Tasha Suri’s debut novel, Empire of Sand, proved her talent for epic fantasy and skill with characterisation. Two very different (but yet alike) people fought together to escape magical slavery and strike at the heart of centuries-old sorcery that smoothed the path of an empire. Suri’s worldbuilding evoked a richly detailed landscape—both in terms of the physical world and the socio-political one—and she balanced action and emotion with a deft hand. With Realm of Ash, Suri demonstrates not only talent, but consistency. This second novel is even more accomplished than the first.
Realm of Ash takes place in the same world as Empire of Sand, but the better part of a decade later. I believe it could be read as a standalone, but it benefits from the context of Empire of Sand.