by Tasha Suri
This is a well told story with magic and mythology, as well as an exotic feel to it. Mehr is half Amrithi, as is her little sister, and they can see and smell Daivas; supernatural creatures invisible to ordinary humans. They are considered superstition and Mehr's step-mother is intolerant of Mehr's attempts to teach her younger sister how to deal with them.
An unexpected turn of events effectively forces Mehr into an unwanted marriage to a stranger and her independent nature is put up against the challenge of becoming a tool for political power, using her previously forbidden Amrithi abilities in ways that she recognises as wrong. Though she predictably falls in love with her husband, who is also Amrithi, both are enslaved by magical means and together they must find a way to resist the cruel machinations of the Maha, to whom they are in forced vows.
The one thing that bothers me about this story is that Mehr goes from one miserable situation to another. Even when something good happens, circumstances around it will create yet more misery. The poor girl never seems to get a real break!
It had a satisfying end though, and I felt I got a complete story which is important to me in the age of series books. The sample of the next book suggests that it will be the sister's story, so yay!
I liked the way that Indian mythology was worked into the plot. The characters were distinctive and I liked several of them, if not always completely. I'd say this is an author to watch, though perhaps her characters should be watching their backs!