Snapshot Review: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Title: The Jasmine Throne
Author: Tasha Suri
Series: Burning Kingdoms, #1
Pages: 576
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: June 8th 2021

TW: forced drugging, abuse, homophobia, child murder

      “Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.
      Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
      Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so 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. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.”

  • Female charactersThe 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.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

10 thoughts on “Snapshot Review: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

  1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Alicia! I actually started reading it back in January and I’ve loved what I’ve read so far, but then life happened and I haven’t been able to sink into it properly but you’ve made me keen to do so asap. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great snapshot review! It sounds like there’s so much to love about this book from the world-building to the characters. I’m kinda picky with my unlikeable characters (that sound so weird lol) but these characters do sound so well developed. Looking forward to reading this even more now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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