The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

The Library of Fates

Aditi Khorana

A romantic coming-of-age tale that begs the question: is it possible to reverse your fate? 

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A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn

"Aditi Khorana has whipped up the perfect book recipe: a rogue princess, a freed oracle, and a library with the power to change your fate!"Justine Magazine

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.

The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them. 

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Advance Galley Reviews

This is a unique fantasy that takes you on an adventure. It's enthralling to watch Amrita come into her own as she learns about herself and her people. There are a few pacing issues, but that in no way detracts from this lush adventure.

I really was thinking that this was going to be a trilogy, all these types of books seem to be. And this book had a ton going on, lots of characters, lots of plot points, magic, war, you name it. I think a lot that could have been expanded and stretched out. Instead it seemed rushed, crammed everything just sort of ended. Yes, all my questions were answered, but still. I enjoyed the characters enough to want more.

I was very excited to start reading this book. However, when I got to the author's note at the beginning of the book I was totally turned off. I never read one page! I wondered as I read it if the author really wanted readers from all walks of life and backgrounds. Why alienate people by bringing politics into focus? Especially at the beginning of the book. I will never read a book by this Author and I will tell everyone I know not to read her books. We are all Americans. We are a country of laws. I support My President! Maybe the author should too.

I loved The Star-Touched Queen (TSTQ) and its sequel, A Crown of Wishes. So, when I saw that The Library of Fates was being compared to TSTQ, I was just like “yes” and also “Where can I sign up for this one?” Low and behold, I got the chance to get an eARC of The Library of Fates and was beyond excited to start it. What makes this hard is that I do like this book, but there are some things that I was a little on-the fence about. I’m going to start with what I liked about The Library of Fates. The beginning was very interesting. There was some world building going on and I loved all the details about the scenery, old myths, and creatures specific to the book. I also liked the initial direction of the story and was interested in seeing how the political conflicts would playout—especially concerning the main character, Amrita, her father, and the fate of their kingdom. There were a lot of scenes that I thought were interesting. They were creative and took full advantage of the previously established myths as well as the setting. For the most part, I was a big fan of the characters. Amrita’s initial reaction to the sudden changes to her situation was great, and I enjoyed the fact that part of The Library of Fates focused on her journey. She was helped along the way, and the parts where she was forced to face her past, present, and the possibilities of her future were incredibly emotional and pretty awesome. Thala was pretty interesting. I liked her character mainly because of her strong motivation to be free of her own set of circumstances. However, as the story progressed I began to notice some things that were kind of similar to TSTQ. Since TSTQ is one of my all-time favorite books, I remember a lot of how the story went down. I know that the synopsis for The Library of Fates makes the comparison, but there was a point when those similarities got a little uncomfortable. Mainly because I felt like I was reading parts of Maya, from TSTQ’s, story again. That being said, there were a lot of things I still liked about this book. And overall, I basically enjoyed the story and will definitely check out more books by this author. This copy of the book was provided by First to Read (publisher) for this review

I loved the magic and storytelling. I was drawn in at the beginning and was not disappointed. There were some slower parts but I didn't mind.

A Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I LOVED the cover. I wanted to love the book. It was an interesting enough story but it felt like I was reading a rushed first draft. I like the concept and the ideas behind where everything was going but it was just okay.

Published July 18, 2017, by Razorbill The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana is a romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore. What’s remarkable about the novel is how it stands out. Expectation leaves the reader wondering if this is going to be another tale of a princess who is trapped in a marriage to an evil king as if that’s the only thing foreign literature can give us. But no, instead this story follows the fables, it follows its own destiny in a remarkable way to weave an amazing story not about a girl challenging her destiny, but of a girl willing to risk it all to save the lives of those she loves and change their destiny’s. There is so much mythology and symbolism in the tale that takes a step back from religion to focus on the fantastical. Because of this, the tale is fresh and as colorful as the cover itself. Admittedly the beginning of the story shows another direction the story could have taken, but the way it moves, the way it functions and evolves sucks the reader in by taking them by surprise. It’s emotionally gripping and captivating. And the way it flows, like a stream in the forest, it’ enchanting. Personally, I think there is something so remarkable about a tale that starts off one way and ends in a completely different and unexpected way. Usually, there are always bumps on the road in a story like that, but here, everything was thought out so well that it’s not even something the reader even thinks about. It’s almost effortless how it moves along, how it throws in the twists and turns into the story without detracting from the story. Nothing comes out of left field here, it fits the narrative and builds it up. As far as characters go, Amrita and Thala are both beautiful characters, and they compliment each other very well. One is hardened by slavery and heartbreak while the other is only now experiencing pain. But together they grow through the events. They change, they find hope in a world that has taken it from them. There are times in the book they could have been written just a tad stronger given the circumstances they are in, but nevertheless, they are a remarkable team. A truly beautiful novel that offers up magic, mythology, and a bittersweet ending to make any reader’s heart ache for the characters. (????? | A)

(This review was originally posted on my blog: Gentle Fingerprints.) “All I had now were stories, words, and hope” (p. 185) Thank you Penguin Random House for an eARC of The Library of Fates. This story is unlike one I’ve ever read before and I absolutely love that fact. Khorana writes an #ownvoice story about Indian folklore that completely dunks you into this awesomely beautiful culture and storytelling. The descriptions are colorful and vivid, evoking a subconscious sense of wanderlust, presenting a world that you will want to reach out to touch, taste, feel, and can’t get enough. Who wouldn’t want to explore a place like this: “Blue and silver minarets rose above the walled city of Shalingar’s capital—Ananta. A layer of marine fog settled over Chanakya Lake, revealing miniature houseboats wearing elaborate gardens on their roofs like soft, mossy hats. They sailed placidly across the flat, misty surface of the basin” (p. 7)? Amrita is the daughter of an emperor who has kept her primarily contained within the palace walls her whole life. Honestly, the palace has so much for her, it’s not surprising that she doesn’t have huge dreams to leave. She has a great relationship with her father, a best friend from childhood who recently revealed his feelings for her, and a handmaiden-type woman who is basically a mother figure. While she can be a bit of a brat when she doesn’t get what she wants (Can you blame her, though? Everything is generally given to her usually.), she respects her dad and his leadership of their lands. But everything gets flipped upside down when her father’s old friend comes to visit. Sikander is a sexist, entitled jerk who wants to own and rule over everything. Soon into his visit, he reveals his plan to take over the kingdom and wreak destruction to make it happen. Amrita is encouraged to flee to warn her people. She then is sent on a great journey with her new friend Thala, learning about the world outside her doorstep, about how to take risks and fight for the people she loves, about sacrifice, and that the folklore stories she grew up hearing had more truth than she ever dreamed and she played a big role in them. While the writing was absolutely gorgeous and the adventure exciting, there were some slower parts that I just wanted to rush through. Plus, there were actually a couple love triangles and I’m not really about that life. However, even with those things, I cannot recommend this book enough! The Library of Fates is an enchanting story that heavily focuses on love and sacrifice. The amount of sacrifices made throughout this story make you want to be a better person and love your people harder. And while there is quite a lot lost on the journey, the fight is worth it and the end is inspirational. So I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “And we cried because I think we both understood that there was no life without loss.”?(p. 301)

With a lush, opulent world, breathtaking plot, and endearing heroine. It's very descriptive and I like that the romance in it is not heavily featured in it. I had expected the plot to be yet another variation of a princess who's betrothed to an evil guy, feels powerless to change her fate, and is in love with her childhood best friend. But then it ended up going in a totally different direction and I LOVED it. Amrita and Thala are decent enough MCs. For a Princess on the run and a previously enslaved Seer, I loved the tumultuous partnership between Amrita and Thala. They are forced together together and must make the best of a bad situation, while neither really knows what they're supposed to be doing. I like that we get to follow Amrita and see how she develops, through her journey she finds that self discovery is a lifelong process, influenced by your choices and actions, not your family. You are your own person, you decide who you will become. She begins to accept the magic in the world around her.

Title: The Library of Fates Author: Aditi Khorana Pages: 354 Genre: YA, romance, adventure Is this part of a series? No. Published: July 18, 2017 It is said that everyone has a book where their whole life is listed. If you can Find the Library of All Things, and get the guardian to let you in, you can change your fate. After seeing her father die and losing her home, Princess Amrita is on a mission with a young seer Thala to do that. Armed with an old map that had been left for her, and a jeweled dagger, they set off toward the temple of Maya. Secrets come to light as Amrita discovers who she realy is and what she is capable of. I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. My thanks. To start, can we talk about the cover. I just love it! In fact, it may have been 60% of why I picked this one. I loved the way they wove lore into the story, and the strength of the characters. I liked that each one was flawed- there was no “perfect hero”, and that each character had some growth through the book. The beginning dragged for me a tiny bit, but it quickly found it’s stride, and the last half the book went very quickly for me. Besides the pacing of the beginning of the book, my only other issue was the sort-of-not-really love triangle. It made sense toward the last third of the book, but was it necessary? Why do we always have a love triangle? That aside, this was still a four star book for me. As far as the adult content goes, there is some violence, substance abuse, and language- very moderate on most fronts. I will be getting a copy for my niece, so I give this one a three.

Fair warning for all the people like me that were excited for a book that seemed to be about a mystical library that could change the past – The Library of Fates is barely about a library at all. I suppose you could say the title and synopsis are somewhat misleading. The plot of the story was fairly interesting – the country of Shalingar is being visited by Sikander of Macedon (obviously Alexander the Great) who’s offering them a lovely trade deal that includes the engagement of Princess Amrita to Sikander. Amrita and her father are none too happy about this because Sikander is a pestilent old despot with golden front teeth and a nasty habit of enslaving and murdering his way across continents. Amrita escapes with a Seer named Thala and they go on quite a journey to find both the Library of Fates to alter the course of events that lead them to their current situation and warn the Sybillines, a secretive people who produce a coveted drug, that Sikander is determined to find and enslave them. Sounds like a riveting read, no? Well, not really. The Library of Fates has the benefit of a beautiful and exotic setting reminiscent of the romanticized version of India that we are often presented with. There are glittering palaces, lush gardens, elephants, and mountain temples visited by a steady tide of pilgrims. I couldn’t help but to imagine how wonderful it might be to live in Shalingar, as our protagonist Amrita does, because at times the description of the setting is vivid. Unfortunately, the story suffers from a lack of depth by which I was rather disappointed. I liked the characters, but the author wasn’t exactly going to any great effort to wring emotion from my cold, jaded heart. Really though, this read more like a lengthy bedtime story than an actual novel and I know that sounds like a callous judgement (it is), but the story did nothing for me other than to fill a few hours of my day. It wasn’t a truly bad book and I liked the concept, the gorgeous setting, and the overall plot of the story. If it sounds like something you would enjoy, then by all means, check it out but don’t set your expectations too high! Overall, The Library of Fates simply lacked the depth, detail, and character engagement that would garner a higher rating. This is a young adult book, but aside from the discussion of drug use and withdrawal process, it would read more like a middle grade novel. The plot threads were wrapped up very quickly and rather easily in my opinion, but the author left enough open ended that a sequel is definitely possible. I think I will refrain from reading the sequel unless reviews sway my opinion otherwise.

Really enjoyed this book. The story telling was beautiful and clever. The romance wasn't too overbearing. Also, the writing flowed well. Would recommend.

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana was a beautifully written fantasy novel based on Indian mythology and folklore. Amrita is the princess of Shalingar and she is to become the bride of Emperor Sikander to create a peaceful alliance between the two lands, even though she will sacrifice everything. Sikander and Amrita's father and mother, who Amrita has never met, were friends when they attended a training school together in Macedonia. Sikander, though, became a tyrant and has other plans for the kingdom of Shalingar. Soon the palace is under siege and Amrita has no choice but to escape with no one but an oracle, Thala, who was a slave given to Amrita as a wedding gift. The two girls are sent on a journey to try and change their fates and find out who they really are. I really enjoyed the fantasy and folklore mixed into this story and the first two thirds of the book was intriguing and so engrossing. Unfortunately, the ending fell a little flat for me. I was expecting a big finish to go with the amazing beginning and I didn't get that. Would recommend to readers of YA and fantasy.

When they describe this book as being in the same vein as The Star Touched Queen, they weren't kidding. The Library of Fates is just as beautifully descriptive and full of Indian mythology and examinations of what it means to be human. Everything pops colorfully off the page as you read, the descriptions instantly helping you to form a mental image of a world very unlike our own. Mythology and realism are melted together as the book seamlessly incorporates the two. Amrita is a bold heroine who makes some of the toughest choices while growing along her journey, sometimes at the stake of everything she knows and believes in. The book takes you to places you don't see coming, until the very touching but sad ending. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story or is fascinated by mythology.

Rating:???? 4 Stars *HUGE thanks to Penguin/Razorbill & Aditi Khorana for the e-Galley copy of The Library of Fates in exchange for an honest opinion* PLOT The Library of Fates took me on a journey full of growing pains, sacrifice, friendship, and fated love against the backdrop of a vibrant colorful land full of hope. The introduction to this story starts with the very special bond between father and daughter. Princess Amrita is the daughter to the ruler of the country of Shalingar who loves his people and goes above & beyond to keep them safe, free, and prosperous. However, while on a visit the Emperor Sikander sets his sights on Shalingar, Amrita volunteers her own hand in marriage to keep the peace. Amrita’s father did not want this for his daughter & tried everything in his power to reverse his daughters fate. Although Amrita and her father have a tight bond, there are still many secrets he is keeping from her regarding her mother who he refuses to speak about. As a result of tragic events that take place during the Emperors visit, Amrita is forced to go on the run far from the palace walls & her beloved country of Shalingar. She does not go alone, as a true testament of her character & beliefs, she saves the oracle who was enslaved by the emperor. Thala has been mistreated since the age of 9 when she was first ripped away from her home by the emperor. She has been forced to take the drug Chamak to enhance her visions (Think Grishas/Six of Crows) & serve the Emperor. Although Amrita is forced to leave everything & everyone behind, she is focused on finding a way to defeat the emperor & warn her people of the dangers to come. Thala on the other hand is seeking for a way to reverse their fate by finding the Library of All Things. The only ones (besides the Emperor) in their way are themselves. Amrita is a non-believer of all things magic/fables and Thala believes whole-heartedly. This unlikely pairing embark on an adventure that will leave them changed forever… CHARACTERS Although there are many characters along the way shaping Amrita’s fate, these are the ones that stood out the most for myself… The Amrita we meet at the start of this story isn’t the one we see by the time we read the last sentence. She has been forced to run for her life leaving behind her home & all those she loved. She has no real destination in mind and we see her & Thala tough it out, really shedding her life as a princess. Also, she is having a hard time accepting the possibility that the fables her father imparted her with as a child may actually be closer to reality. She’s on a path that will challenge her to grow & make some tough decisions regarding her fate & those of her people. Amrita was the most fleshed out character we get in The Library of Fates and following her journey full of twists & turns was unpredictable and satisfying. Amrita’s father Chandradev, I am a sucker for father/daughter relationships and so I can’t speak about characters without showing Chandradev some love. A father who loved his country & his people but fought hard to not have to sacrifice his daughter to a tyrant. Chandradev also won my ? for being a lover of folklore/mythology, telling Amrita stories that always made her wonder. I’d love to see more father figures like Chandradev on the page seeing as they are scarcely written. Thala was an interesting character to get to know, she has a lot of hurt and pain when she is gifted as a slave to Amrita by the Emperor. Shalingar did NOT believe in enslaving people & so when Thala arrived, Amrita and her father were immediately appalled at the offer. This set the tone for Tala’s journey beside Amrita, their friendship very unlikely yet strengthening from the minute they set off. This friendship was slow building & met with many bumps on the road which made it more authentic. WRITING & FINAL THOUGHTS The first half of this book reads very differently than the second half. At first I really did think I was getting the same story we’ve all read before…you know? the one where the princess is forced to marry a megalomaniac while her true love comes to her rescue? YEAH that’s the one! Whelp, I can assure you the this was NOT that story! The Library of Fates took such an interesting turn at the midway point leaving me enamored with the way Khorana wove fate into this story. The belief that there are many different versions of ourselves living many different lives all at the same time following the threads of their own fate really intrigues me. I docked it one star only because I felt it didn’t really find its footing till after the half-way point which is about the time I started to really fall in love with this story. I also would’ve liked to have been given some answers regarding Amrita’s mother but won’t go into detail for fear of spoilers. Overall I really enjoyed this read & the world Khorana has created, lush with Persian influences & steeped in Indian folklore. I reccomend The Library of Fates to those who’ve ever wondered whether our fates are written for us or if it’s entirely within our control…& for those who believe in magic ??

Aditi Khorana’s The Library of Fates is a beautiful coming of age story that follows the journey of Princess Amrita of Shalingar as she sets out to save her kingdom from the grips of the power-hungry emperor Sikander who is looking to expand his Macedonian Empire by invading and conquering Shalingar. Shalingar is a prized territory for Sikander because it is where the mystical Symballines are hidden. The Symballines produce a rare and powerful substance called chamak that Sikander is dying to get his hands on. Why? Because when given to Oracles, chamak substantially increases their ability to predict the future. When the novel opens, Amrita’s father and Sikander have worked out a tentative arrangement to appease Sikander and hopefully keep him from taking control of Shalingar. Amrita is at the heart of this agreement because Sikander is determined to take her for his bride. Amrita is not especially excited about this match because 1) who wants to marry a power hungry Emperor and 2) she is already in love with someone else, her childhood friend, Arjun. But she’s willing to make the sacrifice if it means her people are protected. When Sikander arrives at Amrita’s palace, however, things do not go according to plan and Sikander’s men go on a rampage, killing or imprisoning anyone who gets in their way. Amrita manages to escape from the palace, along with an Oracle named Thala that Sikander had been keeping as a prisoner but had offered up to Amrita as a wedding gift. Together Amrita and Thala set off on a journey to find the Symballines and warn them that Sikander is coming for them. At Thala’s suggestion, they also set out to find The Library of All Things, a library where according to legend, contains a book about every person. Thala tells Amrita that if they can get to this Library, then they can locate their books and edit them to change their destinies. Amrita can save her people, while Thala can go back and rewrite her history so that she was never imprisoned and taken away from her family as a young child. While the journey starts out as a physical one, however, it becomes so much more. It becomes a journey of self-discovery for Amrita as she begins to find clues that indicate she may not be who she thinks she is and that with her true identity, she possesses the power to change the course of history and save her people. LIKES Amrita. I found Princess Amrita to be a very likeable character and one that was easy to sympathize with. Her life up until this point has been very sheltered, so when she first escapes from the palace under siege, she really has no idea how to fend for herself. In that sense we see tremendous growth from her throughout the course of the story. She also didn’t really believe any of the stories about magic she had been told all her life. In her mind, they were just that, stories. So I enjoyed watching her make this journey and begin to understand and embrace the stories from her childhood and the magic they describe, and what they mean for her. It’s a lot to take in, especially learning that you aren’t who you thought you were, but Amrita shows great maturity My one disappointment with Amrita though was that I had hoped she’d be a bit feistier. Reading the book’s synopsis and hearing that she spends most of the book on the run as a fugitive had me envisioning lots of kickass scenes where she keeps evading Sikander’s men, but her journey ended up being much more subdued than that. My fault for building it up in my own mind to be so epic, but it was a little disappointing. She’s still a great character though and I especially enjoyed her growing friendship with Thala, especially considering how they are initially just thrown together by circumstance and forced to work together to get away from Sikander. Varun. I think Varun actually ended up being my favorite character in the story. I can’t say much about him without giving away too many details about the overall storyline, but I will say he ends up being a very important character, way more important than he initially seems to be. Amrita first meets Varun while she and Thala are on the first leg of their journey, a pilgrimage to a temple. Varun pops up out of nowhere and self-appoints himself Amrita’s traveling companion as she hides among others who are making the pilgrimage to pay their respects to the goddess Maya. Varun is a charming young man who keeps Amrita entertained with stories about Maya. He seems pretty determined to educate her as much as possible and, in spite of herself, Amrita feels herself drawn to this boy. Even though my brain was screaming “No insta-love!” and “What about your childhood love, Arjun?,” I could see why she felt an instant connection to Varun. He’s immensely likeable and I loved his enthusiasm regarding the temple and the goddess and all of its history, especially once his connection to it all is made clear. World Building and the Mythology. Khorana does a beautiful job painting a vivid portrait of both Shalingar, the Macedonian Empire, and all points in between. I also loved how she seamlessly wove in so many mythological elements to create a truly unique and incredible landscape for her characters to journey through. I found the Symballines and their world fascinating, as well as that of the vetala spirits, and so much more. It was like nothing I had ever read before so it made for such a magical reading experience. Folklore. One of my absolute favorite parts of The Library of Fates is the parable that prefaces the story. It’s called the Parable of the Land of the Trees and it’s an enchanting story about self-sacrifice that features trees who used to be able to communicate with humans. It caught my attention immediately and had me wanting to know how it related to the rest of the story. DISLIKES My main issue with The Library of Fates was that I felt like so much ground was covered in this one book that the author only scratched the surface on many areas that I would have loved to have read more about. I would have loved to see more of the folklore and mythology since that was probably my favorite part of the book and I loved the way the author integrated it into the story so smoothly. I also wanted more details in the various plots and subplots along the way because some of them could have used a little more detail to better elaborate what was happening and why. And while I know the book was meant to focus on Amrita and her personal journey of self-discovery, I still wanted more exploration of Amrita and her relationships with all of the characters she interacts with. As is, it was a lovely read but I was just left wanting so much more, either a longer book with all of these areas fleshed out more or maybe even a series. FINAL THOUGHTS Even though I had a few issues with it, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Library of Fates to anyone who enjoys a coming of age story and who wants to learn more about Indian folklore and mythology. I haven’t read The Star Touched Queen or The Wrath and the Dawn yet, but after reading this story and seeing that this book is recommended for fans of those, I’m more interested than ever in reading those as well. RATING: 3.5 STARS Thanks to Penguin First to Read, the author, and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shapes my opinion of the book.

*Read in Stefon voice*: This book has EVERYTHING: feisty heroine, gorgeous kindgom, cruel and calculating adversary, an evolving mystery, escape turned adventure, heartbreak, myths, magic, goddesses, immortals, oracles, sentient weather events, a hidden civilization, hallucinogenic drugs, a multi-colored spider who can travel the space/time continuum, time travel, oh and even a love triangle. Ok, works. No seriously, it does. I could. NOT. put. this. book. down. We the readers start out as skeptics, much like Amrita, the main character, who doesn't believe in the old myths and legends that have been passed down through the centuries. But as events unfold and she's forced to flee her kingdom, she meets many people and sees many things that begin to change her views on just what might be real after all.

I really liked this book but for a time I didn't. There were some parts that were a little confusing/hard to swallow but overall, it was a good book. It was very mystical and surreal, great fantasy. I liked Amrita and Thala a lot. They're great characters. I was surprised by the romance and *le sigh*, enjoyed it. A book 2 maybe please? It did end quite well but I would like more! Must find Khorana's other book! Oh and I LOVE the cover!!

I enjoyed this book -- how it was influenced by Indian folklore, how its ending was unexpected. I felt as if the character development was uneven. For the most part, I was able to suspend my disbelief when the main character, Amrita, veered from one "love" to another. It was something that bothered me after the book's ending. It didn't take me out of the narrative flow.

The cover is beautiful and the lore is interesting. However, the writing and romance were not for me.

5 stars, 5 stars, 5 stars all day long! I was a little skeptical about this book because the author's first book, Mirror in the Sky, received ratings that were quite low on Goodreads (3.29 as on 7/9). I decided to give this book a try because I was offered a free ARC from Penguin's First to Read program, the cover is beautiful, and YA book companies were making quite a buzz about it. I am SO glad I gave it a go. Now I am on the bandwagon and recommending that everyone mark the release date of July 18th on your calendars and go buy it and read it on that day!! The Library of Fates opens with a really neat story called The Parable of Trees. (I, personally love trees and nature so I was hooked in a second!) Then we get into the rest of the book with our main character Princess Amrita, who lives an easy, sheltered life in the kingdom of Shalingar. Until the day that the Emporer of Macedon comes to finalize the terms of their arranged marriage and Amrita loses everything. She flees the palace and sets off on a journey that will completely transform not only her, but all those she loves. What I really loved about this book is that most of the things that I expected would happen did not. I would think to myself "She's going to abandon the plan to go to X and go to the Library in stead. I mean, that's the title of the book." But nope! The plot absolutely did not happen how I thought it would, and I loved that!! The characters surprised me around every turn, and part of the beauty of it all was how magic and folklore was seamlessly woven into the story. There were so many elements to it and they weren't so complex that I was bored or confused like in some fantasy books. It was a really good balance so as to make it just mystical enough to be really beautiful and special. Plus it all turned out full circle in a really great way. I just loved it. So overall, I enjoyed it enough to where I was given a free e-copy and I desperately want a hard copy for my shelves. I know it won't be for everyone, but that's my take on it. It was a pretty quick read at 354 pages. I devoured it in about 2 days and could have read it faster if I didn't have a lot of things going on. But this is one I could see myself reading again, and I know I won't be forgetting about it anytime soon!

The Library of Fates is a beautiful story with Indian folklore twist that told how a Goddess is born. This book was a little hard to get through. The beginning hooked you right away. The middle of the book got very slow and less believable. The ending was absolutely beautiful. I would have loved this book more if the characters felt more believable in their reactions. It is a good story, but it felt like it needed a little more.

I wrestled for a long time about whether to finish this book or not and I have to confess that I finally decided to set it down. I requested this book because I wanted to give YA a try and it really just isn't for me. The premise of the story wasn't enough to pull me in or keep me interested. Maybe it's just that I'm not interested in YA to begin with, but I couldn't connect with any of the characters and I wouldn't recommend this book.

This is such a beautiful begins with a parable, moves to a fairytale that gets interrupted by reality and transformed into myth. I loved the movement of the story & the idea that sometimes the inly way to find yourself is to let yourself go. Khorana's storytelling is a beautiful thing to behold & after reading this as an ARC, I look forward to buying it & adding it to my own library-the first ARC for which I've decided to do that.

I received an ARC of this book from for an unbiased opinion. I read the author's note at the beginning of the book, and admittedly put the book down for a few days...I was afraid it would alter my ability to enjoy the book. When I picked it up five days later, though, and went on from there, the note cleared from my mind, I found I couldn't stop reading until the book was completely finished. I read the author's note a second time, afterward, and found that it was fitting. Khorana creates a vivid image of each character, as well as each location, to the point that a reader can smell the mangrove trees when Amarita walks among them, can feel her pain as she watches those she loves under attack, and can feel her fear as she flees to save herself. When her and Thala travel, you see all the beauty they encounter along the way. This is not the story of a princess, though, who returns home to her throne after fighting a battle to save her kingdom. Khorana set out to create a story of mortal and immortal love, and what one sacrifices to save humanity over their own personal happiness, and this book embodies that. (This is why, after the fact, I had more appreciation for the author's note.)

I wanted to like this more than I did. It started off strong and then the middle seemed a bit lost, but it ended strong. The premise is unique and I liked the Indian setting.

Emperor Sikander has turned his sights on Shalingar, the country of his friend and decided he will wed the man's daughter. She is not certain she can accept that outcome but it does give her the opportunity to learn about her mother who disappeared when she was born. Setting events into motion Amrita is on the run with the oracle Thala, a slave to Sikander and the drug chamak to find the Library of All Things where one can change their fate. Along the way they warn the chamak harvesters the secretive Sybillines who live in the Jakkara caves... Once I read the end (which most readers concede is decent even if they didn't like it) I understood what the author was trying to write. My hypothesis is that she was trying to embellish the creation of a goddess. With this understanding A LOT of the story makes more sense. The premise of explaining how a human girl can become a goddess idolized by entire countries is pretty neat. It is almost a retelling of Indian folklore if Maya was a real Indian god. (I don't know if she is or not, there was no note in the book from the author saying what was fact or fiction. I do not approve of calling something folklore or otherwise linking it to reality and there not be a note from the author explaining where fact and fiction begin.) In any case if the book were better written this could be a really great story! I really appreciated that this story was not dragged out into three books though I think if the writing and story craft were stronger it could have been a duology (breaking when they leave the caves). There is definitely a beginning, middle and end though. It wasn't a formless story with no plot. Things were shallow, feelings and perspectives shifted for no reason, not much happened at major plot points but there was an attempt for milestones to be reached and a journey to have been made. A serious problem was the writing. It felt like a news article at times. A really well written news article where a summary of events needed to be explained but where readers don't want all the details. They just want a really, really good summary. So at times I marveled a book that was ALL TELLING could read so well and at other times I wanted to scream that this writer of obvious experience could not put me inside the character!! Amrita was a girl I wanted to love... A princess, sheltered, with a loving father and a desire to be a good leader for her people. Plus she is a POC in a world populated with many POCs!! While not exactly diverse I LOVE the cultural aspect of her life and I wanted to know more! Yet she contradicted herself at the turn of nothing. At certain points it was decided that her perspective had changed and there was no motivation developed to reflect that shift. This inconsistency of character continued through the entire book and became quite tiresome. (Mild spoilers - BEWARE!) For example she says at the beginning that she doesn't believe any of the parables or stories told to her growing up that had magic or fantastical elements. This is followed by her insistence that what the oracle told her could not be true even though now the oracle had proof! Then suddenly later Amrita believes the oracle and explains how one of her father's advisors taught her to be logical while this other mother figure taught her the stories... Now come on... she told us herself that she doesn't believe any of it and now we are to believe she sort of half believed? Well if you grew up logical then you should be able to evaluate when you are making the same mistakes as your father. A logical person would put that together see the pattern. He didn't believe the oracle though she pointed out the signs and they as political leaders would have been able to understand what those events together signified (invasion). Now Amrita does the same thing at odd with her "logic" that suddenly appeared. This is compounded by the her meeting a boy she talks to on the road so now the stories don't sound so lame and unbelievable... that is convenient when the oracle who can see things couldn't convince her... Now if this book had been written using showing all these inconsistencies could have worked because Amrita didn't know she was holding ideas inside her self that are at odds with each other. If we were shown she believes because she has a symbol of Maya supposedly treasure by her mother that she herself treasures that would hint that there is belief there that she doesn't acknowledge or tells herself it is about her mother when it is really about beliefs she doesn't realize she has. Her "logic" side could have been developed through a conversation with her father's advisors and Arjun whom she thinks she loves. They could talk about how she was always skeptical as a little girl and how nothing has changed. She could have argued that if she were allowed outside the palace she could learn for herself if she really believed or not. These kinds of details are necessary to show us the truth behind the character. I wanted to LOVE the world too... fact of the matter is I don't even know what the time period was... it may have said on the opening page but there weren't enough environmental clues to really tell me... I believe it was set in a historical time. It seems to be based on Alexander the Great and his life. The temple should have told us but really it could have even been modern times... several times really tall buildings were mentioned as if they may have been skyscrapers...? It was all murky... nothing was described really well so you knew what was being talked about. Not that the description wasn't there at all... there were some beautiful emotive elements at times, it was just useless to me. A couple of the settings though were brilliant! I loved the stepwell setting, Temple of Rain, acting like a cistern to collect rain but acting as an ancient site when not full. The markings showing her the way out was great. Also the Sybillines home in the Jakkara Caves was really well described and developed as well! There was a touch of magic in this but very, very light. There is the oracle and her ability. Amrita could talk to nature like in the stories and they could grant her aid. The vetala she meets has the ability to come to where ever she is. And she meets Makera the spider who created the world and his magic is nifty. I wished this could have been this magnificent tale of friendship between a princess, Amrita and an oracle, Thala. There needed to be more plot though and Amrita couldn't start out loving Thala just because she was a slave. Many feel great sympathy for slaves (we have many sex slaves around the world) but that doesn't mean they love them as a friend as soon as they meet. Friends need to get to know the person first, go through trials and moments where they have to take a leap of faith and trust. The friendship with Thala and Amrita started off wrong but later after two experiences it almost worked but we are back to being overly exaggerated... By the end I did feel like they went through a lot together but it was an inconsistent journey that didn't inspire confidence in their friendship. This felt like a stack of cards that were bound to blow over at any time. This was no more truer than the end of the book where Thala is unable to use her power then suddenly is able to again (very contrived!) The oracles' power was creative but when she could and would use it and when she couldn't was not developed well and felt very random. Basically when Amrita had to have Thala help she did and when it was better for Amrita not to know Thala "couldn't" help. All very convenient. I was warned of fears of instalove and I poo-pooed them because I thought they were talking about Arjun her childhood love. They were talking about Varun whom she met on a road and instantly felt a connection to that instantly turned to love and feeeeeeeeels that were not supported. This quasi-love triangle was quite painful as it didn't work and again was all over the place! I liked the difficulty that Arjun was put in but he was very convenient as well acting as a red herring. I LOVED the idea of the vetala and that they were driven away from the humans due to their need of a body. I knew right away about Saaras, the white bird but I loved him anyway and how he carried notes for her. What I wanted to read was how Amrita found who she was because someone held a vision of her that she no longer remembered and how she was able to see that too and make the right choices for herself (not how this person that loved the person Amrita was in the past found her again. It was lame.) I hope you are starting to see that I really appreciated many elements but that they weren't used to their best affect. I loved Amrita's potential journey even though she was all over the place. I loved the magic that was only sparingly or sporadically used. I loved the culture of the world that wasn't fleshed out very deeply. I loved the back history of her love interests which was touched on in the slightest of ways. I was so happy to see a friendship with a fierce slave girl! Throw in a magical spider and it could have been oh so beautiful... BOTTOM LINE: An inconsistent but incredibly creative goddess retelling!

The Library of Fates is quit an adventure! Full of twists, turns, and surprises, this read kept me turning pages well into the night. The characters are great and it was beautifully written. Lovers of adventure will want to grab a copy of this book!

Though I was less than impressed by the first few chapters, the last 50 pages left me with tears in my eyes. I wasn't quite fond of Amrita in the beginning. She acted naive and seemed to have absolutely no sense of self preservation. However, throughout the book, we get to see an incredible amount of character development from her. By the end of the novel she's confident in her person. (Which I really appreciated). Aditi Khorana weaves a beautiful tale of family, fate, and sacrifice that you don't want to miss!

This book was an enjoyable read. If you enjoy magic, you may especially enjoy this one. Thank you for the opportunity to read!

The Library of Fates is an emotionally gripping and magically captivating read. Filled with a rich culture and endearing characters, Aditi Khorana’s world is vividly brought to life. We follow Princess Amrita as she goes on a journey to find herself and challenge fate, along with Thala, the seer on a quest of her own. Things I Liked: -The book opened with a parable that I LOVED. The Parable of the Land of Trees was so beautifully magical and perfectly setup the moral of the story. It’s a lesson of sacrifice and selflessness that resonates through the entire story. -I personally really loved the writing. I found it to be very full and beautifully vivid. It was descriptive in a poetic way, with incredible imagery, but it never felt too flowery. A lot of personality came through and the world became real. -The relationships were also all really well done. I loved Amrita and Arjun’s relationship and completely bought their connection and history. I wish we got to see more of Arjun though. I loved the tumultuous partnership between Amrita and Thala. They are forced together together and must make the best of a bad situation, while neither really knows what they're supposed to be doing. -Amrita’s journey is so great. She is so distraught after Sikander’s siege and she doesn’t really know who she is. Through her journey she finds that self discovery is a lifelong process, influenced by your choices and actions, not your family. You are your own person, you decide who you will become. She begins to accept the magic in the world around her. -I also really loved the mythology and fantasy elements. The oracles, the Syballines, the vetalases, the Library of Fates, Maraka . They were all really well integrated into the story, and kept me engaged! -There was a fantastic full-circle feeling to the story. The resolution was bittersweet and emotional, but felt perfect for the characters. Things I Didn’t Like: -I thought the transitions between chapters was kind of abrupt. They were often not as fluid as I would have liked. -I also would have liked for some scenes or characters to be expanded and fleshed out more. I felt like some scenes moved rather quickly, and I would have liked to live in the moment a little longer. This was a great story, and I was an emotional wreck for the last 50 pages. It’s a beautiful story of love and fate. Amrita goes through an incredible journey and discovers her own power and strength. The world is vivid and fantastical. This was one of those books that just really leave you completely satisfied.

This book was heartwarming and enchanting. Amrita is lovely, I was swept ashore with the magic of this story. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good dose of romance and thrill. Thank you so much for this ARC

This book was amazing! I loved the characters and the relationship dynamics. This story made me cry and made me smile. I'm really hoping there's a 2nd book so I can find out where the characters go from here.

I've been anxiously awaiting this book and was so excited to receive an ARC of it. Sadly, it totally did not live up to my expectations. First of all, Amrita is one of the most naive and frustrating protagonists ever. She spends her whole life locked in a castle with a group of people who are so obviously keeping secrets from her, and she never questions them. Talk about unrealistic. Then, she spends half of the book whining about the predicaments that she's in. And I get that this is a teenage girl, so some whining is realistic, but it seems like every other sentence out of her mouth is a complaint about one thing or another. Without giving away any major plot points, I will say that this story is a typical "quest" narrative- the protagonist, Amrita, sets off to fulfill her destiny and along the way runs into trouble and is supposed to grow as a character. However, I don't feel that Amrita ever really learns from her mistakes and the trials that she faces. The character that you meet at the beginning of the book is the same one who finishes the story. *SPOILER* For someone who is supposed to be a goddess, she doesn't act like one, at all. Also, the first fourth of the book seems so disjointed from the last three-fourths, and because this is a narrative about changing fate, that should work... but it just doesn't. I feel like the book could've done with a little more editing because it does feel like there's so much crammed into the end that there isn't enough time to explore everything. I feel like I've been very critical of The Library of Fates, but I just got so frustrated with the book that I wanted to chuck it across the room. I don't think I'll be recommending it to anyone.

I'm very torn about this book. I really liked some aspects of it, but others not as much. I really loved the message of this novel, which, as the author's note details, is about the good that comes from acting for the benefit of others rather than yourself. It's a beautiful message, and the story illustrates it well. I also loved the Indian mythology of the story. The world, the parables, and the myths were beautiful and enchanting. My main problem with this book was Amrita. She was so naive that it bordered on ridiculous. There were so many things that were extremely obvious to the reader that took Amrita ages to figure out. The urge to break into this book somehow just so I could explain things her got exhausting after a while. Also, this book is pitched as being perfect for people who liked The Star-Touched Queen, which makes sense because they have extremely similar plots. I was honestly kind of shocked at all of the similarities between the two. Overall, I enjoyed some, but not all of this book.

Unable to download. I have been trying since notified.I have tried downloading on my laptop through Adobe Digital Editions on my laptop (could not open 'URLLink.acsm' because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged). Sent email through contact us link but have yet to hear back. So I'm guessing I won't be able to read this title.

This was a whimsical tale that drew inspiration from such a rich culture and making it into an unforgettable journey. The characters were wonderful, and the journey was exciting. In some parts, it did feel a little rushed, and in others it dragged a little bit. It felt like it had a longer lead up than the actual journey aspect of it, but the ending was superb! I was worried there wasn't time to tie everything together, but the author made it a clean wrap up with a satisfying resolution. Four out of five stars! Definitely a great book to grab for a quick weekend read!

This book was one of the YA books I've read where I actually *wanted* it to be a series, and dare I say it, I trilogy. There was so much packed into this one book that up until the last five pages, I was convinced that there would be an opening for another book. Instead, the author rushes through key moments so that she can wrap this story all into one book. While I admire a YA author who doesn't want to follow the trope of the YA trilogy about a girl who's a savior/god/all powerful force, has a romantic subplot, and conquers evil, I actually wanted more from this book. The story did end in a fitting way, but the ending would have been much more impactful if the plot had had more time to develop. In the end, it just felt rushed, which is a shame because the world building was so incredible in this novel. I love that it's a diverse protagonist, fighting against a man who has very backwards ideals and believes that women should be subjugated and left with little agency. That was a thread that I wished had been picked up on more. *spoler* I think this story easily could've been broken up into two more books. Perhaps the first book would begin earlier than where this story does, so we'd have some more build up about how Amrita is and her friendship with Arjan. Then Sikrander comes on the scene and she escapes, having to leave Arjan behind. The next book could've been about her journey with Thea to the cave. Then the next book could've been them traveling back in time, really getting to know her parents and Sikrander, before she makes her final decision. Granted the story would need to be fleshed out more for this to have happened, but that's the main flaw of the book anyway.

The story pulled me from the very beginning with the parable and I liked how all these stories soon became a reality for the characters and everything fell together in place. I do wish I could have had more of the "Library of All Things" but I wonder if the novel would have dragged on then. I am surprise, though, that this is a stand alone novel even though it did on a good note. Curious to see if there could be a possible novella. Overall I was throughly pleased with this novel as a whole. I am interested in checking out Khorana's debut novel. If you are looking for a different type of fantasy with a fast paced plot, emotionally driven characters and a tear jerking ending then check this out.

I really wanted to love this book. I was intrigued by the premise and the folklore behind it. It had such potential. Instead of really diving in and making this book deep, intense, and interesting the author barely brushed the surface with the characters and story. I never really got to know the characters or even care for them much. A love interest was thrown in at the beginning and then just put aside, and when another was thrown in I never felt for the loss of one and the beginning of another. The story jumped from conflict to resolution too tidily. All in all I found the book to be rather shallow and bland. It could of have been great, but it ended up just mediocre.

I really enjoyed this book! The journey felt epic and the world-building was just wonderful! I really felt immersed and I even had dreams about this setting! I also love the fact that it included Indian folklore. I did not know much about Indian folk stories going in so it was cool that some aspects of the book were based on them. I thought Thala was very well written and the ending stirred emotions in me, which doesn't happened very often. I also like Amrita but I found myself wishing that Thala was the main character sometimes. I do believe also that sometimes the writing was a little too straight forward and too fast-paced. I felt like I was left wanting more in some plot points and that the ending felt a bit rushed. Overall, the cover is lovely, the journey was epic and beautiful, and the characters were emotionally driven and interesting. I loved this book!

This was a beautiful story of love and sacrifice. As she grows and learns through tragedy exactly who she is, in a world she never dreamed, she finds the strength to do what is right. Oracles, magic, goddesses, time travel, and a huge library who could ask for more. If I had one cratic it would be the lack of knowledge about the rituals and the ways of life and beliefs of this world. I had to look some things up to understand in some places. But all and all its a beautiful young adult coming of age story with just a bit of magic thrown in. Thank you for giving me the chance to read this book.

Khorana begins by explaining that selfishness leads to a lose-lose outcome while service to others, "even if it costs us a lot," leads to a win-win that transforms oneself and the world. In a voice innocent and bell-clear, she weaves this complex moral into a story about making choices that do not always feel like real choices, about knowing what pieces of fate can and cannot be changed, about being willing to feel pain and joy through it all. There are also flying, immortal beings that possess human bodies, but that is a bonus.

Real Rating: 2.75 I would like to take a moment to thank Penguin Random House for allowing me the chance to read this book with the intention of giving honest feedback. This book was interesting. I love the world building and the weaving of Indian mythology into the story. Unfortunately I found the dialogue and narrative choppy. It made the story a bit hard to follow. There were times I had become so frustrated by this, I would end up putting the book down and walking away from it. I almost had this book DNF'ed. I hate having to do that to a book I had been waiting so much for and became so disappointed in it. :/ There were times of boredom and times I simply skimmed over pages. I understand that there is always a need to build a plot but I felt this one just dragged its feet. I loved the author's ideas for this but not the execution of it. Since this was simply the ARC, I hope there will be changes to the final copy and I will be picking it up to see if there have been any changes.

Library of Fates is enchanting, the writing is beautiful, however, there are some parts that I believe could have been improved and I really think that if this book was a bit longer and the author has gone through another draft of two then this book could be even more fantastic.

I enjoyed the mystical and magical journey of the book and the Indian culture portrayed. The main character Amrita is a princess trapped in an engagement to an older friend of her father's who is also a powerful and aggressive emperor. She suffers heartache and sorrow when the emperor's true intentions unfold. leaving her fatherless and on the run. Her sojourn takes a magical turn that demands sacrifice at the end to solve the crisis but not exactly how she expected. Great page turner, but a little disappointed that one change in the past could be the best option.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Mostly, I really, really enjoyed it. It was a gripping story, and I'm writing this review at nearly 3am because I stayed up WAY past my bedtime to finish it. On the other hand, I thought the ending felt very abrupt. It came on so suddenly, and I felt like the solution to the main drama of the story was almost too easy. But maybe that's the point, that doing the right thing can and should seem easy, as if it were the only option to begin with. The ending to this story didn't surprise me, but all in all it was a poignant, captivating, and very timely tale. As a side note, I highly recommend reading the author's note at the beginning of the book. It's particularly powerful and it adds a lot of context to the story. This is one I would definitely recommend to lovers of romance, fantasy, and anyone who needs a reminder of the power of hope and selflessness. If that sounds appealing, you won't regret reading this one.

It was refreshing to read a book set in India, especially when it involves magic! Amirta is one of my all-time favorite book characters, and I admired her ability to try and determine who she is in order to save her kingdom. This book was seriously so beautiful, do yourself a favor and get a hold of this book when it officially comes out!

Set in India, The Library of Fates, is steeped in Indian folklore and magic. Perhaps, what is most notable is Khorana's ability to create vivid images of the world we are in and the way the Parables tie into the plot. This novel is teeming with classical Indian culture that pulls the reader in and allows them to experience a true Indian adventure. I would recommend this novel to those looking for stories of adventure and sacrifice with a hint of romance thrown into the mix. 3/5- would recommend.

this book had an excellent balance of heartbreak, action, and mystery that made it hard to look away from. It was just so interesting and gripping; I cannot wait to own a physical copy of this book! I absolutely loved it.


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