Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Orbit in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Wow wow wow, it has been ages and I mean, AGES, since I have been back on my blog. But boy, am I glad to be back – especially to write a review of this amazing book!
The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)
Published May 8, 2021 by Orbit Books
Series: Burning Kingdoms
Data from Goodreads
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.
My Review: The Indian Fantasy Story I’ve Been Waiting For
Rep: South Asian MCs, LGBTQIA+
I haven’t read many South Asian-inspired fantasy novels, but this one was absolutely perfect and I enjoyed every minute of it!
The Pros: What Worked For Me
- I loved the South Asian influence strewn throughout this book. Everything the author described was so easy to visualize and there were so many nods to South Asian culture that I really appreciated. There were so many moments that reminded me of things I can find in my own home, which I really loved. What really struck me as I was reading was the way in which the author wrote her descriptions; not only was it accessible, but it also forced the reader to think of these South Asian features as the norm. We need more of that in the world!
- There are some seriously stellar characters in this novel. Quite a few of them get their own POV through alternating chapters. This allowed for deeper complexities and personalities to shine, which made the reading experience more enjoyable. Priya is one of my obvious favourites, but I also really enjoyed reading from Bhumika’s perspective.
- The plot was so intriguing! I was hooked from the first page and could not put the book down. There are strong feminist undercurrents in the novel, but they don’t overtake the actual story. I wanted to know what would happen to all of the characters, and the fate of the Ahiranyi people was always at the forefront of the novel. There is politics, subterfuge, coups…. everything you could ever hope for from a well-thought-out story!
- The worldbuilding was fantastic. It was richly described and came alive for the reader so easily. I thought the magic system was really unique and I wanted to learn more about it – hopefully, the next book in the series will reveal more on that! The different kingdoms were also fascinating to read about, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about them in the sequel.
The Cons: What I Didn’t Like
- Nada. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t love about this book – and I’m a picky person!
Overall, The Jasmine Throne has shown itself to be a masterful new fantasy series. If you are looking for something unique with South Asian inspiration, I strongly urge you to check out this book!