My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.
Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.”–from Goodreads
I wasn’t totally sure how to review this book when I had finished it. So, I gave it three stars–not bad, but not great. Three stars is my “undecided” rating. Since I’m not totally coherent on how I feel, my review of this book is going to look a little bit different from my usual review. Here’s some of my thoughts on the book:
What I liked:
–One Thousand and One Nights atmosphere.
–The world-building: seriously, it was amazing. I loved the locations that the author created. They were very well fleshed out, and full of magic and mystery.
–Gauri. Because who doesn’t love a break-your-heart-or-maybe-your-arm type of heroine?
–Aasha. The sweet, poor, poisonous little darling.
–Magic. I like magical fairytales, so this is no surprise.
What I didn’t like:
–Creepiness. Like the whole undead monster valley thing.
–The intensity of the love/lust relationship. (They didn’t get beyond kissing/cuddling, but it got pretty heated. And it was brought up. Overall, it made me uncomfortable.)
–All the violence.
What I wasn’t sure about:
–Vikram. I haven’t decided whether I like him or not.
–The Lord of Wealth. I wasn’t sure whether he was a good guy, or a bad guy–maybe that was the point?
–All the deep, philosophical points made. For example, “Desires are dangerous” was repeated almost ad nauseam. Yes, I like my books to have a theme. One or two is good. Maybe even three. But the book was liberally sprinkled with insight, and a lot of it becomes lost when there is that much.
That sums up most of the things I’ve been thinking about. I know it’s not super clear, but I hope it helps you a little bit in deciding whether or not to read this one.
*Many thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy to review!*
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