The first book in an epic heart-pounding fantasy trilogy inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh.
* A Book Riot Most Anticipated Novel of 2019 * B&N Top 50 Most Anticipated Novels *
A broken bond. A dying land. A cat-and-mouse game that can only end in bloodshed.
Esha lost everything in the royal coup—and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she’s made the guilty pay. Now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.
Kunal has been a soldier since childhood. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has only been growing more volatile.
When Esha and Kunal’s paths cross one fated night, an impossible chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces.
As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both the soldier and the rebel must decide where their loyalties lie: with the lives they’ve killed to hold on to or with the love that’s made them dream of something more.
A young warrior chases an assassin through jungles, towns, and wastelands in this vibrantly imagined South Indian inspired trilogy opener by debut author Teerdhala. Esha, 17, the mythical Viper of Dharka, is sent to kill Gen. Setu Hotha of the kingdom of Jansa, while his nephew Kunal, 18, is one of four soldiers tasked with finding the mysterious Viper. The general is eliminated before Esha can strike by someone who seeks to frame her and she flees the Red Fort hoping to discover who seeks to blame her and why. Although Kunal catches Esha on several occasions, she continues to outsmart the softhearted soldier, and they gradually reveal close-held secrets and dreams to each other as their grudging respect for one another grows into something more. Everything is set against the backdrop of an ongoing drought in Jansa caused by the withdrawal of the gods' favor following the violent coup and usurpation of the Queen of Jansa 10 years ago. Alongside context-building descriptions of Indian food and dress, Teerdhala adds plenty of surprises to her finely limned characters to produce a lush fantasy. Ages 13 up.)\n