Synopsis: Malini is determined to accept the Fate bestowed upon her. Priya is determined to free people from the Rot and restore Ahiranya. The two soon realise their paths will meet again, but the cost may be greater than either of them could have anticipated.
CW/TW: Body Horror/Gore/Death/Manipulation/Burning/Sexism/War/Violence/Others may be present.
Rep: Sapphic MC’s | Queer side characters | Indian Cast and Indian inspired settings.
Book Review for the First Instalment in the series: Book Review: The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1), by Tasha Suri
OHHHH! BookNerds, The Angst, the Pain, the Tension, the Pining! This book had everything and more. As one of my most anticipated reads for this year I was SO so happy to see it lived up to my expectations.
May Contain Spoilers for Book 1, The Jasmine Throne.
The Oleander Sword, by Tasha Suri is the stunning sequel to The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1), by Tasha Suri. As with book 1, The Oleander Sword is beautifully written. Suri’s prose is gorgeous, she manages to continue to capture the beauty and horror of the magic within this world and creates vivid and rich settings that bring this world to life. Moreover, Suri writes her characters with a sensitivity and complexity that makes them compelling and easy to connect with. The balance of the exceptional settings, gorgeous prose and compelling characters perfectly aids the plot and pacing of the story. Furthermore, the multiple pov allows us insight into multiple sides of the War, gives us access to multiple characters and help to maintain the book’s pacing.
Because this book is a sequel, I will keep it brief as to avoid too many spoilers for this book and Book 1. But, I absolutely LOVED the plot! We pick up not too long after book 1 leaves off – Malini is determined to grab her Fate and take the throne, Priya is trying to prevent the rot and restore Ahiranya but the two’s paths are more entwined than they thought. Suri masterfully intertwines multiple complex plots to weave an intricate and captivating web. I loved Malini and Priya’s storylines, I loved how they intersected and diverged to create a story full of tension, angst and emotion. Furthermore, Suri creates much more than the two plots – with the inclusion of Chapters from Rao, Bhumika (and more), they help to maintain the world and create some subtle plots that slowly become more fleshed out and takes us on some twists and turns that will have your heart in your throat.
We get much more about the magic of Ahiranya and the Deathless Waters, more about the Nameless God and the Mothers, and about the world as a whole and all the beliefs and magic that come with it. It was brilliant to watch and completely fascinating to see unfold – everything in this world grows alongside the plot serving to create something beautifully compelling and engaging.
As I said for book 1, the magic is both horrifying and beautiful – particularly Ahiranya’s. Suri manages to perfectly capture and balance these two components while also adding more to the magic than we have seen before. I adored the magic aspect of this book as much as I did in The Jasmine Throne it is so beautifully written that you cannot help but be drawn in. Suri pushes the boundaries of this worlds magic even further in this book, she takes everything we think we know from book 1 and twists and turns it and gives us so much more, and the road it takes is full of tension. Magic has a cost in this world and Suri does not shy away from it here – the costs grow greater than before and works its way into the plot in intriguing ways.
Suri is a master at creating subtle and complex plots that have so much more going on than meets the eye, but her creativity goes even further than this and shines through in her characters. Malini’s strengths truly shine through in this book – now she is determined to get the throne we get to see the true beauty of her mind. Much like Priya, I was completely enthralled by Malini’s clever and delicate webs spun over the course of the book. However, we also get to see more of Malini’s sharp streak as we watch her make brutal decisions in order to claim her throne. Malini is a completely captivating character and, despite her sharp streak and clever mind, there is still a vulnerability to her that makes her more compelling – one that especially shines through with Priya.
Similarly, I absolutely loved Priya! Priya is a strong character with powerful magic which we get to see a lot more of in this book. Priya is strong and loyal but pushes herself for those she cares about. Despite Priya’s loyalty and soft heart, she can and will make difficult decisions if necessary to protect those she loves. Her vulnerabilities show through with Malini – and her strengths and flaws make her much more compelling. Priya is a character I really do love.
Priya and Malini’s relationship is EVERYTHING. The tension, angst, and pining is so well written – it had my heart in a vice-grip and didn’t let go. Honestly, watching it develop, watching the tension, the way the book ends – it had me completely and utterly captivated and had my heart entirely.
While I loved the two main characters, I also loved the rest of the cast! Bhumika is, once again, a stunning character all around – making the difficult decisions required for her people. Bhumika’s character is excellent and I loved her relationship with Padma (and others 👀). Moreover, I continue to love Rao and really feel for him through this book – I also loved his relationship with Aditya. I just loved the rest of the cast!
Ahhh! There is so much more I could talk about and gush about but I don’t want to spoil this for readers of The Jasmine Throne, or those who plan to pick up the Jasmine Throne! So, to avoid spoilers, i’ll leave the review here!
Overall, I cannot recommend this series enough as book 2 continues to impress and take us even further into this story. The Oleander Sword was everything I wanted and more in this sequel!
*I received an eARC via #Netgalley from Orbit Books in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!*