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The Archer's Heart (The Archer's Heart #1-3)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  607 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
In the ancient kingdom of Marhavad, noblemen dominate the lower castes, wielding mystic weapons, known as shartas, against any who oppose them. For generations the rule of Marhavad’s kings has been absolute. But now the line of succession is divided, and whispers of revolution are heard in even the royal palace.

Keshan Adaru, an outspoken man of unearthly charms, welcomes t
Paperback, 1st Edition, 656 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Blind Eye Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,676)
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Feb 23, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Reading The Archers Heart was truly a pleasure. This beautiful fantasy novel draws on elements from the Mahābhārata and is set in a land, not dissimilar to India, called Marhavad. It is a tale of caste, magic, betrayal, adventure, war and love. I spent a week sloping off to bed early just so I could read more!

I think the first thing that appealed was the setting. The Indian influence that saturated Marhavad was delightful and with most of what I've read in fantasy set in more European influenced
Sep 02, 2013 Jenre rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, romance
Wow, this was such a marvellous book. Intricate storytelling and a sweeping narrative with vivid worldbuilding. I loved the unusual fantasy setting which mirrored that of an Indian caste society and the growth of the main character, Jandu, from a spoiled princeling to man of honour and integrity, through a series of experiences which change him dramatically. Don't be put off by the long length as this allows the characters to develop at a realistic pace. The book never felt stodgy or overlong be ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Mercedes rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-romance, fantasy
Epic read for fantasy lovers. If you love reading Fantasy don't miss out on this book. The tale told will snag you and keep you enthralled through the very end. I do have to admit that I found the beginning a bit slower but it's to be expected as the author is setting up the story and we also get to know the characters. But once the Paran Family's luck changes I couldn't put the book down at all. It was two nights of very little sleep.

The story and world, I found just amazing. I loved the Indian
Apr 15, 2014 Midnight rated it did not like it
This book had such glowing reviews that even though I had a really hard time getting into it because of all the names, I decided to give it a shot. Well, my review, alas, won't join those glowing ones. Also, spoilers ahead.

Strange that none of the reviews (well, those I've read anyway) seem to mention that this book contains lots of infidelity and Polyandry, amongst other things, and all of that directly involves the main two characters.

Right from the start, there are too many characters introd
Magic, love, betrayal, angst, joy, friendship and action. The Archer's Heart was a surprise, a very, very lovely surprise. The story is set in a fantasy eastern like inspired world. Jandu is an exceptional archer who cares little for the outside world until his way of life is challenged by his friendship with the descendent of the Yashva, Keshan Adaru. Tarek, Baram, Suraya, Yudar and Darvad are also exceptional characters, with dimension and realistic motivations. I appreciate that no one is evi ...more
A Drop of Romeo
Mar 17, 2016 A Drop of Romeo rated it it was amazing
Take it from me, who's read a ridiculous amount of m/m novels - it's super hard to find a good quality fantasy m/m book. Like, I can probably count the number on one hand. And Archer's Heart is exactly what I search for! It has a solid world, characters I adored, and a storyline that took my breath away.

The story starts off, and is based around, the battle between Darvad Uru and Yudar Paran to be chosen to inherit the throne of Marhavad. Marhavad is a country with a strict and oppressive caste s
Aug 18, 2010 Meggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story of devotion, deep love and belief :). I loved it.

Highly recommended read.
Feb 03, 2014 PaperMoon rated it it was amazing
Wow! What can I say - wow! It is definitely epic material to rival some of Mary Renault's novels but with a lot more graphic M-on-M descriptions. I loved so many of the characters (so well rounded and real - they are all flawed in some way but yet sympathetically drawn). Much as I wanted to hate characters like Tarek, Yudar and Baram - I couldn't. And whilst the true baddies like Darvad and his henchmen probably deserved to die for their self-centred treachery - I can so see how they were all vi ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Errolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
I enjoyed it a lot. Though I had some issues.

You always take a gamble with reading books that are going by word of doesn't always work out, especially in the M/M genre...but so far I have been lucky to only run across those that live up to their hype, Mostly. The world created on this book was very interesting and the magic pretty well explained and built...though I would have liked a bit more information on how the demon world worked and more into how the demon world and the human wo
Jan 31, 2012 Ari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm-romance
4.5 stars ^^


Taking place in imaginary place called Marhavad which not-so-simillar with Indian, the story follows the love and live 3 remarkable young men, Jandu Paran, Keshan Adaru and Tarek Amia.

Jandu Paran is Marhavad prince, 4th in the throne line, who find his love on Keshan Paran, the Tiwari Prince. Their love is forbidden at the time with execution threat. Keshan not only giving Jandu unconditional love, he's also giving him a vision of new world. A new world where no castes, where t
The Review:

Honesty from the outset~

Over the last few months I have reviewed several stories by Astrid Amara in the anthologies Hell Cop and Tangle: Edition XY. Each time I have come away more and more impressed by her storytelling. The Archer's Heart did not disappoint. This was the stuff of epics.

First things first~

When The Archer's Heart arrived with a thunk on my doorstep I admit to being daunted about the task of reviewing such a large book that was sure to be filled with the rich prose I've
Sep 04, 2011 Hélène rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I have the most difficult time to review this book. Not because of the story or the writing but because it is not what I expected. When I bought it I had no notion it was inspired by the ancient indian epic The Mahabharata. Nothing appeared in the book about it nor in the reviews I had read. Unfortunately I was unabled to put myself in the right frame of mind and kept waiting for the epic mode - the Mahabharata was a GREAT discovery for me.
Epic and psychology don't agree with each other : they a
Aug 17, 2012 Lewis rated it it was amazing
Astrid Amara’s The Archer’s Heart is a wonderful fantasy novel set in a Middle Eastern-type environment. Unlike the European-based setting of most books in this genre, the main characters are gay. That’s right: the title character and other major players of this book are gay! This is one of the reasons why this book is near and dear to me: the inclusion of people who struggle with their sexual orientation in a society where it is considered disgusting is painfully familiar, and added a sense of ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2013booksread
EDIT: I was posting this for the Book One Kindle version, which is this book split into 3 parts. So here is my review for the complete book.

So this book as a amazing. It's one of my favorite things I've read recently. It's a gay romance fantasy, similar to Ginn Hale's books. (In fact it has a lot in common with her Lord of the White Hell.)

The fantasy is set in a world reminiscent of India, with a rigid caste system and lots of religious laws. Homosexuality is punished by death. So whe
May 03, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic fantasy series
Mar 10, 2015 Reader rated it really liked it
I noted that some people didn't like Archer's Heart that much, yet I found the entire book (E-book, Parts 1-3) to be an exceptionally good read. Goes to show uh? 'One man's poison is another's meat'

My only issue with it, which is why only 4 stars, is the modern slang used throughout; it compromised the fantasy-historical feel.

Still I really enjoyed the smooth flow of story.
I think of it as a story about human nature at its very worst and very best; the one person not expected to gamble away his
Sep 02, 2015 Maeve rated it it was amazing
I just have to say something about this book. After reading countless other mm titles that I struggled to give even 2 stars to cos they just didn't do anything for me and was almost a chore to read through, I finally went and gave the archers heart a read. And boy am I glad I did. I stumbled over the book in one of the lists a while back but I literally judged the book by its cover and I'm sooooo glad Ive decided to read it anyway!! It was perrrfect. The characters, plot and prose have my 5 star ...more
Jan 10, 2011 Shanna rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Right from the start the vibrant characters and well developed world pulled me in and didn't let go. Even at 600 pages I still wanted more. I highly recommend this book. It's sweet, sad and oh so human. Very well done. :)
Mar 10, 2015 Grimread rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another tough decision about rating and more spoilers to come. You have been warned.

I enjoyed the first part. It had a predictable ending but it was quite amusing. But the second part is very much annoying. They have been in the jungle for 3 months but haven't done anything for their survival, and the older brothers are just moping around while Jandu supports the whole family. When they are coming to a crisis the problem is so easily solved by Keshan that you get no feel for the struggle the fam
Aug 18, 2011 Zeh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
There has already been so many good 5 star reviews on this book so I won't repeat what has been said. This book is exceptionally good and it's one of the best in it's genre.
Aug 07, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This book is a big, long crazy adventure.
Cassandra Grace
Jun 09, 2016 Cassandra Grace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gayshelf
I don't know what I was expecting when I started reading it, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't what I got. I started it with a little prejudice, since I don't really like books incentrated on sex and nothing else. I thought this book was like that, and Gods i was SO wrong!
First of all, the plot is awesome. Really, it's awesome. As a fan of Bollywood's movies, I enjoyed every part of the story with a little bit of fun because I kept thinking what kind of music would've been good for certain parts of
Apr 30, 2016 Isana rated it liked it

Pros: brown people in a non-western based culture, decent writing

Cons: Jandu tbh (but he's a HUGE one), sex scenes I wanted to skip over

I wanted to give this book a two because it upset me, but the writing and storytelling were pretty good for the most part so it goes one star up.

Why did this book upset me. Well, I have a chronic issue with the main couples of books and this is kind of at the top of my list right now. I literally hated Jandu and I hated his romance with Keshan. Like, I lo
Abi Walton
Aug 28, 2015 Abi Walton rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
5 Stars (Wish I could give it more)

After re-reading The Arche'rs Heart I think I fell in love with it even more. Considering I thought this book was one of the best I had read in 2014, this was quite an achievement.

The Archer's heart is such a pleasure to read. This beautiful fantasy novel draws on elements of the Mahābhārata and is set in a land, not dissimilar to India, called Marhavad. It is a tale of caste, magic, betrayal, adventure, war and love. I spent a week rushing off to bed early ju
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nuriko Windchaser
Mar 17, 2010 Nuriko Windchaser rated it really liked it
Every year at Yaoi-con, I like to pick up a few books from the publishers there because these books will never make it to my local Borders. And most of the time, I know why. Every year, 3 out of 4 books that I buy are complete and utter tripe by authors who can barely speak the English language... but you know what they say, hope springs eternal. Why do I continue to buy books, if they're always so horrible? Well, because every once in a while, I pick up a gem such as The Archer's Heart.

I loved
Aug 08, 2011 J'aime rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, historical, m-m
Astrid Amara has created as beautifully written, engaging fantasy with detailed world-building and a plot-driven romance at the heart. I was torn between classifying this as a romance in a fantasy setting, or a fantasy with a romantic subplot, because the two genres are so well balanced and fully developed. The fantasy world draws heavily from Indian influences, such as the caste system, the physical descriptions of the characters and even the fashion. Into this, she has introduced a unique, and ...more
Sep 22, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: good, slashreaders, series
Slash Readers: So, this is one of those titles that I've looked at for a while but never read. I'm glad that I finally got around to reading it. :)

This is one of those books that contains a whole other world, between its covers. If you cut down to the bare bones this is a book about social inequality, built on the idea of the caste system. Of course on top of that the various plot threads build a rich and interesting world surrounding the interactions and romance that blossoms between Keshan and
Aug 16, 2013 Rosie rated it it was amazing
Oh my god. OH MY GOD. This series is AMAZING! It is exactly what I have been searching for! I have never read such an amazing fantasy world in a m/m book (except for Captive Prince, but that's another story altogether). I honestly didn't have very high expectations for this since it is so hard to find a decent m/m story that isn't just bad characters and sex the whole time.

It is truly amazing to think back on the beginning of the book and remember what the characters were like then. I was put of
Senna Black
Jun 01, 2013 Senna Black rated it really liked it
If I had rated this book in the middle, I might have rated it 3* instead of 4*.

This is quite a long book with a lot of different plot arcs and threads. At times, in the middle, I thought that a lot of those arcs and threads could have been dropped without really impacting the core story Amara wanted to tell.

However, having read to the ending, I understand why the author invested in the earlier plot arcs, because Jandu's later actions were made credible by what he had been through earlier.

I mig
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Other Books in the Series

The Archer's Heart (3 books)
  • The Archer's Heart, Book One
  • The Archer's Heart Book Two
  • The Archer's Heart Book Three

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