Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yokai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.
Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yokai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yokai outcast.
Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.
Winter 2018-2019 Kids’ Indie Next List
Westchester Fiction Award
“With rich mythology and elegant atmosphere, Empress of All Seasons will latch onto your imagination and sweep you along for a magical and dangerous ride.” — Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times best-selling author of The Testing Trilogy and Eden Conquered
“Jean’s world building is incredible and reflects her Japanese heritage, from the richly described landscapes of the animal wives’ home to the city of Honoku to the seasonal rooms. Action, romance, family, and self-discovery are all parts of Mari’s journey...In a genre that is quick to make trilogies and quartets, this is laudable as a standalone that fully tells its story within a single volume.” — Booklist
“The author uses Japanese folklore elements to effectively craft an engaging story that also questions the power structures of heaven and earth, male and female, human and yōkai. A narrative that will engage fans of the genre with a much-needed non-Western setting.” — Kirkus
“This well-written fantasy will keep teens engaged. Recommended for fans of Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ series and Cindy Pon’s Serpentine. A strong purchase for YA shelves.” — School Library Journal
“The three protagonists’ efforts to define themselves against family expectations build a compelling narrative framework, and there are many strong, interesting female side characters.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“An enchanting, gripping novel.” — Shelf Awareness
That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.
"Realistic characters make good use of a gothic setting that will attract anyone with a taste for the edge." — Kirkus
"A clever psychological thriller that had me holding my breath to the bitter end. More please!" — Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series
"Engaging and twisted, Emiko Jean's WE'LL NEVER BE APART will draw you in and leave you reeling. An intimate study of damaged people, the pain they're in, and the havoc they wreak." — Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood
“I love a wild psychological ride—and Emiko Jean elevates the genre with this taut, provocative thriller. Jealously, violence, and revenge are the sharp corners of a novel that holds at center themes of loss, love, and the warm, beating heart of human connection. Alice and Celia are fascinating as twins whose personae play out along a rich dynamic of entrapment, suspicion, trauma, and alienation—and raise always-intriguing issues of sisterhood, duality, and how existing as a double is also a splintering of self. A killer debut!” — National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin
“Haunting and gripping, WE’LL NEVER BE APART is a twisty, thrilling debut that kept me completely riveted. I can’t wait to read whatever Emiko Jean writes next!” — Megan Miranda, author of Fracture
“Taut and disquieting, WE'LL NEVER BE APART will unsettle you long before it pulls the rug from under your feet. Like the institution that Alice and Cellie call home, this book comes with a warning: Once inside, be careful who you trust.” — Kat Rosenfield, author of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone