Empire of Sand – Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: November 13th, 2018
Publisher: Orbit
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Magic, War, Romance


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…


It has been a while since I have seen such elegant writing. Tasha Suri’s words are like balm to the soul. They are calming. I devoured them. I couldn’t get enough of them.

Until, of course, I could.

Here’s the thing: this book starts off strong, very strong. We become acquainted with Mehr, the heroine, as well as her family and friends. Well, friend. She’s not exactly popular.

There is danger looming and the reader and characters are aware of it. It’s exciting. It made me turn the pages with much eagerness. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next and get to know Mehr even better.

But then it all stopped. It’s a slow-paced story from the very beginning, but that didn’t bother me at all. I prefer a fantasy novel be slow-paced but well-written and interesting than to be all over the place and confusing.

Nothing about this book is confusing. Everything is laid out on the table for us to see, to understand, and the little things that are kept from us are not shocking or surprising enough to be considered ‘‘revelations.’’

That’s exactly the problem. This book is too… tame. I didn’t fall off my chair or open my mouth in wonder one time. It’s not that I predicted everything—it’s that so little happens over such a long period of time that when something does happen, it’s like, ‘‘FINALLY’’ instead of ‘‘OMG, NO WAY!’’

But I did find interesting the characterizations, which are emphasized in this story, as well as the tensions between Mehr and the mystics. However, I missed a lot of the characters that were introduced in the beginning and then basically forgotten about—like Mehr’s sister, step-mother and father, as well as her friend Lalita. We rarely hear from them again, and while I understand why, it remains unfortunate. Perhaps more POVs would have helped make this story more exciting.

So, to recap, this is beautifully-written and character-driven, but the story lethargic and rarely surprising.


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