The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

Hardcover, 354 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Razorbill
Source: Publisher

Amrita is the crown princess of a nation beset by a whole lot of troubles. To save her kingdom a war, she agrees to get engaged to no one other than a person her father knew in his youth and with whom he seems to have history. When he arrives to the castle to seal the deal, as it were, Amrita realizes that she is not at all okay with marrying this person who seems to have very little respect for women. Things go from bad to worse when this man’s trickery is exposed and Amrita ends up fleeing from the castle in the company of a Seer who is the only one who can help her find the people who will aid her.

Amrita is likable enough but unfortunately she lacks the complexity so necessary to make the evolution of her character as compelling as the narrative demands it to be. The mythology is interesting and I liked the choices Amrita makes where the resolution of the conflicts are concerned. However, I felt that the worldbuilding needed more depth. It didn’t make sense to me that Amrita wouldn’t have left her castle even once in the course of her entire life. Why wouldn’t she have rebelled against this command of her father? If we are to believe that she is going to be the kickass heroine that we are looking for, why wouldn’t she have strained at the reins her father put on her? How can you rule a country when the only thing you have seen of it is the castle?

I also had trouble with the romance. I understand the sex-positive message in the book but I felt that the resolution of the triangle was way too neat and convenient. It also rang hollow when Amrita meets the other love interest and is instantly enamored even though the other guy….no spoilers. I mean, I wish the page time had been, instead, devoted to worldbuilding but alas. I want to discuss this but I can’t without giving things away so I will just….not….

Khorana does bring interesting twists to the narrative and the resolution of the primary conflicts in particular is intriguing. The Library of Fates has a fresh take on princesses and duty. I do think that Amrita’s choice was a difficult but ooh, it was interesting. I think I would have more fun discussing this were I not trying to SPOILER people. Writing reviews is difficult.

On the whole, the book is entertaining though I wish Amrita had gone for a walk outside the castle or something. The book might have been very different had she done so. Ha.