Jul 25, 2017

A mesmerizing Indian fantasy || The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana ( Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway )

Title : The Library of Fates
Author : Aditi Khorana
Release Date : 18th July 2017
Publisher : Razorbill
Synopsis :

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 unthinkable happens, 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 of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. 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?

The lengths I went to get a chance to read this book took even myself by surprise. It's not a secret that I have a soft corner for Indian fantasies, and the synopsis sounded amazing, but I think I fell in love the moment I saw that cover. I mean,by now, I should know not to judge books by their covers, but did you just see the beauty that is this book's cover? Every time I look at it, I get the chills. A Desi girl, in a very Desi outfit, with a posture and look that screams badass - it's just. Sigh. Have you ever felt so inspired by just looking at the cover of a book???? And if the cover did all that, the book itself, the amazing story, the spectacular MC, the beautiful writing all swept me away, and I am still drowning in the feels this book left me in.

Amrita is the princess of Shalingar, and her life has never been lacking, despite the absence of her mother and her sheltered life, thanks to her adoring father, best friend Arjun, and people around her who love her more than anything. But when the tyrant Macedon emperor Sikander enters her kingdom, with the demand for Chamak - a divine yet dangerous drug, upon refusal, he shatters her beautiful and orderly world. Fleeing for her safety, and on a quest to save her kingdom back from the tyrant rule, Amrita is accompanied by Thala - an oracle she released from slavery and befriended - and together they embark on a journey of revelations. 

The Library of Fates is a special special book. It not only draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, but also from Indian history, and is extremely relevant even now, especially now, during the current political climate. The Library of Fates is the story of how a girl born for greatness embraces her destiny. It's the story of how the determination of a princess, the love and loss of a girl who lost everything, the power of female friendship manages to unravel a tyrant rule from its roots. It's the story of how love, selflessness, faith, belief, determination and sacrifice can reassign the threads of fate.

Let me first talk a little bit about the world building and rep. Shalingar is a fictional kingdom based on India, and Sikander's invasion is very much inspired by the real invasion on India by the Macedon empire. However, the story also has parallels to the later colonialism, and how indigenous cultures and people were invaded and later influenced by western ideals, creating damage to the thriving cultures of these countries. Chamak - the divine drug that Sikander hopes to exploit is the symbol of everything that previously belonged to indigenous cultures and countries, later exploited by their invaders, and these powerful symbolism makes Amrita's quest special, imminent and amazing.

The inclusion of Hindu mythology is magical. I've grown up reading stories of vetalas, and all of the classical mythological and cultural aspects included in the book was authentic, beautiful, apt and gave me a feel of all the stories I grew up with. The world was lush, the descriptions beautiful without ending up as purple prose and the overall effect was mesmerising.

Amrita is the desi fantasy MC of my dreams. She is just fantastic, and I can't begin to tell you how much I loved her and was inspired by her. When pushed to make difficult decisions, she makes them ; when her comfortable life is taken away from her, she accepts her privilege and moves on ; in the face of loss, she lives and fights for those who sacrificed for her and is one of the bravest, greatest, kindest and most selfless girls I've ever read about. 

Thala deserves a special mention. She was Amrita's rock whenever she needed support and never hesitated to confront and give her a piece of her mind when Amrita needed some tough love. She was an amazing friend, a great companion and a strong woman whom I ended up admiring so much. She was Amrita's voice of reason, and their friendship was just so beautiful.

The rest of the characters were all wonderful. There is a romance - and the book is also sex positive - but it doesn't take up a huge part of the story and was perfect, subtle and not overwhelming. 

Overall, The Library of Fates is a beautiful, feminist fantasy, rooted in Indian culture,history and mythology, a story which will leave you amazed, mesmerized and inspired. I would recommend it to fans of The Star Touched Queen and A Thousand Nights!

About the Author

Aditi Khorana spent parts of her childhood in India, Denmark, and New England. She has a BA in international relations from Brown University and an MA in global media and communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including Fox, Paramount, and Sony. She is also the author of Mirror in the Sky. She lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time reading, hiking, and exploring LA's eclectic and wonderful architecture. For more information, visit aditikhorana.com.


Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana (ARV: $18.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 10th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 31, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Also, don't forget to check out the rest of the tour stops!

July 10 – The Fandom – Meet the Characters
July 11 – The YA Book Traveler – Indian Mythology in The Library of Fates: Guest Post by Indian Blogger, Aditi Nichani
July 12 – YA Wednesdays – Library of Fates Aesthetics
July 13 – YA Book Central – Library of Fates Excerpt
July 14 – Read Sleep Repeat – Author Q&A

July 17 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
July 18 – Boricuan Bookworms – Author Guest Post
July 19 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review
July 20 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Review & Library of Fates Pendants
July 21 – A Page With A View – Author Q&A

July 24 – Fiction Fare – Author Guest Post
July 25 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
July 26 – Chasing Faerytales – Review
July 27 – IceyBooks – Library of Fates Quote Candy
July 28 – Across the Words – Review & Fan Cast

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