Book Review: The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V. Snyder

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Title: The Eyes of Tamburah
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Archives of the Invisible Sword #1
Publication Date: July 17th 2019

Synopsis: "Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed - an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess - she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps and obscure historical documents. Her quiet life is about to change when Banqui, an archaeologist, enlists her services to find The Eyes of Tamburah: legendary gemstones that bestow great magic on their wielder. These ancient objects can tip the balance of power and give whoever possesses them complete control of the city.

But chaos erupts when The Eyes are stolen soon after they're found - and Shyla is blamed for the theft. Forced to flee, with the Prince's soldiers and the Priestesses's deacons on her trail, Shyla must recover the jewels and clear her name. A quest that will unearth secrets even more valuable than The Eyes of Tamburah themselves..."

My thoughts: I'm not really sure how to start this review, but I think once I get going it will flow relatively well from there. Best just to start.

I found this to be an okay read. Not anything terrible, but nothing mind-blowing. A few things irritated me, and I think overall I didn't really get on with the writing style (something I have had issues with in Snyder's previous books), but I did have times where I was really enjoying what was happening, and enjoyed the banter between characters. Actually, let's talk about them.

The characters are actually quite interesting. Shyla is comes across as being really strong and as independent as she can manage, whilst also needing to recover when bad things happen, which I appreciated. Sometimes it feels like with the 'strong female character' she's expected to just keep going even if her leg is falling off. Anyway, I digress. Shyla is complex at times, and I appreciated seeing little parts of her back-story here and there. I did find her a little naive in places - particularly with regards to the romance that takes place in this book, but I'm trying not to give anything away... - but mostly she was a really great character to follow. The other characters were quite good, also, with interesting back-stories (when we got to know them at all) and different voices, so no one sounded the same as anyone else.

I think I had some issues with the plot, though. It didn't feel like a few of the scenes really needed to happen - the only reason they seemed to be there sometimes was to either beat up on Shyla or to make everything seem more tense and just 'remember that she's on a timeline and she's being hunted!' all the time. I found this kind of wearisome and wish that either some of the scenes of this ilk had been taken out or had been written in a different way, so they didn't just feel like the odd filler episode. Because of that, I found that I was pulled out of the story and didn't always care what happened next. Ultimately I ended up finishing the book and enjoying my time with it, but there were niggling issues that just kept drawing me out of the story and that was frustrating.

I would still recommend this book to people who enjoy Snyder's writing style, or who are just looking for an adventure-style book with a bit of a mystery, and a bit of magic, thrown in.

{I received a review copy of this book from Harlequin Australia in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!}

You would like this book if: You enjoy an action-based mystery set under a desert; you enjoy Snyder's other works.

Tea to drink while reading this book: Something refreshing to soothe your parched throat. I would recommend something iced: I used to love ice barley tea (or mugi cha in Japanese) before I discovered it's not great for my stomach. I still highly recommend giving it a go, though!

Rating:  6.5/10

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