun. There’s a great balance between high level questions about our rights, what makes a good leader, combined with friends who won’t talk to you and first impressions. Wicked As You Wish asks questions of family and loyalty, of who gets to use magic, and can we fight our destiny. At what cost will we grab power and what sacrifices will we make to keep it?