This is a book two.
The Archer At Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.
Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.
But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.
Expected publication: May 26th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books
This is a book two and there will be spoiler for book one (The Tiger At Midnight) in my review.
I was a bit nervous to start this 450 page sequel, but I flew through it. The pacing is great from the start.
Kunal is working on his shifting and senses while he and Esha are hoping to stop the caravan they believe Reha to be in. Things don’t go as planned and Esha decides that they need to meet up with the team, Bahandu, Arpiya, Aahal, Frahan, and Harun. They need to come up with a plan. The caravan appeared to be well guarded, so they’re even more sure that Reha was there. Kunal goes back as a soldier to find out what he can undercover. Even though he was betrayed by Laksh, Kunal decided to confide in his friend, Alok. Kunal found out that he would need to go to Gwali for the Mela. It is likely that the princess is being held in the citadel. Alok decides to join Kunal.
The group meets up to come up with a plan to get Reha. Kunal doesn’t feel like a full part of the team, but he goes in completely, even agreeing to enter a competition. King Mahir, Harun’s father, could tell that Kunal is Samyad and starts teaching him their history and how to control his changes.
During this time, Esha struggled with her emotions. Is she Esha or is she the Viper? She wants revenge for her parent’s deaths, but if she veers off the plans, it risks her whole team. She still has feelings for Harun and gets confused. She also knows that she’s falling in love with Kunal. Can she betray her team by hiding things or will she betray Kunal?
Kunal was saying she had a choice, that she could be the Viper or Esha.
The question was, who was she?
Things are weird and off with people battling for power and change. There are rebel groups and others around and it makes it hard to make alliances with anyone. A lot comes out about the past and how the stories have changed over time. Magic isn’t even the same and very few people seem to know the truth. Only the royals.
Even ages ago, mankind couldn’t control their greed for power. Did this never end? Would they always be stuck in this cycle?
There is a lot of information in the book, but the pacing seemed good for me throughout. I was pulled in right away and the ending makes me want the next book yesterday. There were some crazy things that came out and one was a big surprise for me.
I gave this book 5 stars. Thank you to Wunderkind and Epic Reads for my review copy. Quotes taken from arc and may change before final publication.
Warnings for a lot of death, blood, fighting, and betrayal.
Have you read The Tiger At Midnight? Will you be reading The Archer At Dawn?