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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 L 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.


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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 L 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.

30 review for Hunted by the Sky

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elena May

    Tanaz Bhatena is writing fantasy now? Sign me up! I've had a great experience with this author's work so far: A Girl Like That: ★★★★★ The Beauty of the Moment: ★★★★☆ I loved both books though they're not in a genre I usually read. I can only imagine how much I'd love a book by Tanaz Bhatena in my favorite genre! Also, I'm so happy to see an India-inspired fantasy by an author actually born in India. US authors have been dominating the scene, so it's great to hear from some more varied, authentic voic Tanaz Bhatena is writing fantasy now? Sign me up! I've had a great experience with this author's work so far: A Girl Like That: ★★★★★ The Beauty of the Moment: ★★★★☆ I loved both books though they're not in a genre I usually read. I can only imagine how much I'd love a book by Tanaz Bhatena in my favorite genre! Also, I'm so happy to see an India-inspired fantasy by an author actually born in India. US authors have been dominating the scene, so it's great to hear from some more varied, authentic voices. If anyone wants to give me an ARC, I'm right here! *waves*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tanaz

    June 23, 2020: Hello readers, HUNTED BY THE SKY is out in the world today! I hope you enjoy this book of mine with its medieval India-inspired setting, its fantasy world, which is inspired by Indian and Persian mythology, and its fierce women warriors. This book brought magic and ferocity back into my life when I thought I'd lost both. I hope it does the same for you. May 15, 2020: Hello readers! Here's ANOTHER excerpt from the book: https://www.tor.com/2020/05/14/read-a... Apr 16, 2020: Hello reade June 23, 2020: Hello readers, HUNTED BY THE SKY is out in the world today! I hope you enjoy this book of mine with its medieval India-inspired setting, its fantasy world, which is inspired by Indian and Persian mythology, and its fierce women warriors. This book brought magic and ferocity back into my life when I thought I'd lost both. I hope it does the same for you. May 15, 2020: Hello readers! Here's ANOTHER excerpt from the book: https://www.tor.com/2020/05/14/read-a... Apr 16, 2020: Hello readers! I'm happy to share an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter of the book: https://www.denofgeek.com/books/hunte...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Ciccarelli

    Get ready for this gem! It's everything you want in a fantasy novel: intricate worldbuilding, beautiful mythology, lush prose, fiercely complex girls, and a tender-hearted romance. I loved every bit of it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    June 23, 2020: Hunted by the Sky is a fantasy set in a world inspired by medieval India where a revengeful young girl finds herself right beneath the claws of royalty while a young boy struggling to survive finds a destiny for himself; all amidst the classism stemmed from magical abilities and lack thereof, bashing societal standards, and a romance reluctantly blossoming. Representation: Indian & Persian mythology; ancient Indian setting; desi culture; sapphic side character. Ownvoices reade June 23, 2020: Hunted by the Sky is a fantasy set in a world inspired by medieval India where a revengeful young girl finds herself right beneath the claws of royalty while a young boy struggling to survive finds a destiny for himself; all amidst the classism stemmed from magical abilities and lack thereof, bashing societal standards, and a romance reluctantly blossoming. Representation: Indian & Persian mythology; ancient Indian setting; desi culture; sapphic side character. Ownvoices reader for: Desi & Indian. Trigger warnings: murdered parents, chronically ill parent, sexual slavery, classism, discrimination, name-calling, animal cruelty, anxiety around hidden identity, blood, and violence. Prophecy of the chosen one never gets old & destiny always brings them together. A large part of this story is based on an age-old prophecy that promises a girl with the star-shaped birthmark would overthrow the tyrannical ruler of this world. It forms the foundation for the journey that Gul starts on and everything that gradually unfolds. The birthmark she adorns is a secret she holds close, both because it reminds her of the dreadful fate she has lived through and because it's an easy signal to call for death at the hands of the King. Destiny and fate are prominent ideas that compel the two main characters, and even the side characters, to live their purpose—which, at first, is all about Gul avenging her parents' murder by sliding a dagger into the King's heart and Cavas looking after his sick father while surviving in the tenements. Svapnalok is realistically flawed, yet beautifully cultural and diverse. The 'world of dreams' or Svapnalok, is divided into four kingdoms: Ambar, Prithvi, Jwala, and Samudra—easily inspired by the four elements of nature: sky, earth, fire, and water. World-building is one of the strongest aspects of this book as it not only creates hills and deserts or fortresses and castles, but also gives authentic attires and vernacular to actually step into the story. There are mentions of outfits like a sari pallu, and ghagra and choli; words like prasad, samarpan and salutations like didi or greetings like shubhsaver, and foods like kachoris, which are bound to make the ownvoices readers happy and for the non-ownvoices readers to understand this world in more depth. Different sexual identities in this world is normalized and while classism is an issue, the story is refreshing for gender equality. There's abundant diversity depicted through different skin colors and religious beliefs. Everyone's faith or atheism is held at the same bar—some pray to the Sky Goddess, some to Sant Javer, some to Prophet Zaal, and some to no one. Though, the world highly discriminates between those who show magical abilities (magi) and those who don't (non-magi) by separating the latter through gates and restricting them to live only in the unclean, not-equipped-with-all-facilities tenements set up outside the kingdom. A sudden kiss sparks interest and these opposite poles attract each other against all odds. Gul and Cavas meet on the day of an annual festival which is celebrated all the more for young people finding their one true love—their neela chand literal translation of 'blue moon' which prefers to one's mate. Yes. So romantic. Even more since this first scene of them together involves pick-pocketing, public accusation, nervousness, and swooping in for a kiss. Now that's a start to a romance that does go through a lot of ups and downs later on in the book. Strong and fierce females need a separate applause. Not only is the main protagonist, Gul, a determined and hardened young girl who is set on seeking revenge, but even the side characters are rooted in their ideologies. Three women—mysteriously famous as The Sisterhood of the Golden Lotus—wish for the torturous king to be admonished and thrown off too. A lot of weapon and magic yielding by these ambitious women is worth appreciating. The magic system might be clearer in the sequel & the pacing disappoints. Different types of magical abilities are presented in this story, like death magic & whispering, but there's quite some confusion as to what the essence of all magic is. While the start is surprisingly slow, the story picks up its speed towards the end and wraps up on a high note that is bound to make you anticipate the sequel. Quite a few sequences are convenient but when something seems a little too predictable, the plot pleasantly surprises with each passing event. Make sure you pick up this fantasy debut by Tanaz Bathena it'll introduce you to something refreshingly new yet nostalgic for ownvoices readers. June 2, 2020: In this acknowledgements, Tanaz Bhathena said something to Shveta Thakrar in Bengali and that's the cutest thing. Friendship goals! Anyway, the book's pacing kind of let me down but the world-building, the cultural representation, and the many familiar words from my language is AMAZING. I also liked the plot; there were quite a few surprised and it ends on a pretty strong note so the sequel is definitely on my mind. Oh, and this is my third buddy read with the super fun Lili! Full review to come. May 14, 2020: I had almost given up all hope to read this Medieval India inspired fantasy but THE ARC GODS are here to bless me and I absolutely can't wait to pick this up. Thank you, Netgalley & FSG Books!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Meadows

    Official comments: Filled with magic, prophecy, and ancient goddesses, HUNTED BY THE SKY is an engrossing novel that will keep the reader up long past bedtime. Tanaz Bhathena's fantasy is perfect for fans of thoughtful worldbuilding and fantastical mirrors to our own reality. A whirlwind of heartfelt storytelling. Also: WOW, WHAT A COVER!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! CW: slavery, implied sexual slavery, death of parents, murder, animal cruelty, a chronically ill parent, use of derogatory sexual language, and violence What an excellent read! It took me a bit to get into, but once I was there, the book just blew by. I was so entranced by the world and, yep, I'm totally going to have to read this whole series! Gul has not had an easy life. She watched her parents get murdered for hiding her and I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! CW: slavery, implied sexual slavery, death of parents, murder, animal cruelty, a chronically ill parent, use of derogatory sexual language, and violence What an excellent read! It took me a bit to get into, but once I was there, the book just blew by. I was so entranced by the world and, yep, I'm totally going to have to read this whole series! Gul has not had an easy life. She watched her parents get murdered for hiding her and she manages to find safe people who can help teach her about herself and her magic. As she grows up, she becomes involved in a plot to get revenge on those who killed her family and finds her way to the palace with the help of Cavas, a non-magus (aka no magic) boy. His mother passed away at some point and she was not looked kindly upon. He's the sole caretaker for his father who's chronically ill. This book was really good. I don't have much to say about it besides that because I feel like anything I say will be spoiler-y. But, I was hooked on this book and I already am dying for the second book to see what happens next! Because this is an amazing new series to look out for. It was inspired, per the author's note in the back of the book, by India and Persia, and it definitely added some topics to read about in nonfiction in the meantime.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    I just "wished for this book" on Netgalley. After reading the author's other two books, I'm high key ready to stalk support her efforts to join the leagues of the fantasy world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    madandelion [hiatus 160420]

    Oh my god, that cover, those eyes, the Desi spin on the series title... I'm sold. No, not just sold, I'm standing here with my arms wide open for this book to fall from the sky. \(゚ー゚\)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Acqua

    the cover!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    JenLovesBooks

    3.5 Stars Okay, it's not often that I give a book a half star... this just called for it. There was so much in this book, so many great things, but also so much that had me wanting different outcomes, or change in pace, or in emotion. So, I couldn't quite get to the a full four, but there was no way I could place it right there at a three either. Because, if you've heard (or read) this book by now, then you know how much is filled up in those pages. Now, here's my reasons why it's all a mix of fee 3.5 Stars Okay, it's not often that I give a book a half star... this just called for it. There was so much in this book, so many great things, but also so much that had me wanting different outcomes, or change in pace, or in emotion. So, I couldn't quite get to the a full four, but there was no way I could place it right there at a three either. Because, if you've heard (or read) this book by now, then you know how much is filled up in those pages. Now, here's my reasons why it's all a mix of feels... and there's a lot. We have Gul, whom at first gives me that kind of "I don't quite know what to do with you" feels. That has to do with her character kind of being all over the place, but it also helps with how she's been brought to the us, with the loss of her loved ones and the craziness surrounding her youth. And though I feel for her, sometimes I wasn't the biggest fan of the way her character came off. Again, a mix of feels. I can't take from her though that she's resilient, a fighter, and "the chosen one", because yes, she's Neo in here (well, not all Matrix style, but def changing history). The one with the star-shaped birthmark that will bring an end to one of their most darkest times in history. With that said, those first lines in this book are shocking and telling of what this world is all about. And yes, it was intense. What a way to start a read! That definitely kept me going, wanting to find out more about those called Sky Warriors and why they were bent on destroying lives because of a chosen one. Or, the Sisterhood of the Golden Lotus with all their secretive ways and magical abilities. They were my absolute favorite group in here. I wasn't always a fan of how some of their stories were portrayed, but it made for a bigger impact (in why the chosen one needed to end all of it). Then came Cavas, which cannot be forgotten because his role is just as important in here. So yeah, again... sometimes I was all about who he was and where he was going, then the other half I was not that drawn by him. Which, caused me to be uninterested at times. See what I mean, it's really a roller-coaster in here. That brings me to the relationship between himself and Gul. At times, it was on fire, then it fell a bit flat, and then I was not sure how to feel. But, the in-between of it all was pretty great. But, what had most of my attention was the magical aspect of the this world. There are Truth Seekers who can tell if you're lying (a dangerous gift), those called Whisperers that can talk with animals (that plays a big role), others that can do future readings, wield dead magic (you've got to read this to find out more), and it goes on. Plus, the truth of Gul's lineage and why her abilities are far surpassing. Yeah, no matter the mix feels, it's definitely worth having them. Good read for sure! ***I received this ARC from Fierce Reads, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Guys. GUYS. Why don't you have this book yet? There can be no excuse now that it's out in the world. This is a tale overflowing with magic and revenge and girls taking the world into their hands and I couldn't get enough of it! Full review at Write, Read, Repeat This is the second medieval Indian fantasy series I've started reading this year and I have no intention of letting HUNTED BY THE SKY be the last. To be fair, this one is Indian with a mix of Persian in the mythology, which I thought gave Guys. GUYS. Why don't you have this book yet? There can be no excuse now that it's out in the world. This is a tale overflowing with magic and revenge and girls taking the world into their hands and I couldn't get enough of it! Full review at Write, Read, Repeat This is the second medieval Indian fantasy series I've started reading this year and I have no intention of letting HUNTED BY THE SKY be the last. To be fair, this one is Indian with a mix of Persian in the mythology, which I thought gave this world a very unique feel. In this story, girls are kidnapped from their families if they have a mark in the shape of a star on them. All because of a prophecy that says the girl who bears this mark will be the end of the king. And the Sisters of the Golden Lotus, a female rebellion group with some interesting connections, believe that Gul, the girl starring on that gorgeous cover, is the chosen one. Now, hang on, don't go walking away because you think you're tired of that trope. Don't go, because you haven't seen what this book does with it. And it does not disappoint! I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn't even realize that was the trope until writing this review. People in this world are divided by whether or not they have magic. Magi and non-magi. And, as you might be able to guess, one of these is more valued than the other, which is a real shame. Those without magic are shoved into tenements, which are essentially slums where they all struggle to get by. Over the years they have been stripped of many rights, like education. Magi, on the other hand, are not always much better. They still find themselves forced to sell their services at the flesh market for the opportunity to work. I loved the variety of magic in this world. Some people can whisper slash control animals, others can suss out the truth with a touch, wipe memories, conjure water and fire, and so on. Now, we get a taste of either side. The magi and the non-magi. Girl and boy. Gul and Cavas. Gul is introduced to us by watching her parents be murdered as Sky Warriors hunt for her. All on account of her star mark. When she is taken in by the Golden Lotus rebels, Gul spends the next two years plotting her revenge on the Major and the King who took her family from her. But there's a tiny problem in that she has no idea how to work her magic. It never showed like other magus children's and she struggles with figuring out how to bring it forth. She does have the ability to whisper to animals, which plays nicely into her character. I really liked Gul. She is a fierce young woman who knows what she needs to do and will do it, come hell or high water. I have no choice but to admire. Cavas is a non-majus who works in the palace stables. But that is only his day job. His other task is sharing palace information with a mysterious stranger in return for the money to buy his father medicine. Together, they live in the tenements I mentioned earlier, and Cavas' father has contracted tenement illness. This lives him sick and weak, leaving Cavas to do what he must to keep him alive. I didn't like Cavas as much as I did Gul, but he's impossible to not like. He has a big heart and often thinks more about others than himself. When it suits him that is. Magi aren't too high on his list. Which makes the relationship between Cavas and Gul so entertaining at times. Neither of them seems to like the other, but they are drawn together by what could best be described as fate. And when you consider how they meet? Wowee, it was inevitable. There is a grudging agreement on Cavas' side to help Gul get into the palace so she can enact her plans of revenge, and what transforms was really sweet. Speaking of wowee, there were a lot of WOW moments throughout this story. The plot is surprisingly unpredictable. I thought I had it pegged a few times, and I love when I'm proven wrong. The events once in the palace, the ending, didn't see any of it coming. Now, while I really did enjoy this book—I finished the last half in one day and definitely see myself re-reading this in future—I did struggle to follow along sometimes. I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention or things weren't explained in a way that clicked for me, but there were a few people and a few action scenes I had troubling remembering or understanding. And of course, with how action packed this book is, you miss one thing, it makes a few things confusing after. I really did love this book, and cannot wait to see what the sequel will hold!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    3.5/5 - Read the full review at www.universewithinpages.com Note: While this is an ARC, I was given a copy of this book from a giveaway, not for review purposes. All reviews and thoughts are my own. I won this ARC a couple weeks ago from YallWest (or YallStayHome) and I’m excited that I got a chance to read it! It is a fantasy inspired by medieval India, which I thought was unique and interesting. The story focuses on Gul, a girl who is born with a star-shaped birthmark, who has spent her life try 3.5/5 - Read the full review at www.universewithinpages.com Note: While this is an ARC, I was given a copy of this book from a giveaway, not for review purposes. All reviews and thoughts are my own. I won this ARC a couple weeks ago from YallWest (or YallStayHome) and I’m excited that I got a chance to read it! It is a fantasy inspired by medieval India, which I thought was unique and interesting. The story focuses on Gul, a girl who is born with a star-shaped birthmark, who has spent her life trying to kill the King out of revenge for her parents’ murder. Her path eventually crosses with Cavas, a boy willing to do anything for his terminally ill father. Together, they explore the king’s domain as they uncover new secrets. I thought that the actual world and world-building was a strong point for the story. There are very few books set in an India inspired world, and I really enjoyed the representation. I did wish that the magic system was more structured though. The pacing of the story was a little slow for me in the beginning, and I wish that it didn’t take such a long time to get there. The characters were just okay, but I felt like there wasn’t anything special about them. I didn’t connect to either Gul or Cavas as much as I would have wanted, but I didn’t dislike them either. Gul was kind of just your average female heroine looking for revenge, and I wished Cavas had more of a presence in the plot of the story. I felt like he was just “there” at times, with Gul leading the story. The only interesting thing about him was the reveal of his heritage at the end, which I guess can be a plot-point in the sequel of this story. I also didn’t like the romance as much as I thought I would. Overall, there were elements I wish could have been better, but I am satisfied with the novel as a whole! The Indian inspiration gives it a unique spin, with the magic-system playing a central role in the story. I would recommend this book especially if you enjoy the “chosen one” and “star-crossed lovers trope.” I’m excited to see what happens in the next book, and I’m grateful that I got a chance to read this one early!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fallon

    This book was not what I expected but I think that is a good thing. Told in dual POV's from Gul a girl who has the mark of the prophecy. A girl predicted to take back the throne. The King is looking for any female with this mark. Gul's POV was definitely my favorite. Getting to know her past and following her journey and discovery of what and who she is was fascinating. Cavas was another POV of a boy who works in the stables at the palace. He made Gul's POV and story more well rounded but I did This book was not what I expected but I think that is a good thing. Told in dual POV's from Gul a girl who has the mark of the prophecy. A girl predicted to take back the throne. The King is looking for any female with this mark. Gul's POV was definitely my favorite. Getting to know her past and following her journey and discovery of what and who she is was fascinating. Cavas was another POV of a boy who works in the stables at the palace. He made Gul's POV and story more well rounded but I did not feel I needed as much from his backstory and also was not drawn as much into his journey. The pacing was a little slow in the first couple chapters but the dual POV's does pick up the pacing pretty quick. This was a magical and fun adventure that I look forward to continuing in the sequel. I am giving Hunted by the Sky 4 out of 5 stars. I would read this one again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Monica (books_over_everything)

    Initial Thoughts I had seen this book floating around on Instagram and I believe it was my lovely friends Brad and Britney of @audioshelfme who first showed it off and made me want to look it up. Some things to note, I am half Indian and love seeing Indian mythology represented in fantasy novels. It’s not super commonplace and it was also so important to me that this novel is an Own Voices novel. After learning what the book was about, that it represents my culture, and that the FFBC was hosting Initial Thoughts I had seen this book floating around on Instagram and I believe it was my lovely friends Brad and Britney of @audioshelfme who first showed it off and made me want to look it up. Some things to note, I am half Indian and love seeing Indian mythology represented in fantasy novels. It’s not super commonplace and it was also so important to me that this novel is an Own Voices novel. After learning what the book was about, that it represents my culture, and that the FFBC was hosting a tour, I knew I had to be a part of it! Some Things I Liked That glossary. Yes, that is at the end of the novel but major props to Tanaz Bhathena for not italicizing her non-English words. I loved that. As mentioned above, I am half Indian, but I cannot speak a lick of anything other than English. I struggled to pronounce these words as much as probably anyone reading words in a new language would and I love that! Some words felt familiar and others were entirely new and I can’t stress enough how well they were woven into the story. They felt organic. By the end of the book, I still probably couldn’t pronounce most of them, but the vocabulary made so much sense. Surprise enemies to lovers vibes. I really wasn’t expecting that tension between Gul and Cavas but I was so there for it! I loved their banter and the fact that they both narrate the story. On that note, I loved Cavas and Gul’s first meeting and all of the other Easter egg kernels sprinkled throughout the book. Latif?? I can’t say any more but, I will say I suspected what his deal was before it was formally announced. However, I loved the subtlety in the writing style. Specifically, the scene where our narrators meet. I recall thinking, is this Gul, no, this can’t be Gul, we’d know if it was her. Tanaz Bhathena didn’t need to say it, she dropped that tiny hint about the necklace with three beads and it was perfect. Stars as a theme. One word. Obsessed. I can’t stand how much I loved the mythology and world building in this story. This isn’t the first Indian-inspired story about the stars that I’ve read so I’d be curious to delve into my own culture more to find out which myths this book was based on. Series Value That ending. First of all, I am officially broken. If it wasn’t for numerous other tour commitments, I’d be in a serious book hangover right now. I must read the next book. It’s not a question of if, it’s definitely when. I can’t wait for it! Furthermore, the clues and subtle hints in the writing style lend themselves so nicely to a re-read of Hunted by the Sky before reading any sequels. So, this book has both high sequel potential as well as high re-read value. Final Thoughts I can’t stand how much I loved this book. I want to tell everyone I know how much I loved it. I read it cover to cover in one sitting. Why can’t all books be this good?? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Recommendations for Further Reading The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choshki – if you enjoyed the themes of gods, goddesses, stars, and Indian-inspired mythology, check out this series. The first two books are relatively independent but should be read in order. The third is a series of novellas of stories mentioned in the first two books (but is totally worth reading). The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – again, if you can’t get enough Indian mythology, try this series by Swati Teerdhala. Full disclosure, only two of three books are out now and the ending of book two is a doozy. I’m still reeling and I read it almost 2 months ago. Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – again, if you enjoyed the themes of Hunted by the Sky, try this August 2020 release when it comes out. I have an ARC that I will be starting shortly, but I’ve heard really good things about this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    cielo

    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 quickl 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    This eARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Hunted by the Sky, the first entry in Tanaz Bhathena’s The Wrath of Ambar series, introduces readers to a brutal, high-stakes fantasy world set against the backdrop of medieval India. Although there were moments in Hunted by the Sky that absolutely shined, Bhathena’s latest book ultimately missed the mark for me. Despite its intriguing premise, the majority of Hunted by the Sky was too slow-paced and at times This eARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Hunted by the Sky, the first entry in Tanaz Bhathena’s The Wrath of Ambar series, introduces readers to a brutal, high-stakes fantasy world set against the backdrop of medieval India. Although there were moments in Hunted by the Sky that absolutely shined, Bhathena’s latest book ultimately missed the mark for me. Despite its intriguing premise, the majority of Hunted by the Sky was too slow-paced and at times, a struggle for me to navigate. Hunted by the Sky follows a narrative familiar to the YA fantasy genre, as it centers upon the (seemingly) hero’s journey of a prophesied chosen one; in this case, a girl with a star-shaped birthmark who is destined to end the king’s tyrannical reign. Bhathena makes it clear to the reader that Hunted by the Sky will not be a lighthearted tale, with even the first sentence demonstrating the brutality of this fictional world. As a reference point, the tone of Hunted by the Sky, to some degree, echoes that of An Ember in the Ashes, yet does not quite soar to the same heights as Sabaa Tahir’s bestselling series. Consequently, there seemed to be a major disconnect between the overall severity of the issues presented in Hunted by the Sky and the disposition of the protagonists. Gul’s impulsive and at times, downright foolish, actions made her come across as naïve and immature, which was jarring to me when subjects such as sexual violence and slavery (see “the flesh market) were involved. However, as Hunted by the Sky was written for a YA audience, it is comprehensible why Bhathena wrote her characters this way; unfortunately, it just did not work for me personally. Furthermore, the romantic relationship between Gul and Cavas lacked chemistry and felt inauthentic, possibly the result of their characters’ juvenile nature. Hunted by the Sky depended on their strong connection to drive the story forward, which regrettably, only hindered my reading experience further as I never felt fully invested in their romance. That being said, I did enjoy some of the book’s feminist elements, such as the strong presence of female warriors. In addition, Bhathena brought to the surface important topics prevalent in today’s society, such as class struggles and the consequences of oppression. Although Hunted by the Sky was ultimately not for me, I will admit that the conclusion seemed promising in regard to the setup for the next book of Bhathena’s The Wrath of Ambar series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi ♠

    despite the fact that this elevator pitch seems to be the entire plot, I don't care, please give me this also I love that cover

  18. 5 out of 5

    Clockwork bibliophile

    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher. for sending me a complementary arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Hunted by The SKy is inspired by medieval India where people are divided based on whether they have magic or not. Years ago, a. prophecy was made that stated that a girl with star birthmark would lead to the demise of the tyrannous king, Lohar. Ever since then, the king's soldiers, known as the sky warriors, hunt for girls with birthmark and drain magic out of them in labor cam Thank you Netgalley and the publisher. for sending me a complementary arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Hunted by The SKy is inspired by medieval India where people are divided based on whether they have magic or not. Years ago, a. prophecy was made that stated that a girl with star birthmark would lead to the demise of the tyrannous king, Lohar. Ever since then, the king's soldiers, known as the sky warriors, hunt for girls with birthmark and drain magic out of them in labor camps. When the sky warriors reaches Gul's doorstep and kills her parents, Gul has no choice but to run for her life. On her way, Gul meets the Sisters of Golden Lotus, who believe her to be the prophesied girl. They rescue her and bring her to their sanctuary where Gul trains to oneday to kill the king and get her revenge. Gul soon meets Cavas, a non magus from the tenements who works at the palace stables. Convincing Cavas to sneak her into the palace might be her only chance to get closer to the king but Cavas wants nothing to do with Gul. Despite of that, their lives get entangled with this deadly mission of vengeance and as the prophecy unravels, they discover many shocking secrets and conspiracies. This book has such lush, vibrant and fascinating world. The culture is so beautifully portrayed - its rich and the 'desi' representation in this is everything I ever wanted. The descriptions of the outfits, the food, the cities, the buildings, the marketplaces - everything was absolutely impeccable and amazing. The author managed to create a very atmospheric setting that makes you feel like you are in the story itself and the use of 'desi' names and desi words make it more believable. The writing is very poetic. However, even through the story starts with a lot of action, the pacing kinda becomes slow after a couple of chapters. For a long period of time, it felt like nothing was happening. I was expecting a lot more excitement but the plot kind of fell flat. The characters and their storyline could have been developed more. While I love Gul, I can't say the same for Cavas. I did not care much for him, nor was I invested in their relationship. Gul and Cavas seemed to lack chemistry and their romance felt very forced. It might be just me but I felt like there was a lot more romantic potential between Gul and Prince Amar. I really enjoyed the ending. There were a lot of plot twists and unexpected things that happened and the pacing picked up really fast. Overall, this was an 'okay' first book but it has a lot of potential. I would definitely read the other installments to see where the story goes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Hunted by the Sky is inspired by ancient India. It's a world full of prophets and magic that is outlawed and dangerous. This dual POV story examines ambition, desire, love, and sacrifice. What will we do to achieve our goals? For love, for revenge, for justice? Motivated by their different dreams, throughout Hunted by the Sky we can observe what our dreams can do to our ethics, our l (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Hunted by the Sky is inspired by ancient India. It's a world full of prophets and magic that is outlawed and dangerous. This dual POV story examines ambition, desire, love, and sacrifice. What will we do to achieve our goals? For love, for revenge, for justice? Motivated by their different dreams, throughout Hunted by the Sky we can observe what our dreams can do to our ethics, our love, and our ideas. My absolute favorite element of Hunted by the Sky is the world building. The world building of Hunted by the Sky revolves around their different beliefs and and magic, but also the way the non-magi and even those with magic are being treated. There are stories that change the fabric of our lives, impact our history and customs, and can inspire hope and fear. At the same time, the world of Hunted by the Sky also examines the different oppression and treatment of people in the society depending on their magic or potential. Are we persecuted for our potential, for the power we have to speak out, or for the role we might play in the future? Hunted by the Sky is the first of the Wrath of Ambar duology. The pacing for this series opener was something that almost gave me whiplash. The beginning felt slow as we got to know Cavas and Gul and then all of a sudden it felt like everything was happening and quickly! full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rameela (Star)

    Initial thoughts: I thought this was a standalone 🤡 but also this was so fun and i loved the mythology and magic! Full review to come

  21. 5 out of 5

    ikram

    AAAAAAA what a thrilling journey!! Although I enjoy this book very much, I am not satisfied with the ending. I need the second book NOW.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Andres

    I finished this book. That's important to note. I *am* capable of DNF-ing a book -- as evidenced by the fact that there are 27 books in my Currently Reading List -- usually because I find the book boring (and sometimes because life just gets in the way, and it's not compelling enough to return to). So the fact that I finished this book is a testament to the premise: I was intrigued enough to request an ARC from NetGalley, and I was hoping for a lush, rich fantasy that I could just lose myself in I finished this book. That's important to note. I *am* capable of DNF-ing a book -- as evidenced by the fact that there are 27 books in my Currently Reading List -- usually because I find the book boring (and sometimes because life just gets in the way, and it's not compelling enough to return to). So the fact that I finished this book is a testament to the premise: I was intrigued enough to request an ARC from NetGalley, and I was hoping for a lush, rich fantasy that I could just lose myself in. And, to be fair, it was lush and rich, but I just couldn't get absorbed in it -- I would pause every few pages asking questions (to my dog who, sadly, couldn't provide any answers) and venting my confusion. I just get so frustrated when I want a book to be so. damn. good and it doesn't deliver. Because, ultimately, there were just a few major things that I couldn't get past: - First and foremost, I *cannot* abide by this troubling "suffering-is-strength" premise. There's a passage about a 1/3 of the way through the book: "Amira went through even more [rape, torture] than I did,” Kali continues. “She resents you for it—which is her problem entirely, not yours. But you need to also start toughening up.” Then, a few pages later, Gul concedes that she hasn't suffered enough which...I can't. She's not a particularly round or likable character, but the girl did watch her parents get murdered. If that's not suffering...if suffering is deemed "physical violence" or "violation," I don't know what the message is supposed to be. Add in the Flesh Market and this cage fighting...the violence just seems like a sensationalized plot device, rather than any sort of weightier commentary -- and one which doesn't do existing stereotypes of exotic-but-barbaric Middle Eastern lands any help. - Another thing I just can't get over is the world. It's a richly detailed world, don't get me wrong, but as fantasy worlds go, it's...not tightly built. For example: one of the basic premises of this world is that there are people WITH magic (magi) and people WITHOUT (non-magi). The basic rules of magic -- how it works, what types there are, what determines whether a person has it or not -- seem largely irrelevant to the story, and Bhathena doesn't seem interested in them. If it's convenient for a character to have (or not have) magic, so be it. Their type of magic also seems a matter of plot convenience. Apparently there is life magic, death magic, and earth magic? Maybe more? I don't know? But if it's hereditary -- and it seems to be? I don't actually know, because it's not a matter of concern -- then why are any of the magi lower-class? If a person has a strong magic, why are they a servant, or a slave? Because if the prejudice against non-magi is so strong, then why aren't they in the positions of servitude? Isn't it dangerous to have a powerful magi as a servant? Couldn't they attack you? Obviously those sorts of power structures are wrong, but in the world that Bhathena has created, they seem like fair questions. I know that a well-built world is a pet-peeve of mine with fantasy works, but if the world isn't solidly and tightly built, I find myself getting distracted by those questions rather than following the plot. Because if they're not integral to the story, why even make it a fantasy? Why not just make it a medieval historical fiction, with the typical class divide of rich and poor? Near the end, Gul thinks, "Magic doesn't work the same way for everyone." and that line just seems to sum up Bhathena's approach to magic in this story. Which is fine, but it just doesn't make for strong fantasy, IMHO. - The plot seems to revolve around big moments of contrived action. Chapters can be spent in daily life events and then BAM! Plot point! Gul trains with Amira -- there's exposition! and minimal action! Then BAM! She decides to run away and sell herself at the Flesh Market. BAM! She crosses the rekha and is caught and is branded a trespasser! The action doesn't flow naturally or smoothly -- it seems to be linked by big contrived moments. Hardest thing for me to deal with: the Raj impulsively (I get that it's supposed to be a calculated move, but...c'mon.) betroths his ELDEST SON AND HEIR TO A SERVING GIRL. No. I just can't. Why would he do this?! Politically, it makes no sense. Even though we don't see any of them, there have to be courtiers, rich families, politicans, landowners, merchants who sell something that keep this economy going. And royal marriages are political alliances. There is no way that any King would marry his heir to a serving girl just to make some half-baked point. Because she'd be the First Wife, which is always a big deal. I can see the King marrying her, maybe, as his Fourth wife. Sure. Giving her to his son as a concubine, sure. Maybe even marrying her off to one of his younger sons, because they're not going to rule, so what does it matter who they marry -- especially since one of them seems halfway decent. But it was all so convenient -- especially when said youngest son came in all, "Look! There's this obscure ancient law no one's heard of that says you can challenge the king to a death duel to protest you being engaged to some guy you don't want to marry!" WUT. - I also don't...understand (?) these characters. Everyone reacts out of strong, negative emotions: usually anger, defiance, etc. Tempers flare, there are misunderstandings...which makes it very difficult to connect with characters and care about them. There are very few moments of actual kindness, and even fewer where characters just talk, calmly and neutrally. Everything seems to be an argument or a fight, and by the end, it just has the result of making the characters seem flat and one-dimensional. Especially Shayla -- there's a strong arc potential there -- even for a complex villain like Regina in OUAT, but when we finally get her POV near the end, it just seems like a soap opera villain. For one--Gul is obsessed with killing Major Shayla (at first, this seems to be her primary goal) and the king (this is the goal that takes up much of the focus of the book, even though Shayla was the one who actually did the killing). In theory, the desire for revenge is understandable -- they're responsible for her parents' deaths. But in actuality, it just seems to come out of nowhere. Not to mention she is *terribly* ill-suited for the role of assassin: she has no patience and seems bothered by the idea of training and working for her goal. She shows no ability to blend in or take on a role that would put her in proximity to the people she wants to kill. She just barrels through life, and things "happen" to work out for her. (Compared to _Six of Crows_ which is a delightful heist novel and shows the planning and prep that goes into pulling something like regicide off.) Two--characters either have strong reactions or...are minor side characters with no personality. For some unfathomable reason, Amira *hates* Gul -- calls her princess, thinks she's spoiled, etc. For the life of me, I don't understand why. The girl had a nomadic childhood, watched her parents get brutally murdered in front of her, and Amira is just so...mean. (Perhaps this bugs me so much because the organization is literally called a Sisterhood. I was expecting a tribe of strong female warriors -- like the Amazons in Wonder Woman. Even in Fireborne, where competition was built into the Guardians, the female characters still supported each other.) Same thing with Cavas: he's instantly smitten with Gul -- he's crushing hard on her -- and then, the next time they meet, he calls her a privileged brat. Like...WUT. If this was supposed to be because he learns she's a magi or because she's not from the tenements, like, okay, maybe. But it was a compelte 180 to go from reliving a kiss to privileged brat. - At times, it is just so glaringly derivative. Look, I'm not saying every great story has to have a 100% original idea and can't borrow from, or pay homage to, great fantasy that came before. That's not possible. But in a great fantasy, the allusions are subtle -- or inserted with a unique spin that you go, "Huh. I like what you did there." Half of my notes are comments like, "Major Occlumency vibes" or "Amira is Snape, hating Harry/Gul and abusing their teacher position." But the biggest one had to be Gul chanting the names of people on her kill list -- which, by itself *might* have been okay -- had she not been immediately taken in by a secret organization of shape-shifting mystics (i.e., the female equivalent of the Faceless Men). ***** First Impressions -- 10% done: Eh. It's fine -- but I'm not hooked yet. + Diverse Book -- I appreciate the "inspired by Medieval India" setting, as fantasy can be a genre dominated by white, medieval-Europe characters and settings. + No Love Triangle Yet! + Sisters of the Golden Lotus -- This is a promising concept, although I can't quite get a read on the women. They seem helpful and kind one minute, but then scornful and callous the next. ~ I have got to stop reading books which open with the murder/deaths of parents. ~ It's hard not to compare this to the last book I read (Fireborne), since there are (1) orphans with murdered parents; (2) a questionable male leader in charge; and (3) a similarly questionable government with a designated Ministry for determining "Truth" and spreading it through propaganda. - WORLD BUILDING. I know I'm a stickler for this, but there is more to *good* fantasy (and science fiction) than just making changes to what's known and familiar. In the first few chapters, you get hit with things like "Sky Warriors" (what are they? what do they do? We only know they're bad -- at least from the protag's POV), "atashbans," magi (and non-magi), thanedars, something called a Code of Asha, and Prophets, Gods & Goddesses. I recognize that this is a pet peeve, but just dropping those into a story isn't effective. What is a thanedar? Why are there prophets? How are they connected to these gods/goddesses? I hate having these questions and I usually get increasingly frustrated if they're not answered fairly early on. Devices like "Prologues" or "excerpts from the History of..." are great at providing your readers even a little bit of exposition so they understand what's going on. [Google just told me that this is Bhathena's first fantasy novel -- she's published two romances previously -- which may explain this.] - It's coming off a *little* derivative at the moment. By which I mean, "Major Shayla. King Lohar. I repeat their names over and over, memorizing them the way I would a lesson. A prayer. Kill Major Shayla, I whisper. Kill Raja Lohar." First off, it's two names. Not much to memorize. Not like, say, ARYA STARK'S LIST, which has like a dozen people on it. Second of all, yah. TOTAL Arya Stark vibes here. A fact which is not helped by the description of the Sisters of the Golden Lotus: "Of women with shadowy faces and daggers glinting in their hands. Women who wear their saris like fisherfolk, who knock down doors and slash into enemies with knives and swords and spells.[...] No one is quite sure if the Sisters are legends or common brigands, and no ever quite remembers what they look like. Appearing and disappearing from villages and towns with a stealth that rivals King Lohar's Sky Warriors, the Sisters have no permanent home, successfully melding into their surroundings like color-changing lizards." Again, TOTAL Faceless Men vibes here. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does lessen the "WHOA" factor for me. - Gul, our protagonist. I know her parents just died, and I should feel sympathy for her but...she's a little flat for me right now. I'm not really connecting. - Plot Quibble: "hundreds of magi girls with star-shaped birthmarks have been taken or killed over the years." WUT. Is it common for every magi to have a birthmark? Is it common for those birthmarks to be star-shaped? Is having a birthmark a sign of magi powers? Because, if so, that's not clear. If not, then...why are birthmarks so common?! **I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anandi Puritipati

    I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS AND I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE SEQUEL LIKE MA'AM THIS IS JUST *chef's kiss* Review will be up soon! Edit (25/06/2020); Thank to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for the ARC! All the following opinions are my own: When I say that Hunted By The Sky is by far the BEST, and I actually mean the motherfucking BEST Indian mythology/history/culture inspired fantasy that I’ve read in all my almost-23-years on this planet, I am not lying! If you know anything about me at all, you wil I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS AND I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE SEQUEL LIKE MA'AM THIS IS JUST *chef's kiss* Review will be up soon! Edit (25/06/2020); Thank to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for the ARC! All the following opinions are my own: When I say that Hunted By The Sky is by far the BEST, and I actually mean the motherfucking BEST Indian mythology/history/culture inspired fantasy that I’ve read in all my almost-23-years on this planet, I am not lying! If you know anything about me at all, you will know that I am obsessed with my country and its culture. Not as it is right now, because that kind of scares me a bit, but as it is the history books and epic mythologies. My culture is not without its flaws. There has always been oppression and dissonance in society, but there are also some incredibly beautiful parts to it. Capturing this paradoxical phenomenon, while also not pandering to an audience, is incredibly hard, and Tanaz Bhathena did an amazing job of it! She showcased the good, and the bad, and she showed you the beauty that there is in a culture so rich and flawed and human. And that is what captured my heart and soul! Hunted By The Sky is set in the fictional kingdom of Ambar under the tyrannical rule of an usurper king. He hunts girls with a star-shaped birthmark on their bodies in an attempt to thwart a prophecy that has predicted his fall. Girls like Gul, who lose everything and everyone that tries to protect them, once they’re targeted. After seeing the Sky Warriors of the king murder her parents, Gul swears revenge, and when she is taken in and trained by vigilantes who call themselves The Sisterhood of the Golden Lotus, her thirst for vengeance only deepens. Things take off when Gul comes across a non-magi who works at the palace by the name Cavas, and now they must work with each other, by the decree of their destinies...or something much more odd, if they wish to accomplish what they want to. I know I suck at summaries, but I really don’t want to give anything away and that’s the best I could do SORRY! But like I said, the depiction of the cultures in this book are phenomenal and that’s what won me over almost instantly. The book draws its influences for the settings from medieval India and also the Rajput kingdoms, if I’m not wrong. And it does a very good job of creating this atmosphere that draws you in completely. I usually prefer writing styles that are flowery, and while it wasn’t so in the book, it still managed to have a similar effect on me. Whenever I picked up this book, I felt myself drifting into the story and the world so easily that I didn’t even realize that I was actually reading words and sentences. The world....enveloped me, to put it simply. It had the ability to create a sensory reaction for me and that added so much character to the book! Coming to the actual characters in this novel, I LOVED THEM ALL SO MUCH!! Not gonna lie, it took me a minute to care about these people, but again, like everything else, it happened so seamlessly and I only realized it when one of them was in danger and my heart did a flip because I was terrified of them. Gul and Cavas are deeply flawed human beings. But they are also incredibly loveable. The thing about the characters in this book is just that - you will probably call them dumb and foolish and cowards and what not (i know i did), but you will love them, still. You manage to develop a relationship with them, in a way. That’s how very real they feel. I mean, yeah their dynamics are great and yeah, even the side characters are very intriguing and yes, some of the side characters aren’t as well developed obviously, and OF COURSE, they have amazing arcs, etc., but what stood out the most for me was definitely how I was able to feel like I was actually living this story with the MCs and how it felt like I could reach out and touch them and feel an actual human beneath my fingertips. Gul and Cavas, for a couple whose first meeting is them smooching each other, give you a pretty damn amazing slow-burn romance. I would’ve liked a little bit more development when it came to their relationship because they don’t spend as much time “on-screen” as I would have liked, but they work really well. There’s this really cute chemistry between them and it doesn’t completely make sense, which is kind of how it is for them inside the story as well so I guess it does make sense in a way?? If that makes sense?? XD Then there’s the story. OOF! Not gonna lie, I was really confused for a while there with the plot because there was this ominous tone to it all along and I simply hate no knowing what is going to happen, but, without giving too much away, I’ll say this - it pays off. About as well as you can expect it to. There’s a slow beginning, but once it picks up pace, **it picks up pace**! The last 5-ish% of the novel is like this huge set-up for the upcoming books in this series and its exposition heavy and a little info-dumpy, but that, personally, didn't bother me. A lot of the book is very high-stakes action because of Gul’s very identity being a danger to her and those around her, so it didn’t lack in creating this tight tension within me. Because I was so invested in everyone and everything from the beginning, the end didn’t seem like it dragged because I wanted to know all that stuff anyway. Side note, the whole tyrant king looking for a child through the kingdom and causing mayhem because his death is prophesied bit was so reminiscent of the Kamsa/Krishna story for me and I LOVED IT! The book addresses a lot of themes that are interesting. There’s the whole bit about segregation and oppression with Magi and Non-Magi. There is the rampant sexism and patriarchal oppression and exploitation of women. There’s so much about personal growth and acceptance and self-love. These are things that are written into the story beautifully and if you’re someone who comes out of a story, pulling parallels between its world and yours, you’ll find that this is an important one. I simply cannot wait to see what the sequel will bring us!!!! All in all, this was easily my most favourite read of the year. It brought me all the things I love on a platter and left me to feast. I enjoyed the writing, the plot, the characters, the world...everything! And I CANNOT recommend it enough!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository

  25. 4 out of 5

    rayne ♥

    Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. instagram | blog | goodreads Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. instagram | blog | goodreads

  26. 5 out of 5

    Krisha||Bookathon

    3.5/5 Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bathena is a revenge story about Gul and Cavas which is set in a world inspired by medieval India and is unapologetically desi in its world building and setting. The main characters of the book are Gul and Cavas. Gul was a resilient and fierce character. Her passion to get revenge for her parents and her love and loyalty for people around her is really good to read. There is also a vulnerable side of her shown and how sometimes she is all over the place. But as a r 3.5/5 Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bathena is a revenge story about Gul and Cavas which is set in a world inspired by medieval India and is unapologetically desi in its world building and setting. The main characters of the book are Gul and Cavas. Gul was a resilient and fierce character. Her passion to get revenge for her parents and her love and loyalty for people around her is really good to read. There is also a vulnerable side of her shown and how sometimes she is all over the place. But as a reader you will be able to understand where that part of her comes from. Cavas as a character was genuine. He tried to do the right thing and loved his father fiercely. Although I think his character got quite repetitive at times. I wish we could have seen him in a more dimensional lens. This happened more towards the end of the book and in a hurry so I wish the next book explored Cavas’ character in more depth because he is an interesting character. The other characters were also good. There was Juhi, Kali and Amira who were part of the Sisterhood and rescued Gul. I loved how their parts were portrayed and I hope to read more about them in the next book. The romance between Gul and Cavas had yearning and reluctance and honestly I can’t wait to read how they move forward in the next book. The world building was my favourite part of this book. It was set in a world inspired by medieval India and it was unapologetically desi in its setting. There were women wearing saris and ghagra cholis and fighting and men with turbans. The food descriptions were heavenly and definitely made me drool. The names of the characters and the places too were desi and honestly I LOVED IT. It’s always amazing to read a book with your culture and food so well described and since it was ownvoices it was more fun to read. I also liked the magic system though it got a little vague at times and not enough description was given. The plot was good but the pacing was quite..off for me. It was slow at the start and then it picked up in the middle and again got slow and then became fast. So it was confusing and this affected the plot and I also couldn’t fully enjoy the book as the pacing made it difficult for me to do so. There were also times when I thought the plot fell flat. This was the biggest problem I had with the book. This book discusses a lot of social themes. It focuses on class indifference and the way lower class people are mistreated and ignored for basic necessities. It talks about the injustices and problems faced by them. I loved how well it explores all these themes. Overall, Hunted by the Sky is a fantasy filled with adventure, exploring social themes, romance and an intriguing plot. It’s a world inspired by medieval India and I love how desi it was. So I would definitely recommend this book to all fantasy lovers and to everyone who loved revenge plots and romance with reluctance and yearning. Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me with an eARC through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own. Blog

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight **Enter to win a copy!!** (Ends 7/1/20) It must be said: This is one of the most amazing book covers ever. I could stare at it all day really. Glad we got that out of the way. The story is told in dual POVs; that of Gul and Cavas. And it details how Gul finds herself at the epicenter of a prophecy, how Cavas gets involved, and a plan to take down the king. What I Liked: ► The characters You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight **Enter to win a copy!!** (Ends 7/1/20) It must be said: This is one of the most amazing book covers ever. I could stare at it all day really. Glad we got that out of the way. The story is told in dual POVs; that of Gul and Cavas. And it details how Gul finds herself at the epicenter of a prophecy, how Cavas gets involved, and a plan to take down the king. What I Liked: ► The characters were wonderful! I really loved Gul, she was such a fierce spirit! Forced to run when her parents are killed while she was being hunted because of her prophetic birthmark, she is a survivor. She's taken in by a group of warrior women who are not about killing young women due to random bits of skin pigmentation, and I love them so much too. Cavas is much more reserved, especially initially. He'd do anything to save his ill father, and really isn't about anything that will get in his way. ► The world itself was very captivating. I loved the setting, I definitely was able to get a feel for Gul and Cavas's surroundings, and I loved that part! Imagining all their locations was easy to do. ►Quite high stakes for sure. I mean, they are killing girls and women because of birthmarks for goodness sake! So yeah, it seems like high time someone put a stop to this! The problem is, the royals are very brutal, so this adventure won't be an easy one. Even with the rebel assistance, it's a big ask. What I Didn't: ►I didn't fully understand the magic system/world. Like, on a surface level I could get it, but it all went much deeper than that. And then I started to just... not care as much and skim those parts a little. But I think that also ties into my other issue... ►The pacing felt a bit off. There were some parts that seemed to drag, and then some parts where I was getting whiplash from all the excitement. And this may just be me personally,  but I don't like either lags or a breakneck pace. Bottom Line:  Great characters in a high stakes, vivid setting that was dragged down for me a bit by pacing issues.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charvi

    4.5/5 stars What a brilliant read!!!! Review coming soon 😍

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nia •ShadesOfPaper•

    You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper. ”You are destined to live long and burn bright. to end all this. You will not let our sacrifice go in vain.” I was so excited to read Hunted by The Sky because I really enjoyed the other book I read by Tanaz Bathena, and since I’m pretty sure this was her first fantasy release, I was pretty intrigued to see how she was going to do it, and I have to say I was pretty impressed by how much I ended up enjoying this book. Like I said, I wa You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper. ”You are destined to live long and burn bright. to end all this. You will not let our sacrifice go in vain.” I was so excited to read Hunted by The Sky because I really enjoyed the other book I read by Tanaz Bathena, and since I’m pretty sure this was her first fantasy release, I was pretty intrigued to see how she was going to do it, and I have to say I was pretty impressed by how much I ended up enjoying this book. Like I said, I was super curious about how this author would create a fantasy world, and I think she did an amazing job. The world building was so complex and we got to see a lot of it throughout the story, and after finishing I had a whole picture of this world and the magic in my mind. Not only that but I think that the information that was given to the reader was progressive and it wasn’t written in the first couple of chapters, which honestly helped me a lot with remembering everything, and made it a lot easier for me. I also think that the magic was so interesting, and I’m definitely intrigued and want to read about it more. It complement pretty well with the plot and the world introduced to the reader, and I had no issues with that whatsoever. The main issue that I had was the pacing. It wasn‘t something that really bothered me, but it’s true that I couldn’t help but noticed it. The thing was that it wasn’t a long book, bu there were a lot of things going on, and I felt I was reading three different books. I feel the first and third part is when everything happened, but the middle part added pretty much nothing to the plot, and nothing really happened then. We still saw a bit of the main characters’ arc and evolution, but I think that it created an unnecessary subplot, and it wasn’t as interesting as the original one. ”Power comes in many shapes and forms. You keep doubting yourself, Gul. That’s your biggest weakness. When you don’t, you can take down men twice your size.” However, the characters made the wait so worth it. They weren’t anything that I haven’t read before, but I have to say that I ended up really enjoying the development and the dynamics between them. I wish I’d seen more of that evolution in our main character throughout the story, but I can’t really complain since I enjoyed the arcs and the journey they went through. It’s true that I felt a bit underwhelmed by the romance, because star-crossed lovers isn’t a trope I tend to love, since the romance is usually pretty insta lovey and rushed, so I didn’t love the romance in Hunted by the Sky. Still, the two characters had a really interesting relationship, and I hope it’ll be explored in the sequel. Overall, I was pretty impressed by Hunted by the Sky. The plot and characters were pretty well written, but what stood out the most to me was this magical world and how complex and well thought it was, and the magic system was so interesting. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own. Actual rating: 3.75 ★ .... Thank you Macmillan and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the ARC. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’

  30. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    4.25 stars read on my blog rep: ownvoices Indian-inspired world and characters, wlw side character You are destined to live long and burn bright. To end all this. I really loved this author’s contemporaries (you can read my review of The Beauty of the Moment), and I was so excited for her excursion into fantasy. Thankfully, I really loved this! Hunted by the Sky enthralls the reader, with magic and fate and wondrous worldbuilding. I loved our main characters! Gul is the supposed Star Warrior, ble 4.25 stars read on my blog rep: ownvoices Indian-inspired world and characters, wlw side character You are destined to live long and burn bright. To end all this. I really loved this author’s contemporaries (you can read my review of The Beauty of the Moment), and I was so excited for her excursion into fantasy. Thankfully, I really loved this! Hunted by the Sky enthralls the reader, with magic and fate and wondrous worldbuilding. I loved our main characters! Gul is the supposed Star Warrior, blessed by the sky goddess and destined to take down the tyrant king and rule, yet she barely has magic. Cavas is a non-magi who works in the palace, keeping his head down, because he just wants to earn enough money to provide medicine for his ailing father. Their fates intertwine when they’re lured into meeting at the bazaar one night, and they are pulled into a plot as reluctant partners. The supporting cast was also really great. Juhi, Amira, and Kali are part of the magical sisterhood that takes Gul in; they also function as mentors to her, whether she wants their advice or not. Malti is the little princess who takes a liking to both Gul and Cavas, and I loved her! The plot is fairly simple. Gul seeks revenge on Major Shayla, the woman who killed her parents, and Lohar, the man who ordered the deaths of all the girls with birthmarks, aka her. However, she’s pulled into her destined fate as the aforementioned Star Warrior, along with Cavas. There’s not much more I can say without spoiling a lot of it unfortunately. The worldbuilding was really interesting; it’s based on medieval India, and I’ve personally never read a book with that kind of setting. It also explores the power dynamic of those with magic (magi) and those who don’t have magic (non-magi), namely how badly the non-magi are treated. It didn’t used to be that way; rather, the current ruler grew scared of the non-magi rising up against the magi. There are also other countries that also have magic but have vastly different governing systems, and it was fascinating to see all of these differences. There’s not necessarily that much romance in this book, mostly because Gul and Cavas are reluctant partners despite their obvious chemistry. There’s definitely the potential for more between them, and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book. I don’t want to forget. Or forgive. Overall, Hunted by the Sky was a wonderful fantasy! I cannot wait for the next book after that ending. I highly recommend this book if you like A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi because they both have exquisite writing and reluctant partners with chemistry!

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