The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri: A Wonderfully Complex and Competent Sequel

Hey again, labyrinth dwellers! If you aren’t aware, one of my favourite reads of last year was The Jasmine Throne and it’s sequel has just been released this week. I’ve been so grateful to recieve an advanced copy prior to the release date and it was such a gripping read, you would not want to miss this! Read on to see my thoughts on The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri.

synopsis

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 the strength of the 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. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly 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 they soon realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn—even if it will cost them.

review

Rating – 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you NetGalley and Publisher, for presenting me with an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.


I have looked upon the ocean, she wrote . And it made me recall the tale of a river. And of a fish, searching for a new world on its bank. And I remember a tale of garlands. And ill stars. And two people who found their way to one another. Tell me, do you remember it too?

All of my anticipated reads are proving to be absolutely amazing and I love that so much for me! The Oleander Sword, sequel to The Jasmine Throne, is a much-anticipated novel for many readers this year because boy, what a cliffhanger was that! I was so happy to have been approved for an e-ARC via Netgalley and safe to say, it’s a delight to have read it.

The Oleander Sword picks up albeit a few months after The Jasmine Throne, and like the previous book, there are a lot of characters whose points of view we explore, and obviously, there’s a huge buildup for an even better ending. We see Priya and Bhumika running Ahiranya as the now temple elders and the newly named empress of Parijatadvipa, Malini, trying to hold together the little power she has. But there’s Chandra, her tyrant brother, who’s seeking to make her burn willingly for the good of the nation and an ancient power seems to be returning to the land of Ahiranya to take back what belongs to it.

Priya and Malini only get better and better in the sequel! And we get to see more of Bhumika, Rao, and other women aiding Parijatadvipa like Lata and Raziya. We also meet new characters and they were all equally compelling to read about. The yearning that Malini and Priya had for each other was so well-done and I loved it so much! The love Priya had for her family back at Ahiranya was much more fleshed out than it was in the last book. We get to see her bonds with Rukh, Sima, Krithika, Padma and of course, her sister Bhumika.

“We will not die bravely and needlessly,” she said. “But we will not lose hope. That is what it means to be Ahiranyi, whether the yaksa know it or not. When they destroy us, somehow we will always grow anew. Have faith in that.”

Speaking of Bhumika, she has grown so much as an individual character through the series. She is given more page time and clearly shone through the pages of The Oleander Sword. We can see her for who she is, and what made her take the decisions that she took, and that I think, was a great development from the previous book.

Another thing that I adored in The Oleander Sword is the world-building. This time, it felt easier grasping the concepts as we’ve already been introduced to the world via The Jasmine Throne, and it also felt very real. You can imagine the clashes between the Ahiranyis and the Parijatadvipans—their age-old history of colonialism and lost culture. There’s also the matter of religion; some worshipping the Yaksa, some the divine Mothers of Flame, and some the Nameless God. I can proudly say that this is one of the strongest aspect of this series, along with its tied histories and bloody secrets.

The theme on which the series is built on is mainly, the act of burning (or) sacrifice for the greater good—usually by women. First off, the idea is super unique, so hats off to Tasha Suri for coming up with such a thing! And second of all, this book really has put the very best it had. I can’t really spoil it, but there’s one scene towards the end that I really liked—I never saw it coming until that chapter but God, the twist there is just marvelous.

What is a star, he thought, in Aditya’s slurred, smiling voice, but distant fire, reaching for you across worlds?

All in all, The Oleander Sword, I think, is a fitting sequel to The Jasmine Throne. Unlike its predecessor, this one’s easier to sink into since you would already be familiar to an extent with the makings of the world, myth, and characters. The ancient element shone in this, and that was so great! The only thing that fell out of place to me was that in some parts, it sometimes felt like the plot was going nowhere but thankfully it doesn’t, because the climax is not disappointing at all.

People who’ve read and loved The Jasmine Throne, you’re definitely going to enjoy this story. Looking forward to everyone reading the sequel which was released this week, hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did. I’m eagerly waiting for any news about the last book in this series and curious to see where it leads!

about the author

Tasha Suri is the award-winning author of The Books of Ambha duology (Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash) and the epic fantasy The Jasmine Throne. Her upcoming novels include The Oleander Sword, sequel to The Jasmine Throne, and What Souls Are Made Of, a YA remix of Wuthering Heights. She is a writing tutor, an occasional librarian and cat owner. She has won the Best Newcomer (Sydney J. Bounds) Award from the British Fantasy Society and has been nominated for the Astounding Award and Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her debut novel Empire of Sand was named one of the 100 best fantasy books of all time by TIME magazine. When she isn’t writing, Tasha likes to cry over TV shows, buy too many notebooks, and indulge her geeky passion for reading about South Asian history. She lives with her family in a mildly haunted house in London.

She is represented by Laura Crockett at Triada US Literary Agency.

THANK YOU FOR READING!

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5 thoughts on “The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri: A Wonderfully Complex and Competent Sequel”

  1. ahhh I’m SO SO glad that you enjoyed this!! I’ve been meaning to pick up the jasmine throne for ages, can’t wait to read that and then the sequel soon!! ❤ LOVED this review!!

    Liked by 1 person

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