In a world of forbidden magic and cunning royals, a fugitive queen bargains with her kingdom’s greatest enemy and is soon embroiled in a deadly game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom, or leave it in ashes forever. A stunning enemies-to-lovers fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Fourth Wing and The Jasmine Throne.
At ten years old, the Heir of Jasad flees a massacre that takes her entire family.
At fifteen, she buries her first body.
At twenty, the clock is ticking on Sylvia’s third attempt at home. Nizahl’s armies have laid waste to Jasad and banned magic across the four remaining kingdoms. Fortunately, Sylvia’s magic is as good at playing dead as she is.
When the Nizahl Heir tracks a group of Jasadis to Sylvia’s village, the quiet life she’s crafted unravels. Calculating and cold, Arin’s tactical brilliance is surpassed only by his hatred for magic. When a mistake exposes Sylvia’s magic, Arin offers her an escape: compete as Nizahl’s Champion in the Alcalah tournament and win immunity from persecution. In exchange, Arin will use her as bait to draw out the Jasadis he’s hunting.
To win the deadly Alcalah, Sylvia must work with Arin to free her trapped magic, all while staying a step ahead of his efforts to uncover her identity. But as the two grow closer, Sylvia realizes winning her freedom as Nizahl’s Champion means destroying any chance of reuniting Jasad under her banner. The scorched kingdom is rising again, and Sylvia will have to choose between the life she’s earned and the one she left behind.
Thank you to Nazia/Little Brown Books for the Review Copy!
Magic is the lifeblood of this world. It is the very thing that I would say sustains life. Yet, there are those who would hate it, be envious of it, and oppress others simply for even wanting to use it. Because it is the envious that rules this world, and the passion that is perscueted. Sylvia, or shall we say the Heir of Jasad lives a life in hiding, trying to keep her magic hidden from the glaring eyes of the Nizahl Kingdom, who had destroyed the once glorious Kingdom of Jasad. And that’s when life begins to change. Arin and his cold calculating method of persuasion and torture slowly brings Sylvia into his side.
It is always fascinating to see this new world of Arabic-inspired fantasy that is coming onto the scene of traditional fantasy. I applaud it and want more. Playing Assassin’s Creed Mirage which is set in 8th century Baghdad has got me more interested in Medieval Arabic culture, and when I read this novel, I could only think of where the author has been inspired from, including Medieval Egypt under the Ayyubids. There is immense worldbuilding provided and I want more. That’s it. This is another world of magic vs non-magic yet told in a different way.
I would say that sometimes the pacing of the novel slowed down a bit, and a world glossary would have been needed as it would have helped. Writing big epic fantasy novels requires a lot of work, especially from the author’s side and sometimes little details like this can be missed. What you read will be the product of countless hours of draft and Sara, the author also told about how she rediscovered her Arabic heritage by learning about it. There is special care and attention to detail that you can see in this novel. That said, I think this is a fantastic novel, and you need to go and read it now!