Lush Fantasy Inspired by Indian Epics: Tasha Suri’s The Burning Kingdoms

Lush Fantasy Inspired by Indian Epics: Tasha Suri’s The Burning Kingdoms

The Jasmine Throne and The Oleander Sword (Orbit, June 2021 and August 2022). Covers by Micah Epstein

The Jasmine Throne, the opening volume in Tasha Suri’s Burning Kingdoms fantasy epic, was named one of the best books of 2021 by Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Public Library. The second installment, The Oleander Sword, is due August 16, and early reviews have only heightened the anticipation. This is  shaping up to be one of the major fantasy series of the decade.

Suri is also the author of two well-received fantasy volumes, Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash — though, as Liz Bourke at points out in her review of The Jasmine Throne, “[I] admired them as well-constructed epic fantasy with a strong romantic component, but they never made me feel like this — gobsmacked, a little awestruck, violently satisfied, painfully engaged.”

Margaret Kingsbury at BuzzFeed called The Jasmine Throne “lush and stunning” when she included it in her list of Best Fantasy Books of Spring 2021:

The Jasmine Throne begins a new epic fantasy trilogy by Tasha Suri, whose writing here is just as lush and stunning as in her first fantasy series, The Books of Ambha. Priya is a priest turned maidservant with a magical secret, driven to help save poor, dying children stricken by a persistent disease. Princess Malini’s tyrannical brother has imprisoned her in a derelict temple for much of her life, and she craves vengeance against him. When Malini witnesses Priya’s secret, their goals become entwined. Inspired by Indian epics, this sapphic fantasy will rip your heart out.

The Oleander Sword recently received a starred review at Publishers Weekly; here’s an excerpt.

Suri returns to the ancient India–inspired world of her Burning Kingdoms trilogy with this alluring, action-packed, and gut-wrenching sequel to The Jasmine Throne. Priya is now a temple elder of Ahiranya, and her elemental powers have only grown, while Empress Malini is on the war path with an army of allies to take down Parijatdvipa’s fanatical Emperor Chandra, her brother… Meanwhile, Priya’s temple sister Elder Bhumika’s relentless work to provide sanctuary and safety despite the grotesque horrors of the empire surrounding her nearly steals the show. Suri’s strength lies in the palpable, chest-clutching tension she creates between friends, lovers, and enemies. The result is a taut, emotional sequel that will leave series fans eager for the finale.

Here’s the details.

The Jasmine Throne (576 pages, $28.00 hardcover/$16.99 trade/$9.99 digital, June 8, 2021)
The Oleander Sword (512 pages, $28.00 hardcover/$17.99 trade/$9.99 digital, August 16, 2022)

Both books are published by Orbit, with covers by Micah Epstein.

See all our coverage of the best new fantasy series here.

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