This story follows Princess Amrita, who is willing to give up anything to keep her kingdom safe—even if it means marrying Emperor Sikander and giving up her home, freedom, and childhood love. But soon everything goes wrong and Amrita is on the run with an oracle named Thala. Caught between her duty to her former life and her slim hope for the future, Amrita must decide who to trust, what to believe, and how to change her fate.
I enjoyed the setting of the story, as it was unique and refreshing. Many settings are distinctly European (even if they’re fantasy), so I appreciated the variety that this setting offered by taking its readers to ancient India. Khorana succeeded in portraying a vibrant culture, and from the sun setting across the city to the stunning mountain views; she transports her readers to an entirely different realm.
However, I was disappointed by how long it took for the actual journey portion of the book to get underway. It isn’t until a third of the way through the book that Amrita actually begins her journey away from the palace, and this stunted the momentum of the book and limited my interest in the plot.
The plot takes some interesting turns, especially toward the end, so I ended up liking it far more than I thought I would. In the larger scheme, Khorana substitutes these twists and turns for depth and scope. The journey that Amrita and Thala take is fairly simple, and I didn’t feel that it was as difficult as it should have been.
The dialogue disappointed me at times as well since some sections were far too contemporary. Although authors need to write for twenty first century readers, they should write dialogue in such a way that it doesn’t strike you as out of place. Overall the dialogue reflected the setting well, but a few key sections should have been more stylized to reflect the time period.
These points aside, I enjoyed the overall message Khorana presented about sacrifice. We live in a selfish world, and when I’m reading most books, I want the characters to selfishly choose what’s best for them. Throughout this book, Amrita has to battle between what she wants and what’s actually the best choice for others. This is a factor we all have to weigh in to our choices daily, so I appreciated how Khorana infused a relatable message into her story.
As far as adventures go, this book won’t thrill you, but it is still a refreshing and mysterious read that is worth picking up before the busyness of school consumes you.