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Sara Hashem

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The Jasad Heir (2023) 355 exemplar

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I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I really liked the political aspect — why was Jasad attacked? How do all these players fit into it?— but I didn’t particularly like the romance. Too enemies perhaps? (Spoiler reason: content about the ending) And I definitely don’t like the 3rd act (or in this case last 2 pages) betrayal.

Honestly the ending was pretty weak. I don’t really understand why cunning, calculating Arin couldn’t at least try to explain what was going on. I do understand why Elyssia went all out though bc one more potential loss at the hands of the same man would drive anyone to action.


Very very much a first book in a series. I felt much was set up but only a bit was used, so perhaps it’ll be relevant in later books.

I generally think the distinction between adult and ya is rather blurred, but this book could definitely go in either section. The romance was a cut and dry copy of many ya romances and nothing about the plot/content precludes it from the ya section. I don’t think this is a bad thing but I was looking for something else.
… (mer)
 
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Corinne-pixel | 6 andra recensioner | Apr 2, 2024 |
Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.

The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.

In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.

A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.
… (mer)
 
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rachelprice14 | 6 andra recensioner | Nov 16, 2023 |
Another interesting one and I have to say that I think this rating is far more subjective than my others typically are because there are a lot of great aspects to this book. It's just that the aspects that I value most have fallen by the wayside in this one.
While this book is technically just another enemy-to-lovers fantasy romance built from all the same core building blocks, there is so much more to this story than calling it that feels like a disservice and doesn't properly represent the breadth of the story.
It explores a large number of its different fictional cultures. The world isn't just a thin veneer covering the emptiness of the background like in most of these books.
The book also tries to explore different characters beyond a cardboard cutout characterization and actually tries to create different and nuanced individuals.
But now the dreaded "but" has to follow.
The book is positively stuffed full of tools the author uses copiously to steer her characters along the plot she wants.
This leads to a ton of very forced and unbelievable situations which are still technically covered by the infinitely flexible rules the author has set up for herself to excuse basically anything.
The main tool she uses for this is the MC's blocked magic which is only blocked if it suits the author and can be arbitrarily powerful without any good reason. It's somehow emotion-related as these things so often are but this leads to lots of obvious inconsistencies that I could point to and say "Why did or didn't her magic work in this other situation then?"
Even though the author already has built herself an excuse for almost anything with this there are nonetheless a whole collection of other similar tools she also uses for the same purpose. I guess the idea was that if you have multiple excuses it's not as obvious as if you always fall back on the same one?
Anyway, I find this kind of thing incredibly frustrating and it very much takes me out of a story.

The second major enjoyment killer for me was the MC herself. I seem to encounter the flaw I am going to describe constantly recently. Maybe this is a more prevalent flaw in more recent writing but maybe I just got unlucky and stumbled across a chain of books like this.
The flaw I am talking about is the MC starting out as this hardened, broken, and cynical outcast who is in hiding, isolation, retirement, or whathaveyou. I like this kind of character very much. It provides plenty of opportunity for nuance and ambiguous morals in combination with emotional trauma and/or suffering which always draws me in.
The trend I was alluding to earlier is the tendency of these types of characters instead of getting wiser and more mature they devolve, they get more naive, and typically also become outright stupid.
I don't mind these types of characters recognizing that there are people worth fighting for, and that nihilism is a dead end you have to escape from. That if you don't try and give it your all you have no right to complain or whatever. All this good stuff. You know what I am talking about. But if in the process the MC keeps making one obviously stupid decision after another with this motivation as the excuse, typically to get the plot moving to wherever the author wants it to go, it completely disconnects me from the MC which is the worst thing that can happen with these kinds of books.
I just can not understand this tendency of authors to have a mature and world-weary character forget about all the painful lessons they learned over their lifetime and become this blue-eyed goodie-two-shoes with no cunning or understanding at all.
I know the central point of a story like this is the romance and not the political intrigue surrounding it but I need the surrounding to fit together consistently to not be constantly distracted from the purpose of the story by inconsistencies and contradictions.

Another more basic problem is that the book sometimes describes chains of reasoning that have no logical connections whatsoever. It reads kind of like "The sun is shining today therefore I have to buy 2 new chewing gums, sacrifice a goat, and then dig a hole" or something like this to me. This is of course an exaggeration, but even without being that extreme, unconnected chains of reasoning like this still break my immersion with this "huh?" moment where the only way of explaining what I just read requires me to look at the meta-motivation of the author for writing it.
This is of course not at all what I want as a reader. Thinking of the author's motivation to excuse inconsistencies and illogical leaps in logic or emotion is just completely immersion-breaking.

And this is what essentially killed my enjoyment of this book despite it having so many commendable characteristics that should place it above most other books in the fantasy romance genre.
It is a sad example of how the amount of effort put into a thing doesn't necessarily correlate with the quality of the result even given a higher skill level.
It pains me to say but this could have been a better story by being worse at fantasy.
I think this book suffers from a wrong allocation of resources. By investing in such an extensive and ambitious world, the book has not enough juice left to build a consistent plot inside it.
… (mer)
 
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omission | 6 andra recensioner | Oct 19, 2023 |
The people of Jasad believe the entire royal family died when Nazahl invaded and burned down their kingdom. This assumption and Sylvia’s magic binding cuffs conceal her true identity. Sylvia’s plans to remain anonymous may be foiled when Arin of Nizahl tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village. With the promise of freedom and protection, Sylvia agrees to be a champion for the Heir of Nizahl.

Sara Hashem’s debut novel The Jasad Hair is riveting from beginning to end. Once finished the reader wants to start over because there are just enough questions to create readers itch (for the second book). The world building was thorough including politics, history, and hierarchy. Sara skillfully includes topics of: genocide, anxiety, abuse, loss, homelessness, racism, and colonialism.… (mer)
 
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RandyMorgan | 6 andra recensioner | Oct 11, 2023 |

Statistik

Verk
1
Medlemmar
355
Popularitet
#67,468
Betyg
3.9
Recensioner
7
ISBN
7
Favoritmärkt
1

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