Blog Tour – Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

**Disclaimer: I was given a free ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.**

Summer Promotion


Original Link:
Ends: August 31st 2020

Orders of a hardcover book will receive limited edition swag and be entered to win a $100 gift card. Open to residents of US and Canada.

Title Hunted by the Sky (The Wrath of Ambar #1)

Author Tanaz Bhathena

Release Date June 23, 2020

Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

I had seen this book floating around on Instagram and I believe it was my lovely friends Brad and Britney of @audioshelfme who first showed it off and made me want to look it up. Some things to note, I am half Indian and love seeing Indian mythology represented in fantasy novels. It’s not super commonplace and it was also so important to me that this novel is an Own Voices novel. After learning what the book was about, that it represents my culture, and that the FFBC was hosting a tour, I knew I had to be a part of it!

Some Things I Liked

  • That glossary. Yes, that is at the end of the novel but major props to Tanaz Bhathena for not italicizing her non-English words. I loved that. As mentioned above, I am half Indian, but I cannot speak a lick of anything other than English. I struggled to pronounce these words as much as probably anyone reading words in a new language would and I love that! Some words felt familiar and others were entirely new and I can’t stress enough how well they were woven into the story. They felt organic. By the end of the book, I still probably couldn’t pronounce most of them, but the vocabulary made so much sense.
  • Surprise enemies to lovers vibes. I really wasn’t expecting that tension between Gul and Cavas but I was so there for it! I loved their banter and the fact that they both narrate the story.
  • On that note, I loved Cavas and Gul’s first meeting and all of the other Easter egg kernels sprinkled throughout the book. Latif?? I can’t say any more but, I will say I suspected what his deal was before it was formally announced. However, I loved the subtlety in the writing style. Specifically, the scene where our narrators meet. I recall thinking, is this Gul, no, this can’t be Gul, we’d know if it was her. Tanaz Bhathena didn’t need to say it, she dropped that tiny hint about the necklace with three beads and it was perfect.
  • Stars as a theme. One word. Obsessed. I can’t stand how much I loved the mythology and world building in this story. This isn’t the first Indian-inspired story about the stars that I’ve read so I’d be curious to delve into my own culture more to find out which myths this book was based on.

Series Value

That ending. First of all, I am officially broken. If it wasn’t for numerous other tour commitments, I’d be in a serious book hangover right now. I must read the next book. It’s not a question of if, it’s definitely when. I can’t wait for it!

Furthermore, the clues and subtle hints in the writing style lend themselves so nicely to a re-read of Hunted by the Sky before reading any sequels. So, this book has both high sequel potential as well as high re-read value.

Final Thoughts

I can’t stand how much I loved this book. I want to tell everyone I know how much I loved it. I read it cover to cover in one sitting. Why can’t all books be this good??


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choshki – if you enjoyed the themes of gods, goddesses, stars, and Indian-inspired mythology, check out this series. The first two books are relatively independent but should be read in order. The third is a series of novellas of stories mentioned in the first two books (but is totally worth reading).
  • The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – again, if you can’t get enough Indian mythology, try this series by Swati Teerdhala. Full disclosure, only two of three books are out now and the ending of book two is a doozy. I’m still reeling and I read it almost 2 months ago.
  • Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – again, if you enjoyed the themes of Hunted by the Sky, try this August 2020 release when it comes out. I have an ARC that I will be starting shortly, but I’ve heard really good things about this book.

Author Bio

Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her sophomore novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. Her latest book, Hunted by the Sky, (releasing June 23 2020) is the first of a YA fantasy duology set in a world inspired by medieval India. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.

Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.

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