Realm of Ash

Orbit: Hachette. (Books of Ambha, Bk. 2). Nov. 2019. 496p. ISBN 9780316449755. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316449724. FANTASY
A massacre at Darez Fort leaves one survivor, young Lady Arwa. Now widow of the general, she’s ready to live the rest of her life in the noble widows’ hermitage. The mysterious forces that destroyed her husband and his fort still exist, and her true heritage, her Amrithi blood, outs her as something to be feared. This same blood puts Arwa in the royal court of the Ambhan Empire, partnered with an illegitimate prince, Zahir. Zahir studies dark occult powers to find a way to overturn a curse the empire is under with daiva and other cursed magic. To do this, Zahir and Arwa will enter the realm of ash, where the dreams of ancestors exist and take shape. The emperor is dying, and his successors will battle not only for the throne, but for the magic of the empire, placing Zahir and Arwa in the center of it all.
VERDICT Suri’s companion to Empire of Sand continues to expand on the stark beauty and power of this magical realm. With striking characters and court intrigue, this story is dark, melodious, and memorable. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]

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