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Realm of Ash

(The Books of Ambha #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,879 ratings  ·  497 reviews
The fate of an empire rests in the hands of a young woman with magical blood and nothing left to lose, and an outcast prince determined to save his family at any cost, in this "dark, melodious, and memorable" new fantasy (Library Journal, starred review) from the author of the award-winning Empire of Sand.

The Ambhan Empire is crumbling. A terrible war of succession hovers
ebook, 480 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Orbit
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Jill This books takes place about 10 years after EOS. There are mentions of them, but no direct contact. I was a MASSIVE fan of Mehr and cry when her siste…moreThis books takes place about 10 years after EOS. There are mentions of them, but no direct contact. I was a MASSIVE fan of Mehr and cry when her sister speaks of her. I read this wanting to see more of Mehr and soaked my book with tears!!! That being said, if you love Mehr you HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!(less)
Laura The events that occurred in EOS directly impact the narrative of ROA, and it follows Arwa as an adult (in EOS she was a child). It is best to read the…moreThe events that occurred in EOS directly impact the narrative of ROA, and it follows Arwa as an adult (in EOS she was a child). It is best to read the books in order.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

The world, characters, and mythology of this world is so lush. It was a joy to return to this world after Empire of Sand was one of my favorite books from last year. This takes place 10 or so years after the events of the first book and follows Mehr's younger sister, who is now an adult herself and facing the consequences of the events of the first book. Arwa is a very different character than Mehr. While Mehr always embraced her heritage, Arwa was shielded from it and taught to reject
K.J. Charles
Good grief, this is a good book. I liked Empire of Sand a lot, but Realm of Ash is *outstanding*. A fantastically well developed world based on the Mughal Empire, with terrific politics, scheming, culture, huge complexity lightly sketched in. And it has so much to say--about women and being forced to fit into allotted places, and hurting people out of love, and the clash of what's effective and what's right, and compassion, and massively about colonialism and stolen/denied identity, the effect o ...more
Charlotte Kersten
"The lamp of truth reveals the world. But when we lift the lamp we see-knowledge that cannot be unknown or undone."!

So What's It About? (from Goodreads)

The Ambhan Empire is crumbling. A terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon. The only hope for peace lies in the mysterious realm of ash, where mortals can find what they seek in the echoes of their ancestors' dreams. But to walk there requires a steep price.

Arwa is determined to make the journey. Widowed by a brutal massacre, she's pledge
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I liked this book better than the first in the duology, which is always a bit awkward. Because they are set more than a decade apart with different protagonists, Realm of Ash could be read independently, but I’d only recommend that to people who definitely don’t want to read Empire of Sand, as they work better together.

Realm of Ash picks up with the ugly consequences of the events ending the first book, and features Mehr’s kid sister, Arwa, who was possibly my favorite character in the first boo
Brenda Waworga
Jun 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I really love “Empire Of Sand” and super excited to read this companion Novel but I must said… I’m disappointed

The writing style is still as beautiful as I remember, the romance is also slow burning and I love it… the problem for me is the pace! It was so freaking slowwww to the point I feel bored through the story, it also not helping I do not like Arwa the main character, she was so dull compares to Mehr (her sister which was the main character on Empire Of Sand), Arwa got better tho through t
Jan 22, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
CW: references to chronic illness, mentions of suicide attempt and self-harm, assault, abuse, PTSD and trauma, enslavement, murder, graphic violence

Realm of Ash takes place 10 years after Empire of Sand and follows the sister of Mehr, the main character of the first book.

This was a good book but honestly just not as good as the first. I love Tasha Suri's writing and think this series is great as a whole, but I just didn't love the characters as much as I loved Mehr and Amun who holds my whole he
Hiu Gregg
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
There’s something about Tasha Suri’s books that is just… wonderful. Both in the sense that they are wonderfully written, and in the sense that they evoke a sense of wonder.

There’s magic in the pages, dangerous but alluring. A sense of flow that keeps you reading long past the time you should have stopped. A world that is striking and enchanting and dangerous. Characters that march through the front door of your heart and tell you to make room, because they’ll be staying a while.

Realm is Ash is s
Rosamund Hodge
Gorgeous, romantic, thoughtful—even better than EMPIRE OF SAND.
I have been procrastinating on this book for a long while, so I was quite happy for our Indian Lit Readathon 2020 because it finally made me add this to my tbr and get to it. And while I won’t deny the brilliance of it, I also think I was not in the right headspace to appreciate it completely.

I read Empire of Sand too fairly recently, so the world of Ambha is still fresh in mind and it was nice to be back here. While EoS was more about one of the main pillars of this world - the faith in the Mah
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, buddy-read
I am so happy to have discovered a new favorite author. The writing is beautiful, her women are well written, and I love both the love interests and how the romance is done. I was looking forward to reading this one because I was curious about Arwa after the first book and I wanted to see how events from the first book impacted this one. Interestingly enough, not as much as I would have thought. Still, I loved looking at a very different type of story and character from the first one, with more ...more
Is two books too soon to declare Tasha Suri one of my favorite authors?

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
I thoroughly enjoyed Empire of Sand's companion novel, and how it dealt with the ferocity of colonization through another - but no less heartbreaking and powerful - lens. It's now fair to say that I'm in love with Tasha Suri's writing, her fierce heroines and oh-so-soft heroes. I can't wait to read more from her. ...more
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free for this book and for Empire of Sand.

Empire of Sand is one of those books that has left a lasting impact on me as a reader — it is a beautiful book with gorgeous magic, a lush world, and one of the best slow burn romances I’ve ever read. So naturally I was absolutely thrilled to hear that the next book, Realm of Ash was coming out this year. I had
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not even going to try to compare Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash because I love them equally for different reasons. Anyway, much like Arwa, my researcher heart HUNGERS for pretty boy scholars who are soft and curious and kind.

From the brilliant exploration of themes to the empowerment I felt in Arwa’s character growth to the delicious burn of her romance with Zahir, Realm of Ash slaps and IT SLAPS HARD. Full review to follow.

5 stars
Beatrice in Bookland
"If I were a man, I would give my grief a purpose, and to the sword. I would fight for the sake of my Empire. But I am only a widow, and I have nothing to offer beyond my blood."

1. Empire of sand ★★★★☆


Realm of ash and Empire of sand are such wonderful (and sadly hidden) gems, I wish more people would give this duology a chance. It has well written characters, slow burn romance, original plots and an enchanting writing style.
michelle (magical reads)
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews, 2019, arcs
4.75 stars

read on my blog + see some hand-lettered quotes

**I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you, Orbit Books!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

If I were a man, I would give my grief a purpose, and to the sword. I would fight for the sake of my Empire. But I am only a widow, and I have nothing to offer beyond my blood.

I only read Empire of Sand earlier this summer, so the wait shouldn’t have been as excruciating as other people’s, bu
not quite what i was expecting, but still just as heart-achingly beautiful as the first.
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have no words.

This is spectacular. So much, so deeply felt, so elegant, so measured.

I'll try to find words.

But first, some heartfelt sobbing from all the FEELINGS.

Apr 09, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a good book, but honestly just not as good as the first one. I adore Tasha Suri's writing, and I think this series is still great, but I just didn't love these characters as much as I loved Mehr and Amun.

I think a big time skip between books is always a bit of a risk, and I'm not too sure if it worked here. I understand why it was needed in order to follow Arwa as an adult, but I didn't feel like the worldbuilding was sufficient in order to fill in some of the gaps and questions I was
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best fantasy novels I’ve read this year. Powerful, intelligent and wonder emotional character development - one everyone should read

Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl...
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rep-bipoc
Tasha Suri did it again. Realm of Ash was such an amazing yet quite different follow-up to Empire of Sand and I adored it even more than the first book. I loved discovering Arwa's story, the world was fascinating and the magic took a turn I personally love, plus the romance was well-written. Just like with the previous book, I cried a lot during most of the ending because it was everything and I was pretty much drowning in my feelings. I loved this duology so much and I can't wait for Tasha Suri ...more
Grapie Deltaco
Feb 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing
In a stunning second half of the epic high fantasy story filled with vows, magic, and a crumbling empire, we are reunited with Mehr’s little sister years after the events of book one. Arwa, grown up and tragically widowed, is now the main character and we watch her journey of reconnecting with her Amrithi heritage and finding her purpose in life.

Arwa is incredibly fiery and complex, struggling constantly with feelings surrounding identity and pushing against the things she was told she should d
“She wore her heart, fierce and changeable as it was, right on her skin.”

Second book syndrome? Tasha Suri definitely doesn’t know her.

Realm of Ash is a sequel to Empire of Sand (read my review here), picking up about ten or so years after the first book ends. The protagonist of this one is Arwa, the younger sister of the Mehr, the protagonist from the first book. Only she’s no longer the innocent child Mehr was determined to protect. Reeling from the loss of her sister, her husband’s death, and
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
Actual Rating: 3.5-3.75 stars

Realm of Ash is a companion novel to Empire of Sand, which is one of my favorite books read this year. (Seriously, I'm obsessed!) While I didn't love it in the same way, Realm of Ash is still a solid follow up with beautiful writing, great world-building, and thought-provoking thematic content. Set 10+ years after the events of Empire, this book follows the story of Mehr's younger sister, Arwa.

Mehr and Arwa are both mixed with Amrithi blood, but while Mehr looks lik
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah! What a glorious treat to find an author who writes such gorgeous stories featuring women who shine like a thousand diamonds from the broken husks they once were.

I absolutely was thrilled that we would see what became of Mehr's sister, Arwa. Not only that, see how she grew up under the care of her nasty step-mother.

The first 40% of the book was getting to know Arwa. She had grown up burying the heritage that her birth-mother was and pretending to be a noble girl. Unfortunately, after her ma
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so beautiful, must more beautiful than I can put into words, especially after accidentally deleting my notes for it. It's very rich and magical.

It took me about half a book to get over it not being with Mehr, but I eventually let it go and enjoyed the book. I really loved the protagonist from book 1, and was very upset for a long time, maybe 1/3 of the book, that we follow her sister, years after the events of that book.

There's deep mystery throughout the book, in figuring out court l
Liv (ReadbyLiv)
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think I’ve found a new favorite author. Rtc
Athena of Velaris
It is rare to discover a sequel that surpasses the initial novel, especially in the case of duologies. Such stories are so hard to get right, and so become even more precious when they are found. This is such a book that is even better than the one before it. Full of heart, intrigue, internal conflict, history, and culture, Realm of Ash is not a story I will soon forget. From the lyrical prose to the perfectly captured feeling of cultural dysphoria, the conflict came not from some greater evil ( ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This was a fantastic listen. ❤️
May 24, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: high-fantasy, excited
if you read the ebook copy of empire of sand, you might have been lucky enough (like me!) to preview the first three chapters!! I've been aching for realm of ash literally as soon as I finished empire of sand and I'm so, so glad tasha suri gave us those chapters to obsess over for another year! (I'm also intrigued as to what series of events lead up to arwa being at court, despite being sent to live with the widows in the beginning of realm of ash.)

I look forward to see how arwa navigates the wo
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Tasha Suri was born in the U.K., but toured India during childhood holidays. She is now a librarian in London, and studied English and creative writing at Warwick University.

Other books in the series

The Books of Ambha (2 books)
  • Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1)

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121 likes · 17 comments
“I am afraid for you!” His voice was vicious. His pulse burned beneath her hand. “If anything happens to you here and I live, I will read every book, every tome, I will trick death itself to bring you back. I will become something terrible, not for your sake, but mine, because I cannot live in a world without you in it.” 7 likes
“She had been molded and erased and silenced for safety. She had been denied the truth for safety. Her history had been cleaved almost in two, for safety. They had almost broken her, for the sake of making her safe, for the sake of their love for her, and she would carry the wound of it all her life.” 3 likes
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