Author: Maxine Kaplan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: January 19, 2021
A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench
Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.
Content warning: Some magic in the book involves self-harm.
Tanya has worked at a tavern with her adopted father for the past ten years. When he suddenly dies one day, she loses the tavern. The Queen’s guard takes it from her, so she decides to travel with them to see the Queen and get the title for her tavern back. On their journey to the city, Tanya finds a magical quill that the guard is also transporting. Tanya ends up connecting herself to the quill through blood magic, which leads her on an epic journey through different worlds.
This was quite an extensive magical journey. Tanya went to many different kinds of lands, including forests, a palace, and a volcano. The blood magic was intriguing because it was irreversible. She was connected to the quill in a very intimate way that also had complications.
This story focused on Tanya, but it was written from a third-person perspective, rather than a first-person perspective. I think I would have felt more of a connection to Tanya if it had been written from her point of view. Tanya also seemed to get distracted from her goal of retrieving her tavern. She became focused on the quill and magic, rather than just working towards getting her tavern back. If she had stayed focused on her original goal, she could have completed it much quicker. Also, since it was called “Wench” I thought there would be more of a focus on her working at the tavern. That was a small part of the story, with most of it being about the quill and magic, so the title is deceiving.
This was a good epic fantasy story, but it could have been presented in a more accurate way.
Thank you Amulet Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
About the author:
Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her dimwitted, but soulful cat.Her first novel The Accidental Bad Girl received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and will be available in paperback January 5, 2021. Her sophomore novel, Wench, is coming in January 19, 2021.
One person will win a finished copy of Wench. The giveaway starts on January 25th and ends on February 1st.
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59520/
Have you read Wench? What did you think of it?