'Empire of Sand thoroughly swept me away'
S. A. Chakraborty, author of CITY OF BRASS
'A darkly intricate, devastating, and utterly original story about the ways we are bound by those we love'
R. F. Kuang, author of THE POPPY WAR
A NOBLEMAN'S DAUGHTER WITH MAGIC IN HER BLOOD
AN EMPIRE BUILT ON THE DREAMS OF ENSLAVED GODS
Mehr is a girl trapped between two cultures. Her father comes from the ruling classes of the empire, but her mother's people were outcasts, Amrithi nomads who worshipped the spirits of the sands.
Caught one night performing these forbidden rites, Mehr is brought to the attention of the Emperor's most feared mystics, who try to force her into their service by way of an arranged marriage. If she fails in their bidding, the gods themselves may awaken and seek vengeance...
From British debut author Tasha Suri, Empire of Sand is a lush and beautiful tale set in a magical world inspired by medieval India.
'Draws you into an intricately realised world of blood and secrets. An arresting and magical history told through the eyes of an indomitable heroine. I cannot ask for more' Jeannette Ng
'Astounding . . . the epic story set my heart free' Fran Wilde
'The best fantasy novel I have read this year' Miles Cameron
TASHA SURI is a librarian in London. Follow her on twitter at @tashadrinkstea for updates.
Dark secrets lurk at an empire's heart in this complex, affecting epic fantasy from debut author Suri. In a land inspired by Mughal India, Mehr is a young noblewoman of ambiguous status: her father is a governor from a powerful Ambhan family, the most privileged group in the Ambhan Empire, but Mehr is an illegitimate child, and her exiled mother is one of the outcast Amrithi. Her mother's people claim descent from the daiva, strange, djinnlike creatures that roam the desert, gathering around magical storms said to be the sleeping gods' dreams. Mehr's latent magical abilities draw the attention of the empire's spiritual leader and his mystical coven, including a young Amrithi man named Amun who possesses similar abilities. Alongside the fantasy setting's courtly intrigue and magic, Suri explores deeper questions of power, love, and the human cost of prosperity and order. That cost falls heavily on the subjugated Amrithi, who are "the kindling wood that the fire of the Empire's strength"; on women, whose complex relationships with one another are brilliantly portrayed; and on the young people unwillingly caught up in the Ambhan arranged marriage system. Intricate worldbuilding, heartrending emotional stakes, and Suri's well-wrought prose ("Dreamfire bled across the sky, swift as spilled ink on paper, its jewelled edges tinged with darkness") make this a worthy addition to any epic fantasy fan's bookshelf.