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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Oleander Sword (Burning Kingdoms #2) | Review

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐

" The prophecy of the nameless god—the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa—has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with the strength of the rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.

The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa's poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.

Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya's souls remain as entwined as their destinies. And they soon realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn—even if it will cost them."


The Oleander Sword is the second novel in the Burning Kingdom, an adult fantasy series by Tasha Suri.


First and foremost, I would like to thank NetGalley and Orbit Books for giving me the opportunity to review this in advance. Please note that this in no way affects my opinion. Also, note that what I read was an ARC, so things may be subject to change for the official release.


I will be honest, I don't have much to say about this book because I was not invested in this story at all. I found myself struggling to get through this because it just was not holding my interest. For me, there was an absence of flavour, as the story didn't manage to set itself apart from other fantasy books that are more unique and better conceptualized. Not to say that there is a lack of it in this story, as there is enough world-building as well as the inclusion of cultural influences.

However, what it came down to for me, aside from the lack of interest and flaws that I will get into next, is that what was presented to me just wasn't enough. We get tyranny, war, rebellion, and betrayal, and I find that that is just not for me. As such, you can end up taking what I saw with a grain of salt, as this is completely subjective.

What I did find was weak about this story though, was something that was a reoccurring issue from the last book. I am talking about the random unnecessary perspectives. In order to get a certain piece of information, you would end up following some random character who has little to no relevance to the overall story. I wish this would have just stuck to Malini and Priya's perspectives alone, as it would have made for a more coherent story. I also simply was not a fan of the direction the story went in towards the end.

Nonetheless, while this was not for me, I can see why it would work for others. That being said though, I think my time with this series is over, as I will not be picking up any future installments because of the lack of interest.

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