Stealing Thunder

Ace: Berkley. May 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781984805461. pap. $16. FANTASY
Razia Khan survives in Bikampur the only way she knows how: By day she dances, entertaining men with her beauty; at night, she is a lucrative thief. She doesn’t want to steal, but her work keeps her protected from her past life as Crown Prince of Nizam. To survive and live fully as a woman, Razia left her royal life behind, to live with the hijras in her new home. Now there is another prince in her life, Arjun Agnivansha of Bikampur. As their relationship grows, Razia’s past catches up with her, even as her political acumen finds her in the midst of tensenegotiations and possible war. Such a war would bring her face to face with her father—and threaten everything she has fought for.
VERDICT This delightful debut is rich with detailed worldbuilding, political intrigue, and South Asian cultural references drawn from Boyden’s experience as a trans activist who has traveled in India and Pakistan. Boyden handles the story with a steady hand, and this first novel will delight romantic fantasy enthusiasts.

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