One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne.
The other is a priestess searching for her family.
Together, they will change the fate of an empire.
Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of powerful magic – but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
Priya is a maidservant, one of several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to attend Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, as 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 . . .
This was so, so good. All of the women in this book are heroes in different ways; Priya, Malini and Bhumika all want to stop the emperor and save their people, but even the servants like Sima or the rebels like Kritika have their roles to play. All of them want to be strong, to survive in a world where they’ve been held back by tradition and rules.
Priya has to remember her past, and use it to find the sacred living waters hidden inside the Hirana, the temple where she was raised, to access her gifts. Malini has to become something more than the emperor’s hated sister, drugged into delirium and abandoned to her fate. They learn to trust one another and together begin to unite all those who oppose Chandra’s cruelty and liberate themselves.
The plot crackles as it carries you along, slowly developing the characters so you find yourself cheering them on, willing them to succeed, to stay alive, to fight. And the bond between them grows, like the plants of the forest. I really enjoyed the author’s previous books and I can’t wait for the next one in this series – as they come into their power and grow stronger, begin the fight back.
**I was sent an arc of this book by the publisher and a finished copy was in my May Illumicrate box, but all opinions are my own.**