ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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….
In Wicked As You Wish, Chupeco had an idea and just ran with it. As mentioned by the author, this was the first book she had ever written, but not the first published. It is hard to imagine that this book “wasn’t marketable.” Whether it was now or years ago, I would find myself reading this book either way. All you had to say was “IT HAS MAGIC” and my attention would’ve been caught.
In the series, the story takes place in an alternate reality where fairy tales are actually real history and America is known as Royal States of America. There are several mentions of popular fairy tales we all know about that Chupeco has weaved into the story. I have also caught mentions of lore, mythology, and actual history Chupeco as used as well and put into the story (Chupeco has mentioned some here.)
This is a story where the magic system and all the new information being presented that makes you familiar with the world can be a lot to take in. Once I referred to the author’s note (link above!), I understood the amazing details Chupeco weaved into the story. The details are going to take some time and please take it all in while you read the story. It is absolutely worth it.
Wicked As You Wish also features a huge, diverse cast. When you think of a huge cast, you might start to fear that some characters would feel left out, or suddenly disappear just to reappear later on. Chupeco has managed to make all the characters have a presence known to the story. There was no single character that was felt left out unintentionally. I really enjoyed how every character was just as important as the main characters. I have a few characters I liked more than others, but I am not revealing who just yet.
This is such a detailed-oriented story where there is a lot of travelling and featuring multiple locations while learning about magic and history. I actually found myself liking the whole history part because it infused references that I was familiar with while infused with new information I haven’t learned yet. It was great seeing how something I already knew used in a brilliant new way, but also seeing new things I haven’t known yet as well. There’s a lot detail-weaving and Chupeco is a master at it.
When I reached the ending, I couldn’t believe that was it. I was wanting more. That ending surprised me. I never thought THAT would actually open. There’s something that is definitely brewing here. That was real clever there. Anyhow, now I am feeling very unlucky that I will have to wait until 2021 for the next book in the series to see how all of this rolls out.