Empire of Sand

Empire of Sand

by Tasha Suri


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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 lush, dazzling, Mughal India-inspired fantasy debut.

"An ode to the quiet, fierce strength of women...pure wonder." — Samantha Shannon, NYT bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

"A darkly intricate, devastating, and utterly original story." — R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War

"Stunning and enthralling." — S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass

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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316449717
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Series: Books of Ambha Series
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 121,039
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Tasha Suri was born in London to Punjabi parents. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University, and is now a cat-owning librarian in London. A love of period Bollywood films, history, and mythology led her to write South Asian-influenced fantasy. Find her on Twitter @tashadrinkstea.

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Empire of Sand 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
apeape More than 1 year ago
This is a lush story based on Indian folklore and mythology, a refreshing change from the more common European based tales. The world building was vivid- it was so easy to picture everything! The characters were well developed, not too perfect, nicely flawed, and the villain was satisfyingly menacing. I enjoyed the magic system, that it was dance based rather than spells, and the way the rites were described made me feel it. The romance was well written- no insta-love, we got actual feelings that blossomed and grew. The drawback was uneven pacing- sometimes the story dragged a bit, and there were scenes that got a bit repetitive. I have no problem with a good slow burn, and this was mostly that, but there was a spot or two that made me think "come on, already!" A lovely book, though, very good for a debut novel. The ending was fulfilling, wrapping things up while leaving loose ends, so that we know there will be another book without giving a maddening cliffhanger. I do appreciate that in an author!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Megbrod 9 months ago
An epic fantasy I actually liked??? This is rare! It still had the draggy middle bits that usually kill epic fantasy for me, but these were much easier to get through than usual. I think because I liked the characters a lot more than I usually do. Anyway, intrigued that there seems to be quite a time jump between the end of this one and book 2 so I'll check that out once it's published.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. At first, it took some time for me to get into it, but I really loved it. The world building, Indian folklore/magic, and characters were all mesmerizing. It was so refreshing to read about characters of color in such a magical setting and to watch how wonderfully the characters develop throughout the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kinneret_Katz More than 1 year ago
Empire of Sand is a mystical, poignant fantasy novel that synthesizes the best fantasy tropes with a host of new twists, turns, and plot devices. It is a book about choice, the obligations that bind us, and the sacrifices we are willing to make out of love—of course, not necessarily romantic love. Tasha Suri’s prose is effortless and elegant, inviting us into the story directly without any unnecessary exposition. This holds true for the world building as well—Suri’s Empire, based off of Mughal India, is filled with unique and intricate details, both magical and political, and yet there are rarely narrative descriptions that remove the reader from the story. An important aspect of this world is religious persecution. Suri deftly relates what it is to have a cultural identity that one cannot wear proudly; what it is to have a cultural identity that is feared, scorned, and shamed. Yet Mehr, the protagonist, does not submit to the “daughter of two worlds” trope that so often imbues novels that address multiple identities, a trope where the protagonist cannot fit into either world, and/or ultimately brings both cultures together. Rather, it seems clear to me from the beginning that Mehr is comfortable embracing both identities—but when one identity is heavily repressed by social bigotry, it is only natural for that inheritance to dominate one’s heart. Suri is particularly talented at embedding emotion into her scenes. Just in the first chapter, Suri depicts a poignant sister-relationship that tugs at the heartstrings. Somehow, we manage to feel the strength of this relationship throughout the novel, despite not interacting with Mehr’s sister for the vast majority of the book. Similarly, the other relationships in Empire of Sand manage to exceed the space they are given on the page and imbue the book with visceral emotion. I would argue that the one exception to this is the relationship between Mehr and her mother; I felt this dynamic to be lacking in comparison with the others, perhaps because it is not as central to Mehr as a character. Additionally, the central romance of the novel is quite predictable, with an emotional trajectory one could guess from the first time we meet the main love interest, if not before. Nevertheless, that does not make the romance any less satisfying or enjoyable to read. Every aspect of Empire of Sand truly lifts off the page: the world building, the magical system, the characters and their relationships, the conflict and climax and conclusion, all come together to create a beautiful and new novel. I look forward to whatever Suri has in store next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Empire of Sand was one of those books that I wanted to read again as soon as I finished. It had magic, adventure, amazing female characters, AND a wonderful romance. The characters in general were fantastic. There wasn’t a good vs. evil dichotomy, rather Suri did an excellent job of exploring each character’s beliefs and why they were a certain way. Plus there was a huge variety of types of female relationships, each of which were nuanced and realistic. The magic system was fantastic. I loved the daiva and how the idea of balance was incorporated. Plus the writing was immerse and the plot completely sucked me in. For all of you romance fans out there, there was an amazing one in this book. It was heartbreaking, realistic, and I loved how they supported each other. If you’re a fantasy fan, definitely consider picking this one up! Tasha Suri’s debut is definitely in the running to be in my top ten favorite books of 2018. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
courtofbingereading More than 1 year ago
Empire of Sand is much more than a fantasy book. It's a love letter to hope, to finding strength in impossibly daunting situations, and to being kind solely for the sake of being kind. Tasha Suri weaves a spell-binding tale that truly brought me to tears. The main characters, Mehr and Amun, crept their way into my heart with each turning page. Plot Prepare yourself for an adventure into a whole new world. Welcome to an Empire full of daiva, spirits of the Gods' children, and magical storms. Mehr, our main character, is a young woman who is half Amrithi and half Ambhdan. One half condemns her to a life of ridicule while the other half of her blood redeems her in the eyes of society. The Amrithi are seen as outcasts due to their heritage. You see, the Amrithi are the descendants of humans and daiva. This connection protects the Amrithi from being harmed by a daiva as the daiva vowed to always protect their descendants, and they never break their vows. Mehr's mother, an Amrithi woman, was exiled from her home when she was quite young. Yet no matter how hard her father, an imperial governor, and his new wife try to morph Mehr into the perfect Ambhdan daughter, Mehr clings to her Amrithi roots. However, Mehr soon realizes that all her father had wished to do was protect her rather than change her.... but Mehr learns this too late. The mystics of the Empire, a group feared by all in the Empire, have come to procure Mehr--and they will not be turned away. World-Building Suri creates a multifaceted mythology and history for her world. Honestly, Suri hooked me as soon as she mentioned the daiva. I'm a sucker for anything supernatural or paranormal related, so if you are also a fan of that then I think you will enjoy this story. I don't want to say too much because I think it's best if you go into this story blind. However, I will say that the magic in this story is unlike any other I have ever encountered. Characters Mehr: I will be honest, there were times where Mehr drove me up a wall. I wanted to shake her and ask her how she could have done that, but alas, I'm not a character in the story. Instead, I had to watch Mehr make her own mistakes and see how she reacted once the consequences unfolded. Other than that, I enjoyed Mehr's character. I admired her quiet strength. In most books, especially YA, the heroine is made out to be fierce and cutthroat--which I applaud. But, not everyone is like that and I don't believe that's the only definition of strength. Mehr is not a fighter in the physical sense, but she is a fighter in her heart and soul. Watching her navigate her way through a political, manipulative spider web was awe-inspiring. I could relate to her. I could see myself acting the same exact way. And it was refreshing. It felt nice to come across a heroine whose biggest weapon and strength was her ability to hope. Amun: I adore Amun. He has been constantly tortured for years on end yet he still has the capacity to be kind. I don't have the words to properly explain just how incredible and marvelous his character is. You'll just have to read the book and see for yourself. Amun deserves all of the happiness in the world. That is all. My One Complaint This book was a tad slow which is part of the reason why I ended up giving it 4 stars. It started off really strong, then tapered off for a bit until it hit the 60% mark. After that, the story picked up. I was completely riveted and captivated from that point on. Overall Empi