Book: “Realm of Ash” by Tasha Suri
Publication Info: Orbit, November 2019
Where Did I Get this Book: ARC from the publisher!
Book Description: The Ambhan Empire is crumbling. A terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon. The only hope for peace lies in the mysterious realm of ash, where mortals can find what they seek in the echoes of their ancestors’ dreams. But to walk there requires a steep price.
Arwa is determined to make the journey. Widowed by a brutal massacre, she’s pledged service to the royal family and will see that pledge through to the end. She never expected to be joined by Zahir, the disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden magic in a desperate bid to save those he loves.
Together, they’ll walk the bloody path of their shared past. And it will call into question everything they’ve ever believed…including whether the Empire is worth saving at all.
Previously Reviewed: “Empire of Sand”
Giveaway Details: While “Empire of Sand” didn’t work for me completely, I was still interested enough in this world to be excited when Orbit sent me an ARC of the next book. What makes this one all the more intriguing is that this isn’t a direct sequel, but instead picks up years later following a now grown Arwa as she finds her life taking a sudden, dark turn towards tragedy, estrangement, and isolation. But in these dark places, she begins to also learn of a truth, not only about herself, but of her long-lost sister and the people they both owe half their bloodline to.
As now typical for many of giveaway, I will be posting a full review for this book this coming Friday so I don’t want to spoil my opinions of it too much here. But I will say that I enjoyed this book much more than the first. There are a couple of similarities with regards to pacing that threw me a bit for a loop, but overall I greatly enjoyed the themes of self-acceptance and scholarship, as well as the deep dive into grief and its effects on love and family.
The world itself continued to deliver giving readers an even closer look into this inspired original creation of Suri’s that reads as just familiar enough as to be recognizably drawing from Indian and Middle Eastern influences but also offers enough elements to remain completely fresh and intriguing. Here, the work that was done in the first book, some of which contributed to my pacing concerns there, pays off more fully.
As I said, my review of “Realm of Ash” will go up this Friday, and in anticipation, I’m offering a giveaway for the ARC version of the book starting today. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends December 18.