About the Book:
Title: Hunted by the Sky
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: June 23rd 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 384 pages
ISBN: 0374313091 (ISBN13: 9780374313098)
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Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.
Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl–Gul–in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance–and discovers a magic he never expected to find.
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.
I would like to thank The Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this blog tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Inspired by two different periods of Indian history and Indian and Persian mythology, Hunted by The Sky by Tanaz Bhathena introduces readers to a lush, dangerous fantasy world of magic that features the journey of a girl with a star-shaped birthmark who is destined to end the rule of a tyrannical king.
Prophecies were a huge element in the plot, and I never get tired of stories filled with them. It made me more curious and surely thickened the story since prophecies can surely be tricky. Gul, the protagonist, was always running for her life because, in their Kingdom, girls who had star-shaped birthmark were hunted by the king. This caused her parents’ murder, and she was rescued by a group of women who called themselves the Sisters of the Golden Lotus. Ever since then, she trained and hones her magic to avenge the death of her parents. Eventually, she met Caves, a stable boy who struggled to meet one’s end for his ill father. Their destiny and fate intertwined in an unexpected way to fulfill each other’s purpose.
From the first page, I could truly say that this book would be bloody and unforgiving. I immediately became aware of the injustice in the kingdom of Ambar. The pacing can be slow sometimes but not too long that it became dull. I think the strongest point of this novel was the world-building and magic system. I like how the myth creatures were blended into the story; how the four kingdoms were the elements of nature. The setting, from the places, food, clothing, and even the language, gave an authentic feel of the culture infused in the story. Various magical abilities, from harmless ones to dangerous ones, were present. I also appreciated that there was a glossary in the book. Moreover, the book was diversified. Different people, from races and colors to beliefs, were mentioned and briefly discussed.
The characters were just okay for me. I didn’t connect to the main characters fully, but I didn’t dislike them either. Gul was the chosen one who was searching for revenge. She was stubborn most of the time and impulsive. Although she was cautious when trusting people, she didn’t think twice about the consequences of her actions. On the other hand, Cavas at first seemed like just an ordinary boy who would become Gul’s love interest. However, there was a mystery in his heritage that could become a major player in the plot. I like their chemistry, and I found the romance quite entertaining. I am looking forward to how their characters would be fleshed out more.
Overall, Hunted by The Sky is definitely an entertaining read! The conclusion was intriguing, and I cannot wait to read what will happen next. I recommend this to those who enjoy “the chosen one” trope.
Tanaz Bhathena is a two-time nominee of the Ontario Library Associations White Pine Award, most recently for her novel, The Beauty of the Moment. Her acclaimed novel, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. She is also the author of a fantasy novel called Hunted by the Sky, releasing on June 23, 2020. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.
Hunted by the Sky SUMMER HUNT PROMOTION
Ends: August 31st2020
Orders of a hardcover book will receive limited edition swag and be entered to win a $100 gift card. Open to residents of the US and Canada.
For Rules & Conditions, click here.
Prize: Win a copy of HUNTED BY THE SKY by Tanaz Bhathena (US/CAN Only)
Starts: 23rd June 2020
Ends: 7th July 2020
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