Tuesday 25 August 2020

The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao Blog Tour

There are books that you wait to be released with so much impatience.

The Majesties is a book that will be like that for many.

Named as one of the most anticipated books of the year by The Millions, Crimereads, Hellogiggles and The Everygirl. This is so much more than a normal family drama.


Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan.

As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of their opulent world too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn, at last, confront the carefully buried mysteries in their family’s past and the truth about who she and her sister really are?

I'll admit, this book took me some time to read.

It is what I'd describe as a slow burner. 

Anticipation builds but quietly and carefully.

The opening line caught my attention. A sister murdering her family, but not just the immediate ones, oh no, three hundred people in total.


Only one survivor, Gwendolyn (the narrator). This was a bold beginning.  

In this riveting tale about the secrets and betrayals that can accompany exorbitant wealth, two sisters from a Chinese-Indonesian family grapple with the past after one of them poisons their entire family.

An obvious question remains throughout the story, why? Why would Estella feel the need to kill so many along with herself?

As Gwendolyn lies in her hospital bed - in a coma - she delves into their past to see if she can find the trigger. Many moments of privilege are recalled and as steps are retraced we begin to see that there is so much more to this family and the wealth that comes with it.

Domestic abuse, racial frictions and the consequences of inherited wealth are all explored within the novel.

All very toxic!

Traveling from the luxurious world of the rich and powerful in Indonesia to the most spectacular shows at Paris Fashion Week, from the sunny coasts of California to the melting pot of Melbourne’s university scene, The Majesties is a haunting and deeply evocative novel about the dark secrets that can build a family empire—and also bring it crashing down.

The whole plot is based around one question, what possessed Estella to massacre her own family.

Secrets are slowly uncovered but with them more questions arise.

What Tiffany manages to do along the way is highlight those class struggles that we have hear of in Southeastern Asia, specifically those in the capital city of Jakarta. Those pressures that are bestowed upon the younger generations passed on from the elders.

To say the dynamics of each family involved are complicated would be an understatement.

'Blood does run thick. Even if poison trumps all.'

I'd like to give this book 5 stars but I couldn't stretch it that far. 

For the most part The Majesties is an interesting (all be it slow) read. I really enjoyed the fact that actually none of the characters were truly likeable. An interesting way to write a book as generally as the reader I feel like we need to have a connection to the characters but there was no love loss here.

I think the reason it doesn't quite hit full marks is because although described as a thriller, it just isn't thrilling enough.

The beginning starts with a bang and the ending turns everything on its head but the inbetween seemed to lack direction and purpose at times, perhaps too deep. And in the end I felt like the central question to it all had been left unanswered.


Over all The Majesties was intriguing and thought provoking, offering something a little different to the Thriller genre.

Follow the rest of the blog tour for more reviews and insights into this captivating tale.

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