Review of “Empire of Sand” (The Books of Ambha #1) by Tasha Suri

Suri, Tasha. Empire of Sand. New York: Orbit, 2018.

Paperback | $15.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0316449717 | 485 pages | Fantasy

4 stars

Empire of Sand is a rich book, and considering it’s a debut, I’m definitely impressed both with the quality of Tasha Suri’s writing and worldbuilding. I love that she drew from Indian history and Hindu myth to create such an engrossing world.

I also love the way Mehr as a heroine stands apart from the average fantasy heroine in that she doesn’t have to be a physically strong, kick-butt heroine to make a difference in a patriarchal society, as she makes up for it with her own gifts.

She also interacts with an enchanting (literally and figuratively) cast of characters that are incredily well-drawn, from the intense god Maha to her jealous stepmother, so while at times I did find myself feeling a little less invested in her own journey, I marveled at the amount of detail put into fleshing these characters out.

However, I did feel like the plot did drag in places. A fantasy can benefit from a slow build to get the reader acquainted with the world, but given that the plot did not feel that memorable due to the slow pacing, I was mildly annoyed.

However, it is still an excellent first effort from what I hope will become a mainstay within fantasy, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a new take on the adult fantasy genre.

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