Wench – Blog Tour & Giveaway

Tour Schedule

Wench by Maxine Kaplan
Release date: January 19th, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


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. 

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My review:

I enjoyed the magic in Wench – the simple fact that it was fraught with amateur magicians made it laughable and believable. I particularly liked the side-effects of practicing magic without knowing the consequences is known as junkoff. If you cast a spell to procure an item (gold, water, food, etc.), it has to come from somewhere – the junkoff is the consequence of the magician not planning that part out. That is precisely what Tanya excels at (besides running an efficient tavern) – organization. Organization as a perk to a heroine is a story is a skill I’ve never come across in a book, and I LOVED it! I think in a similar way to Tanya, I loved seeing this aspect in the main character. Part two of the book read more like a second book than a continuation of the first half. While it didn’t appear that an extended amount of time had passed, the Tanya in part one read a little different than the Tanya in part two. The book meandered with its telling and that made the momentum that it had going bog down even though it was interesting material – just a little choppy, if it were polished up a little bit it would be much better.

Tanya learned the hard way that the most important lessons you can learn in life habitually cost you the most. Tanya felt completely unsettled, hopping about from situation to situation, and it made the book feel a little choppy. Her dream got brushed aside too readily for how stubborn she was about it. My favorite side “character” was the golden horse – her attitude and snark made me want to know if she was indeed a horse at all. We don’t see the timid emergence of LGBTQ+ romantic feelings until roughly 70% through the book. Here too Tanya doesn’t seem to know what exactly it is that she wants. The romantic interactions between characters are minimal and PG, which isn’t necessarily negative (depending on personal preference).

I am curious to see if this will be a standalone novel or if there might be a second book – it could go either way. If a second is in the works, I will more than likely read it. I would be curious where it would take our cast from the conclusion of the first novel. Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours, Maxine Kaplan, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a digital ARC of Wench – all opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Author info:

Maxine KaplanMaxine 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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  • US only
  • One finished copy of Wench
  • Opens January 25th and ends February 1st
  • Enter here

9 thoughts on “Wench – Blog Tour & Giveaway

Add yours

    1. I think you might like this one – she’s fiesty & so is the horse haha. The wench part fits with the medieval magic sort of feel this book has but it’s not really a common word in the book itself.


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