by Tasha Suri
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.
I expected to like this one better than I did. I didn’t dislike it, but I was not inspired to dive into the second book in the series. I think I’ll wait until the third one comes out. Turns out I read another Tasha Suri book back in 2020: Empire of Sand. I can’t remember it at all and never got around to the sequel so maybe this author just isn’t for me? Not giving up on her yet. The magic system and unfamiliar (to me) culture is interesting.