One of my most anticipated YA books of the year, The Jasmine Throne quickly became one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. If you are looking for an immersive book with sublime prose that will leave you speechless long after you finish it, The Jasmine Throne is the book for you.
From the very first lines you read, you step into a lush and colorful world inspired by ancient India. You can truly feel all the love and attention the author put in the worldbuilding of this book, both in civilization and the fantastic aspects. The power dynamics make sense, the politics are fascinating, and as the book progress we find layers of detail that combine to create a luxuriant world.
The story follows a few different points of view, the two main ones being Malini and Priya. When Princess Malini, the sister of the Emperor, refuses to sacrifice her life to secure his throne, he imprisons her in the Hirana, an ancient labyrinthine temple. There she meets Priya, a temple child with secret elemental powers, whose job is to come in and clean. But an altercation between Priya and another woman from the temple reveals her true nature to Malini and ties them together in a bid to escape. The way their feelings evolve is outstandingly done—the romance that develops between Priya and Malini as they bond in their journey is sweet and natural, as both of the girls discover the danger of love in a world of politics and power.
The author managed to bring to life so many spherical characters in a phenomenal way: they all have real ambitions, desires and motivations for what they do, so it is easy to empathize with them. This book brings forward a lot of incredible female characters, even if not all of them are completely good. They are strong, hard-edged women who will not step aside from the fight and they will get their voice heard just to mean something in a world where men don’t allow them. Both protagonists will have to make difficult decisions, and maybe not everyone will agree with them. They will have to become vulnerable in front of each other, but in the end, it will only solidify their bond.
It may seem as if, sometimes, both the magic system and the large number of characters are very complex and take some time to fully understand, but it is well worth it in the end. The book keeps you so well caught in its nets that you won’t want to let it down and won’t even realize when you’ve read all of the 576 pages. The book seems to set the scene for the next parts, especially as the number of events towards the end intensifies.
The Jasmine Throne does not only live up to the hype, but also exceeds it. Suri’s writing brings everything together in such a magical way, that you will long after it for days after you finish it. Fortunately, this is the first part of a trilogy, so we’ll enjoy it again in the near future.