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Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

This week we are journeying into a rich fantasy world inspired by Japanese folkore. Join us as we chat about Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean. (Transcript)

33 Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

In today’s episode …

In Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean, Mari’s world is split into two kinds of people—magical creatures and spirits called Yokai, and the humans who oppress and enslave them. Although she is a yokai, Mari has trained her whole life to conquer the four seasons and become the empress, hiding her identity. But leaving her safe mountain town for the capital city has shown her how harsh life truly is for the other yokai, and the prince shows a tenderness that gives her hope for the future. Can Mari conquer the seasons, and if she does, can she betray the prince she’s come to care for?

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Episode highlights…


*1:00 Fans of The Hunger Games and The Selection will enjoy this book

*1:55 We loved the folklore inspiration

*5:24 Mari’s secret identity

Things We Like a Latte

Danielle – Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Amanda – Hank Green’s Philosophy CrashCourse


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*11:02 Mari’s mountain home

*12:31 The radical evolution of Akira’s character

*18:28 The Prince and his inventions

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More ideas and resources for teachers and librarians…

If you listened to the episode you will know that we had some ideas for alternate character POV’s or an alternate ending, and a great way to get students to explore their opinions and understanding of a text is by playing the “what if” game. For some ideas you can check out Danielle’s blog post on her Creative Reading Task cards, and how to implement them in a classroom setting!

33 Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Get in touch with us on Instagram and Twitter at @yacafepodcast or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!


Hosts: Danielle Hall (who blogs at

          & Amanda Thrasher (a booklover extraordinaire)

Producer: Leila Hobbs

Music: Matt McCammon

Many thanks to HMH Books For Young Readers for the review copy!


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