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Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar // Night Markets, Star Courts and Desi goodness

GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be "normal." But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star's help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago. Sheetal's quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family's champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens--and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all. This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman's Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.   ( A huge thank you to the  HOV Tours  and HarperTeen for the eARC and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.  ~When a book sees you~      Yes I am absolutely going to s

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri // Diversity, murderous girls and a sapphic romance to root for - Blog Tour


Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.
(A huge thank you to the Caffeine Tours and Orbit for the eARC and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.)

~ When a book sees you ~

Is anyone surprised that the first thing I'm screaming about is the diversity and the representation? Excuse me but the descriptions of the indian architecture, the clothes, the FOOD, the wonderful way in which Hindu mythology is used in this book-- it all just gives me so much serotonin. 

From the very beginning, I just connected with this book because of that familiarity. The way you have to tuck in the pallu when wearing a saree and doing strenuous jobs, the way the characters look, the art and attire of this world-- JUST OOF. This is why we need representation guys!

~ Murderous characters you root for ~

Murderous princess exiled to an ancient temple for her crimes and forms an alliance with a somewhat murderous badass with a secret? This is literally the aesthetic I live for. We have morally grey sapphic goddesses (they are absolute goddesses in my head okay?) who have their own agendas but are pulled closer because of circumstances.

Princess Malini wants revenge on her traitor brother, if only she can stay up long enough to come up with a plan. Her 'jailer' keeps her drugged, too drowsy to think but Malini won't give up just yet.

Priya has a secret, a dark secret that could get her killed. She guards it with all she has but when she happens to reveal her secret to none other that princess Malini, they form a tentative alliance that becomes so much more. And me? I was just rooting for them from the get go.
Some men dream of times long dead, and times that never existed, and they’re willing to tear the present apart entirely to get it.

~ Sapphic Romance ~

The slow-burn sapphic romance in this book is EVERYTHING. There's the whole kinda enemies to reluctant allies to maybe something more and god I am so here for it! I love that both women kind of grew together, the romance not taking away from their independent growths and plans, it only added to it all.

~ Gorgeous prose that I wanted to fall into ~

The writing is so so beautiful I ended up bookmarking over 150 pages! There is something atmospheric and magical about Tasha Suri's writing that is unique to her. Even when the plot was moving slowly, I couldn't stop reading because pretty! writing! *squeals* The language had me spellbound throughout and I can't wait to pick up all of the author's other books soon!
She could make herself into something monstrous. She could be a creature born of poison and pyre, flame and blood.

~ Fabulous worldbuilding ~

Like I mentioned before, I was absolutely GONE for the Indian folklore and Hindu mythology sprinkled through the story. The author puts her own spin on things and I got so absorbed in understanding this world she has created. The world building is vivid right from the start, with so much rich history and cultures intermingling in a turbulent socio-political scenario. I am pretty sure I'll be rereading again just to savour the beautiful world building!
There is no meaning in the universe: no fate, no high blood, no rights of kings over land. Everything is emptiness. The world only had meaning when we give it meaning.
We didn’t deserve what was done to us. I want to believe that. I want to know that. I want that to be true, and if it isn’t, I want to make it true. But you, Malini, you want to remake the world.

~Spotify Playlist~

- On-page Representation -
South Asian

- Trigger/Content Warnings in The Jasmine Throne- 

Child murder
Human sacrifice
Abusive family dynamics
Forced drug use, depictions of addiction/withdrawal
Colourism, xenophobia
Violence against women
Homophobia/internalized homophobia
Body horror

~ Other Book Information ~

Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication date: 08 June 2021
Cover art: Micah Epstein (illustrator), Lauren Panepinto (designer)
Age group: Adult
Genres: Fantasy

~ About the Author~

Tasha Suri was born in Harrow, north-west London. The daughter of Punjabi parents, she spent many childhood holidays exploring India with her family, and still fondly remembers the time she was chased around the Taj Mahal by an irate tour guide. She studied English and creative writing at Warwick University, and now lives in London where she works as a librarian. To no one's surprise, she owns a cat. A love of period Bollywood films, history and mythology led her to begin writing South Asian influenced fantasy. Tasha Suri has won the British Fantasy Society Best Newcomer Award and Starburst Brave New Words Award

What was the last diverse high fantasy you read?! Tell me in the comments below!