Thanks so much to Rin Chupeco and Sourcebooks Fire
for the review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Title: Wicked As You Wish
Series: A Hundred Names For Magic #1
Author: Rin Chupeco
Published March 3rd 2020
by Sourcebooks Fire
Length: 432 pages
Genre/Age range: Fantasy (Urban), YA
Rep: Filipino, Latino, Chinese, gay, nonbinary
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.
As you probably already gathered from my 5-star rating I absolutely loved Wicked as you Wish! I loved Rin’s other series The Bone Witch so I predicted I would love this one too. And I’m so glad I did.
This new series has a very different tone to the previous ones. But it is just as brilliant.
WAYW isn’t as dark and gloomy but more action-packed and fast-paced. There is never a dull moment! It’s full of creativity and will keep you on your toes the whole time.
The world Rin creates is a mixture of our world and a world with magic, myths and legendary lands like Wonderland and Avalon. We start with Rin and her family in the Royal States of America. I really loved how the fairy tales we were told as children come to life here, from the Snow Queen to Robin Hood and Alice Liddell. Everywhere you turn you can catch glimpses of familiar tales.
With Tala and her family being Filipino we get also a lot of their rich culture, be it through clothes, mannerisms, food or important history. I especially loved the scene where Tala doubts she is Filipina enough since she wasn’t born there/didn’t grow up there and the reassurance of her mother, that, of course, she is, that it’S in her. That was a beautiful scene!
I was hooked from the very first chapter were Tala and Alex meet for the first time. I could see that scene unfold in my mind like I was there! The slight awkwardness, the understanding between them. It was the perfect beginning and the perfect glimpse into how and why they became friends.
Their friendship has to endure quite a bit during their adventure (for example Alex being an idiot!!!) and it certainly was rocky but I adored how they were still always there for each other in small and big ways when it was important!
But back to the world, this book has one of my favourite magic systems. It’s a give-and-take magic. Meaning that for everything you get, say fire, you have to sacrifice something, be it your tolerance of cold or your tears. It’s really fascinating! Especially with the workaround of spelltech. Love the connection between fantasy worlds and our modern world here. Oh, and all the curses! So intriguing and I’d love to find out more about all this.
And then we have Tala. She is a Makiling. Her ancestor Maria Makiling took the curse to negate magic. In a world with so much spelltech, Tala has to learn to control it and I really liked reading about her training. With her family taking over the protection of Prince Alexei of Avalon and the ensuing chaos, Tala finds out more and more about her family history. Maybe more than she wanted to? This caused some truly heartbreaking (and heartwarming) scenes! And is one of the reasons I love this story so much (saying more would be spoilery, so I’ll refrain, but just: ahhhh!)
As you can probably tell, I loved all aspects of WAYW but my absolute favourite have to be the characters! They are all so different, so fun and real! You can easily tell them apart because they all have very distinct personalities without it feeling forced at all!
The mischievous Ken, who was a breath of fresh air and made me laugh multiple times. Loki, with a quiet and understanding personality (also they are nonbinary!). Zoe, with all her pro/con lists and so much pressure to keep the mission from failing. West, who sometimes takes things too literally. And mysterious Cole (I love him!). I can’t tell you who my fav is off them because together they are so perfect!
And then we have Alex, who is as I’ve stated earlier quite an idiot. That kind of idiot I wanted to dislike and shake some sense into but I just couldn’t dislike him! While it’s extremely frustrating that he won’t accept help, I feel like that is very realistic for someone in his position and what he has been through.
My fav is Tala though. She is clever and lost in this sudden chaos she was thrust into. She gets angry with Alex, hurt by some revelations and scared. I could really relate to her. And I adored her extended family. All her titos and titas were amazing. The whole family dynamic was a pleasure to read about.
Well, no. I lied. My absolute fav is the firebird!! It’S just sooooo incredible. So much sass and character! But that’s all I’m gonna say!
Overall, I loved reading this! It made me smile, giggle and took my breath away. Melted me into a puddle of aww and also broke my heart! So I can only recommend!