Book Review: THE JASMINE THRONE by Tasha Suri

Title in white on a woman in a sari sitting on steps in yellow-gold hue
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book in trilogy

Synopsis:

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire. 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

THE JASMINE THRONE is the start of a richly written fantasy trilogy inspired by the Hindu epics.

It’s a slow burn book, both in terms of romance and plot. It’s not a fast-paced book that dashes from scene to scene, but rather one that lets the events unfurl like a flower. It allows for such a rich world to spring up, steeped in the mythology of the different cultures within the empire.

The cast is very large, and Tasha Suri is not afraid to make you like a character – or be intrigued by what they might become – before killing them. There was one death I was most upset about, which was very impressive considering how little time the non-POV character had been given. But I wanted to see more of him, see what he could have achieved.

There are a lot of POV characters, but they can be broken into 2 main POVs (Priya and Malini, with Priya having the most page time overall), 3 secondary POVs (Ashok, Rao, and Bhumika), and then a few one-scene POVs to show what’s happening elsewhere. The returning 5 POVs are well linked from their introductions, which is my personal criteria for investing in multi-POVs (a very personal quirk, but it meant I wasn’t bored with unrelated POVs waiting to get back to the ones I considered “the main story.”)

The large array of POVs helps the plot keep moving as Bhumika and Rao scheme, Ashok generally causes problems thanks to his driving conviction, and Priya and Malini are trapped in the temple. The secondary POVs contain more action initially, keeping the pacing up and giving Priya and Malini’s story of fear, attraction, and confinement the space it needs. Their story does pick up on the action scene count as the book progresses.

I’m excited for the next book, particularly after Malini’s decisions in the final section. It’s going to be fun seeing her reach for that goal, and deal with obstacles in her way. Plus I am looking forward to the cover reveal at some point (guessing very end of the year) as Tasha Suri has hinted that we might get to see Malini on the next cover, as Priya is the figure on this one.


Read my reviews of other books by Tasha Suri:

The Books of Ambha:

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