A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn
No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.
The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
THE LIBRARY OF FATES was an exciting and gritty adventure that took twists and turns that I had not anticipated, marking it as one of my favorites of this year. THE LIBRARY OF FATES follows Amrita, as she escapes her kingdom of Shalingar with Thala from the rule of Sikander.
Amrita was such a great main character—I felt as if I would do the same things as her if I was in her shoes; she was compassionate yet willing to go great lengths for the people she loved. I found that her relationship with Thala was balanced and I enjoyed reading about her journey to the Library of All Things.
While the beginning of the novel was relatively slow, I did find that as the novel progressed, the plot thickened and the details were becoming more and more imperative to the understanding of Amrita’s true self. As I kept reading, the adventure that Amrita and Thala embarked upon became more action-packed and thrilling. The last quarter of the book was so twisty and turning and absolutely full of surprises; it reminded me a lot of LEGEND by Marie Lu, for some reason. If you’re into action-packed fantasies, this is definitely something to pick up.
The romance was incredibly mellow. There really isn’t much at all, except in the beginning and at the end of the book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I just wish that there was more to the romance and the relationship at the end of the novel, as I think that it would have felt more passionate and developed. That being said, I do think the bittersweet and dreamlike epilogue is my favorite part of the novel—it really shows the development of Amrita from the beginning of the novel.
Overall, THE LIBRARY OF FATES was an unexpected new addition to my Best of 2017 shelf. I thoroughly enjoyed this #ownvoices Indian folklore-inspired fantasy, and I think you’d love it too.
Thank you to Dahlia and Penguin for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Alice is an 18 year old college student who loves the oxford comma, television shows, and the company of dogs. She finds writing in the third person odd yet enjoyable. You can find her scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, and forever organizing her shelves on Goodreads.