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The Library of Fates Hardcover – July 18, 2017
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Praise for The Library of Fates:
"Khorana creates a beautiful and fantastical version of our world where gods and spirits walk among mortals. The fables repeated throughout foretell Amrita’s journey, seamlessly interweaving her past and future and mirroring a thought-provoking narrative that touches on weighty philosophical questions."
"[R]ich, beautiful worldbuilding and thought-provoking questions on the power of experience, stories, and fate..."
"Khorana has created a lush, magical world inspired by Indian mythology. ... [A] wholly compelling story."
—School Library Connection
"An incredible coming-of-age fantasy."
"Khorana's dazzling second book features a sweeping quest, sumptuous romance and complex heroines. This is the kind of book that lingers in your dreams."
—Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
"The Library of Fates transported me to a magical kingdom where troubled oracles, irreverent goddesses, and megalomaniacal kings battle for control of love and fate. With a rich, real mythology and a stunning twist, it's basically everything I ever wanted in a book."
—Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere
“I was swept away by this unique, tantalizing tale. The Library of Fates spins a spell that breaks the heart and utterly enchants. An essential addition to any library—magical or not.”
—Jessica Khoury, author of the Corpus Trilogy and The Forbidden Wish
About the Author
Aditi Khorana spent parts of her childhood in India, Denmark, and New England. She has a BA in international relations from Brown University and an MA in global media and communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including Fox, Paramount, and Sony. She is also the author of Mirror in the Sky. She lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time reading, hiking, and exploring LA's eclectic and wonderful architecture. For more information, visit aditikhorana.com.
Top customer reviews
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This book reads like an extended story you would see in a book of folklore and that’s not necessarily a bad thing but it left me underwhelmed for a novel. For starters, I cared little for the characters. Amrita is discovering where she belongs in the world and went on quite the whirlwind adventure, but the entire time I never felt anything toward her. No fear for her life in danger or hope for her potential future with one of the love interests (I’ll get to that in a sec), or even curiosity at how her friendship would change with the oracle Thala.
Amrita became the blank slate while the characters around her had emotions, responses that didn’t require counsel, desires that drove them forward. But I never felt the princess had these things. They were stated — what she wanted and what she needed to do to achieve it — but I couldn’t feel it in her character.
Then there’s the romances. I hesitate to even call it a love triangle especially since the first one is all “I love you’s” and planned elopements which are all but forgotten when the second guy comes around. Both read a bit insta-lovey (more the second than first but the first didn’t have the development with the reader to read true for me).
I’ll say that I liked how the protagonists were girls building a friendship while working toward related but separate ends. The romance, though I wasn’t a fan, didn’t impact a lot of the scenes where it was just Amrita and Thala interacting. Their friendship taking up page space was good even though I didn’t find much in their individual characters.
Where I see the comparison to TSTQ come in is with the world-building and writing. Though not as intricately beautiful as I found TSTQ, the writing here is detailed and brings forth a world both fictional and real. I traveled across lands, encountering a world of diverse people filled with the influence of Indian folklore promised in the synopsis.
This lasted for the beginning portion of the book until the writing became awkward in several sections. It’s an easy read from a technical perspective, and I was able to push through to the end where the story improved a bit but was too rushed to make an impact on the rest of the book.
Honestly, this book was such a quick read but I finished it feeling… nothing. It wasn’t a particularly engaging story and while the writing was alright, it didn’t quite reach the same level as its comparison titles for me. Which is a shame. I’ve really loved how more and more YA fantasies are coming out based on non-European mythology and folklore but I haven’t been enjoying most of them. Fingers crossed for more in the future but this one just wasn’t working for me.
Haunted by the loss of her kingdom and everyone she loves Amrita helps Thala, an enslaved oracle, escape imprisonment. Together Thala is certain that she and Amrita can find the Library of All Things and convince the Keeper of the library to allow them to change their own fates.
As Amrita and Thala come closer to changing their fates, Amrita has to come to terms with the fact that her old life may be impossible to reclaim and a new life can only be found through sacrifice in The Library of Fates (2017) by Aditi Khorana.
Khorana's sophomore novel is a standalone fantasy imbued with elements from Indian folklore and Hindu mythology combined with elements of the author's own invention including a giant magical spider that allows characters to travel through time and space.
This story is hampered by anachronistic phrases and details that fail to coalesce into a coherent world or logical magic system. Basically all of background suggests that this story is set around 300BC which fits with the inclusion of Macedon and other countries that are mentioned. In spite of that Amrita and her friends continuously use words and phrases that have origins in the 1800s. Because of this the dialogue feels especially English/American which makes sense given the author being American but also rings untrue as the characters themselves are not (and in fact are probably speaking the fictitious Shalingarsh language throughout). Of course, The Library of Fates would always be read in English by English readers but the offhand linguistic choices often serve to draw readers out of the story.
As a narrator Amrita is an uneasy blend of naive and impetuous while also being seemingly the only character in the novel unaware of her true connection to a mythical goddess called Maya the Diviner. Every character Amrita knows in the palace has been aware of this connection since her birth and kept it from her. Literally. Every. Character.
Despite the inherent tension of an early love triangle, relationships remain underdeveloped save for the endearing if abrupt friendship between Amrita and Thala. As Amrita ponders her odious marriage arrangement with Sikander, she suddenly and completely falls for Arjun, her best friend since childhood. This forbidden love is dropped when Amrita is forced to leave Shalingar without him. A new love interest is introduced for a dramatic star-crossed love story that is largely toothless because the second love interest appears in about ten pages total of the entire book--and that only after the story hits the halfway mark.
Interesting concepts including the Library of All Things itself are bright spots in this otherwise unfocused story where many of the most exciting moments are related in asides or flashbacks. A serviceable if not well-realized fantasy that will appeal to fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and The Star-Touched Queen.
Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Most recent customer reviews
This book has EVERYTHING: feisty heroine, gorgeous kindgom, cruel and calculating adversary, an evolving mystery, escape turned adventure,...Read more
What kept me? Thala's character. I actually preferred her POV to Amrita's because I could just identify more with it.Read more
I'm so glad I got to read it