This book blew my mind in the best possible way. Historical epic fantasy set in India, with two amazing sapphic leads. I was only a few pages in when I messaged a friend to yell about how much I love Priya. This was also a rare book that I started the day I received it (though it did take me a week to read it). I really hope this review doesn’t devolve in incoherent squeeing!
Massive thanks to Orbit (and also especially the friend who was kind enough to let me read her ARC), all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 08/06/2021
STAR RATING: 5/5 ✶
SUMMARY: One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne.
The other is a priestess searching for her family.
Together, they will change the fate of an empire.
Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of powerful magic – but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
Priya is a maidservant, one of several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to attend Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, as long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides. But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled… (from Orbit)
OPINIONS: This is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. I had to take breaks because it was just so full of relatable quotes, and I needed to process the awesomeness. I am absolutely in love with this book, and Tasha, feel free to keep stomping all over my heart any time. I need the sequel as soon as possible (yes, I’m aware that The Jasmine Throne isn’t out yet and won’t be for a while). Also, I need to learn more about medieval-ish India, because I’m fascinated by the world that this is set in. It’s not a pleasant world for everyone – and especially the roles of women are heavily regulated, but it is so interesting.
And damn, those characters. Priya and Malini are both god-tier leads, but I’m partial to Priya. She is such a badass and I am completely in love with her. Their relationship with each other is a joy to read – and it makes me very happy that there is not a huge focus on smooth sailing and a HEA. While there is a romance in the book, this is not a romance book at all. There is bickering and tension, and a strong foundation in friendship below it all. The characters are all fleshed out, even very minor players in the story aren’t just two-dimensional inserts but have their own wants and goals.
I already can’t wait to reread this when I get my hands on a finished copy, that’s how good this is. Add The Jasmine Throne to your Goodreads here, and pre-order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).