Review: The Wicked and the Willing by Lianyu Tan





In 1927 Singapore, Verity Edevane is in need of a specific type of blood from a young woman that will satisfy her desires. Gean Choo, who requires money, accepts an offer from Mrs. Edevane, but questions who her new mistress is and what she truly wants. Meanwhile, Po Lam, who has served Mrs. Edevane for many years, can no longer ignore the bondage and murder that has taken place, and seeks absolution and redemption. She hopes to save Gean Choo from a dangerous love that could result in destruction for all involved.


I am shook and I am in awe!

I have not come across such a dark and intense book like The Wicked and the Willing in quite some time. This being my first encounter with Tan’s work, it’s clear that she is an exceptional writer. Similar to Jean-Baptiste in Perfume, she possesses a natural talent for detecting and capturing the very essence of wickedness, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. However, it is important to note that this book is not for everyone, as the title suggests, it unveils the true nature of those who are wicked and willing. So, be warned, dear reader, this book may not suit your taste.

I was completely captivated by Verity. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so fascinated by a vampire, the way I was with Anne Rice’s characters. Verity was a complex character, with a narcissistic and manipulative personality, abusive tendencies and various flaws. She truly embodied the definition of “The Wicked.” Above all, she was fully aware of her age, position, privilege and entitlement as an immortal creature who had lived for centuries, and she acted accordingly.

Moving on to our next main character, Gean Choo, who was portrayed as vulnerable, unhappy, impressionable and naïve by Tan. Gean Choo’s character was written in such a way that she seemed to perfectly embody the concept of “The Willing.”

One of the most captivating aspects of the book is the way the relationships between the characters evolve and become increasingly complex as the story unfolds. What I found particularly intriguing was how the tone of the book becomes progressively darker as well, which is quite uncommon for romantic or fantasy novels. Despite the heaviness of the story, I found myself completely engrossed and struggled to put the book down, even when I knew I should get some sleep.

We must discuss the unique ending of the book that allows the reader to choose their own path. I cannot remember the last time I read a book where the author gave the reader the power to determine the ending. The execution was remarkable, and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing both endings.

I cannot comprehend why this book is not receiving more recognition. It’s possible that its dark content may not appeal to the average reader. However, as someone who loves fantasy novels, I was personally exhausted with reading about idealistic and overly wholesome main characters. The Wicked and the Willing provided the change of pace that I needed, and it was refreshing to see such complex characters.

Kudos to Lianyu Tan for her exceptional writing skills. She truly is a phenomenal writer!

Book Cover:

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