A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.
The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.
When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.
Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…
Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.
I received the opportunity to review Empire of Sand from the publisher. I was eager to read it because I just love books with knifes/daggers/swords etc. on the cover, and the main character is multiracial – similar to me!
This book was gorgeous. I especially enjoyed how much the magic system relied on dancing. If I remember correctly, this is the first time I’ve read a book where dancing is how magic is created – if any of you readers know of any other books, please mention them in the comments. As a dancer, it was fascinating to read the picturesque descriptions of the dance moves, and read how dancing is magical in itself, and in this book, also becomes magical through its use.
This book has a forced marriage in it, and as is usually the case with these type of themes, I get nervous about whether there will be rape within the marriage or not. This book did a good job of discussing consent, and showed how both partners supported each other, even though they did not want to get married and were not ready for sex.
As I mentioned above, the main character is multiracial. I am looking forward to seeing the representation of her sister in book 2, because she is also multiracial, but much lighter in skin. As I am also a fair-skinned multiracial person, I would like to see how the author portrays this character further.
I definitely did not expect the plot twist of how the emperor builds his dream empire. It was very creepy, and showed how a community can hate a certain group of people, but still depend on them for their power.
I enjoyed the book so much. It has become one of my favourite books of the year, and the year has just started! The combination of dancing and magic is one that I did not know that I needed but now definitely want. You will not regret reading this!
Trigger warnings: attempted rape, forced marriage, murder, abuse, violence.
Have you read Empire of Sand? Do you want to?