I received a free advance galley of this book through First to Read. The Library of Fates is a romantic coming-of-age story set in a magical, mythical version of India.
A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn
No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.
The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
Like the blurb says, The Library of Fates actually did remind me of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn (both of which I loved). Princess Amrita is about to be forced to marry Sikander, the emperor of a neighboring land, to secure the safety of her idyllic kingdom of Shalingar. When her father realizes that Sikander is not what he claims and begins to try to back out of the deal, they are betrayed and Amrita is forced to flee for her life. This begins her journey to warn the people under her protection that Sikander’s forces are coming. Along the way, she makes a shocking discovery about herself and her connection to the Library of Fates (a place, according to the oracle Thala, where fates can be reversed and changed).
For the most part, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was lovely and descriptive, the characters were fairly relatable (for a princess, an oracle, etc.), and the plot was unique and captivating. I really enjoyed the elements of Indian folklore and mythology. The ending was satisfying (no cliffhangers!) and overall it was a really sweet, inspiring story.
What I didn’t like about the ending is that, even though there were no loose ends, it felt very rushed. The solution to the main problem in the story was almost too easy. If there were maybe two more chapters added before the end of the book to flesh it out a bit more, I think this issue could be fixed. However, it occurs to me that maybe the author was trying to make the point that doing the right thing should be that easy, as if there really aren’t any other options.
That issue aside, I really did enjoy The Library of Fates. If you’re looking for a romantic story that really reminds the reader of the power of hope, selflessness, and doing the right thing, you should pick this one up.
The Library of Fates will be released on July 18, 2017.