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. (from FIREreads)
Wicked as you wish is a delightfully inclusive mix of fairy tales, myths and legends. While also a bit heavy on the info dump in the first few chapters, its worldbuilding is actually super interesting so that didn’t felt too annoying for me personally. The world is an alternate version of our own plus magical realms. I liked how the book explained a lot of historical events through that magical lens, and how magic and technology mixed together.
This is a novel that knows how to be really fun while also touching on a lot of real world issues such as deportation, detention camps, ICE being an horrible organisation, etc.
The main character’s Filipino heritage is a big part of her identity and I loved how it was so present especially during the first quarter with all her family being a big part of the story. Her parents and extending family have their own agendas, their own past and motivations, they felt like real people. The glossary at the end for any Filipino words, expressions and mythology was a great addition.
This is perfect for people who love stories following a group of teenagers on a magical quest, each with their own unique personality, strengths and flaws. This first book also leaves a lot to continue to explore in the sequel regarding character development and the characters’ relationships. There is not much romance, it stays in the background and as something that I think might be more explored in the second book.
The main character has the ability to suppress magic around her, which is pretty useful as her best friend is a lost prince hunted down by the Snow Queen, the main antagonist of the story. Prophecies, family curses and magical weapons… Wicked as you wish has it all!
Content warning: police brutality, mention of slave trade, homophobia, description of child abuse in detention camp and foster care, mention of mass death, mention of death of a parent
2 thoughts on “Wicked as you wish, by Rin Chupeco”
Great review! I’m definitely keen to try some of Chupeco’s work and might start with this one when I get round to doing so.
I love the idea of viewing historical events through that magical lens, now you mention it. I think that’s such a fascinating concept!
Hmmm, you do tempt me!