STARRED REVIEW
July 01, 2020

Hunted by the Sky

By Tanaz Bhathena

Tanaz Bhathena’s Hunted by the Sky, set in a medieval India-inspired fantasy world, begins with a murder. Gul watches, helpless, as her parents are slaughtered by the king’s warrior, Major Shayla, who has been assigned to hunt down girls born with star-shaped birthmarks—like Gul’s. It’s been prophesied that one of these girls will grow up to kill the king.

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Tanaz Bhathena’s Hunted by the Sky, set in a medieval India-inspired fantasy world, begins with a murder. Gul watches, helpless, as her parents are slaughtered by the king’s warrior, Major Shayla, who has been assigned to hunt down girls born with star-shaped birthmarks—like Gul’s. It’s been prophesied that one of these girls will grow up to kill the king.

Gul is rescued by an underground sisterhood that trains her to wield magic, and she swears she will take revenge against Shayla and the king. Then Gul meets Cavas, an ordinary boy who works in the palace stables and helps Gul pose as a member of the queen’s staff. Gul’s vengeance might bring down a king, but it could also destroy the kingdom and everyone she has come to care about.

Bhathena, the critically acclaimed author of The Beauty of the Moment, creates a vibrant fantasy kingdom that is equal parts beautiful and brutal. Her prose is as lush as the world she has imagined, immersing readers in colorful bazaars and extravagant palaces. Despite the gorgeous scenery, the book thrums with an undercurrent of violence.

In many ways, Gul’s story is a typical hero’s journey. Naive and impulsive, Gul must reconcile her thirst for revenge with her newfound desire for Cavas. She must go up against evil forces far stronger than she is. But in Bhathena’s skilled hands, Hunted by the Sky feels fresh and feminist. It’s a story about women who are both prey and predator, and an exciting start to a series that’s just beginning to stretch its legs.

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Hunted by the Sky

Hunted by the Sky

By Tanaz Bhathena
FSG
ISBN 9780374313098

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