The publisher kindly offered me an advanced reader copy via Edelweiss. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my unbiased opinion.
The first book in the trilogy was great, and I loved it so much I couldn’t wait for the sequel. But let me tell you that The Archer At Dawn is phenomenal. Along with Holly Black’s The Wicked King, The Archer At Dawn is one of the best and most enthralling sequels I’ve ever read.
The book is told in Esha’s and Kunal’s points of view, and we have gay representation which I squealed over!! It was wonderful to see that perfect pair coming together.
The world-building was stellar, as always. The setting descriptions were vivid and full of life; I could see the Pink Palace and taste Esha’s mangoes. This series features world-building (in all aspects) at its best. Folklore and tales and mythology, all weaved together in a sweet package that makes you want more.
After some big changes in The Tiger At Midnight, our group of characters are adjusting, both emotionally and practically. It was a delight to see their growth. The way the characters interacted with each other, the banter, the wit, the giving and taking, the challenges they presented for each other was magnificent. If I had to pick one favorite thing from this book, it will be the outstanding ensemble cast and their interaction with each other. I loved them all. The overprotective Bhandu, the charming Harun, the firecracker Arpiya, and some characters that surprised me like Alok and Farhan.
Esha was magnificent, as always. She struggled with some decisions and made other hard choices, but her intellect and drive for justice remained true and fierce. Esha is everything I love in a main character. I’d follow her anywhere. I’m Team Esha all the way.
Kunal struggled the most with the changes, and I don’t blame him. His thoughts and his perspective never dulled, however, and they always made sense. He changed a lot, but at the same time, he stayed true to who he is at his core, and I loved how the author managed this. It’s another sign of how masterful the author is when it comes to character development.
Overall, I have nothing else to say except BUY THIS TRILOGY. Excellent world-building, incredible story-lines, amazing characters, blades, and mangoes. I swear you’ll be as obsessed as I am with this series. I have the ARC, but I’ll definitely preorder the hardcover to match The Tiger At Midnight. Swati Teerdhala is an author you don’t want to miss.
5 stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Author: Swati Teerdhala
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins