Title: Hunted by the Sky
Author: Tanaz Bathena
Series: The Wrath of Ambar #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: June 23rd, 2020
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.
“You are destined to live long and burn bright. to end all this. You will not let our sacrifice go in vain.”
I was so excited to read Hunted by The Sky because I really enjoyed the other book I read by Tanaz Bathena, and since I’m pretty sure this was her first fantasy release, I was pretty intrigued to see how she was going to do it, and I have to say I was pretty impressed by how much I ended up enjoying this book.
Like I said, I was super curious about how this author would create a fantasy world, and I think she did an amazing job. The world building was so complex and we got to see a lot of it throughout the story, and after finishing I had a whole picture of this world and the magic in my mind. Not only that but I think that the information that was given to the reader was progressive and it wasn’t written in the first couple of chapters, which honestly helped me a lot with remembering everything, and made it a lot easier for me.
I also think that the magic was so interesting, and I’m definitely intrigued and want to read about it more. It complement pretty well with the plot and the world introduced to the reader, and I had no issues with that whatsoever.
The main issue that I had was the pacing. It wasn‘t something that really bothered me, but it’s true that I couldn’t help but noticed it. The thing was that it wasn’t a long book, bu there were a lot of things going on, and I felt I was reading three different books. I feel the first and third part is when everything happened, but the middle part added pretty much nothing to the plot, and nothing really happened then. We still saw a bit of the main characters’ arc and evolution, but I think that it created an unnecessary subplot, and it wasn’t as interesting as the original one.
“Power comes in many shapes and forms. You keep doubting yourself, Gul. That’s your biggest weakness. When you don’t, you can take down men twice your size.”
However, the characters made the wait so worth it. They weren’t anything that I haven’t read before, but I have to say that I ended up really enjoying the development and the dynamics between them. I wish I’d seen more of that evolution in our main character throughout the story, but I can’t really complain since I enjoyed the arcs and the journey they went through.
It’s true that I felt a bit underwhelmed by the romance, because star-crossed lovers isn’t a trope I tend to love, since the romance is usually pretty insta lovey and rushed, so I didn’t love the romance in Hunted by the Sky. Still, the two characters had a really interesting relationship, and I hope it’ll be explored in the sequel.
Overall, I was pretty impressed by Hunted by the Sky. The plot and characters were pretty well written, but what stood out the most to me was this magical world and how complex and well thought it was, and the magic system was so interesting.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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