It asks big questions, such as what it means to be human, what the right move is when left with no good choices, and how far one can be manipulated before being pushed over the edge.
Like the characters of this story, The Jasmine Throne is a book with many faces. It's about women who experience tragedy, and rather to succumbing to its effects, they sharpen themselves from it. It's about trust in the name of survival, and how love can screw it all up. It's about a conquered nation who is systematically being flushed out of their art, identity, and hope.
And it is about time for someone to do something about it.
While there are sporadic POVs, Prya and Malini are the backbone to this story. Priya is from Arihanya, a nation under rule by the psychotic, woman-burning zealot emperor Chandra from the neighboring country of Parijat. Priya was raised under unusual circumstances, granting her a taste of unspeakable power, before a terrible event forces her away from all she knew into service as a maid for the local regent. She has kept her head down, reinventing herself and thankful for her station.
Malini is the princess of Parijat, sister to the mad emperor Chandra. Malini's denial of her brother's violent, religious faith has forced her into exile where she will serve out her days as a prisoner in a broken temple. Cunning, ruthless, charming, and determined, Malini must use all her skills -- and many she's never used before -- to turn the tables on her situation and change the tide of the empire.
Some of the highlights and notes taken while reading this story:
- Chapter 7 : My favorite chapter of 2021
- So many flowers, you can smell the scents wafting from the pages
- I want to draw the 'sangam'
And five fist-pumping paragraphs of dialogue. You know who you are.
This is a character-driven story that dives deep into the souls of its two protagonists. Their relationships, histories, thoughts, and reasons for action -- all are carefully considered, well-developed, and breathe life into this South Asia-inspired tale. It asks big questions, such as what it means to be human, what the right move is when left with no good choices, and how far one can be manipulated before being pushed over the edge.
The Jasmine Throne is a stay-up-far-too-late book, a gift that keeps on giving through the very last page. A fantastic start to what will be another massive hit for fans of Tasha Suri, both new and old.
Review by Adam Weller
8.3/10 from 1 reviews
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