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.
Cw: Some magic in the book involves self-harm.
Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond tour! I am so excited to talk about this book. First of all, you can find more info about the tour here. There are a lot of awesome bloggers writing so many creative posts so be sure to check it out. You can also join the giveaway here!!
Was this the epic fantasy of my dreams? maybe. I devoured the first half of it and the last hundred or so pages, but there were a few chapters in the middle when I felt lost and honestly just waiting for the action the kickoff.
I did truly loved Tanya, she´s a down to earth strong female lead that I am going to use as a positive way to write female characters for the rest of my life. One thing that really got me, was her anger and her bossiness, it´s so rare we get to see a girl be angry and not be judged.
The side characters were also a lot of fun, we do have a few pretty standard stereotypes, like the gang boss, the thief, and the corpsman, but they felt more than this. I would have loved to get more of Jana and Rollo, as they seemed interesting while not getting a lot of “screen time”.
The queen was another character that deserved more time, and I feel the way we find out her backstory does her a great disservice.
Overall I did enjoy the magic system, it felt organic, and followed the rule where every action has consequences, which I do love when it comes to magic. Give me magic that comes with a price and I am hooked. The junkoff was a different type of price for the magic and it´s really innovative.
I did have the feeling, towards the middle, that the plot was all over the place. There was so much going on and actually, nothing important or that mattered to the plot. It did get better and the action started making sense again so I cannot complain. I haven´t been in a d&d campaign until now that did go completely sideways. And my favorite part about this book is how it actually felt like a big d&d campaign, fully equipped with ignoring the main quest for small side quests, completely failing at lying, and ending up fighting your way out of troubles and finding out that the side quest you did like 2 months ago was actually tied to the main quest and you might have fucked up completely, but I digress.
Overall this was such a fun read and you can find below my 15 reactions while reading Wench. They might be a little ambiguous as I tried to no spoil the story.
My 15 reactions while reading Wench:
I do end up mentioning dungeon and dragons a lot!!
- “vault her tiny, round body into the middle of any given fray” can you taste the body positivity in this book? Because honestly, I am already in love with Tanya
- The first glimpse of the magic system got me interested. I really really hope we get to see more of it. Oh please give Tanya magic!!!
- The balls on this lady!!! I wish I had the confidence Tanya has!! She’s such an amazing character!!
- “Don’t touch things you can’t identify. Especially if they sparkle for no reason” is my new life motto
- This feels like everything d&d campaign I was ever part of.
- She’s completely ignoring the main quest and doing side quests. This is exactly like any d&d campaign I´ve been part of.
- Tanya is totally Chaotic Good
- This quill gives me a ring to rule them all vibes.
9.Jana is Chaotic Neutral
- This whole book is just a series of natural 1s
- Jesus! (I will leave out spoilers) but Jesus Tanya is so badass!
- The queen is sus. I am calling it now.
- I love how she over-analyzes every dish. The details!!!
- While I love an angry lady, I have the feeling that this fight with Greer was uncalled for
- My one problem with this book. The love triangle was unnecessary.
About the Author:
Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhood strotting 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