I was recommended this book twice within a week because of its marriage-for-convenience trope… and that is just not something I can refuse. This being my all-time favorite romance trope of all time, obviously I had to pick it up.
Title: Empire of Sand
Author: Tasha Suri
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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.
- The setting of this book is absolutely stunning. I could get lost in the descriptions they were so lush and immersive.
- The magic system is just… wow. The use of sigils and dancing, along with the Daiva and the gods—it was fascinating and enthralling.
- If you get the chance to listen to the audiobook, I highly recommend it! The narrator is fantastic at everyone’s voices, and I feel she made the story really come alive.
- This book is incredibly well paced. There are slower parts, but I didn’t find them to be any less exciting than the ones with more action. It’s a long audiobook, but I was content with listening to it for hours at a time.
- The writing and prose in this novel is gorgeous. I fell head over heels in love with the style. It’s not overly flowery, but gives enough time to setting, character, emotions, and everything else.
From the first minute I began listening, I knew I would enjoy Mehr’s story. She has such a smart head on her shoulders, but she flawed. I loved how she learned more about the world around her, how she began to grow in strength, how she learned to love despite her circumstances. And Amun. Did I mention there is a marriage-for-convenience trope in this book? At the beginning, we know hardly anything about him. But as Mehr gets to know him, so does the reader. I loved his kindness and gentleness behind the stone interior. His relationship with Mehr is a slow burn, and one that I really enjoyed.
The villain of this story is such a chilling villain. His evil seems obvious at first, but then it just gets worse! He is a constant presence in the book, and it made the book more exciting and suspenseful. There were parts where I was listening and wanted to shut the book, but the audio kept going and I forgot I could pause it… I wanted to tear my eyes away because he was so awful to my dear characters, but I also couldn’t stop listening.
I cannot wait to read more of Tasha Suri’s work! I loved this book so much, and I’m so happy there is a sequel. Epic fantasy fans who love a good romance and incredible setting and magic will love this book.