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Plagued by fevers her entire life, Kalinda is an unlikely candidate to be chosen as a courtesan or a wife. Her dream is to live in peace in the mountain temple where she was raised, but this dream is shattered by a visit from Rajah Tarek who selects her to be his one hundredth wife. But it isn’t as easy as just being chosen; she must now fight for her place among the rajah’s wives in a tournament to the death, whilst also resisting her growing affection for Deven, an imperial guard and her elected guardian.
While I enjoyed the general premise of this book, I don’t think it was particularly well executed.
The Tarachand Empire and it’s traditions were well developed, and probably my favourite part of the story. The gender gap between men and women are huge in this world, but I enjoyed that the women were trained warriors despite being considered so much less powerful than the men. This allowed for an interesting standard to emerge of very strong female characters having to fight one another for positions very much below them. Unfortunately, despite the world-building, culture and religion being so well done, the characters left a lot to be desired. They would have benefitted from a lot more depth and Kalinda in particular felt very light, and I couldn’t really believe in her.
The plot contains everything required for a good fantasy novel, along with some major curveballs and red-herrings, so I did enjoy the story. I just felt that it didn’t reach its full potential and I’ve read some much better books from the same genre.
This book had an overall written feel of a YA novel. The was lots of detail in some places and not enough in others. It lacked that "fully fleshed out" feeling and felt unfinished or rushed at times.
Note: This book had insinuations and situations of rape, abuse, and group sex.... Which I do not feel is appropriate for young adults (I certainly wouldn't let my daughter read it).
My rating: 2 stars. One for a unique idea and another for the editing and (at times) lovely prose. But that's it. This should not be marketed as YA when it has mature content but was not fully realized or fleshed out enough to be considered epic or mature reading either.... It's something in between that had potential yet fell sorta flat. Also... Cliffhanger. I will not buy the next in the series.
Well, the soap opera who-begat-who twists were the highlight of the book. No, the opening chapters of a girl discovering her inner power were the highlight. Too bad she became weak and stupid and lost her best friend, who was the real star of the book. I did not enjoy the women-gladiators-fight-to-the-death plot. It just wasn't intelligent. And the rest of the plot feels artificial. Most of the time we are told things after the fact. Looking ahead at the sequels, they seem to be more of the same. I won't read them.
I got this book free in an Amazon promotion. The book is basically a chaste romance meets sword and sorcery. The main character is a member of a religious sisterhood when she is chosen to be the hundredth wife of the rajah. But she falls for the captain of the rajah's guards. It's love at first sight. When things are finally consummated there are no details.
I was able to finish the book because I wanted to see how it ended. Of course I could have easily guessed. I will not be reading anything else in the series.
This book was free with Amazon Prime Reads. It took a long time to get into this book, I thought it was slow paced and took along time to get anywhere. I actually started skipping pages to move the story along, if I didn't do that I probably would have stopped reading it. The main character seems kind of dumb at times and others times insightful. I was curious to see how it ended, so I did finish it. I will not be buying the rest of the series.
Better written than most but the heroine is rather dumb and not very likeable. I didn't care for the first person narrative. The plot was very predictable but I liked the world building and descriptive story. The focus on ending with a new protagonist and a cliff hanger robbed it of a more satisfying ending with resolution of what happens to the other characters.