Published: June 8, 2021
Genre(s): fantasy, adult, LGBTQIA+
Read as: ARC, ebook
Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.
Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so 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. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.(Goodreads)
This is a review of an ACR
I wanted so much to fall in love with this book the way so many early readers have. The early reviews that poured in for this title were lovely and made me incredibly excited to fall into this world and meet these characters. And, in a way, that did turn out nicely.
The characters in The Jasmine Throne are nothing short of fantastic. Every single one is vivid and has a clear voice so that they don’t get muddled up in your head. Each one has a purpose that drives them even if the reader isn’t always clear on what the purpose is, it is almost as if you can feel it pushing that character along. Suri’s writing in that regard was nothing short of perfection.
The other thing I enjoyed about this book was the magic system. It was not the “in your face” magic that you see so often in fantasy novels but instead more of something that ran beneath the surface. That magic played a large roll without it ever overshadowing the characters that truly drove this story and it felt very unique and well thought out.
My issue, if you will, for this book is the pacing. It is achingly slow. I would pick up this title to read and be able to consciously recognize that the story was well built and that the characters and their various interactions were fascinating without ever being able to be sucked in completely by the plot. I would read a chapter or two and have to put it down because the pace was so slow it would put me to sleep.
So, overall, was this book good? Yes. I will say it again, Suri’s writing is vivid and brings the book alive but if you, like me, are someone who struggles greatly with a slower paced book I would keep that in mind before picking this one up. 480 pages is a long book in and of itself but when the plot moves along slower than a snail even the most magnificent writing struggles to hold a reader’s interest.
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