Empire of Sand v Cocoa Wonderland

Beer: Cocoa Wonderland
Brewery: Thornbridge
Style: Chocolate Porter
Strength: 6.8%

Sharp bitterness sort of overpowers any supposed coffee or chocolate flavour the beer has. Not bad though. Quite like it, but not my favourite Thornbridge beer (that is still Jaipur by a mile or more)

Book: Empire of Sand
Author: Tasha Suri
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2018

It’s always refreshing to read outside the medieval Western Europe centric inspired fantasy oeuvre at least once in a while. This book is heavily inspired by the India of what loosely marries up historically with the Renaissance period in Europe.

The story follows a young noble woman called Mehr. Her father is a high up member of the aristocracy but her mother was from a mystical nomadic people who have been persecuted into near extinction. As such Mehr’s father has been having difficulty finding a suitable match for his eldest daughter.

When the mystical powers inherited from her mother are uncovered by the Maha’s mystics, Mehr is taken away to be forced to use them in service of the Ambhan Empire. In so doing they force her into a marriage with the broody Amun. Thus starts one of the best romances in epic Fantasy. A relationship which is central to Mehr and Amun’s chances of resisting the Empire which has enslaved them.

This is a very good book to read if you are suffering fantasy burnout. There is a lot of refreshingly new concepts and ideas here, and a really interesting magic system centred around dancing. Plenty of action added in to boot.

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