Hunted by the Sky
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
They say that destinies are written in our stars. They become a vital part of our existence that breathes life into our souls and purpose in our blood.
In the kingdom of Ambar, a prophecy foretells the coming of a new era which shall be heralded by a young woman with a star shaped birthmark. To prevent the end of a tyrannical reign, King Lohar sendsis merciless soldiers to do his bidding and end the lives of these girls. No matter how young, and no matter how innocent.
Young Gul was born with a star shaped mark upon her arm which caused her her family to to live a nomadic lifestyle to prevent the soldiers from capturing and killing Gul. Yet, when greed speaks in gold, there is no sanctuary to be found. Before long, Gul wears another mark of anguish and bloodshed upon her heart which was caused by the death of her parents who sacrificed their own lives for the daughter they loved. Soon, the world turns red with the veils of vengeance and Gul makes it her sol mission in life to kill the king who ordered such despair to rage across the land. When she is taken under the Sisters of the Golden Lotus' wing, her power and keen mind stew across the years until she comes of age....
Cavas works as a stable boy to provide a sourse of substanace for his ailing father and himself. His loualty extends to his ability to provide medicine and food for his father and the strength to see themselves live another day.
When Gul and Cavas cross paths, a spark of love and a sense of something greater fill their lives. Yet both are headstrong and proud in their own right where one is guided by self preservation and other for justice.
An element that I enjoyed about Tanaz Bhathena's writing was the nostalgic sense of mystery and lore that I received when I read One Thousand and One Nights. There was such a great atmosphere of mysticism and a heavy sense of a prophecy that rising from the journey Hunted by the Sky imparts. Gul and Cavas were refreshing characters who distinguish themselves from conventional character tropes. They both have a very founded sense of self that is derived from their upbringing and past experiences and both hold a stubbornness confronting challenges that neither are willing to concede to. This makes for an interesting dynamic that allows character building by confronting their past by overcoming their present challenges.
All in all, I absolutely look forward to seeing how Gul and Cavas grow together after the jaw-dropping twist that occurs at the end of Gul's first encounter with the guilded walls that hold the magic, and rulers, of Ambar's kingdom. I certainly hope to see the promise of a certain king's heir changing the state of the kingdom alongside Gul and Cavas. This was certainty a world of wonder and fantasy that I can't wait to see develop further.
“Every heart holds a warrior. Some are born, some are made, while some choose to never take up arms."
"What you are and who you will become will be entirely up to you.”
"We were close, the three of us-all outcasts in some way."
“Children only repeat what their elders say.”
"His voice reminds me of rainfall, of thunder rumbling in the sky."`
"The sky has fallen, a star will rise."
Hunted by the Sky (The Wrath of Ambar #1)
by Tanaz Bhathena Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Release Date: June 23rd 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.
Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her sophomore novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. Her latest book, Hunted by the Sky, (releasing June 23 2020) is the first of a YA fantasy duology set in a world inspired by medieval India. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.
Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.
Ends: August 31st 2020
Orders of a hardcover book will receive limited edition swag and be entered to win a $100 gift card. Open to residents of US and Canada.
Photo available on the dropbox folder.
Rules & Conditions on the link above.
Prize: Win a copy of HUNTED BY THE SKY by Tanaz Bhathena (US/CAN Only)
Starts: 23rd June 2020
Ends: 7th July 2020