As soon as I saw the beautiful cover for this one, I knew that I wanted it. Having read and loved Tasha Suri’s other work only cemented that, so when I was sent an ARC of it, I dove right in as soon as I could!!
Thanks to the author, as well as Orbit for the review copy!
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.
Weep enough, and your nature becomes like stone, battered by water until it is smooth and impervious to hurt. Use tears as a tool for long enough, and you will forget what real grief feels like.
In the city of Hiranaprastha stands the Hirana, a magical temple whose temple children kept the way to the legendary deathless waters that gave them power, until the emperor of Parijatdvipan and his regent of the land of Ahiranyi decided that they were monstrous and must be burned. Not all of the temple children died that night, some, like Priya, survived only to end up living as a maid in that same regent’s household. Since that emperor died and his cruel second son Chandra took the throne, life for the Ahiranyi people has gotten even worse, but Priya does her best to survive, keeping her true nature secret. When the emperor sends his sister Malini to live as a prisoner in the abandoned Hirana, Priya is chosen as one of the maids who makes the dangerous trek to the ruin of the temple to clean the princess’ chambers. When an unfortunate incident lets Malini in on Priya’s secret magical powers, the two women end up joining forces to try and free Malini so she can continue trying to depose her brother. And many shenanigans are had along the way.
I loved this book quite a lot! Priya is a great character, and was easy to cheer for from start to finish. The antagonist was a very easy character to dislike, and so wanting Priya and Malini to succeed in changing their world was naturally super easy. Obviously I am also here for the Sapphic Longing. Watching their relationship develop and change over the course of the book was fabulous.
The prose was lovely, and I would happily pick this book up and read it for long swaths of time, sometimes avoiding doing anything else to get as much of it in as possible. It was paced really well and never felt overly bloated, even during the slower parts in the beginning. The world felt so real at times, it was a very immersive experience.
It is told from several points of view, and by several, I do mean several. It is mostly told from the POV of Priya and Malini, but occasionally we’ll see it from the POV of everyone from secondary characters to a random minor background character, which some people might find off-putting, but I actually found quite intriguing because at times things would be happening that no other character but that specific one would know. This might be a sticking point for some people, but I liked how it helped tell the story, personally.
All told, I had a great time with The Jasmine Throne, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next! More pls more moremore!!! 4.5/5 stars!~