Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha Book 1)
"Empire of Sand" is a debut novel by British-Indian author Tasha Suri, published in November 2018. The book is a unique blend of Mughal Indian history and mythology, infused with elements of fantasy and magic.
The story follows Mehr, the daughter of a nobleman and an Amrithi mother, who has inherited her mother's magical abilities. However, as an Amrithi, Mehr is an outcast in her own society, and her mother's people are persecuted and hunted by the empire's religious zealots. When Mehr's father arranges a marriage for her to a ruthless and powerful governor, Mehr is forced to use her magic to save herself and those she loves.
"Empire of Sand" is a beautifully written and richly imagined novel. Suri's descriptions of the world and its characters are vivid and evocative, and her attention to detail brings the story to life. The book is full of political intrigue, courtly machinations, and magical battles, and it keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.
Mehr is a compelling and sympathetic protagonist, and her struggles to reconcile her Amrithi heritage with her father's expectations are both poignant and relatable. Suri also does an excellent job of exploring themes of identity, colonialism, and the price of power, adding depth and complexity to the story.
Overall, "Empire of Sand" is a fantastic debut novel that showcases Suri's talent as a storyteller. It's a book that will transport you to a different time and place, and leave you eager to explore more of this fascinating world.