Of Light and Shadow
Publication date: May 23rd 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
When they don’t give us our birthright, we steal it.
Roshan Chaya is out for justice. Abandoned by her parents at birth and adopted by the kingdom of Jwala’s most notorious bandit before his brutal murder, she is now leader of the Shadow Clan, a gang of farmers-turned-bandits impoverished by the provincial governor’s atrocities and corruption. Roshan’s goal: to avenge her adoptive father and earn back rights and dignity for her people.
Prince Navin has always felt like an outcast. Second in line for the throne, he has never been close to his grandmother, Queen Bhairavi of Jwala. When a night out drinking with friends leads to his capture by the infamous Shadow Clan, Navin schemes to befriend Roshan and use her as a means to escape. His ploy, however, brings Navin closer to the corruption and poverty at the heart of Roshan’s province, raising questions about its governor and Navin’s own family.
To further complicate things, the closer Roshan and Navin get, the harder it becomes to fight their growing attraction. But how can they trust each other when the world as they know it starts to fall apart?
Set in a magical world inspired by the badlands of 17th century India, this standalone epic fantasy novel by Tanaz Bhathena is packed with political tensions, dangerous schemes, and swoon-worthy romance that asks the age old question: can love conquer all?
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Tanaz Bhathena is an award-winning Zoroastrian author of contemporary and fantasy fiction. Her books include Of Light and Shadow, Hunted by the Sky which won the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award and the Bapsi Sidhwa Literary Prize, and The Beauty of the Moment which won the Nautilus Award for Young Adult Fiction. 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. Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.
My Blurb (3.75/5 stars)
The novel opens with immediate action followed by somewhat comedic appearance of the prince. I knew straight away that this was going to be quite fun to read and possibly in one sitting. This didn’t quite happen because… kids! I did finish real quick though because I just needed to.
Told from dual perspectives of Roshan Chaya and Prince Navin, there were sparks though cautiously dampened by their circumstances. I admire Roshan for her strength and courage but I love that Navin learnt and developed so much through the novel and despite the magical assistance, the somewhat realistic ending with legal system and politics.
I love the setting and the magical system and wish there could be more. This is noted as a standalone but maybe we’ll meet other characters from the same universe?
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