- Page Count: 354
- Release Date: July 18, 2017
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.
The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
The last 25% of this book deserves 5 stars on its own because that was amazing. I had expected the plot to be yet another variation of a princess who’s betrothed to an evil guy, feels powerless to change her fate, and is in love with her childhood best friend. But then it ended up going in a totally different direction and I LOVED it. Amrita doesn’t know who her mother is or much about her own identity… and ok there’s really no way to sum this up without spoiling anything.
If you like symbolism and mythology then you’ll probably like this! I also loved how there were familiar elements from different religions woven into an absolutely gorgeous world. It’s fun to see a new take on those ideas. It also felt like there were some Greek influences and ties to Alexander the Great.
The writing & execution could have been stronger in parts, but the creative plot more than made up for that. I’d recommend it if you were a fan of The Star-Touched Queen!!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.