Book Review: The Sultanpur Chronicles – Shadowed City by Anchala Upendran

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Blurb (as on Goodreads):

Darkness looms over the Sultanpuri Empire… From the freezing mountains of Firozia to the high waves that break on Karizen’s rocky cliffs; from the cities and souks of Dastakar to the djinn-filled Western Desert, the Sultanpuri Empire, a rich collection of kingdoms and states, has lived in peace for over 300 years.

Formed after the end of the Human–Rakshas wars and ruled with an iron hand by the Imperial family, it has reached the pinnacle of influence and prosperity. All of this, though, has come at a price: the restriction of magic among a chosen few, and the banishment of the powerful rakshasas. But when a forbidden spell releases a rakshasi in the empire’s capital city, Sultanpur, the darkness that has been lurking below the surface comes bubbling forth, threatening to plunge the empire into chaos and envelop everything in its murderous embrace…

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The Sultanpur Chronicles is a book that has elements from the Arabian Nights along with magic and folklore. In the heart of Sultanpur lies magic- powerful and dark, and a sorcerer/rakshasa who can cause havoc in the city and the Imperial Throne.

The story has so many events happening throughout, each converging to a single event at the end. The dark magic has its own, shady past and its acquisition is full of betrayal and deceit. But one woman will do what it takes to stop the rakshasa.

There are a lot of characters. Some serve a purpose while others are thrown in for entertainment purposes. The author has spent a lot of time giving each character a distinct story and a background but all of them lack depth.

The element of magic prevails throughout in a subtle and very basic way. I am glad that the author didn’t try to write complicated tricks because if done wrong, it would have spoiled the plot. What the author succeeded in doing was to create the mystical world dark magic and secretive activities require. The world building was modern but there were elements such as flying carpets and magic lamps thrown in, which felt relevant and contributed to the plot.

The Sultanpur Chronicles is a well-written fantasy that has a lot of elements in perfect proportions, but a lot of unnecessary events too. It’s a great start to a series, but it needs to be balanced, especially the element of magic and how each character perceives it.

ratings

5-heart-rating

Purchase Links:                  |Amazon PaperbackAmazon Kindle|

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