Hey all, Dani here.
Well hello there. Welcome back to my blog. Today I’m here with another review, this one of a more recent read, and by that I mean I read it back in December for Diverse December. I am making progress on my review backlog, but I still have a ways to go. Because seriously, I feel like sometimes I’m reading books as quickly as I’m getting these reviews up.
A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.
The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.
When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.
Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…
Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Oh my gosh. I have been sitting here on my computer for the last hour, telling myself that I need to write this review…and then I promptly open another tab and get distracted by social media. I feel like a bad blogger. Because honestly I set up the bare bones of this post last weekend when I was in a blog writing frenzy. It was nice to be five days ahead on my posts. Oh well.
Okay, so on to the actual review instead of the random real life ramblings. The summary for this books suggests that this book is perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn. Do I think this book quite meets the comparison to one of my favorite books of 2017? Not quite, but it is still a very good read.
Like the two comparison novels, I found Empire of Sand transported me to the setting due to all the lovely descriptions of desert civilizations. All of the atmosphere that was evoked in this novel was impressive. I’m finding more and more that I greatly appreciate the descriptions of the culture and the characters’ surroundings, especially in fantasy worlds that need to do some world-building. Or even fantasy novels set in a magical version of our world, because those sometimes require a bit of world manipulation as well.
I enjoyed that the Amrithi perform dance rituals. That seemed like an interesting detail to me, and there were some descriptions of the movements and such, but I couldn’t help but feel that if the descriptions had been a little *more* then I would have been able to picture the scenes better.
For the most part, I can say that I thought the romance was handled pretty darn well. It was pretty much a forced or arranged marriage, but I liked watching the pair get to know each other and start developing romantic feelings.
Honestly, this book was captivating. I love when there is a setting that just feels magical for me, and Empire of Sands certainly hits the mark there.
I’m glad that we’re starting to see so many more fantasy books that are inspired by Asian, African, and Indigenous cultures. I feel like I’m learning a lot about the cultures, while also getting an utterly fascinating fantasy tale.
I can definitely say that I will be picking up the sequel, Realm of Ash.