Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Five SFF books drawn from neglected histories

Ausma Zehanat Khan's books include The Bloodprint, the first book in the Khorasan Archives, and its sequel to The Black Khan. At she tagged five sci-fi & fantasy books drawn from neglected histories, including:
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

In Tasha Suri’s remarkable debut, the writing is richly evocative, the world delicately drawn—a place of legends and hard devotional truths, told from the perspective of Mehr, a noblewoman, who exists simultaneously as a person of high status and no status at all. As the illegitimate daughter of the governor of Jah Irinah, Mehr is used to luxury, sheltered from the eyes of men, allowed to make her own choice in marriage. But she is also the descendant of an Amrithi mother, a tribe of outcasts whose only value to the empire lies in the magic of their blood, and in the rites they dance. Once her gifts at controlling the dreamfire become known to the Maha, a powerful mystic, she is coerced into marriage with a fellow Amrithi dancer. Mehr is as resolved and determined in who she is at her father’s court, as she becomes among the mystics—her act of claiming her sacred rites for herself is a means of defiance against those who seek to control her. All the more compelling in the midst of this, is that Mehr develops a relationship of equals with her Amrithi husband; Amun is compassionate and tender despite the mystics’ efforts to turn him into a monster. As the author says of the tales of the Mughal Empire that inspired her: “It was all opulence and colour and sword fights and romance. I wanted to capture a bit of that fantasy, that spinning of history into something compelling but not entirely real: too bright, too rich, too lush. I wanted to take that magic and actually write about magic.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue