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 don’t know how to coherently put just how much I loved this book from start to finish.
I can however start off with a very hefty and heartfelt apology to Orbit Books UK on the delay of my reviews. The slump really had me in its grip but I’ve come out of it and am making progress on getting books read and reviews up.
I’ve not read Suri’s other works so I can’t compare this work to them but I can say that I fell in love with her after this, lol.
Suri has such an amazing writing style for this, it feels like she’s just transcribed this ancient tome for us full of wonder and magic and it oozes this history in its words alone. The worldbuilding is fascinating and well worth the read alone, the lore, the lands, Suri has convinced me that all of this is real with the amount of detail and heart she’s put into it.
Putting aside the fantastic worldbuilding and the writing style which makes me suspect that Suri’s an ancient deity, let’s move onto the plot.
If you like high fantasy, you’ll adore this. There’s a temple with latent powers, a once powerful empire reduced to being chained to those they once conquered and there are the children of the temple, not all of them gone as suspected.
Priya lives life in a state of mostly contentment, she’s accepted her reality and yet…She desires more.
Meanwhile Malini is a princess, someone who should be well protected but her brother instead tries to sacrifice her in name of his throne. She refuses and the cost is imprisonment, in the temple where once Priya’s life meant more.
These two women are brought together in a plot to overthrow a monster on the throne but will their goals always align?
I loved watching these two characters meet but I also love them equally on their own. Theirs also aren’t the only POVs for the book and I enjoyed the side characters just as much. Each character is quite strong on their own, their voices unique and no one is ever quite forgettable to me. Which is impressive because we have an expansive cast.
There’s a lot of political intrigue and a lot of violence, but I loved that, it all had a point. There’s no senseless violence, it’s either used to fuel the rebels or done by them to show that there are no strictly ‘good guys.’
The pacing is a bit of a slow-burn in regards to action, but I did find it hard to put down. There’s a lot of groundwork being laid and by the end you just want to know how this is going to pan out next. I need the sequel like, yesterday.
Overall this book was fantastic! I loved every aspect of it and I cannot wait to read more. 5/5 cups of coffee from me. Thank you SO MUCH to the publisher for an ARC of this exchange for my honest opinion. This gorgeous book is out in the world now.