Alert: Gushing Ahead
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…
“I have been told Ambhan women share their husbands’ burdens.”
“Yes,” Mehr agreed.
“Then you would share my burden,” he said. “And my burden is service. To the Maha, and to the Emperor.”
I loved this book. It hit a spot inside me I’ve been desperate to fill for months. I was drawn in by the main character very early on, and from that moment I didn’t want to leave her. And then the cute parts started. Oh my god, I loved this book so much. It was so cute. The end was so everything I wanted. I needed this book more than I wanted it, and I wanted this very much.
The world Empire of Sand introduces is amazing. Set in a desert empire and filled with wonders and filled with past pains. There are two cultures put together, and it leads to not-so-great things. Especially since one culture believes that the other shouldn’t exist, even though they rely on them more than they want to admit. The Empire is built upon evil actions and heresy. They want to bend the will of the gods to their own desires. It is amazingly well built, and I really loved the players forcing the changes in the world.
The true strength of Empire of Sand lies in its characters. You’re easily able to fall in love with those you are meant to, and you easily hate the fuckers who really need to die. The story itself takes a little bit to start up and come into itself. Yet, even before I came to enjoy the story, I really loved the main character, Mehr. The people make up for the slower story.
Mehr is amazing. Her spirit is kind and strives to be happy. She doesn’t let things get to her, doesn’t let them bring her down. Even when she isn’t happy, she tries to be. Mehr is the light that others need in their lives, they want her to be around. She makes you want to be in her presence. She becomes trapped in an impossible situation. She is Amrithi. Outcast, descendent of the Daiva. Yet, she is also Irin, part of the Empire. And now, she is taken by the Empire, and expected to play by their rules – and she isn’t happy about it.
Amun is at first a mystery, but grows into being just as amazing as Mehr. He has been trapped as Mehr became trapped, only he was taken in childhood. He has had nothing good in his life since he was taken. He struggles to stay true to himself, but it has been chipped away little by little over the years. Yet, he is still kind in the ways that most people in his situation wouldn’t be. He is such a good soul, I love him.
This is the relationship I set my dreams on. It didn’t disappoint me in the least. I’m so happy with it. It is so utterly adorable. At one point, I was crying and I didn’t know why I was crying, only that I knew it had to do with how much I loved these two together. It would kill me if they were ever broken apart. Arranged marriages are tricky things, and it isn’t something I typically seek out in my reading. Yet, I loved what Tasha Suri did with this relationship.
The ending was the ending. That sounds obvious, but it isn’t. Because I’m pissed that the next book in the series isn’t going to be about Mehr and Amun. Utterly and completely devastated that it is going to focus on Mehr’s sister instead. The end of Empire of Sand is the end of their story, and I am having trouble coming to terms with this fact.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Books of Ambha series page!