• Alright, I know literally nothing about this book, so I’m excited to start it. We already have a great character.
  • Her father, on first impression is your basic leader. Edit: upon the ending of this book whilst I am writing this, I’ve decided I don’t know enough about him to make a final judgement. He just had no character development.
  • This world building though, it’s beautiful.
  • Amar *swooon* I love him already. He’s so dreamy. You know what’s attractive? Equality and respect for one’s spouse. You know what’s endearing? Consent and patience. Wow. What a concept.
  • “I am her husband, she needs no charm to hold my interest.” *faints*
  • Mother’s necklace? Was I supposed to have remembered that?
  • People say this book has “confusing prose” which I agree with to some extent, but I think part of it is the verbs in the same sentence aren’t always in the same tense. They’re often inconsistent.
  • If she hated Mother Dhina, why is Maya taking her advice?
  • For some reason, I don’t feel the connection between Amar and Maya, I waited for them to move onto the romance, but not that it’s finally happening it doesn’t feel genuine??
  • Amar is so cryptic, it’s hard to figure out if we’re supposed to be rooting for him or not.
  • Yes, the descriptions of the door are whimsical and imaginative, but the rules for this world are very vague and non-specific. He can conjure chairs and change the sizes of the rooms, but what magic can he do outside the palace, if any, and how long are we supposed to read while we wait for the full moon? Amar spoke of responsibilities and Maya “going to work,” but so far she hasn’t done anything. And she hasn’t even made any decision for Vikram, she hasn’t even reflected on the decision. So what exactly is her purpose here in this palace?
  • Also another thing, Maya is praised as smart and studious, always reading yet she ignores whatever dangers are in the palace and doesn’t try to find anything out/answer any of her questions; outside of asking Amar/Guapta.
  • I’m really not enjoying the lack of agency Maya is experiecing. Like I feel like she does nothing. It’s like an information dump. I think Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes first pointed this idea out to me (about ACOTAR). All Maya does is ask questions and receives no answers. She doesn’t do or act very much and Amar was charming at first, is now very condescending. he’s angry she doesn’t trust him, yet he’s done literally nothing to earn her trust. OK, so he saved her life, but buy YA standards that doesn’t mean much. Tons of people save your life only to use you later on SOOOOOOO. She’s more like a pawn, his plaything that he gets to save and then pretend he’s doing her a favor. AND he turns hostile the moment she questions him and is like, “wow I don’t trust you because the only thing you’ve done is tell me to trust you but not prove it in any other way.” And his “grin slipped off his face and his eyes narrowed,” (156). That’s not love, it’s infatuation and possessiveness. Don’t @ me.
  • “I thought it was the best for you,” OK ROMEO. OK SURE. But I see you.
  • Re: the last line by Amar: I’m really happy that Chokshi had Maya acknowledge how terrible and revolting that was.
  • OK, FINALLY she’s going to do something on her own, I almost dropped this book like two pages ago, so this is definitely an improvement.
  • OK, I get how he was supposed to be the good guy. But I mean the fact that we’re supposed to feel sorry for him reinforces problematic representation. he can lie and be deceitful, but he’s still the good guy??
  • “I want to write your name in the stars.” (205). Why are stars so romantic????
  • I wish I had more of a reason to wish Amar’s heart was in the right place, “I need her” OK. Sure. But Maya or her reincarnation LEFT you, so maybe she wanted to be left alone and you “finding her” (read forcing her to return to you) communicates some pretty implications relating to consent, selfishness, personal boundaries and agency.
  • Everything is really confusing, how does she know how to save Amar? Why did Kamala suddenly decide to listen to her (without an incentive, why did she stop to hear her explanation)? She seems like a thrown in character to move the plot along.
  • I’m confused about Sadvi. They’re treated as outcasts? That’s the impression I got when Maya was describing them. But then people look to them as religious leaders and performers of rite? And adore them???
  • OK so I think the main problem I have with Maya being able to get back to Naraka is that I don’t understand how she did it. The Cloud God or the God Maya met who knitted the clouds wouldn’t let her by, but then did all of a sudden? I just found it to be befuddling.
  • Also this whole thing with Nritti, in terms of how Maya defeated her and how the tapestry works. I don’t really get it? How did she know how to use the tapestry?
  • I have a hard time liking this ending mostly because I didn’t understand quite how it came about.
  • I LOVE a happy ending, so even though I didn’t quite understand how/why. I’m happy for a happy ending. That’s all I want really.
  • 3/10 for clarity and understanding of magic.
  • 5/10- I liked this, and it was definitely an enjoyable read, but I didn’t love it. But I had some issues with world building; mostly that there were no clear rules. And also plot; I had a hard time following what was going on. But the descriptions of the world are beautiful. I love how diverse this is and with amazing likable characters.
  • Some random observations:
    • It’s interesting the villain shows up like halfway through the book. I like how her past influences what’s happening with her right now, even if she doesn’t remember it. Like her actions still have consequences even if she can’t remember what happened.
    • The chemistry (in some scenes) between Maya and Amar was ON FIRE, even though there’s not a lot of kissing scenes (which I’m actually grateful for). Some of the scenes I couldn’t get into because Amar made me want to go for a run to burn off some steam.
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