Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha #1) by Tasha Suri
ARC received from the publisher for a fair review.
Publish date: November 13, 2018
In Irinah the Amrithi have been cast out. Mehr is half Amrithi, but as a nobleman’s daughter she has been saved, until the Maha the Emperors leader of mystics finds out. He desires to user her power to enslave the god’s dreams and corrupt them to his will.
I am going to be completely honest here. This book slumped me. It slumped me so hard I finished one book the following month. I am really glad I pushed through to the end. Frankly, the book was incredibly slow. I loved the concept of the story, the underlying world building and the character arcs, but I hated the pitch and pacing. If you like a slower fantasy, then go for it, if you need a little more action or a quicker pace, please just pass it. This review is going to be fairly short, as I am just ready to stop thinking about it, I apologize. Sorry, not sorry.
That is to say, the story itself was actually very good. This was an Indian inspired fantasy that felt original and powerful. I loved the relationship Mehr held with her family and loved ones, and the romance was actually a sweet slow burn (the only slow part I appreciated). There were multiple conflicts that kept the story going (just barely) and the ending was not expected.
The World Building
This was definitely my favorite part (big surprise, it usually is!). I loved the idea that the Amrithi perform these rituals that draw out the god’s dreams for the world. Their power is more or less a conduit for the god’s wishes to be fulfilled in the world. The culture in the book oppressed women, but also gave them a little bit of a choice at the same time.
Mehr is such a strong character. I LOVED that she defied her stepmother and still held onto her own cultural background. She started off as a strong character, and grew from there. She didn’t start as a cowed nobleman’s daughter, rather a headstrong girl who had to learn fear and adapt to it.
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