The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1) by Tasha Suri

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This was a much heavier book than I imagined it would be. Fantasy usually tends to be heavier with the backstories that form the basis for the entire world-building, which is also quite involved. I took time to get through it despite my familiarity with these hurdles.
This is probably my first Indian-origin inspired world(That I can think of). The imagery of bad-ass women fighting in sarees was quite fascinating. I liked my foray into this world, even with all the darkness and cut-throat competition that is a constant here.
A group of provinces/countries that form a kingdom are placed in different positions in the hierarchy, and they have one common concern, the ruler at the top. We are given this information in drips, throwing light onto people hidden in the shadows little by little. The kingdom is dying of rot, literally. The origin of which and the solution for which are not very clear to anyone.
It is a bloodthirsty world, and there’s magic hidden in waters that is almost poisonous to drink. The leading ladies of the narrative are a dynamic couple who carry their own individual burdens. They may not share a common goal, but they journey together just to stay alive (at least initially).
Although many plotlines are yet to be answered, it almost felt like a complete book in itself.
We have a history of magic in one country being suppressed through years of cooperative effort. Every such action gets an equal and opposite reaction, so a revolution or two is brewing. It may be hard for some to keep track of the various factions and all that they stand for. Once the relationships and possible future relationships are clearer, the pace is much more attractive.
All the people introduced to us, both good and bad, were very well portrayed. They have a lot more to them than meets the eye. With such a vast cast of people, it is surprising that it was that very aspect that stood out for me in this story. The plot in itself is straightforward and the secrets hinted at do not seem as important as the destinies of all.
I would definitely read the second if given a chance, but even if I do not, I would still recommend this to anyone who finds the blurb interesting.
I received an ARC thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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