Review: Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri (Books of Ambha #2)

Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri // VBC Review

Realm of Ash (The Books of Ambha #2)
Tasha Suri
Published: Nov. 12, 2019 (Orbit)
Purchase: Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Arwa has survived a massacre with the aid of those she refuses to acknowledge. Her husband is dead, killed in the same massacre by a nightmare that shouldn’t exist. She refuses to go home, and instead goes to a widow’s home—where she is noticed by more than the other widows. The one that helped her survive the massacre has followed her there, and a princess of the realm is interested in her blood. What will Arwa have to do—or even to become—in order to help mend the land that the empire built upon the blood of her people?

I was taken aback by the fact that this book starts off completely separate from Empire of Sand (book #1 in the Books of Ambha series). It was quite jarring to leave one book with a main character that one has come to know, and then find that the next book has a completely different main character that really didn’t have much visibility in the first one. Also, as a note: You do not have to read the titles in order, however, there are frames of reference that will make more sense if you do.

Having said that, this book does stand on its own merits. It takes place in the same world as the first, it’s just a different perspective on some of the things that are happening. The main character, Arwa, took a little bit of time to get to know. I found her a little bit more…aloof as a character. In time, as I got to know her as well, I found that I appreciated her more than I thought. Rather than the passion and fire that Mehr had, Arwa finds her rage—at what the empire is, at what has been done to the Amrithi, and at how her life has been a series of lies to keep her contained. Once she finds that anger, she becomes more human and alive, and her choices begin to take interesting turns.

The plot in this one, rather than centering on the Amrithi themselves—or the Maha—centers around the Emperor and his kin and trying to solve the curse that is destroying the world they know. Unwilling to admit to the reason it’s happening and unwilling to deal with “heretics” to try and fix it, they are at a standstill. Arwa finds herself helping one segment of the royal family, while hiding from another—and quite a bit of the story revolves around this push and pull between factions. The colonialism is much more apparent in this book, particularly as we see so much from the perspective of the ruling family, as they attempt to essentially justify their sins.

Overall, while I didn’t find myself as engrossed by this book as I did with book one, it was still a great story. I do believe that I just felt more connected to Mehr as a character, and it in no way implies flaws in book two. I’m unclear if this is to be a trilogy, though I feel that it must be—there is still resolution that could be had for the country as a whole, and for the current emperor (no spoilers!)—and I will happily reach for book three if one should be published. This land, the daisha, and the people within the Books of Ambha series weave a spell that is hard to beat, and they should not be missed.

Sexual Content: None

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes
Malcare WordPress Security