Title: The Jasmine Throne
Author: Tasha Suri
Series: Burning Kingdoms, #1
Release Date: June 8th 2021
TW: forced drugging, abuse, homophobia, child murder
- Female characters – The Jasmine Throne boasts so many different and multi-layered female characters. Each one is more than they seem with motives and past traumas which influence every decision. Though this world is patriarchal, it is the female characters in this world who truly hold the power to change the fate of their lands.
- Priya – Priya is introduced as an Ahiranyi maidservant, but it quickly becomes apparent that she was raised to be something greater. Most people do not look twice at Priya and for the most part, she desires to disappear in the background. But it is her kindheartedness that sets her apart, that makes people take notice. She may have been raised to be a weapon, but it is how fiercely she protects the vulnerable that makes her strong.
- Malini – Princess of Parijatdvipa, Malini refused her brother, Emperor Chandra’s wishes and as a result, is being imprisoned in Ahiranyi. Cut off from her allies, Malini has little hope of ever escaping. Malini is not a likeable character, she has rough edges because they are essential to her own survival. Growing up in a political environment has forced her to play smart. She sees people as assets and understands what must be done in order to manipulate them into getting what she wants. Malini is determined to see her eldest brother take the throne in place of Chandra, but in the midst of her machinations, it becomes clear that it is Malini who has the fortitude, intelligence, and vision to truly lead.
- World-building – Tasha Suri is a brilliant world-builder. The land of Ahiranyi has been under the rule of the Empire of Parijatdviva, enduring cruelties including the erasure of their own culture. The religions in The Jasmine Throne are also really interesting to explore, particularly the religion of the nameless which is rooted in prophecy.
- Sapphic romance – Priya and Malini are very different people, but despite this and the fact that their journeys may take them in opposite directions, they are drawn to one another. Both characters have thorny parts of themselves and it’s interesting seeing how they navigate this relationship, knowing how easily they could hurt the other.
- Sibling relationships – Both Priya and Malini have complicated relationships with their brothers. I loved exploring these dynamics and seeing how differently they reconcile anger and love. Also interesting seeing how both brothers want to exercise their will over their sisters, but it is Priya and Malini who show themselves to be the ones with the most power.
Nothing to note.
Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne seamlessly weaves fantasy and politics, centering women and exploring the cost of power.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★