Title: The Oleander Sword (The Burning Kingdoms #2)
Author: Tasha Suri
Publication Date: August 16, 2022
The prophecy of the nameless god—the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa—has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.
The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Now a thrice born priestess and an Elder of Ahiranya, she dreams of seeing her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.
Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya’s souls remain as entwined as their destinies. And saving their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn will come at a terrible price.
Why This Book
The Oleander Sword is the second in the Burning Kingdoms trilogy. This is an incredibly lush Indian-inspired world where women fight to save and rule the world that would burn them, where things aren’t quite what they seem, and where sacrifice appears to be the order of the day. It revolves mostly around Malini and Priya, one a princess of one kingdom and the other now an Elder of another kingdom. Their romance is fraught with things that would tear them apart, yet they remain committed to what they believe in, even if it might pit them against each other.
The ending to this one hurt my heart. Malini and Priya hurt my heart for most of this book, as a matter of fact. While other characters are followed, it’s these two that really hold my interest. While I felt something was missing between them in the first book, The Oleander Sword somehow just filled it in and made me fall in love with them. It made the ending that much more painful, and I can’t wait to find out how their story concludes.
My review: “The romance wasn’t woven in quite as well as I had hoped it would be, and sometimes came off too strongly for the events that were going on at the time, so it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for me. But I loved the heartbreak of this doomed loved story, and I’m anxious to see what happens to them in the last book”
Simone And Her Books said “The story moves slowly adding more perspectives from different characters and revealing more dark secrets within this world that really added to the story. However, the ending was well worth the slow burn and truly left you in shock”
Becky’s Book Blog said “The Jasmine Throne was a slow starter, Suri took her time building her world, the lore, the characters and I loved it so much, but thanks to the majority of that work being done in book one, The Oleander Sword moves at a much faster pace. There are still slow scenes, still plenty of lore and world building for those who love it, but the thing I loved most about this book was reading the battle scenes. Suri has this way of writing fight scenes that almost drag you into her story, make you feel like you’re experiencing it right alongside her characters.”
Moonraker gave this 4 stars, saying “I think once it got going, and once the plot picked up, then I found myself fully engaged by the book. As I said, I managed the final three quarters of the book much quicker than the first quarter. And that ending? Makes me very excited for the final book, that’s all I’ll say”
Biblio Nerd Reflections gave this 5 stars, saying “I enjoyed the plot of this one a lot because there was so much payoff to the buildup in the first book. It was clearly a middle book because all the pieces were being positioned for what will likely be a mind-blowing finale, but there was also a very distinct story of its own here, as well.”
Blogging with Dragons gave this 2 stars, saying “the quandaries of The Oleander Sword never quite reach the same level of urgency and desperation. Instead, Priya once again stumbles along after Malini, figuring things out as she goes, with very little of her own agency, and I found myself taking much the same attitude as this protagonist—”whatever happens, happens.” I simply wasn’t able to get as invested in The Oleander Sword, despite the many tragedies brewing in the series”
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Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.
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