Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Review: Wicked As You Wish

Tala Warnock is eager to leave her small town in Arizona, and use her ability to negate magic on more than her father's training exercises. She didn't expect the wider world and powerful magic to show up on her doorstep when Alex, a prince in hiding, moves in down the street. No one is supposed to know who he is, but the appearance of the legendary Firebird tells everyone just where they can find the heir to the throne of Avalon. Tala and Alex must team up a group of talented magic-users known as the Order of the Bandersnatch to claim his throne and restore magic to the world. 

Books are often about family dynamics or about a hero or heroine assembling a group of friends to fight alongside. Wicked As You Wish does both, with teens who can transform into animals or wield a magic whip and a family of magic-wielding martial artists. And that's not the only balance Chupeco strikes--she writes about experiences with immigration and genocide while naming her chapters things like In Which Carly Rae Jepsen Songs Make Excellent Training Tools and In Which Someone Gets Slapped Because of Dante's Divine Comedy. 

Rin Chupeco might be one of the most audacious fantasy writers working today. If you have a favorite fairy tale or myth, it probably appears between the covers of this book. There are aspects of Alice in Wonderland, King Arthur, Russian folklore, and Filipino mythology, to name just a few. There is a lot going on here, and readers may just have to hold on and enjoy the ride. It's a lot of fun (and a lot to keep track of), but I hope later books will develop some of the characters further and give us some more insight into the different kinds of magic. 


Wicked As You Wish
(A Hundred Names for Magic #1)
By Rin Chupeco
Sourcebooks October 2021
432 pages
Read via Netgalley 

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