Readers of The Jasmine Throne have been waiting with bated breath for its sequel to drop, and after a year, two months and nine days (but who’s counting), the much-awaited sequel ‘The Oleander Sword’ is here, and audience I have to say it was worth the wait!
While The Jasmine Throne had a steady, measured pace leading up to its fiery crescendo, The Oleander Sword is more of a trek through bewitched woods. The story’s pacing changes from moment to moment, from perspective to perspective, at times rapid and others like molasses. It does let your attention drift from the pages, but the desire to know what happens next brings you back.
When we last saw our heroines, Princess Malini had turned her bloodthirsty brother’s dreams of fires into his worst nightmares as she set his army ablaze. On the other hand, Priya left the shadows of her life as a servant, embracing her power and becoming an Elder of Hirana. As we jump down The Oleander Sword rabbit hole, we see the two of them struggling to carry the mantles of Priestess and Queen-to-be.
The sparks of rebellion that Malini fanned finally caught fire, but the rest of the world wasn’t as excited about the thought of a Queen sitting atop the throne. Every step she takes is rife with political schemes, migraine-inducing bureaucracies and a heart-aching longing for the love of her life, who is miles away fighting her own demons. Priya is no different; just because Bhumika and Priya took Ahiranya back with their incredible flower power doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and roses.
Tendrils of the rot have wormed their way across the expanse, and with it comes a new threat no one is ready for.
The book is like a war on all fronts, and no one is safe from them. As the story progresses, it starts to spin out into a beautiful, chaotic web of insanity that leaves you wondering what is going on here! But it doesn’t stay wonderful for too long. As the threads that Tasha has been weaving the whole time start to come together, you look at the tapestry she’s spun, clear that we’ve only seen a fraction of what’s coming.
While I have to admit, The Oleander Sword doesn’t have the same highs that its predecessor did, it does a fantastic job of setting itself up to be a solid sequel. Pulling you deeper into the journey you’ve embarked on and creating more depth about the world you’ve entered. It leaves you hungry for more and heartbroken at what is to come. I’m excited to get my hands on the next book in the series, and I’m already counting the days until its release.
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a med student tuned Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on Twitter and TikTok, both @MxKantEven, or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels.
From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.