July 17, 2020

Review: Hunted by the Skye by Tanaz Bhathena

Hunted by the Sky
by Tanaz Bhathena
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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.


I had mixed feelings about Hunted by the Sky. There were days I was reading and I felt like it was amazing and other days I was indifferent. Frankly? I'm contributing that to the current state of the world and what it's doing to my psyche, rather than the book. 

Because in the end, I really enjoyed this one and am eager to see where this story goes. I liked the characters a lot. Neither character is "perfect", and both experience some traumas that I can relate to, so I felt invested in their stories. Gul and the Sisterhood reminded me Arya Stark/Sand Snakes, which I can appreciate because I'm all for some badass chicks in my stories, but I wish more time had been spent exploring them.

The setting was probably my favorite aspect of this book. It's a bit ruthless, but also enchanting. I do wish the magic had been a larger focus of the story. For much of Gul's story, it is. However once we move past that and get a bit further into the story, it feels a bit abandoned. I would have liked to have gotten more backstory on pretty much everything relating to the magical elements and prophecies. There were a lot of elements there to explore and I would have enjoyed as much. Perhaps this will be addressed in future installments. 

Ultimately I really did enjoy Hunted by the Sky, I just wished the setting and backstory had been a bit more developed. I'll be keeping an eye on the sequel!

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