Thank you to Netgalley & TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with a copy of Wench in exchange for an honest review!
Content warning: Some magic in the book involves self-harm.
Synopsis: 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 an epic fantasy like you’ve never seen before.
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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.
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If you’re looking for a non-stop adventure, I have the book for you. From the beginning chapter to the final words, Maxine Kaplan’s Wench takes you on a journey that you never expected. What would you do in order to win back what you believe was rightfully yours in the first place? Wench’s protagonist, Tanya, answers this question by.. well, doing everything that comes her way — from horse thieving to attempting to figure out the secret behind the magical feather.
Wench is by far one of the most adventurous books I’ve read in quite some time. I never knew where I would land, nor had I any clue how long Tanya would keep me stationed in that spot. She was constantly on the go, and each chapter ended with a hook that begged you to keep going.
It’s impossible to not fall in love with Tanya and the various characters that you meet along the way. Our main character starts off alone and on her own, to winning the hearts of those around, including the reader’s. Come for the plot but stay for the tavern wench. Wench will have you cheering Tanya on the entire time.
I’m not going to dabble too much into the negatives of this book, because really it was solid in terms of plot and characters. And, I could see readers absolutely eating this one up — however, there’s something that didn’t hit the landing for me, making me give it an average 3-stars. Perhaps, the story was too adventurous, therefore not allowing the reader to stay in one spot & causing the story and characters to feel a bit too underdeveloped.
One person will win a finished copy of Wench. The giveaway starts on January 25th and ends on February 1st.
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