Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Wicked As You Wish
Series: A Hundred Names For Magic #1
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Cover Artist: Sourcebooks
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An unforgettable alternative history fairytale series from the author of The Bone Witch trilogy about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong.
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.
The firebird arrived in Invierno later that night.
It landed atop a normal-looking mailbox. The mailbox had a Tawalisi, 22 Dharma Road decal printed on its side, and it stood in front of a normal-looking house on a normal-looking street in what was by all appearances a normal-looking suburb. This house was situated between an old folks’ home and a small bungalow, bordered on one side by a small cul-de-sac. Despite the town’s predilection against natural magic, most people still didn’t associate Invierno as a place where anything unusual was likely to happen. That didn’t say much about what people actually knew about small towns, or about Invierno in particular.
Rather than retreat to the safety of nearby trees and rooftops as any similarly sensible animal would have done, the firebird drew itself up, as regal as any queen, and waited for the shades to attack.
The shades in question were already closing in, and they assumed frightening, monstrous shapes. Some took human form, with long sharp claws in place of hands. Others took on semblances of wolves and bears and strange winged creatures; black eyeless silhouettes with teeth.
The firebird chirped a warning, but the shades paid no attention. So it sighed, a resigned, I-really-did-warn-you-about-this-you-know sigh, and glowed again. It was as large as an eagle, and had a fascinatingly plump shape; a ham of a bird would be a frank description, if not for its long graceful neck. Its feathers, a variety of yellows and reds and oranges tipped with a subtle silver shimmer, flared. Its majestic tail fanned out like a vestal train, whipping at slow, concentrated intervals.
It chirped out its first, and final, warning.
The nearest shade reached out for the bird, claws extended and sharp.
It was promptly engulfed in an angry red ball of fire.
The shadow screamed. Its right arm skittered across the pavement.
Flames danced around the firebird. With unerring precision it reared back and hurled them at the other shadowy wraiths, bathing the street in ruddy red heat until its enemies were reduced to nothing more than a whisper of cinders and smoke.
But even as they sank, new ones rose to take their place.
The shades were numerous, unrelenting. The firebird was young, inexperienced. Despite its ferocity, even it began to weaken under the unending assault.
And things could have ended very badly, had Lola Urduja not interfered.
Lola Urduja looked nothing at all like a warrior should look. Framed against the moonlight she appeared an incredibly fragile and elderly thing, with her mild brown eyes, dark skin, and thin white hair wrapped in a wispy bun. For armor, she wore an oversized peach bathrobe a size too large for her slim frame, and was for some reason still carrying an abanico fan in her right hand. But when she lifted her head to confront the lurking shadows her back straightened, her shoulders squared, and the once-mild brown eyes blazed with an unexpectedly commanding air that proposed other unimportant things like cars and airplanes and even shades should best get out of her way.
“This house is under the protection of the Katipuneros, by Avalon military decree number one oh eight two,” she boomed, in a voice larger and fiercer than her body size allowed for. “Take another step and be snuffed out like the insignificant shadows you are, you reverse-projected, two-dimensional Jungian rejects!”
The shades halted momentarily, as if puzzled by the old woman’s audacity. But all too soon their inexorable natures reasserted themselves, and they continued their relentless trek forward.
“Beta formation code one three five, defensive maneuvers!”
More people of indeterminate old age emerged from hiding places behind bushes and trees, vaguely threatening only they had not been wearing bathrobes. But they were armed… with more abanico fans, a cane, and in one instance even a makeshift shiv, because General Luna had once been in prison for three days and had subsequently Learned Things there.
And they were good at it. They knew where to hit, how to inflict the worst hurt. Shadows shrieked as the innocent-looking fans—or more specifically, the hidden blades lining the edges of the thin abaca fabric—dug into them, twisting and grasping, until soon even the endless darkness showed signs of faltering.
“Teejay,” Lola Urduja said, “shade at five o’clock.”
The tita, her hair still pinned up by large rollers, obeyed, punching a fan through the shadow’s chest before it could reach the other woman.
“Hold your position, general,” Lola Urduja said to old General Luna, who had planted himself in front of the house next door. “Don’t let them in!”
“Mga antipatika!” The octogenarian barked, then cheerfully shanked a shadow into nothingness.
A few of the shades crept toward her, sentient enough to recognize the little old lady’s importance, but Lola Urduja lunged, was quicker than her limp suggested. Her fan twisted, and the sharp knives underneath the stretched cloth tore into the creatures like they were wet paper. She whipped it toward another approaching shadow, and an abrupt flick of her wrist summoned a sudden roaring wind, slashing the darkness into pieces without ever making contact.
The firebird and the elders fought the shades all night long. Finally, as dawn touched the sky with the colors of sunrise, the last of the creatures slunk away, disappearing into the sidewalk just as quickly as they arrived.
Wearily, the firebird watched them leave, the flames in its feathers dimming. When the last flickered out, it sighed and closed its eyes, returning to its perch atop the mailbox.
Adrenaline faded, was taken out of the elders’ veins like an IV drip. They mumbled and scuffed at the ground with their good foot and looked rightfully embarrassed. This was technically not appropriate behavior for old men and women, though the awed grins had some trouble leaving their creased faces.
Hadn’t seen this much action since Wonderland, Boy signed.
“Nakakamiss,” Chedeng murmured, reverting briefly to Tagalog. “Good times.”
“Punyeta,” the general agreed.
“Natakot ba natin?” Baby asked Lola.
The little old woman pursed her lips. “No. They’ll be back. Umalis na kayo. Won’t be good for Tala to see us out here on the lawn, she’ll have questions.”
“The firebird is here,” Chedeng said, not without some awe. “Mare, it really is the firebird!”
“Control your excitement, Mercedes. This is far from over.”
The door to 24 Dharma Road opened and Kay Warnock emerged with a can of beer in hand, yawning.
“So good of you to help,” Mrs. Sarge said dryly.
“Y’did a good enough job without me.”
“A little too early to be drinking.”
“On the contrary. After what just happened, I think it’s a fine time to start.”
Meet the Characters
Wicked As You Wish Playlist
Fight Song by Rachel Platten
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
Raise Your Glass by Pink
So raise your glass if you are wrong
In all the right ways, all my underdogs
We will never be, never be anything but loud
And nitty, gritty, dirty, little freaks
Won’t you come on and come on and
Raise your glass!
Tala Warnock: Bamboo by Kimie
Thought love was easy and I kept Belivin’
In that old fantasy, that fairytale dream
Real life has shown us it’s a rollercoaster and, oh
We had to learn where to take our turn
Alexei Tsarevich: Skin by X-Ambassadors
Who do I know in here
See, I struggle to be
Two different people at the same time
So I keep running, running my mouth, trying to be somebody
Trying to be somebody I’m not
Ryker Cadfael: Suit and Jacket by Judah & the Lion
I ain’t trading my youth for no suit and jacket
I ain’t giving my freedom for your money and status
So don’t say I’m getting older
‘Cause I’ll say it when I do
Kensington Inoue: Where My Love Goes by Lawson
My love goes out of my heart and into the wind
Out my guitar and under your skin
Into your house and out of your headphones
That’s where my love goes
Kay Warnock: Low Life by X-Ambassadors
I’m nothing but a low life
Thinking about my own life
I’m trying to fight the good own fight
But after it all, I’m still just a low life
Lumina Makiling-Warnock: Maybe the Night by Ben & Ben
Moon has never glowed this color
Hearts have never been this close
I have never been more certain
I will love you ’til we’re old
Nya: First Time by Lifehouse
Lookin’ at you
Holdin’ my breath
For once in my life
I’m scared to death
I’m takin’ a chance
Letting you inside
Loki Wagner: Renegades by X-Ambassadors
Long live the pioneers
Rebels and mutineers
Go forth and have no fear
Come close the end is near
West Eddings: Take My Hand by The Cab
Now take my hand
And we will run away
Down to this place that I know
How did this night become the enemy
It’s over, it’s over, it’s over
Zoe Carlisle: New York City, 1964 by Shawn Amos
Winter came so soon
We watched All About Eve in the afternoon
I see her, east of the sun
One last bow and the curtain comes down
Can you believe I’m on my own?
Cole Nottingham: Who Did You Think I Was by the John Mayer Trio
Here is a line that you won’t understand:
I’m half of a boy, but I’m twice the man
Carry the weight of the world in the palm of my hand
Who did you think I was?
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching. She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.
If you pre-order WICKED AS YOU WISH on or before March 1, 2020 you will also receive a character card of Tala and an enamel Order of the Bandersnatch firebird pin!
- US/ Canada pre-orders: https://t.co/5c7lQTI3Os?amp=1
- International pre-orders: https://t.co/eCZvNLcWj1?amp=1
From March 3rd – 31st 2020, the author be hosting an Instagram giveaway for WICKED AS YOU WISH (https://www.instagram.com/rinchupeco/)! Just post a photo of the book with the hashtag #PRETTYWICKEDASYOUWISH and every participant will receive book swag! (Alex character art card + character stickers). The Alex card will only be available during promos and not for the pre-orders!
Want to win a copy for yourself?
st Prize: Win a signed copy of WICKED AS YOU WISH by Rin Chupeco + 3 character stickers (Alex, Tala, and the firebird) + 2 character cards (Alex and Tala) [INT]
2nd Prize: Win (1) of (3) character stickers from WICKED AS YOU WISH (Alex, Tala, and the firebird) + character cards from WICKED AS YOU WISH (Alex and Tala) [INT]
Runs February 27th – March 11th, 2020