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REVIEW: Hunted By The Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Title: Hunted By The Sky
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release date: June 23th, 2020
Page count: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Play

Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.

Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl–Gul–in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance–and discovers a magic he never expected to find.

Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.

First of all, thank you so much to the publisher for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

Hunted by the Sky tells the story of Gul, whose parents were killed by Sky Warriors while protecting her from a horrible fate, as she carries a star-shaped birthmark on her arm. She wants revenge more than anything, and so it’s trained by the Sisters of the Golden Lotus so she can kill the king someday.

I’m going to say that at the beginning, the pace kind of throw me off. It was a little slow for my taste, and I couldn’t quite connect with the characters immediately. But fortunately, that quickly improved and I just couldn’t stop reading!

The two main characters are Gul and Cavas, but I definitely preferred Gul. She’s fierce, determined with her goal to avenge her parents’ deaths, and her development throughout the book was one I really enjoyed. I think he was a great love interest for her, though I would’ve like if their first encounter wasn’t so… rushed. Hunted by the Sky does not qualify for “insta-love” in my opinion, due to the way the situation develops, but still I would’ve preferred a romance that was more on the slow-burn side of things. I really want to see more of them in the next book.

This is a very intriguing story set in medieval India. I’m a big fan of medieval fantasy books; they have an interesting touch that you just don’t get with urban fantasy, and this one definitely fulfilled my expectations with the amazing worldbuilding it had. Bhathena made an amazing job with her descriptions, and the whole time it felt as if I was watching a movie. The food, the places and the clothing descriptions blew me away, and I felt like I could know the Indian culture a bit more through this culture, which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to read it.

The magical system is also great, perfectly built, and I loved how Gul didn’t start off being perfect with her magic but rather the quite opposite. It added to her development later on, and made her have a more realistic approach.

I also need to make a special mention to the Sisters of the Golden Lotus. We ALWAYS love an empowering squad of powerful and fierce women and that’s exactly what this book gave us, with this sort of found family Gul got to be a part of.

All in all, this is a book with many strong points. Featuring strong characters, a magical worldbuilding and great magical system, but also tackling topics like identity issues, this is a book that An Ember in the Ashes and We Hunt the Flame fans will definitely love.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her sophomore novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. 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. Her latest book, Hunted by the Sky, (releasing June 23 2020) is the first of a YA fantasy duology set in a world inspired by medieval India. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.

Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.

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14 thoughts on “REVIEW: Hunted By The Sky by Tanaz Bhathena”

  1. Glad to hear that the pace in this one picked up. I don’t think I’ve read a book with a medieval Indian setting so that already sounds super unique! Plus a squad of empowering kick ass women? Yas, please! 🤩 Really not a fan of the insta-love trope but it sounds like there’s a lot of other points to the book that make it a worthwhile read! Great review 🙂


  2. This sounds really interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever read a medieval Indian fantasy before. I’m definitely going to check this one out. Great review!


  3. So glad you enjoyed this one! The book is definitely in my TBR and I can’t wait to read it for myself. Loved your detailed review!


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