Empire of Sand

Empire of Sand 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 outc

  • Title: Empire of Sand
  • Author: Tasha Suri
  • ISBN: Empire of Sand
  • ISBN
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 gover 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. Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Paperback, 496 pages Published November 13th 2018 by Orbit More Details Original Title Empire of Sand ISBN 0316449717 ISBN13 9780316449717 Edition Language English Series The Books of Ambha 1 Other Editions 12 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Empire of Sand, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Will it be YA Dystopia 2 likeslike 8 months ago Add your answer Laura This is an adult fantasy, but YA fantasy readers will enjoy this as well flag Will it be a series Or just a stand alone 2 likeslike 9 months ago Add your answer Laura A companion is in the works flag See all 4 questions about Empire of Sand Lists with This Book 2018 SFF by Authors of Color 59 books 66 voters Best books of November, 2018 23 books 19 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Jan 10, 2019 jessica rated it really liked it i love going into books with no expectations because if it doesnt work out, no hurt feelings but if it does work out, then the surprise completely makes my day and what a delightful surprise this was what really caught me is how much substance there is in this story, especially for a debut novel the feeling i had after finishing this reminded me of how i feel after a nice meal completely satiated and wonderfully content and there is so much to feast on in this book lush cultural magic, co i love going into books with no expectations because if it doesnt work out, no hurt feelings but if it does work out, then the surprise completely makes my day and what a delightful surprise this was what really caught me is how much substance there is in this story, especially for a debut novel the feeling i had after finishing this reminded me of how i feel after a nice meal completely satiated and wonderfully content and there is so much to feast on in this book lush cultural magic, complex and compelling characters, and strong world building it has all of the right components for an enchanting tale of fantasye only thing keeping me from rating this higher is that it didnt really capture me emotionally i was invested in the story, but no than just appreciating it from a reader standpoint i wish it had tugged on my heart just a little bit , but overall, i really enjoyed it i know this book hasnt made most peoples TBR, but i highly recommend it 4 stars flag 151 likesLike see review View all 21 comments Jul 13, 2018 karen rated it liked it Shelves from publisher or author NOW AVAILABLE this is one of those shrug not for me books.which i suspected going into it as much as we are cautioned against judging books by their covers, the whole reason covers exist is in order to attract the desired audience, and in general, i am neither the audience desired by fantasy authors nor the audience attracted by the weapon floating on textured background cover trend but i m nothing if not complaisant, so i agreed to give it a go sometimes i surprise myself i liked NOW AVAILABLE this is one of those shrug not for me books.which i suspected going into it as much as we are cautioned against judging books by their covers, the whole reason covers exist is in order to attract the desired audience, and in general, i am neither the audience desired by fantasy authors nor the audience attracted by the weapon floating on textured background cover trend but i m nothing if not complaisant, so i agreed to give it a go sometimes i surprise myself i liked the weapon floating on textured background Graceling, after all, and i thought Empire of Sand s south asian setting might be novel enough to conquer my historically lukewarm response to high fantasy the setting does add a lot of appeal the arid heat, the shifting sands, the miles of desert to cross, the descriptive backdrops for both the nomadic and the palatial lifestyles, and the daivas the shadowy supernatural creatures who can only be kept in check by the blood of an amrithie, and this is why i hate reviewing fantasy books, because now i gotta define all these terms, and lay out an entire world s innerworkings in order to even mention any of the book s central conflicts and it doesn t take long before that turns into a quagmire of boring for you and me both so i m not gonna do it this is going to be a superficial reader response from a reader with no authoritative claims because this genre is not my wheelhouse as a human reader of books, i have some general responses you can choose to read em or you can find a review from someone with cred this is another book that puzzles me with why aren t you YA the age of the protagonist fits, the whole one special girl with abilities to save the world theme is a YA standard, and the trajectory of the romantic element is shaped for YA fans big, messy, complicated, passionate it s a crossover book that to me seems YA than adult in all ways except for the pacing, which is much slower than YA there s a long, slow build in this one, stretches of space during which not very much happens, although when things do happen, they are significant punctuation marks there s a lot of training, a lot of prep time for the big thing, a lot of getting to know you time, while it seems like interesting stuff is happening elsewhere because although we do get brief chapters checking out the action away from mehr and her time among the maha and the mystics yeah, i m not slowing down to explain , i m so much intrigued by what s going on in the farther reaches of the desert quite simply, i just could not get into this one and whether it was the genre or the book or some fundamental flaw in the reader NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW i m glad i read it, because i think it will be popular and successful and i ll need to know what all the cool kids are talking about, but i m just cool in a different way.oh, but i did like the scene featuring the first appearance of a daiva and its truth about birds It still looks like it wants to bite me, Arwa said warily It s a bird spirit, Mehr said That s what birds do yeah that is exactly what birds do never trust them or, precisely, the reason cover art exists covers exist to hold the books togethere to my blog flag 97 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Aug 14, 2018 James Lafayette Tivendale rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves fantasy I received an uncorrected proof copy in exchange for an honest review Thank you to Tasha Suri and Orbit Books In Empire of Sand, the original and excellent South Asian influenced fantasy debut of Tasha Suri s we follow the action of Mehr who is an illegitimate but highborn daughter of a governor of the Ambham Empire It begins when a Daiva which is sort of a winged and taloned spirit invades the castle and infiltrates Mehr s younger sister s room, who is terrified as a young child would be Me I received an uncorrected proof copy in exchange for an honest review Thank you to Tasha Suri and Orbit Books In Empire of Sand, the original and excellent South Asian influenced fantasy debut of Tasha Suri s we follow the action of Mehr who is an illegitimate but highborn daughter of a governor of the Ambham Empire It begins when a Daiva which is sort of a winged and taloned spirit invades the castle and infiltrates Mehr s younger sister s room, who is terrified as a young child would be Mehr has dealt with these beings before and knows that an offer of blood will guarantee them peace well, at least for a limited amount of time Mehr s mother s clan were outcasts who worshipped the spirits of the sands and some have a form of magic beneath their skin As the cover says Magic is in her blood The Daiva, ancient Daiva and worse creatures known as nightmares are currently behind the veil of reality but when the frequent storms arrive the otherworldly beings come with it Unfortunately for Mehr, who can perform magical dances and rites during the tempest, the Emperor s feared mystics are searching for anyone who can wield magic for reasons unbeknown to most but these shamans are normally taken away never to be seen again.We mainly follow Mehr s third person point of view perspective although there are three other interludes that are presented from another two views that bridge small gaps within the progression of the narrative When I first picked up this book I believed it was going to be of a YA nature as it is likened to Trudi Canavan and Sarah J Mass on the back It has aspects that fans of these authors stories will like however I personally believe it has in common with Melissa Caruso s Swords and Fire trilogy for the magic, interesting love relationships, and political drama intertwined with the oriental focused fantasy awesomeness recently presented by Fonda Lee and RF Kuang Mehr is a character that is well worth rooting for She goes through so much and her character adapts to her often dire scenarios almost perfectly It is an amazing journey that she goes through that was full of intrigue and emotion The narrative I analysed as being split into three sections The very exciting and engrossing introduction that gripped me from the very start Especially with the fluent and poetic world building from the beginning discussing the environment, magic, cultures and past histories There is a twist and then the second section happens and although it s not set in a magic school these segments do have elements in common with those sort of stories As mentioned, the world building, poetic language, and character interactions are well developed Unfortunately, the middle section was not as enticing as the other aspects of the book although Mehr s relationship with a certain character was interesting to see how it progressed I think Suri perhaps went into too much detail here about certain aspects I just didn t find involving, rewarding or that interesting It was a bit bloated but I must compliment that throughout the tale as a whole that the prose is generally intoxicating massaging finer details, pictures, colours and poetry into the reader s mind I won t discuss too much about the final third apart from that the conclusion was highly satisfying and fulfilling Only one section towards the end seemed far to improbable and convenient even though it did make me happy that it happened This is a complete standalone where all the arcs are put to bed nicely, however, Suri is looking to write further works in this environment and I am unaware if they will incorporate the same characters I will discuss two other aspects quickly Romance I do not normally enjoy romance in the stories I read however, I think Suri worked this element into her tale expertly This is quite a dark tale and I dislike getting thrown out of the darkness to a forced love story The relationship here felt organic and like it really worked and not only suited the story but made it excel Good work.Finally, characters Apart from the cultures and the magic, the colourful ensemble is my favourite element I will not discuss them too much but look out for Mehr s step mother think how Catelyn Stark treats Jon Snow , the vindictive and crazy God like Maha and the mysterious vow bound shaman Asum Empire of Sand is an exciting, refreshing and dark fantasy debut featuring intricate and intriguing magic The romantic elements are very well worked as is the unpredictable plot It stutters slightly in the middle but that doesn t detract from how I greatly enjoyed this Highly recommended flag 87 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Dec 06, 2018 Vibur rated it really liked it review of another edition All things considered, Empire of Sand was slow, to put it aptly But despite the plodding pace, sparseness of action and leisurely plotting, I was absolutely absorbed in the writing The story was sensually imagined, shot through with a stunning poignancy, and I loved how the richness of Indian culture was artfully distilled into the language.The plot itself was simple enough, surprisingly And yet, there was something deep about it Something reaching far into the recesses of my heart Empir All things considered, Empire of Sand was slow, to put it aptly But despite the plodding pace, sparseness of action and leisurely plotting, I was absolutely absorbed in the writing The story was sensually imagined, shot through with a stunning poignancy, and I loved how the richness of Indian culture was artfully distilled into the language.The plot itself was simple enough, surprisingly And yet, there was something deep about it Something reaching far into the recesses of my heart Empire of Sand espouses freedom not of action, but freedom of spirit And it was all the empowering for it.Mehr was such an enticing and empathetic lead She was a girl whose love spurred her courage a girl shackled to servitude, but whose spirit soared, free and unfettered.However, she was far from infallible Yes, she erred and regretted, but importantly, she wasn t afraid to admit fault, and was stronger because of her failings.And as for Amun truly, you are too good for this world.The relationship between Mehr and Amun was so authentic and raw that it pained me I adored the quiet intimacy in their interactions, how all their moments of honesty and vulnerability tied together to weave a bond between them a bond that was unbreakable.Wrought in effortlessly precise and elegant prose, Empire of Sand was an emotionally resonant story of compromise and self sacrifice, and a celebration of freedom, love and hope It wasn t the fantasy I wanted, but it was the fantasy I never realised I was missing.3.5 5.0 flag 60 likesLike see review View all 11 comments May 23, 2018 destiny howling libraries rated it really liked it Shelves fantasy, diverse reads, adult, owned physical Mehr lives in a world where she is only half accepted The Ambhan people have conquered and destroyed the Amrithi, and as a woman with parents from both worlds, she struggles to find her place as a worshipper of the old Amrithi gods and traditions When the Emperor s mystics take note of her Amrithi powers, they force her into a marriage with one of their own, and Mehr becomes a very important pawn in a deadly game of men, gods, and demons. When I heard Indian inspired adult fantasy , I was i Mehr lives in a world where she is only half accepted The Ambhan people have conquered and destroyed the Amrithi, and as a woman with parents from both worlds, she struggles to find her place as a worshipper of the old Amrithi gods and traditions When the Emperor s mystics take note of her Amrithi powers, they force her into a marriage with one of their own, and Mehr becomes a very important pawn in a deadly game of men, gods, and demons. When I heard Indian inspired adult fantasy , I was immediately intrigued when I heard angry, vengeful gods , I was sold Empire of Sands has been one of my most anticipated releases of the year I feel like there isn t a lot of own voice diverse fantasy in the adult age range, so to see a story so interwoven with the author s own heritage and experiences as a woman of color, coupled with the inspirations she took from actual history, made this an incredibly fascinating read L I K E S She d always understood that keeping even the barest bones of her heritage demanded a terrible price But she had kept her heritage regardless That was her gravest error Right from the start, I loved the world Tasha Suri has built here It s always tough to read stories about conquered nations, knowing what an anchor those themes have in the real world, but Suri goes above and beyond many authors I ve read tackling similar plots by showing me how awful the Maha and Emperor are and how drastic their crimes against the Amrithi people have been It s also incredible to see how strongly Mehr s Amrithi traditions resonate with her on a daily basis, and how much comfort she takes from her rituals and ancestry He had never hated her mother s people He had just never considered them people at all They were the kindling wood that fed the fire of the Empire s strength I also absolutely loved the daiva, these demon esque spirits that appear in birdlike forms There s an imminent threat present in them from the beginning, but something about their design and the way they interact with Mehr hooked me right away and had me wishing to see even of them in the story Mehr knew what it looked like, when another human being stared at her with hatred What she had seen in Amun s face was a knife turned inward Finally, there s the relationship In the beginning of the story, I wasn t quite sure what to expect, but I ended up rooting for Mehr and her love interest so quickly and absolutely swooning over their fleeting, quiet moments by the end I also can t help but feel like there s some very valuable commentary in the story regarding arranged marriages and how they re not always what western society views them as D I S L I K E S How strange, that the world still looked so normal when Mehr s world was collapsing around her There s only one thing I had an issue with, but unfortunately, it was actually a really big struggle I faced while reading Empire of Sand the pacing Take this with the knowledge that I love slow fantasy stories, but something about the slow pacing of this book just does not work for me It felt too tame and like nothing important was happening most of the time when something important did happen, it was over explained to the point of losing its power A choice like a knife at your throat is an illusion Even though the writing itself was beautiful, I think it could have been improved by being a solid 75 100 pages shorter I know that s a harsh axe to drop, but this book actually put me into the worst slump I ve had all year with it now being November I had to put it down for a week to get over the slump, but when I picked it back up to finish it, it almost put me into another slump This never happens to me, so despite how gorgeous the plot and characters and setting were, I have to knock off a full star for how slow and meandering it was F I N A L THOUGHTS Altogether, I really enjoyed Empire of Sand, despite struggling with the pacing It s got this incredibly immersive desert setting, these lovable characters, and a backstory that drew me in and didn t let go I only wish that I could have enjoyed it despite the slowness, but I would definitely be happy to try Tasha Suri s next release, as I think she displays tremendous potential RECOMMENDING TO If you re someone who also loves slow fantasy especially if you re even patient than I typically am then I don t think it will be an issue, but if you re not one who can handle slow burning fantasy plots, you may want to try this in audiobook format so you can tune out a little when the tedium kicks in All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release Thank you so much to Orbit for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review flag 59 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Nov 19, 2018 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it Shelves fantasy, fiction, religion, religion and sprituality, romance, young adult, feminist When you dance with the Rite of Dreaming, you dance with the gods Mehr s got it made, I guess, There were perks to being the Governor of Irinah s daughter even an illegitimate one People obeyed you Servants rushed to your bidding Even the ones who loathed you and there were many were forced to veil their contempt and keep their loathing eyes lowered All people faced hatred All people suffered Few had the cushion of wealth and privilege to protect them as Mehr did nice wardrobe, plenty When you dance with the Rite of Dreaming, you dance with the gods Mehr s got it made, I guess, There were perks to being the Governor of Irinah s daughter even an illegitimate one People obeyed you Servants rushed to your bidding Even the ones who loathed you and there were many were forced to veil their contempt and keep their loathing eyes lowered All people faced hatred All people suffered Few had the cushion of wealth and privilege to protect them as Mehr did nice wardrobe, plenty to eat, time on her hands, but it comes with downsides Her father s grounds constitutes a golden cage And mom s side presents a whole other problem Tasha Suri image from her Twitter pagesWhile dad is a member in good standing of the Ambahn clan, the ruling caste in the empire, Mehr s mother was a member of the oppressed Amrithi clan Not your usual ethnic minority The Amrithi began ages ago when a magical being called a daiva djinn like, with both a physical and a ethereal nature got jiggy with a human, making the Amrithi not entirely our sort The magical side DNA comes with some benefits, though, for some Amrithi anyway An ability to communicate with the daiva who still roam the world And how do they communicate, you may ask Here is the genius of the book Amrithi communicate with the daiva via physical movement, specifically through dance and sigils,something between magic spells and prayer If you have ever seen the TV show, The Magicians, they do a lot of hand sigils there, and not all are of the middle finger variety They also have dance rites that are the equivalent of the prayer rituals common to many religions Mehr keeps up the rituals she learned from her mother and from a mentor her mother asked to look after her when she left The rituals give her a sense of connection not only to her heritage, and her mother, but in a very real sense to the magical events in this world Suri took some inspiration from her own upbringing Kids in Indian dance training make abundant use of hand symbols She also wanted to incorporate that signaling with an element of martial arts Her characters hand sigils are no mere form of artistry They have real world impact They kick ass Author Suri likes Anneika Rose for the role of MehrMore family enters into it Mehr has a little sister she loves and wants to protect, and whose safety can be used as leverage against her and then there is the evil stepmother, Maryam, a true bloom of Ambhan womanhood who does her best to hiss and sneer her way across the page whenever she shows up She is particularly eager to keep Mehr from continuing the practices of her Amrithi heritage There s In this fantasy world, which is inspired by a Bollywood version of what the Mughal Empire might have been, reality is not the relatively consistent universe we have come to know It is a product of the dreams of the gods Only sometimes those dreams get disturbed, generating hurricane like storms that dump a whole new type of precip, a thing called dreamfire Way beyond oobleck The dreamfire was everywhere now It was in the air she breathed, in the sweat at the nape of her neck She could feel the strength of it churning the city into a storm The buildings were drenched in light, debris flying through the air as if the world had tipped on its side and sent everything sprawling Even the earth felt like it was moving beneath her feet It was dizzying, terrifying Exhilirating Dad, who clearly loves Mehr, and evil step mom, who clearly doesn t, may have Mehr s best interests at heart in keeping her confined to the grounds Seems the talent she has for things magical is in high demand by dark sorts So, when Mehr slips out and puts her skill to the test, word gets around and she is in a whole mess of trouble Way worse than being grounded I like a young Oded Fehr for the role of Amun image from GirlsAskGuys Yeah, I know Amun is supposed to be dark skinned, but this guy s face just kept popping into my tiny mind The religious leader of the empire midway between Thanos and the High Sparrow , has sent a delegation of mystics and a not so subtle demand offer for Mehr to marry one of them, a dodgy seeming character called Amun Like so many other of the other mystics Mehr had seen in Lotus Hall, his face was swathed by cloth Only his eyes and bridge of his nose were revealed but his head was lowered, hiding his gaze The little of his skin she could see was dark She couldn t tell if he was young or old, ugly or handsome He was simply male, broad shouldered and intimidating with footsteps that were soft, too soft He had a predator s tread It is an offer she cannot refuse No mani pedis for you, dear Mehr hits the road with her new associates and the game is afoot No, really No saddles or palanquins They walk across the desert to the evil leader s oasis centered temple His name is Maha, and the similarity to mwahahaha cannot possibly be accidental Ok, entire world fantasies can really get you bogged down in describing everything, like the above and then you lose track of the thread Ok We got all our words straight, Daiva Sigil Amrithi Ambahn Jeez, can we move on with it already The change of scene also signals a change in approach What ensues is not just learning what dark plans Maha, who is entirely cruel and not entirely human, has in store for Mehr, and taking on that challenge, but getting to know Amun Is this bad boy really so bad Why does everyone think he s a monster What s the deal with all the blue tats And what else will be forced on Mehr A challenge for sure.The book heads in two directions here First is getting the lay of the land and finding out who you can trust, and where you can get the best figs Part of this is dealing with being invited to hang by one group, when you really want to be doing something else, figuring out who can be trusted, deciphering the palace politics in her new town Very relatable, particularly for the younger set The other major element is the reveal of what the Maha has in mind, and how Mehr will cope But the major bit for what seems the largest chunk of the book is Mehr getting to know Amun They have to come up with modus vivendi in order to accomplish the tasks with which they are charged, and not get, you know, murdered.It was not the fastest read I enjoyed the first 100 pps of intro to the world and Mehr s situation, and I enjoyed watching her face diverse challenges and overcome, or not, yet still grow in the process But I did not enjoy the pace or duration after that It was reasonably paced and engaging at first, but settled into a slower, drawn out tempo that was a bit frustrating The book might have lost about fifty pages, maybe , without suffering too much There are a few interludes when we see events away from Mehr from the perspective of other characters These offered a break from the central pillar of the tale, and added in a few details Mehr could not deliver to us There was an element of romantic interaction that was appropriate and engaging, but which took up way too much of the book, detracting from the much interesting magical, and palace intrigue elements You know I like a good romance Well, I read a lot of romance That s something that romance series do really, really well they create books that draw on each other but they re also kind of discrete stories in themselves You ve got a beginning, a middle and end You ve got a satisfying conclusion You know if you pick up the next one you re going to get the same thing So, that s what I m trying to do with the series from the Reddit sessionNot the romance thing, per se, but the beginning middle end thing It was a bit unclear to me whether this was intended for YA readers or adults Certain tropes made me think YA Things like a sheltered girl being forced to face life s realities and find out if she will face plant or be the stuff that dreams are made of We have certainly seen plenty of examples of kids or teens with hidden powers that emerge as they grow and confront danger of one sort or another Evil stepmothers are a dime a dozen in YA tales And Mehr has a little sister she is eager to protect, like that Everdeen kid But then, the challenges that Mehr confronts extend well beyond showing the world her stuff She has to contend with complex moral questions Suri is also looking at larger issues relating to women She is interested in how women could exercise power in a heavily patriarchal society, and not settle for invisibility She shows them choosing paths for themselves, despite the external limitations on their freedom, and sometimes having to hide their true feelings She managed to catch herself on her hands before her skull met the floor Then she bowed to the floor, her forehead to the cool marble She allowed herself to tremble feigned being a thing bent and broken by his cruelty She did not have her jewels or her fine clothes, but she had this power, at least she could give him a simulacrum of what he desired from her And hold her crumbling strength tight Let him think he had broken her As long as he believed he already had, as long as she fooled him, he would not succeed in truly doing so I very much enjoyed the extreme creativity that went into the literary construction of this world The magical concepts were impressive, exciting, and fit well with the story Mehr is an engaging character you will find it easy to root for, particularly when she is faced with wrenching decisions The writing is beautiful and evocative I enjoyed much less what seemed a shift from the magical elements and court machinations to an excessive focus on the romantic But was brought back by the action, twists, and resolutions at the end I expect there are many castles to be made of Suri s sands She has a second book in the series planned, The Realm of Ash, set many years later, looking at the consequences of the actions in book 1 Some dreams can be made real.Published November 13, 2018Review posted November 30, 2018 EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter, Instagram, and FB pagesInterviews Definitely check out this audio interview with Suri on InkFeather Podcast Not really an interview, Suri takes questions on Reddit worth a lookOther The use of dance for communication reminded me of Spider and Jeanne Robinson s award winning work Stardance flag 62 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Dec 01, 2018 Emma rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley, fantasybookreview Mehr has magic in her blood a little spark of the divine passed down through generations, gifting some of the Amrithi with amata, allowing them to see daiva and dance rituals that shape the powerful dreams of sleeping gods When she mistakenly unveils her true potential under a sky filled with dreamfire, it doesn t take long for the Emperor s mystics to arrive at her door, prepared with a scheme that will lead her to a mysterious desert temple where the Maha awaits Here she will be tested and Mehr has magic in her blood a little spark of the divine passed down through generations, gifting some of the Amrithi with amata, allowing them to see daiva and dance rituals that shape the powerful dreams of sleeping gods When she mistakenly unveils her true potential under a sky filled with dreamfire, it doesn t take long for the Emperor s mystics to arrive at her door, prepared with a scheme that will lead her to a mysterious desert temple where the Maha awaits Here she will be tested and tormented even as raging storms fed by divine anger bring nightmares to life in the desert beyond It is up to Mehr to prevent their awakening and the violent transition that would wreak death and destruction on the world But she doesn t have to do it aloneFor all the magic, the true heart of this story is Mehr A girl sheltered from much of the real life by her Ambhan father and the customs of Irinah society, yet still grounded by both hardship and love The loss of her mother, the petty hatred of her step mother, and the wider persecution of the Amrithi in the city and Empire are balanced by the sharing of secrets and friendship with Lalita, the genuine affection for her younger sister, Arwa, and the ability to hold on to her heritage though her dancing, soothed each time she loses herself in the intricate steps She s a striking character fierce and emotional, daring and resilient, aware of her own faults and failings yet willing to take burdens onto herself to protect others Never perfect, but intelligently introspective and utterly believable The reader experiences each crucial development in her sense of self, watching her work through her options to find and make the best decision, the right choice, even as she evaluates why and how others are making theirs This is her journey, one with physical, moral, and spiritual aspects It s developed slowly, but evocatively described, moving through a vibrantly detailed landscape and a culture inspired by Mughal India There s a wonderful flow to the language, apparent from the first page to the last And while there are certainly times when the pacing stuttered, especially the wandering middle section that struggled to add anything significant to the story, the finale upped the tension and had enough surprises to satisfy Even with the inclusion of darker themes slavery, potential rape, discrimination, and cult behaviour indoctrination , this felt like a young book, definitely YA teen than adult Perhaps that s a reflection of the youthful ever after romance which, while integral to both plot and character, is still hard going for those who don t usually favour love stories, especially ones with youthful protagonists Nevertheless, it was utilised effectively to portray the ways in which bonds of trust and affection between people, romantic or otherwise, can be strong and durable, despite arriving in unexpected ways The relationship between Mehr and Amun helps them both though the toughest times, teaching them about what it means to know or understand another person and to see them for who they really are The message is clear judge people on their actions and not the opinions of others, build trust and hold true to the promises you make to those you love It s an uplifting read with an overarching optimism, a kind of love conquers all narrative, but one that involves hard work and positive change The moralistic vibe is easy to see, but developed within the show, don t tell framework of character speech and action And since the author s argument is for representation, inclusivity, individuality, love, friendship, honour, balance it s one I have no issue getting behind It looks like the next in the series, Realm of Ash, will focus on Arwa, Mehr s sister, possibly allowing this story to remain at what felt very much like its completed form, but still offering the reader a chance to return to this superbly developed world But for now, if you re looking for a story that s diverse and beautifully rendered with love at its heart, this is well worth your timeC via Netgalley flag 41 likesLike see review View 2 comments Aug 26, 2018 Lola rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 publications, fantasy, war setting, romance, magic, religion It has been a while since I have seen such elegant writing Tasha Suri s words are like balm to the soul They are calming I devoured them I couldn t get enough of them Until, of course, I could Here s the thing this book starts off strong, very strong We become acquainted with Mehr, the heroine, as well as her family and friends Well, friend She s not exactly popular There is danger looming and the reader and characters are aware of it It s exciting It made me turn the pages with muc It has been a while since I have seen such elegant writing Tasha Suri s words are like balm to the soul They are calming I devoured them I couldn t get enough of them Until, of course, I could Here s the thing this book starts off strong, very strong We become acquainted with Mehr, the heroine, as well as her family and friends Well, friend She s not exactly popular There is danger looming and the reader and characters are aware of it It s exciting It made me turn the pages with much eagerness I couldn t wait to find out what was going to happen next and get to know Mehr even better.But then it all stopped It s a slow paced story from the very beginning, but that didn t bother me at all I prefer a fantasy novel be slow paced but well written and interesting than to be all over the place and confusing.Nothing about this book is confusing Everything is laid out on the table for us to see, to understand, and the little things that are kept from us are not shocking or surprising enough to be considered revelations That s exactly the problem This book is too tame I didn t fall off my chair or open my mouth in wonder one time It s not that I predicted everything it s that so little happens over such a long period of time that when something does happen, it s like, FINALLY instead of OMG, NO WAY But I did find interesting the characterizations, which are emphasized in this story, as well as the tensions between Mehr and the mystics However, I missed a lot of the characters that were introduced in the beginning and then basically forgotten about like Mehr s sister, step mother and father, as well as her friend Lalita We rarely hear from them again, and while I understand why, it remains unfortunate Perhaps POVs would have helped make this story exciting.So, to recap, this is beautifully written and character driven, but the story lethargic and rarely surprising.Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin flag 39 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 13, 2018 Kayla rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves own physical copy, 2018 releases, arc Read my full review on GracelingAccountantIS IS CURRENTLY ON SALE FOR 2.99 ON FOR KINDLEHey ya ll While requesting an Advanced Reader Copy of Sisters of the Winter Wood from Orbit recently, I was offered an ARC of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri and I jumped at the chance I m a sucker for a desert fantasy, and I knew I would love this one but I never expected just how much This has come to be a new favorite book for me, and I can t wait for everyone to get their hands on this gem Empir Read my full review on GracelingAccountantIS IS CURRENTLY ON SALE FOR 2.99 ON FOR KINDLEHey ya ll While requesting an Advanced Reader Copy of Sisters of the Winter Wood from Orbit recently, I was offered an ARC of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri and I jumped at the chance I m a sucker for a desert fantasy, and I knew I would love this one but I never expected just how much This has come to be a new favorite book for me, and I can t wait for everyone to get their hands on this gem Empire of Sand comes out on November 13th , and I highly recommend you head over to and add this one to your TBR this is not one you want to miss Let s get into my review Thank you so much to Hachette Books for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review Any quotes used from the Advanced Reader Copy are subject to change upon publication Book Info__________________________________ Genre s Adult Many different definitions are thrown around, but I define this as books that contain content not suitable for younger readers This includes things like graphic content blood, gore, torture, murder, rape , and explicit sexual content Fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world Most fantasy uses magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these worlds.An identifying trait of fantasy is the author s reliance on imagination to create narrative elements that do not have to rely on history or nature to be coherent This differs from realistic fiction in that realistic fiction has to attend to the history and natural laws of reality, where fantasy does not An author applies his or her imagination to come up with characters, plots, and settings that are impossible in reality Page Count 419Release Year 2018Buzz Words Fantasy, Desert Fantasy, Own Voices, Daiva, Adult, Indian, Debut__________________________________This is everything I was looking for while reading Rebel of the Sands and An Ember In The Ashes To me a perfect desert fantasy has culture, and back story, and just a certain mystical feel to it and this book hit all those notes for me The Good Everything No really The Daiva, the magic, the romantic subplot, the worldbuilding everything was amazing Turned a forced marriage into something of love, respect, and consent and it honestly brought fucking tears to my eyes You can.She felt his faith It coursed through her like dreamfire, like blood Her own image wavered in front of her eyes a woman with dark skin and dark eyes, a tangled mess of hair and the bearing of an empress She saw the light of her own smile The dimple etched in her cheek when she laughed This was how Amun saw her.In his eyes, she was on the one who was strong, who stood straight and tall and never let the world crush her In his eyes, she was the one who was kind and good She wanted to laugh and weep at the same time 245 The main character loves herself despite the fact that the way she looks and the blood in her veins is what put her in this situation And you, Mehr Did you ever demand to be painted Mehr snorted Me No I wasn t ready to wed, so I didn t have anyone to impress Besides, any painter given my description would still have insisted on making me moon pale with hair like a fall of silk She made a dismissive gesture I don t need false flattery They paint what they think you want to see, Amun noted, with insightfulness that again struck Mehr They do, Mehr agreed But they would be wrong about me I like myself perfectly well as I am 179 180 Correcting racism, specifically the No, I didn t mean YOU phrase.The MEH The antagonist came across as very generic bad guy with not much backstory to justify his actions Two almost 3 characters were unnecessarily bitchy with no justification No map Why is this marketed as adult when it s clearly young adultI can t share much of my thoughts without spoiling this book, but I m telling you guys GO PICK THIS UP If you can t afford to buy it, check it out from the library I know the struggle, I have to walk up to my library if I need to pick up books and it s a 20 minute walk now in the snow But DO IT ANYWAY I promise it s worth it This was an incredible read, and I m so appreciative to have received an ARC from Orbit for this own voices debut._________________________________That was unique, and beautiful, and I fell in love with this book Amazing culture, beautiful romance Consent was shown in every aspect of their relationship and Amun is such a beautiful soul I tear up just thinking about it There was nothing I didnt love about this story flag 26 likesLike see review Jun 05, 2018 Aila rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018 release, action packed, adult, arc, awesome, fantasy magic, fave omg, tbh amazing EMPIRE OF SAND is the kind of book that you have to reread certain parts, or read slowly, just so you can savor the words, story, and development At least, that s what I did Inspired by the Mughal era of India, EMPIRE OF SAND features a resilient heroine who struggles to survive in an empire where her people, the Amrithi, are despised Throughout her journey, she finds hope and kindness and respect in the unlikeliest of places Think of it as loosely beginning like THE WRATH AND THE DAWN EMPIRE OF SAND is the kind of book that you have to reread certain parts, or read slowly, just so you can savor the words, story, and development At least, that s what I did Inspired by the Mughal era of India, EMPIRE OF SAND features a resilient heroine who struggles to survive in an empire where her people, the Amrithi, are despised Throughout her journey, she finds hope and kindness and respect in the unlikeliest of places Think of it as loosely beginning like THE WRATH AND THE DAWN with mature characters, and the phenomenal world building of CITY OF BRASS, with a heart stopping romance like in A CROWN OF WISHES Basically, a must read for fantasy readers Review to come flag 19 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Jan 02, 2019 Umairah Sereadipity rated it really liked it review of another edition Plot 3.5 5 Characters 5 5 Writing 4 5Empire of Sand was an intricate story inspired by Mughal India The world building was spectacular, I felt fully immersed in the culture and history.It tells a tale of a noblewoman called Mehr who had an Amrithi mother and an Ambhan father The Amrithi were desert people who were said to be descended from the daiva in the book the daiva are the children of the gods and can perform special rites through dancing and movement The Ambhan Empire shunned the Plot 3.5 5 Characters 5 5 Writing 4 5Empire of Sand was an intricate story inspired by Mughal India The world building was spectacular, I felt fully immersed in the culture and history.It tells a tale of a noblewoman called Mehr who had an Amrithi mother and an Ambhan father The Amrithi were desert people who were said to be descended from the daiva in the book the daiva are the children of the gods and can perform special rites through dancing and movement The Ambhan Empire shunned them and took their land causing their numbers to dwindle What are you supposed to do when you have lost the war and every possibility of victory has been absolutely, thoroughly annihilated Even after Mehr s mother left her and her sister, Arwa, to their father, Mehr still tried to carry on practising her Amrithi traditions and retain her identity in a world that refused to accept them.Mehr was a strong woman but not in the way we usually see, by waving swords around and tearing down enemies left, right and centre She had an inner strength, a quiet strength No matter what happened to her, no matter who came along and tried to hurt, manipulate or own her, she clung on to who she was and she clung on to her hopes and dreams.The pacing of the book was quite slow, but I didn t mind It enables us to be with Mehr every step of the way and appreciate her character development even Also, it gave time for Mehr and Amun s relationship to grow, for them to build up trust and friendship before taking it further They were so adorable together and I loved how they spent time talking to each other and sharing things about themselves which you don t often see in many books Amun even makes a tent out of a shawl and pillows in their room to cheer up Mehr when she s upset.Empire of Sand was a pleasure to read and I loved the world building and the relationships between the characters the most.This review and can be found at Sereadipity flag 23 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jun 15, 2018 Melanie marked it as to read review of another edition Shelves fantasy, adult, own voices HyppppppeBlog Instagram Twitter Tumblr Youtube Twitch flag 18 likesLike see review Nov 26, 2018 Acqua rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves arc, adult, boring, boring li, db, fantasy, dnf reviewed Empire of Sand is a slow paced desert fantasy novel set in a world inspired by the Mughal Empire.As I had never read a book inspired by this part of India s history, and as I usually love slow, atmospheric fantasy, I thought I would at least like Empire of Sand, but it just didn t work for me After loving the first 20% of it, in which a magical world with an unique magic system inspired by Indian classical dance and complex history was introduced, I started liking this book less and less, becau Empire of Sand is a slow paced desert fantasy novel set in a world inspired by the Mughal Empire.As I had never read a book inspired by this part of India s history, and as I usually love slow, atmospheric fantasy, I thought I would at least like Empire of Sand, but it just didn t work for me After loving the first 20% of it, in which a magical world with an unique magic system inspired by Indian classical dance and complex history was introduced, I started liking this book less and less, because of the pacing.From around 25% of the book to at least 65%, the main character Mehr is trapped in an unwanted at least at the beginning arranged marriage, in a place in which she s forced to perform magical rituals that hurt her, and in which there s the constant threat that she will be forced to have sex with a person she doesn t want to have sex with The situation doesn t change much, I found all of it very difficult to read, and then I couldn t any Maybe it wouldn t have affected me so much had I not read Girls of Paper and Fire just a few days ago, another fantasy book which I loved in which the main character is constantly under the threat of sexual assault I don t know, I think I need to step back from this kind of fantasy stories for a while.I put off DNFing this book and writing this review even though I knew for a few days that I wasn t going to continue when you notice you d rather do homework than read a book there s something wrong because I really didn t want to write a bad review of this I loved the beginning and the world is genuinely interesting I also think that fantasy book that follow non western history and that show women who are strong in a different way than the average fantasy are really important, but I just couldn t get through the middle of this flag 17 likesLike see review Jan 06, 2019 Beatrice in Bookland rated it really liked it I don t want to see the world I want to see our future I want to see you Empire of sand starts off with 100 boring af pages but trust me, keep reading It gets so much better flag 17 likesLike see review Oct 23, 2018 Esmerelda Weatherwax rated it really liked it review of another edition I got this one from Orbit Netgalley thank you I ve been wanting to read this ever since it came on my radar a couple months ago.I didn t know what to expect from this one, what I got was pretty awesome This is a story of a girl who doesn t quite belong anywhere, her mother s race, the Amrithi, is one that has been increasingly looked down upon by the current ruling class They are viewed as less than civilized, just some superstitious barbarians with a backward religion and culture Mehr is I got this one from Orbit Netgalley thank you I ve been wanting to read this ever since it came on my radar a couple months ago.I didn t know what to expect from this one, what I got was pretty awesome This is a story of a girl who doesn t quite belong anywhere, her mother s race, the Amrithi, is one that has been increasingly looked down upon by the current ruling class They are viewed as less than civilized, just some superstitious barbarians with a backward religion and culture Mehr is an illegitimate daughter of the governor, and although she lives with the everyday comforts of the noble class, she s harshly scrutinized by her stepmother, she s forbidden to openly practice the customs of the Amrithi, and has very strict rules about visiting her sister Arwa As Mehr has gotten older she s tried to assert herself against her stepmother s needless nitpicking and harassment, but Mehr may have taken things a step too far.The emperor is re doubling his efforts to relocate and push out all people of Amrithi heritage The fact that Mehr has rebelled and tried to teach her sister of the Amrithi s religion and teachings, and said so in public, could cause her family to come under scrutiny they can t afford.The Amrithi are said to be the descendants of the daiva, who were the children of the Gods Long ago the daiva and the Amrithi intermingled, inter marrying and forever leaving their trace in the blood of the Amrithi Since then there was a vow made by the daiva to protect the Amrathi people and to this day, if a daiva shows up, all an Amrithi person needs to do is offer it some blood and the daiva will recognize it s vow and leave that person in peace.The opening scene in this book involves a daiva that came to visit Mehr s younger sister, it was just a bird spirit, but Mehr believes it means a storm is coming, a storm that brings dreamfire and daiva, a storm that could possibly be dangerous to those who aren t Amrithi She was right, a storm did come, and Mehr went out into the middle of it and called upon the storm to help her find her friend who had gone missing The storm carries her along to Lalita s house, but she s not there That bit of magic she performed caught the attention of the Maha, a god like being who rules the religious order of this realm He heard her whispering in the storm and has made a drastic move he s sent his priests to her city to offer a hand in marriage Women in this society aren t treated like equals, they can t make contracts, they aren t typically involved in political affairs, and are treated like treatures to be protected However, the one right they do have is their sacred right to choose who they marry This marriage proposal is obviously not truly an offer, it s an offer she can t refuse without her family facing serious and probably lethal consequences.Her father does love her, and he never meant for anything like this to happen He offers her an out, he arranges for a carriage to steal her away in the middle of the night But, Mehr refuses it, she doesn t believe she could live with the guilt if anything happened to her family Her father practically begs her to leave, he hints that the priests of Maha are evil, and that she can t know true evil the way he does Despite this, she says she has made her choice, and goes to meet her new husband He s creepy He s so very creepy, I ve never been wrapped up in a marriage courting scene before He s monotone, dressed in robes, scarred all over, and seems to be devoid of a soul.There was so much world building in this, it was just fantastic I loved everything from the different types of daiva, the different dances that the Amrithi performs for things like sunrises and sunsets There are a wide variety of Rites that the Amrithi have, like the Rite of Dreaming, all associated with moving through forms in a dance I felt relaxed whil reading to be honest A nonwestern setting is always a plus for me, I don t often get to read books that are based in desert like climates.I liked how I got a good 10% into the book before the POV switched, I felt like I really got to sink my teeth into who she was and why I should care about her storyline before I got introduced to the second POV It also helped that I already knew the second POV when we started her chapters, the pacing really flowed well.Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was well written, the characters felt real and well developed which had me turning pages all night to see how everything turned out I love getting older female POVs, I love nonwestern settings, I love relatable characters loved this Audience Daiva smulti povfemale povmiddle age povnon western settingsrace being eliminatedRatings Plot 12 15Characters 12.5 15World Building 13 15Writing 13 15Pacing 12 15Originality 13 15Personal Enjoyment 9 10Final Score 84.5 100 4.5 5 stars highly recommended flag 14 likesLike see review Oct 04, 2018 Sol TheBookishKing marked it as to read review of another edition Buddy Read with Mels who I ll link to later xD I m super excited for this and have a week to finish it so let s see if I can do it Still in that Kingdom of Ash slump and it s killing me ARC received in Exchange for an Honest Review. flag 13 likesLike see review Oct 15, 2018 Scrill added it review of another edition Shelves 2018, arc Thank you to Orbit for the ARC for review flag 13 likesLike see review Aug 09, 2018 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing review of another edition LOVED this and banged through it in just a few hours yesterday an excellent and immediate piece of world building with some beautifully drawn characters and a wonderfully lilting prose that really immerses you deep into Mehr s world of myth and magic.Using India s history, epics and myths as inspiration as per author interview included with the novel Tasha Suri creates a beautiful, dangerous and fascinating empire and takes the reader with Mehr as she is bound by the magic in her blood and LOVED this and banged through it in just a few hours yesterday an excellent and immediate piece of world building with some beautifully drawn characters and a wonderfully lilting prose that really immerses you deep into Mehr s world of myth and magic.Using India s history, epics and myths as inspiration as per author interview included with the novel Tasha Suri creates a beautiful, dangerous and fascinating empire and takes the reader with Mehr as she is bound by the magic in her blood and enslaved by her roots It is hugely engaging, cleverly plotted and goes down some dark paths, exploring many themes and social structures along the way.Empire of Sand is addictive, occasionally brutal, often really quite creepy it is pure brilliance first page to last and I have no regrets at all that I pretty much lost a day to it.This is the kind of Fantasy I adore Gorgeous writing, impressive description and a sense of reality running through the narrative despite the speculative setting Pitch perfect Can t wait for.Highly Recommended flag 12 likesLike see review Nov 02, 2018 Mogsy MMOGC rated it liked it Shelves arcs and galleys, review copy, fantasy, magic 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum the lusciously written Empire of Sand, debut author Tasha Suri takes readers on a journey to a south Asian inspired fantasy world full of mysterious magic and spirits A strong and alluring intro eventually gave way to a rather mild and slow moving plot which is why I am only tentatively embracing this book with a middling rating, and because I didn t find my attention hooked completely since the plodding pace made some 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum the lusciously written Empire of Sand, debut author Tasha Suri takes readers on a journey to a south Asian inspired fantasy world full of mysterious magic and spirits A strong and alluring intro eventually gave way to a rather mild and slow moving plot which is why I am only tentatively embracing this book with a middling rating, and because I didn t find my attention hooked completely since the plodding pace made some parts of this a struggle to read.In the beginning, we are introduced to Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor of Ambha and an exiled Amrithi mother she barely knows However, it is said that the Amrithi are a group of desert nomads descended from spirits, possessing the power of magic in their blood a power that Mehr has inherited Growing up in her father s noble house, she clashed constantly with her stepmother, both of them vying for the responsibility over caring for Mehr s little sister Arwa Then one night, a winged demon called a Daiva invades Arwa s room, and in her attempts to calm her younger sibling, Mehr is caught performing a forbidden rite bringing her magical lineage to the attention of the imperial mystics.From that moment on, Mehr s life is changed forever She is subsequently forced into an arranged marriage to Amun, an Amrithi enslaved to the empire Scorned by the other mystics, Mehr s betrothed is nonetheless required for his role in a ritual which would solidify Ambha s power and expand its borders Since the rites can only be successfully performed by an Amrithi couple, Amun and Mehr s fates were all but sealed, but working together with their wits and powers, they may yet find other ways to resist the empire and its cruel mystics, especially as their feelings towards one another deepen.The first few chapters immediately drew me in I loved Suri s descriptive writing, and the characters and their dialogue attracted me with their charisma and emotions The supernatural elements were introduced lightly, adding a bit of intrigue to the plot rather than overpowering it completely with talk of Daeva, spirits, or magic The world building is scrumptious, teasing, and mysterious an uncertain quality at first, but you just know it will eventually take shape and grow into something And when Mehr s magic was found out, the atmosphere felt as though the story itself was holding its breath, waiting to see what would happen next.Sad to say though, that was perhaps the highest point of the book for me, at least for the next little while What came next was about a couple hundred pages of very little action, but lots of observations by the protagonist as well as relationship building between Mehr and Amun Speaking as someone who did not really expect this shift, the middle section of novel proved a bit tedious and a challenge to press through However, for readers who prefer calm quiet fantasy, especially those who like slow burn romances, the style and tone of this book would probably be to your liking.The good news is, the characters are lovely As the daughter of Ambhan nobleman and an Amrithi outcast, Mehr is an interesting figure struggling with her two conflicting backgrounds She isn t always bold or quick to take action, but she is of a rational thinker and I appreciated the author for giving her protagonist a level headed personality Mehr has found herself in a bad situation and while the odds may seem hopeless at times, she never lets them wear her down She also has some compelling chemistry with Amun it s not really a fiery hot passion between them, but a softer careful kind of love that grows sweeter over time I can be quite picky when it comes to romance arcs and it s not often they work for me, but I thought given how Mehr and Amun began, Suri handled the course of their relationship perfectly.Ultimately, Empire of Sand could have been a enticing read, but the slow moving sections in the middle of the book really hurt my overall enjoyment That said though, there are a lot of things going for it, and I will head into the sequel with hopes that the story will pick up in pacing and action flag 22 likesLike see review Oct 13, 2018 The Nerd Book Review rated it it was amazing review of another edition I always say if I stay up late reading a book it s a 5 and now I ve done it 2 nights in a row with this one The Nerd Book ReviewThe writing was elegant but not overdone and I immediately got into, and stayed in, that movie in my mind I drone on about so often I ve discovered I really want a tale where the writing doesn t get in the way of telling the story and this achieves that wonderfully This novel which is about 80% ish 1 POV of a girl named Mehr who is a sequestered noblewoman whose mot I always say if I stay up late reading a book it s a 5 and now I ve done it 2 nights in a row with this one The Nerd Book ReviewThe writing was elegant but not overdone and I immediately got into, and stayed in, that movie in my mind I drone on about so often I ve discovered I really want a tale where the writing doesn t get in the way of telling the story and this achieves that wonderfully This novel which is about 80% ish 1 POV of a girl named Mehr who is a sequestered noblewoman whose mother was from a nomadic clan, some of whom could perform magical rites Mehr inherited this magical ability and was taken by the ancient emperor high priest whose prayer keep the empire strong and his descendants on the throne If this doesn t sound interesting then I don t know what will The book is far than that though There isn t actually a ton of action in the novel, it is mostly about inter and intra personal struggle At the end I read that Suri credits Jacqueline Carey as an influence and while I didn t necessarily see it before I read that I immediately saw a bit of that personal struggle that Carey s Phedre de Delaunay often showed in the Kushiel s Dart series that I really enjoyed, and really should re read and review one of these days The book felt surprisingly self contained so I m interested to see where Suri takes the series with book 2 It could be a continuation of the events that transpire in book 1 or it could be descendants of some of these characters and it would fit either way Great debut novel that has kept me up hours past my bedtime to finish I would recommend this to a wide variety of fantasy and even some non fantasy readers flag 11 likesLike see review View 1 comment Nov 08, 2018 Mike Everest Evans rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves debut, high fantasy, non western setting fantasy The Good Empire of Sand delivers exactly what it says on the tin and THEN SOME Strong female lead check , magic by birth but you know there s to it than that check , empires and gods check , non western fantasy in this case inspired by India s Mughal empire BIG CHECK The Bad The pace seemed to ease up a little toward the middle of the book, at least in terms of overall plot, and I d have liked to see of the stakes at this point sleeping gods, please but I wouldn t The Good Empire of Sand delivers exactly what it says on the tin and THEN SOME Strong female lead check , magic by birth but you know there s to it than that check , empires and gods check , non western fantasy in this case inspired by India s Mughal empire BIG CHECK The Bad The pace seemed to ease up a little toward the middle of the book, at least in terms of overall plot, and I d have liked to see of the stakes at this point sleeping gods, please but I wouldn t let these minor points overshadow what is one of the most exciting releases of the year.The Ugly Truth Now THIS is the fantasy I ve been after without even knowing it sleeping gods, daiva and a desert landscape that s not just sand sand sand , myth and magic that s so fully realised that it s real and a magic system based on dance and the dreams of the gods Say it with me now not just another white medieval fantasy.Review Did I really just say that above One of the most exciting releases of the year REALLY I try not to use clich s where possible, but, in this instance, it s true.Actually, no.It s not.This isn t one of the most exciting releases of the year This is one of the most exciting releases of the past five if not ten years for me Sure, anyone in the fantasy community will have heard the call for diverse fantasy voices and stories, and there have been many but not enough MORE PLEASE to answer this call, but I have yet to come across ANYTHING like Empire of Sand.Why Well, let me tell you about Empire of Sand and then I ll explain.In Empire of Sands, Mehr, is a half Ambhan half Amrithi daughter to an Ambhan governor Her Amrithi heritage, and the power in her blood because of it, earns her the attention of the Mystics, agents of the Maha, a high priest like figure of the Ambhan Empire, who manipulate traditions and treaties to trap Mehr in an arranged marriage with seemingly no escape Bound to a seeming barbarian of a husband whose physical scars hide those beneath, Mehr is shackled to the Maha s service through her vows, and forced to wield the power of sleeping gods dreams manifested as storms at the heart of the desert.So why have I yet to come across anything like EoS Mehr is the headstrong and hearty heroine I ve always longed for She s not perfect no one truly is but she is perfect in her own imperfect way Most importantly, she s believable Here we have a young woman taken from all she knows, and thrust into the clutches of a cult like coven whose leader is awesome as he is atrocious Her thoughts, instincts, emotions, all of it is believable It s reasonable Rational And though I hope no one can relate to the scenario thrust upon Mehr, dare I say it, she is relatable for the very fact that she is presented as human And sure, to be human is to be flawed, but it is also to be resilient To think, feel and ultimately overcome the challenges we face, no matter how big or small they might be.Secondly world building Excuse the sound of clapping as I m still giving Suri the standing ovation she deserves NOT JUST ANOTHER WHITE FANTASY There are so many things I could go on about here, but I d like to highlight the fact that this book is almost entirely set in the desert or locations within one and not once does it feel like just a lot of sand I ve been to deserts Not all of it is sand And even when it is, it isn t just sand There are shapes, dunes, stretches to the horizon, beyond and back The desert is a beautiful place It s a dangerous place And the Empire of Sand captures those facts wonderfully.Also on the world building point sleeping gods whose dreams hold the power to change the world A dance based magic system to shape those dreams, for ill or good will A power hungry puppet master of a patriarch who reigns through love and loathing What could you ask for Which leads me nicely onto the plot and the story itself Conscious that I ve already covered a lot of ground, and not to spoil anything, there s elements of a chosen one and magic school here, similar to R.F Kuang s The Poppy War, minus the fighting and grimdark tones And not forgetting the romance element of the plot Now, I can almost hear the collective eyeroll of a chunk of the fantasy reader community, those who don t like romance as part of the plot But listen up this isn t just well written romance, it s real The relationship s in Empire of Sand are plausible and they most certainly have a purpose I could liken Empire of Sand s romance to dozens of other books elsewhere I ve seen Melissa Caruso s Words and Fire trilogy mentioned, as well as the works of Sarah J Mass and Trudi Canavan on the back of the book itself , but I don t really see the point here Speaking generally, though I hope not out of turn, Twilight seems to be the clay explosive that anti romance fantasy readers point at anything attempting a relationship beyond a grimdark grunt of a one night stand Feelings BANG Sentiment BANG Holding hands BANG BANG BANG Pillow talk WITHOUT the sexy time KABOOM Let me just put it this way if romance isn t your thing be it because of sparkly vampires or otherwise try this You might find that actually it is, and you just didn t realise it Like when you were a kid, and you didn t want to sit next to the boy girl in class because of cooties or whatever, yet now you re an adult and you d give anything for that special someone to catch your eye.I m rambling now Look, I m just one person An average, white, male, middle aged not yet thirty, able bodied person In terms of books I normally go for anything with an underdog, fighting and flirting throughout, with so many battles its hard to tell where one stops and the other ends, set in as far flung a fantasy land as you can conjure I m a sucker for ANY book with a jerk merc read mercenary jerks, who most likely smirk a lot, too thing going for them Which is why, for me to go on and on and on about a book that doesn t have a mud and blood and guts battle scene, that isn t told via the POV of a jerk merc who barely has time to say something clever he she is too busy smirking, then Empire of Sands is a special book indeed Definitely one of the most exciting releases of the year or five Ten Screw it I genuinely love this book IT GAVE ME FEELINGS flag 10 likesLike see review Dec 09, 2018 Lesa Divine marked it as dnf review of another edition Ok I give up I gave this book way too much of a chance 240 pages that s a lot out of a 490 something page book If you looking for some action look somewhere else Because there s none The beginning did catch my attention I felt I liked the main character step mom better Sad that she was a bitch but she kept me wondering about her But other words nonething to keep me interested Too much of telling and getting to know everyone and their history I like a slow burn fantasy book I ve re Ok I give up I gave this book way too much of a chance 240 pages that s a lot out of a 490 something page book If you looking for some action look somewhere else Because there s none The beginning did catch my attention I felt I liked the main character step mom better Sad that she was a bitch but she kept me wondering about her But other words nonething to keep me interested Too much of telling and getting to know everyone and their history I like a slow burn fantasy book I ve read many but this one isn t interesting enough to keep me going The characters are bland and dull I wanted out of this book some umf Glad this was a library book The cover is gorgeous That knife on the cover caught my attention If seen at the bookstore I know I would had brought this book due to the cover but thank goodness it was a library book Boring If I finished this I probably would have given this 1 or 2 stars But luck I don t rate dnf books flag 10 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 17, 2018 Adah Udechukwu rated it liked it review of another edition Empire of Sand started slow, it started really slow The novel was slow throughout Empire of Sand is devoid of action and I love a lot of action.I tried to love the novel but I couldn t.Empire of Sand is meant to be a standalone novel.Why the author made it a series eludes me flag 11 likesLike see review Jan 25, 2019 Kristen rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves audiobooks Full review is here, on my blog This book was recommended to me by a great many people in twitter or on discord or a bit of both I had grabbed the audiobook with every intention of listening to it immediately but it got a little back burnered Once I got started, this was a very difficult book to stop listening to I wandered around work, headphones on I wandered around home, headphones on There was also that time I had to explain to my boss why I was all teary eyed yeah AwkwardWorkplaceS Full review is here, on my blog This book was recommended to me by a great many people in twitter or on discord or a bit of both I had grabbed the audiobook with every intention of listening to it immediately but it got a little back burnered Once I got started, this was a very difficult book to stop listening to I wandered around work, headphones on I wandered around home, headphones on There was also that time I had to explain to my boss why I was all teary eyed yeah AwkwardWorkplaceSobbingThis is the story of Mehr, who is the illegitimate daughter of the governor of one of the provinces of a vast desert empire She is half Amrithi, a people who are generally shunned for their beliefs and rituals Mehr s mother taught her some of those rituals before she was exiled from the city and Mehr was left to be raised by her Ambahn father and her cruel stepmother, who grudgingly allow Mehr to dance the rites with her mother s friend Lalita The only person other than Lalita that Mehr has is her sister, Arwa.One day, a storm comes A storm of magic and daiva, beings said to be descended from the gods, who the Amrithi themselves are descended from Mehr has daiva magic in her blood, and when the storm comes, she dances the rites to look for her missing friend, and the storm answers but so does the Maha, the religious leader of the empire, a nearly god like being who reigns over the mystics of the desert The Maha can see the magic in Mehr s blood, and knows that it can be used to influence the god s dreams, which make up the world Mehr is or less forced to marry the odd mystic Amun, and when she says her vows, she is tied irrevocably to him and through him to the Maha but Amun isn t cruel, despite all evidence otherwise He does what he can to protect Mehr from the worst of the binding.And so, Mehr and Amun are enslaved by this cruel being, and forced to perform rites that their people, the Amrithi, consider heresy But Mehr isn t the type to just give in Mehr is going to resist Guys Okay guys Holy forking shirtballs, this book So, every now and then and I ll admit that it s than never at this point because I read a lot of books these days, lol a book comes along, and I get so emotionally invested in the characters and the story and everything else that when heart wrenching things happen to those characters, I am suitably wrenched This is definitely one of those books for me Having it narrated by someone who is giving those moments feeling might be worse.Look, I had to take a break at about 75% and listen to a How to Train Your Dragon audiobook because I was so flipping emotional and had to calm down It was one of those booksAlso, maybe I m just an emotional person, I dunno People will be like Jeez Kristen, yeah it was a pretty good book, I guess, and I ll just be like bawl I KNOW, RIGHT Okay, this is getting pretty unintelligible Let s see if I can sum it up This book was well written and the world was so realized that I fully imagined myself within it as it went I obviously cared what happened to the characters I cheered for protagonists, I hated antagonists The plot moved at a pace that I liked, though I can see where people who complain that it gets slow in the middle are coming from It s slower, but I never found it too slow When twists happened, I was shocked When I felt that something big and tense was about to happen, I tensed and worried for Mehr and Amun The romance between them was sweet AF, slow burning, and almost seemed to happen without either of them really realizing it Loved it.The narrator, Soneela Nankani, absolutely nailed it She gave emotional moments the emotion they needed She brought each and every character to life for me, and it honestly made this experience real for me than I think it would have been if I had read it rather than listened The voice of the daiva was a really good special effect.So, as is obvious now, it s pretty safe to say that I loved this book from start to finish, and I cannot wait for This book emotionally drained me, but and I m not sure I can explain this in a way that makes any sense it did it in a good way Like my heart hurts, but it was worth it Which sounds weird, but then I m pretty weird _ flag 9 likesLike see review Nov 30, 2018 Wol rated it it was amazing review of another edition Sound of Wol sobbing That was pretty good, I guessMini review soon flag 9 likesLike see review Nov 16, 2018 Shealea rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves asian representation, diverse books, authors of color, biases and personal favorites Full review to follow, but here are quick thoughts from me Reading Empire of Sand requires a lot of patience I struggled with the first 12% of the book The middle part seemed to stretch infinitely, without anything substantial really happening But once I hit the 60% mark, I fell in love It can be tough to persevere with reading because the writing was dense which is most palpable at the beginning of the book , the pacing was torturously slow, and the exciting parts of the plot were all l Full review to follow, but here are quick thoughts from me Reading Empire of Sand requires a lot of patience I struggled with the first 12% of the book The middle part seemed to stretch infinitely, without anything substantial really happening But once I hit the 60% mark, I fell in love It can be tough to persevere with reading because the writing was dense which is most palpable at the beginning of the book , the pacing was torturously slow, and the exciting parts of the plot were all located towards the end of the story South Asian culture Character values inspired by Mughal women Hauntingly beautiful desert setting Indian and Hindu influences Phenomenal world building Complex power apparatuses and systems Empire of Sand brilliantly encaptured how both the State and Religion work hand in hand in maintaining the oppressive, elitist status quo This also talked about how powerful empires rise from bloodshed which is timely and relevant This is a story that s centered on resilience and sacrifice PROTECT AMUN AT ALL COSTS I loved how Mehr was so self aware regarding her privilege as an Amrithi raised as a noblewoman Her growth as a character was also exceptionally done THE ROMANCE HAD ME SOBBING AND VULNERABLE There was a consistent theme of parents ignoring rationality morality out of love for their children, which I happened to really, really like A lot of well executed ideas I loved the idea of an empire built on the dreams of sleeping gods Although dense, the writing style was lush, atmospheric, and wonderfully eloquent THE ENDING WAS SO GOOD AND SO SATISFYING This book reminded me of Mirage by Somaiya Daud because the leading character is of a mixed race half nobility, half part of a race that s oppressed and hated , Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra because of the South Asian influences , and Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan because the characters were fighting for their freedom a romance develops between two servants If you liked these three books, then I highly recommend Empire of Sand.Rating 4.5 stars Find of my bookish shenanigans in my natural habitat flag 9 likesLike see review Oct 02, 2018 Minx The Genre Minx Book Reviews rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves read in 2018, got house martell, netgalley arc 2018, fantasy True Rating 4.5 stars There is a blurb that states that fans of The City of Brass and The Wrath the Dawn will enjoy reading Empire of Sand and I have to 100% agree I will also say that although this story is advertised as an adult fantasy it has a YA feel to it, if I had to categorize it I would call it a new adult fantasy I was intrigued from the start with the introduction of Mehr and her life as an illegitimate daughter of the Governor of Irinah, who also happened to be half Amrithi, True Rating 4.5 stars There is a blurb that states that fans of The City of Brass and The Wrath the Dawn will enjoy reading Empire of Sand and I have to 100% agree I will also say that although this story is advertised as an adult fantasy it has a YA feel to it, if I had to categorize it I would call it a new adult fantasy I was intrigued from the start with the introduction of Mehr and her life as an illegitimate daughter of the Governor of Irinah, who also happened to be half Amrithi, a race of people that were detested by all Mehr s father loved her, sheltered her, and accepted her but he was still a cog in the Empire s wheel I was not the biggest fan of the family political drama that took place but it was great for understanding Mehr s character and the plight of the Amirithi people.I was a huge fan of the world that was developed in this book as well as the cultures that inhabited it I also adored that there was a striking magical component that set the races apart from each other I was hooked from the introduction of this story and it was very fast paced until about a third of the way in From that point the story slowed down and it was mainly about relationship building with Mehr and others that she found herself with That part was important to the story but it did not have the same zip that the first third did but luckily the story picked up after two thirds of the book and at that point I was fully invested in the outcome There was a romance element to this story but it was a natural development and at first I was resistant to the idea but my, oh my, was I won over There is much love in this story but it is not as you would expect it Serious heart swoons I completely enjoyed my reading of this story and the characters were a huge part of my enjoyment They were dynamic and even though I did not like some of the characters it was because they were so well developed that my dislike was from an emotional level I had many feelings during my reading of Empire of Sand it has left a lasting impact me I am looking forward to its companion piece and hope that many of the characters from this story show up This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley It is an honest and voluntary review The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Find this review and at The Genre Minx Book Reviews flag 8 likesLike see review Feb 17, 2018 Sana marked it as anti library Shelves arcs, nap clubber recs What s better than the words dreams of sleeping gods Also, so here for the Mughal Indian history as an inspiration for this flag 8 likesLike see review Jan 12, 2019 Jenia rated it liked it review of another edition 3.5 stars I really like the book s premise and I really wanted to love this book There were definitely lots of good parts the main relationship is especially sweet But I think the book could have been a good deal shorter and tighter and only gained from it I think it s a bit telling that I was excited to pick up the book during the first and last quarter, but not so much during the middle.To be honest, the reason I m rounding down and not up is because of one specific scene between the MC 3.5 stars I really like the book s premise and I really wanted to love this book There were definitely lots of good parts the main relationship is especially sweet But I think the book could have been a good deal shorter and tighter and only gained from it I think it s a bit telling that I was excited to pick up the book during the first and last quarter, but not so much during the middle.To be honest, the reason I m rounding down and not up is because of one specific scene between the MC and two women important in her life, which I thought was written as hm checkboxes Like, this character must react that way because that s how this type of character is supposed to react, but the only way to get the plot back on track is for that reaction to be superficial and easily reversed flag 7 likesLike see review Jan 19, 2019 Olivia rated it liked it review of another edition Review to come flag 8 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Play Book Tag Empire of Sand, Tasha Suri 5 stars 5 22 Nov 11, 2018 09 07AM More topics Share Recommend It Stats 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    Empire of Sand The Books of Ambha, by Tasha Suri Empire of Sand 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. Empire of Sand The Books of Ambha eBook Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath the Dawn. Empire of Sand The Books of Ambha Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath the Dawn. Review of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri Fantasy Cafe Empire of Sand is the story of Mehr, a noblewoman by virtue of her father s governorship and an outcast by virtue of her mother s Amrithi ancestry When Mehr was young, her mother taught her about their heritage of the power that dwells in their blood as the descendants of the gods children, who once had children of their own with humans. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, Paperback Barnes Noble Empire of Sand is a mystical, poignant fantasy novel that synthesizes the best fantasy tropes with a host of new twists, turns, and plot devices It is a book about choice, the obligations that bind us, and the sacrifices we are willing to make out of love of course, not necessarily romantic love. Empire of Sand by by Tasha Suri Summary and reviews 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. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri Fantasy Faction Empire of Sand is the first in a series, and I m eager to read the next book The world of fantasy is expanding day by day, and I m glad to live in a time when I can explore it The world of fantasy is expanding day by day, and I m glad to live in a time when I can explore it. Empire of sand Book, WorldCat 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. Buy Empire of Sand Microsoft Store Empire of Sand is a gripping tale of survival I ll be recommending for a long time S A Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass A darkly intricate, devastating, and utterly original story about the ways we are bound by those we love. Empire of Sand a thoughtful reveal Empire of Sand The Books of Ambha Tasha Suri Orbit Books, Nov pages, Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, Audio CD Fantasy, Mythology Hindu , Debut Borrowed from Derry Public Library The cover is very impressive and totally awesome It is most appropriate for a story as bloodthirsty as this one is The lovely dagger


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