Title: Wicked As You Wish
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publishing Date: March 3, 2020
Age Category & Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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.
➝ Sum it up in points!
✔ Filipina, Chinese, Japanese, Latino characters (racial diversity)
✔ modern-day fantasy setting
✔ gay main character along with queer side characters (sexual diversity)
✔ fantastical creatures and warrior traditions
✔ squad comes together in this folklore-inspired retelling
Wicked As You Wish is wickedly determined to make the readers fall in love with every character on the right side with the determination, magical talents, or humour they bring to the table. A Filipina warrior family must protect the prince who has been assumed long dead by the racist authoritarian government to restore the frozen kingdom which is a source of magic-powering glyphs. From the fantastical beings like a phoenix or an ice-woman to the group of formidable teenagers who are perfectly capable of saving the day, the idea of a modern setting on magical grounds work greatly to create an urban fantasy.
A racially and sexually diverse cast is commendable: the main protagonist is a half-Filipina and belong to a warrior Filipina family, the prince is a gay, the squad has a Chinese non-binary character, a Jewish girl, and all the members of this squad are destined to serve a purpose in the series, according to interesting myths-inspired prophecies. Several important themes like racist immigration policies, ill-treatment towards refugees, and the Western avarice that deteriorates a culture, are wonderfully explored. Overall, a definitive recommendation for those who wish to see more diversity on the line that connects the real world to a fantasy one.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC tours, Sourcebooks Fire and Rin Chupeco! This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a percentage of your purchase using the link without any extra cost to you. Please consider buying through these affiliate links if you wish to support the blog. Thank you!
Click & enter to win a signed copy of Wicked As You Wish + 3 character stickers (Alex ,Tala , and the firebird) + 2 character cards (Alex and Tala) 🎉
Win (1) of (3) character stickers from Wicked As You Wish (Alex, Tala, and the firebird) + character cards (Alex and Tala) 🎉
Open INTL. Ends March 11, 2020.
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.