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The Eyes of Tamburah

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'He thinks you are the thief...' Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed - an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess - she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps, and obscure hi 'He thinks you are the thief...' Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed - an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess - she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps, and obscure historical documents. Her quiet life is about to change when Banqui, an archaeologist, enlists her services to find The Eyes of Tamburah: legendary gemstones that bestows great magic to its wielder. These ancient objects can tip the balance of power and give whoever possesses them complete control of the city. But chaos erupts when The Eyes are stolen soon after they're found - and Shyla is blamed for the theft. Forced to flee, with the Prince's soldiers and the Priestess' deacons on her trail, Shyla must recover the jewels and clear her name. A quest that will unearth secrets even more valuable than The Eyes of Tamburah themselves...


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'He thinks you are the thief...' Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed - an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess - she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps, and obscure hi 'He thinks you are the thief...' Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed - an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess - she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps, and obscure historical documents. Her quiet life is about to change when Banqui, an archaeologist, enlists her services to find The Eyes of Tamburah: legendary gemstones that bestows great magic to its wielder. These ancient objects can tip the balance of power and give whoever possesses them complete control of the city. But chaos erupts when The Eyes are stolen soon after they're found - and Shyla is blamed for the theft. Forced to flee, with the Prince's soldiers and the Priestess' deacons on her trail, Shyla must recover the jewels and clear her name. A quest that will unearth secrets even more valuable than The Eyes of Tamburah themselves...

30 review for The Eyes of Tamburah

  1. 4 out of 5

    bella ϟ [ bella farren ]

    5 / 5 stars Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The first thing that must be said is that MVS is a magician with words, and more specifically the YA fantasy genre. She's always a trail-blazer of stories and The Eyes of Tamburah was no exception. This is an epic tale that follows Shyla, a sun-kissed (or cursed, depends who you ask). A sun-kissed is somebody with yellow pale hair and sun coloured eyes, that according to the religious sect, was marked 5 / 5 stars Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The first thing that must be said is that MVS is a magician with words, and more specifically the YA fantasy genre. She's always a trail-blazer of stories and The Eyes of Tamburah was no exception. This is an epic tale that follows Shyla, a sun-kissed (or cursed, depends who you ask). A sun-kissed is somebody with yellow pale hair and sun coloured eyes, that according to the religious sect, was marked by the sun goddess and was destined to be sacrificed back to the goddess. Instead of suffering a gruesome death as a child, Lyla was rescued and raised by monks until she turned eighteen, where she chose to venture into the city of Zirdai. Although she had been warned, Lyla faced discrimination at every turn, and despite her oppression, she managed to secure a job helping people find missing artifacts. In this world, people are forced to live in underground cities to escape the deadly sun rays that cause death during certain hours of the day, with the heat even penetrating to the first underground layers. Their city is under the control of two major sects; the religious sect and the Water Prince's army. Lyla unwittingly gets entangled in the war between the two sects when an artifact she was hired to locate is stolen while being transferred to the Water Prince. Unhappy with the precious, and supposedly magical, Eyes of Tamburah having been stolen, the Water Prince blackmails Lyla into finding them. Lyla is left with a target on her back and a constant shadow, also known as Captian Rendor, the Water Prince's right-hand man. Unsure of who to trust and who betrayed her trust, she begins her venture to reclaim the Eyes. I couldn't believe how fast and powerfully I fell into this book. I have a love/hate relationship with fantasy, often struggling to fall into the world and connect to the characters. Within a few chapters, I was fully invested with Lyla, and let me tell you, she's the YA heroine ya'll are looking for. Logical and determined to succeed, she was intelligent with a mind for research. She was caring in an occasionally bristly way, sassy as all get out and NOT a character who made stupid decisions that endangered her life (hella YA pet-peeve avoided, bless you MVS). I am living for intelligent and level-headed ladies not ruled by their hormones or emotions—Lyla was the perfect balance of brains and emotions, so basically, a typical real-life girl. Can you believe it, a realistic female YA lead?! It took me pleasantly by surprise too. In the beginning, I had many fears about the possible love interest(s) and was feeling the vibes of a love-square (three flipping love interests), but rest assured, that sorted itself out quickly and an AMAZING slow burn began. And I ship it. I ship it, I believe in it, I am here for it. There were so many different characters and moving players in this book, and the plot was ever-expanding. I found the pacing perfect, with the beginning of the book allowing you to get to know the characters before the plot became more intricate and involved. And that plot ... Holy heck, the ending of this book swerved hard in a direction I was not expecting, getting gritty and showing some darkness, and I loved it. I've tried to be as brief as possible because this book sneakily introduces so many cool things and ideas, and being blindsided (in the best way possible) is always the best. So, just read this book, because it is SO worth it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    *https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp... The Eyes of Tamburah is a fast paced fantasy and the first in a new series by Maria V Snyder. Shyla is a sun-kissed, the name given to babies born with pale-yellow hair. These babies, believed cursed, are left in the desert to die. Shyla is saved and raised by monks until she turns 18 and chooses to reside in the city. She is shunned by the other citizens of Zirdai and spends most of her time in her room. She manages to find work reading maps and transcrib *https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp... The Eyes of Tamburah is a fast paced fantasy and the first in a new series by Maria V Snyder. Shyla is a sun-kissed, the name given to babies born with pale-yellow hair. These babies, believed cursed, are left in the desert to die. Shyla is saved and raised by monks until she turns 18 and chooses to reside in the city. She is shunned by the other citizens of Zirdai and spends most of her time in her room. She manages to find work reading maps and transcribing ancient tablets in order to locate lost artefacts. Snyder starts with explanations of the world the story is set in. Zirdai is an extensive underground city built on many levels which is necessary to escape the searing heat of the desert. When the eyes of Tamburah, believed to bestow magic and their owner, are uncovered and subsequently stolen Shyla’s only friend Banqui is imprisoned and unless Shyla finds the eyes he will be put to death. The story includes plenty of action and danger. Shyla is a strong-willed woman who can hold her own in a confrontation. She soon finds that she can trust no one as she is double crossed many times and her eyes are open to many things happening in the city she was unaware of. With this awareness comes an awakening of a new purpose to her life. The majority of the story is high on action and very low on fantasy elements which may not appeal to hard core fantasy readers. The story gets a little dark towards the end with talk of torture and sacrifice although there is a small romance introduced and the occasional light-hearted banter keeps the story from becoming too intense. We get a few glimpses of the magic I’m hoping to see more of in the next book. The Eyes of Tamburah was an easy read and I was totally caught up in the whole world of Zirdai. There are plenty of evil people to despise and Shyla’s character development was well executed. Recommended for ages 12+ *I received an uncorrected review copy from the publisher

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

    The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V Synder is the first book by this author that I have read. One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read more than just thrillers and serial killer stories. So this book was way out of my comfort zone and I have to admit that in the beginning I did struggle with the story. As I got going though I really enjoyed it. It is a fast adventure story with a very strong, loyal and smart main female character in Shyla. When she is accused of stealing the 'Eyes' she knows she The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V Synder is the first book by this author that I have read. One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read more than just thrillers and serial killer stories. So this book was way out of my comfort zone and I have to admit that in the beginning I did struggle with the story. As I got going though I really enjoyed it. It is a fast adventure story with a very strong, loyal and smart main female character in Shyla. When she is accused of stealing the 'Eyes' she knows she needs to clear her name. Already an outcast due to being 'sunkissed' she is determined to put things right. The writing in this book is stunning, so descriptive that you feel that you could be there. Maria makes the desert city of Zirdai a beautiful place. I would love to see this book made into a TV show or movie. It is not short of action and adventure, making it a very exciting story. The gorgeous cover of the book also gives you visions of an Aladdin type setting, just underground!! Thanks to HQ Book Club, Harelequin Books Australia for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A new series from Maria V Snyder?? HELL YES I WANTS IT 😍

  5. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie McCann I have been a fan of Maria’s work for some time. All of her books are great but I have to admit, this is a personal favourite and it has earned a special place in my “book loves of 2019” shelf. From the very start of the book, I was hooked! Maria writes so well and she has a unique talent of creating new worlds and characters in her books. The setting of this book reminded me of an amazing TV documentary called “Cities of the Underwo Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie McCann I have been a fan of Maria’s work for some time. All of her books are great but I have to admit, this is a personal favourite and it has earned a special place in my “book loves of 2019” shelf. From the very start of the book, I was hooked! Maria writes so well and she has a unique talent of creating new worlds and characters in her books. The setting of this book reminded me of an amazing TV documentary called “Cities of the Underworld”, a show that takes us on a journey back in time to the ancient cities in the Middle East and the Cradle of Civilisation that have since been built up over time. In this case, The Eyes of Tamburah introduces us to the world of Koraha, a fiercely hot and unforgiving desert world. A world so hot, the people of the land are forced to live below ground due to the intensity of the desert heat and the sun above. The underground city is ruled by a wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Similar to her book Inside Out where characters move through pipes, the characters in this book travel up and down to simply move about through the underground desert city. What made this setting so interesting was how treacherous each level was depending on how high or how low one travelled. Our protagonist is Shyla and I have to say, I really liked her – although Shyla is “sun-kissed” (an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess) she is renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps, and obscure historical documents. I enjoyed her as a character due to her strength. She was a strong yet flawed character with undying loyalty, which was her motivation to set out on a perilous journey in the beginning. I was also mesmerised with her unique ability to read maps and stone tablets and I felt for her when her quiet life was dramatically interrupted when she was enlisted to find The Eyes of Tamburah – the legendary gemstones that bestows great magic to its wielder. These ancient objects can tip the balance of power and give whoever possesses them complete control of the city but chaos erupts when The Eyes got stolen and Shyla is blamed for the theft. Shyla’s endurance and her strength made her a likeable character in my view. She was never afraid to admit vulnerability whilst adamant to fulfil her quest. Her will to continue even after torturous pain was equally impressive. The connections she establishes between two key characters of the story Rendor, the Water Prince’s commander who is given the task of tracking Shyla and her progress in finding the stolen eyes of Tamburah and Banqui, her friend and employer whose relationship with Shyla is an interesting one. Both of these characters were very well defined and yes I believe Rendor is now my new book boyfriend – something about guys who exude authority yet have a romantic streak. Personally, I loved the structure of the book. An enriching mix of fantasy, adventure, suspense with a touch of romance filled with witty dialogue that made it very easy for me to grasp the new world and terminology. World building can be a complex endeavour, especially one as original as this one, but the way Maria structured the dialogue, it really engaged me. The fast-paced plot made it almost impossible to put down. I also found her use of referencing time through angles and sun-jumps pretty cool. I noticed this book gets pitched as Poison Study meets Tomb Raider but I found some of the scenes reminded me more of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom which made it even more exciting to read. I feel this book really stands out from the other series I have read by Maria V. Snyder as I adore books that have an easy flow to read with an have an Arabian desert feel to it. I really enjoyed the plot, the action, the suspense and the characters. The setting is really one I can connect with and I am really looking forward to the next instalment of this amazing series. I am invested! Special thanks to Harlequin Books Publishers for sending me the Advanced Review Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    TW: Torture, Death, Injuries Bechdel Test: Passes The Eyes of Tamburah is Maria V. Snyder's first book in her new series, Archives of the Invisible Sword. As a long standing fan of Maria's, I was over the moon when I got the notification that I was approved to review the eARC of this book. The chance to join Maria in a new world, was something that I just couldn't pass up. We are introduced to Shyla, our protagonist, who is 'sun-kissed'/'sun-cursed' (depending on who you ask). She has been raised b TW: Torture, Death, Injuries Bechdel Test: Passes The Eyes of Tamburah is Maria V. Snyder's first book in her new series, Archives of the Invisible Sword. As a long standing fan of Maria's, I was over the moon when I got the notification that I was approved to review the eARC of this book. The chance to join Maria in a new world, was something that I just couldn't pass up. We are introduced to Shyla, our protagonist, who is 'sun-kissed'/'sun-cursed' (depending on who you ask). She has been raised by the monks who have given her the tools for survival in a world where she will always be judged for what she looks like. Her tenacity and observational skills serves her well in her day-to-day life of researching and uncovering lost artifacts, treasures and maps - until the day she is blamed for the theft of a legendary, magical item and in order for her (and her friend/employer Banqui) to escape this alive, she is charged with the task to uncover who has actually taken them and recover them for the Water Prince. Along the way, Shyla is introduced to many characters who will either assist or hinder her along this quest and as a reader it is a joy to discover alongside Shyla who is actually who. I have some theories about where we might be headed in book two and I can't wait to find out if my thoughts are in the correct direction, or if I will be blindsided - either way, I am signing up wholeheartedly to this ride.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Griffin

    Maria V. Snyder must be on a real 'writing about young females working in archaeology on other worlds' kick these days, but I'm 100% here for it. Eyes of Tamburah follows Shyla, an outcast archaeology researcher trying to get by in world where her kind are normally abandoned at birth. She's particularly good at her job, thanks in part to her knowledge/training by the monks who raised her after she was abandoned for being sun-kissed (a person who is especially dark-skinned and blonde haired). This Maria V. Snyder must be on a real 'writing about young females working in archaeology on other worlds' kick these days, but I'm 100% here for it. Eyes of Tamburah follows Shyla, an outcast archaeology researcher trying to get by in world where her kind are normally abandoned at birth. She's particularly good at her job, thanks in part to her knowledge/training by the monks who raised her after she was abandoned for being sun-kissed (a person who is especially dark-skinned and blonde haired). This skill has led one of her patrons to the discovery of a lifetime; it's when that discovery goes missing and the blame is pinned on Shyla that things really start to go awry. This book has several fantasy elements that help set it apart in a world of generic YA releases these days. A black woman main character in a fantasy world that's not classically African-inspired (while it could be Africa, it's more Maghreb or Middle-Eastern in my mind) is already a win in my book. In fact, everyone in this book is described as being tawny, mahogany, or similar, except for the 'ghosts' that live deep underground and never see the sunlight. The setting is something fairly new, too: Zirdai, a city build deep underground in a brutal desert world, where sunlight is accessible only near the surface, and water near the depths. There are some scenes that take place elsewhere, but the majority of the book takes place in this city without it feeling claustrophobic. It reminded me of another YA fave -City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau - which you may enjoy if you liked this book. While the setting is fantastic, the plot was a little uneven for me at times. The first 20% of the book was excruciatingly slow and I almost DNF'd. Thankfully it really picked up in the middle as we explore the underground city and learn more about the characters inhabitating it, and as Shyla's journey to locate the Eyes unfolds. The last 30% was the opposite of the intro: rushed actions, several decisions I thought seemed out-of-character, and rapid storylines that didn't match the pacing I had come to expect. Of the recent MVS kickass-female fantasy archaeology releases, Navigating the Stars has a much tighter plot and cleaner editing. There were several moments in EoT I thought would have benefitted from an editor for grammar or a 'would this character have really done that' check. It's still a fantastic fantasy book and I look forward to continuing the journey with book two next summer. 3.5/5 Overall; 4/5 World-Building and Characters (especially Rendor!) Read for Summer 2019 Pirate Challenge for a prompt.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nkisu

    Ugh, what a fun read! The Eyes of Tamburah gave me all the adventure, sprinkled with magic and I DEVOURED it! I totally freaked out when I found out that Shyla, our main protagonist, was black! As someone who is so used to seeing "white" as the default in fantasy books, it still shocks me when the main characters are NOT! I loved Shyla's character! She was intelligent, loyal, strong AND with just the perfect amount of SASS 🙆🏾♀ And SHE WASN'T ANNOYING LMAO 😭 This book was fast-paced and I appreci Ugh, what a fun read! The Eyes of Tamburah gave me all the adventure, sprinkled with magic and I DEVOURED it! I totally freaked out when I found out that Shyla, our main protagonist, was black! As someone who is so used to seeing "white" as the default in fantasy books, it still shocks me when the main characters are NOT! I loved Shyla's character! She was intelligent, loyal, strong AND with just the perfect amount of SASS 🙆🏾‍♀️ And SHE WASN'T ANNOYING LMAO 😭 This book was fast-paced and I appreciated how it dove straight into the plot 👌🏾 I found myself furiously flipping through the pages to see what happened next! I loved the setting and the world-building of the story 🙌🏾 And unlike many fantasy novels which can have very convoluted and complicated world-building, I didn't find that that was the case with this book. The new information about the world and cultures, were well placed throughout the book, so it was easy to digest and absorb 💁🏾‍♀️Also, SLOW BURN romance is literally the way to my heart and although I thought we might have a bit of a love triangle situation on our hands, that was not the case 😝 Definitely if you're in the mood for a fun read that combines all your favourite elements of Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and YA fantasy, give this one a shot! I know I can't wait for the sequel! 🙌🏾

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gabi W

    4 Stars I was thuper duper excited when I found out that we would be getting a new Maria V. Snyder series; and even more excited when it was described as “Poison Study meets Tomb Raider.” AND THEN I got a proof of the book through work from HarperCollins (a HUGE shout-out to Brigita for sending it to me!) and I felt all the happy feels. So, naturally, I had to read the book before its official release date. The book follows our main character, Shyla, who lives in an underground city called Zirdai 4 Stars I was thuper duper excited when I found out that we would be getting a new Maria V. Snyder series; and even more excited when it was described as “Poison Study meets Tomb Raider.” AND THEN I got a proof of the book through work from HarperCollins (a HUGE shout-out to Brigita for sending it to me!) and I felt all the happy feels. So, naturally, I had to read the book before its official release date. The book follows our main character, Shyla, who lives in an underground city called Zirdai. The surface of the earth is all desert, and every day the sun becomes so hot it's deadly. Shyla helps academics, treasure hunters, and archaeologists in her city discover hidden and precious artefacts. But when one of Zirdai’s rulers, the Water Prince, accuses her of stealing an artefact known as the Eyes of Tamburah, she finds herself thrust into a secret, underground network of Zirdai where nothing is as it seems. + I don’t think this book started off very strongly. I was bored and it was a bit of an effort to get through the first 100 pages or so. Shyla just does a whole lot of walking around, engaging in pretty dull conversations, and getting into fights which she ultimately loses. This book could have done with some more ruthless editing. + BUT, once you get past the first quarter of the book, it really picks up. The pacing quickens and we start to really get into the thick of the plot. There were a few twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting. I was whizzing through pages to find out what happens next. The last 150 or so pages are the best of the book. + Shyla is pure sass and snark and I loved her for it. Her comments and snide remarks made this book really fun and, considering there are some pretty dark topics and scenes, really help to lighten the overall mood. + The rest of the characters are all fairly morally grey. We get the whole “can they or can’t they be trusted” vibe throughout the book. It really made the story come alive and left me feeling just as confused and/or betrayed as Shyla. + Snyder does a fantastic job of describing this fantasy world. We get the perfect amount of detail about it. And Snyder gives us information in manageable little chunks throughout the book, rather than just one, big, confusing info-dump right at the start. ALL IN ALL: This was such a great start to Snyder’s new series! It was fun and action-packed. I think the start of the book let it down just a little and, if not for that, I would have given this book 5 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ♔ Dark Lordette Jennymort ♔

    A NEW BOOK BY MY FAVORITE AUTHOR!? SIGN ME THE HELL UP! This sounds fucking fantastic!!!! 😱🤩

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lulai

    So much fun in this book. I am late to the Maria V. Snyder trend but I really like her last 2 books

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marzie

    Review up soon.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Arc from NetGalley - Review is entirely my own opinion. Holy-moly!! (✿◠‿◠) \(^o^)/ Well, I must say that I was expecting very little from this book. I was expecting like a 3 star read. A bit boring, a bit immature, a bit mehh…… Well, I must say that my expectations got caught on a gust of wind and went flying, out of reach in the first 10 pages. °O° °O° Never to be seen or thought of again. (*°∀°)=3 Because this book was an epic adventure! (It makes me excited about the next book just thinking about Arc from NetGalley - Review is entirely my own opinion. Holy-moly!! (✿◠‿◠) \(^o^)/ Well, I must say that I was expecting very little from this book. I was expecting like a 3 star read. A bit boring, a bit immature, a bit mehh…… Well, I must say that my expectations got caught on a gust of wind and went flying, out of reach in the first 10 pages. °O° °O° Never to be seen or thought of again. (*°∀°)=3 Because this book was an epic adventure! (It makes me excited about the next book just thinking about it.) Quick little synopsis – In a world where people live underground in vast cities. The surface is nothing but sand and the temperature hot enough to kill at certain times of the day. Shyla is from a monastery of Monks, where they raised and sheltered her until she was old enough to leave or swear allegiance to them. Shyla being a stubborn, independent person decided to put on her big girl boots and leave to see the world. She settled in Zirdai where she located important artifacts, etc. for people. But, Shyla is also a sun-kissed. Instead of brown hair she has blonde. This is a curse and she should have been killed as a baby, sacrificed to the Sun-Goddess. Therefore, nobody really likes her, expect one of her employees. Said employee, Banqui is looking for The Eyes of Tamburah. Which are magical eyes that grant the wearer powers, for the Water prince, who rules over Zirdai. Banqui, with the help of Shyla locate the eyes. Yay! But are then stolen, BOO! Banqui is than arrested by the water prince, because big boy thinks Banqui has stolen them. Shyla must then find the eyes to prove her friend is innocent. Then the adventure begins. Shyla, slowly unravels the secrets of who has stolen The Eyes and why. Why I loved this book - Everything is so original - from the setting, right down to how the hours and days are explained. Time: Hours, days are described as angles and jumps. Setting: I have never read a book that has been primarily set in the dessert. Nope! And I guess this one wasn’t either because a lot of the adventure takes place in the underground city. I liked that. I wasn’t bored with the one environment. It meant that the surroundings were always changing. From this place to that place. Which really motivated me to keep reading. Plot: At the end I was very impressed with how much thought had actually gone into the whole adventure. I was blindsided by the scheming and conspiracy of it all. Maybe because there wasn’t a whole lot of foreshadowing but just a feeling that things were off. And, they weren’t off by a lot. I was just really impressed with little plot-twists, because I loved it when I thought it was a simple, straight forward story. It ended up being a lot more complex. A++ ( ゚ Д゚) ( ゚ Д゚) The main character was lovable: It’s not often when I can say that I liked a main character in a YA series. They all just get on my nerves and tend to blend into one another with eye-rolls on my part. I genuinely liked Shyla. She had so much humor and sass. I am a sucker for sarcasm done right! She was strong and resilient. (*^3^)/~☆ “but…the floor invited me.” Ahh, so funny! (≧∇≦)/ (≧∇≦)/ (≧∇≦)/ She wasn’t the chosen one, in the sense that everybody loved her. She was an outcast and had a horribly difficult life. One that many people could possibly relate to. She looked a certain way so people had already made assumptions about her. Throughout the story Shyla stayed determined to prove people wrong. (*^3^)/~☆ All of the other cast of characters were also fun, and I liked them all. They had distinguished personalities. This book was like a relief for me. To read something so fun and fast paced, with interesting characters (that I actually liked) and a great plot that propelled the story forward. I did not want to put this precious jewel down!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Unfortunately I couldn't finish this book. I went into it hoping for an exciting quest for a missing treasure where the protagonist followed clues and wandered through ancient places to find this treasure. That is not what I got. I got to 43% and just couldn't continue because I was feeling frustrated. The main character was constantly getting captured and having conflicts with people and every time it seemed like she would get out of the situation she would encounter another group of angry peop Unfortunately I couldn't finish this book. I went into it hoping for an exciting quest for a missing treasure where the protagonist followed clues and wandered through ancient places to find this treasure. That is not what I got. I got to 43% and just couldn't continue because I was feeling frustrated. The main character was constantly getting captured and having conflicts with people and every time it seemed like she would get out of the situation she would encounter another group of angry people. When I got to the 43% mark I just didn't care whether the character was ever going to find what she was looking for.

  15. 5 out of 5

    daisy

    Rating might change ✌ RTC!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    Tomb Raider meets Poison Study! I can't wait!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (a GREAT read)

    Maria V. Snyder returns to the world of fantasy with shiny new series, entitled The Archives of the Invisible Sword! The Eyes of Tamburah starts off with a roaring bang and it’s not going to let up anytime soon, if I know Maria, and I do! This new fantasy world is not like one she’s written before and I have to say I like the new atmosphere, even if I would never want to visit myself, because heat! Lol. Shyla is what you would call an artifact finder. She’s got an eye for detail and can help peop Maria V. Snyder returns to the world of fantasy with shiny new series, entitled The Archives of the Invisible Sword! The Eyes of Tamburah starts off with a roaring bang and it’s not going to let up anytime soon, if I know Maria, and I do! This new fantasy world is not like one she’s written before and I have to say I like the new atmosphere, even if I would never want to visit myself, because heat! Lol. Shyla is what you would call an artifact finder. She’s got an eye for detail and can help people find whatever treasure they are looking for, for a price. When her only friend, Banqui, comes to her needing help finding the mythical Eyes of Tamburah, she is quick to help. Banqui is terrified that the Water Prince will have him imprisoned, or worse, if he doesn’t find the Eyes soon and give them over to him. Shyla is on the job whether she wants to or not when Banqui is imprisoned. The story soon takes us on quiet the search for these magical Eyes. Shyla isn’t too sure she believes in magic, but she’ll do whatever it takes to help her friend. She’s got a lot going against her, firstly is that she’s a “Sun-Kissed” meaning her hair is yellow like the sun when everyone else in the realm of Zirdai has dark colored hair. Shyla should’ve been sacrificed to the Sun Goddess as a baby, but was rescued by monks who raised her until she was old enough to set off on her own when she refused to take on the life of a monk herself. She’s seen as an outsider among her own people because of this and is looked down upon more often than not. Then there’s the Heliacal Priestess to deal with as well, who also wants Shyla to find the Eyes but give them to her instead of the Water Prince and she’d agree to release Banqui from his prison. Not sure who she should trust in this dangerous situation, Shyla knows she’ll have to keep her guard up at all times. The Water Prince sends his head guard, Rendor with Shyla on her quest and naturally, Shyla is hesitant with him as well. The Eyes that she is looking for are very powerful indeed and people are willing to kill to get them. So even if she does find them, she will have to safeguard them if she ever hopes to rescue her friend. During her search, she catches wind of a mythical group called the Invisible Sword who was rumored to have the Eyes a long time ago. She figures if she can learn about who this group used to be and where they might have gathered, she might find more clues as to where the Eyes could be. Though it would appear the secret group wasn’t quite dead like everyone had thought… *cue dramatic music* Needless to say that this book really keeps a reader on their toes! You never really knew who you could trust in this story! Since Shyla was our main character, we were always aware that she was among the trustworthy, but everyone else was fair game! I have reader whiplash from all the back and forth I had going with these characters! But I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way! This book was a different kind of fantasy than Maria’s previous Study books—which you all know how much I adored those—but it was just as magical and enchanting as they were. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the next book as there were a LOT of developments in this one! Ones I can’t divulge in for spoiler reasons, obviously, but will happy to bring up again come next year! Lol. I’m happy to say that Maria’s new cast of characters here have traits of her previous characters that I loved before! Such as Shyla being a bit of a smart-mouth and one not to back down from a challenge. A mysterious and swoonworthy hero known as Rendor who continued to confound me as much as he did Shyla. And a few other characters who had me grinning at little antics and such. Maria has always known how to write loveable characters, this is proven again and again with every new book she writes! So it’s pretty much a fact of life now, in case you were new to her books! Though being categorized as a YA book, this one kind of falls under both YA and adult, much like Maria’s Study series did. In the US that series was shelved in adult, while I believe the UK shelved it as YA. It’s definitely a mature YA to say the least. While there is nothing graphic or sexual in nature happening, besides some steamy tension filled moments here and there, there is quite a bit of violence. So if that’s something you’re wary of in reading, be aware that is happens in here. Not so much as abuse, but actual “I’ll kill you” type violence! There might have been one or two close calls of a deeper kind of abuse, but it was more a possibility of it happening then it every actually happening. Just wanted readers to be aware of that before reading. The violence is what you would expect of a fantasy read, let’s just say that! The Eyes of Tamburah is a fast favorite for me! Pretty much everything Maria writes is a favorite and her newest story proved no different! It’s an exciting story set in a new kind of fantasy land that is sure to have you craving blue skies and green grass! But it’s fun taking a walk on the wild side every now and then…even if it is several feet below ground! If you’re looking for an exciting new fantasy to read that will have you entertained from the getgo and breathless for more by the end, look no further than The Eyes of Tamburah! Overall Rating 5/5 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Weaving Fiction ( Sj )

    sighs, maybe it's not you Maria, maybe it's just me. This is the second book I've read by this author and again, there were parts I adored, like the world building but the characters were so cliche that it hurt my whole soul and the romance was so forced ugh. I LIKED -The world building -The mythology I DISLIKED -The 2010 style of story telling -The cliche characters

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marzie

    3.75 Stars, bumped to 4 because this really should be published in the US, Harper Voyager. Come on! Popular YA author Maria V. Snyder (Study series, Glass series) has begun her new Archives of the Invisible Sword series by introducing us to Shyla, a young woman who is largely ostracized in her community thanks to her blonde hair. Dubbed "Sun-Kissed" by those around her, the fate that usually awaits the fair-haired is death in the searing desert above Zirdai. Zirdai is an underground city where th 3.75 Stars, bumped to 4 because this really should be published in the US, Harper Voyager. Come on! Popular YA author Maria V. Snyder (Study series, Glass series) has begun her new Archives of the Invisible Sword series by introducing us to Shyla, a young woman who is largely ostracized in her community thanks to her blonde hair. Dubbed "Sun-Kissed" by those around her, the fate that usually awaits the fair-haired is death in the searing desert above Zirdai. Zirdai is an underground city where the deepest levels represent safety from lethal sun exposure and access to water. The deepest levels of this subterranean world are those occupied by the Water Prince and the Heliacal Priestess (who would love to see Shyla thrown out to die from sun exposure) the two powerful and opposing forces of Zirdai. Raised until age eighteen by monks who rescued her from being a sacrifice to the Sun Goddess, Shyla has kept a low profile after choosing to live in Zirdai, rather than becoming a monk like those who rescued her. She is living on the edge of safety, on level three, eking out a living doing historical artifact research until her friend Banqui loses a legendary treasure that her research helped him find. The Eyes of Tamburah, a relic that supposedly grants the possessor magical powers, is sought by the two opposing powers of Zirdai who are more than a bit dissatisfied upon hearing Banqui say they have been stolen from him. When he is arrested for their theft by the Water Prince, a man with a reputation for torture, Shyla seeks to help her only friend recover the lost Eyes. Snyder has created aa fascinating world in Zirdai. In a pronounced difference from her earlier Inside Out series, the deeper levels of Zirdai are for the most privileged as they are better distanced from the unforgiving sun. Shyla is a lonely character for whom the reader feels great sympathy. Unfortunately, I didn't always feel that some of the secondary characters were as well drawn as Shyla and some of the turnabouts for characters like Rendor and Jayden felt a bit thin. The pacing of the novel slowed in a few places as Shyla is forced to go up and down again and again through the levels of Zirdai, in pursuit of items or information that will help her in the task of recovering the Eyes and freeing Banqui. I was also left with uncertainty about several figures in the story based on where the Eyes are actually finally located. I'm hoping a lot will be cleared up with 2020's publication of the second book in the series, The City of Zirdai. And I hope that HarperCollins will get a move on publishing this novel in the USA. CW: mentions/brief descriptions of torture, something that may give nightmares to readers that the protagonist chooses to do, and scenes of tight spaces that may be difficult to read for those with claustrophobia.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I have been a fan of Maria’s work for some time. All of her books are great but I have to admit, The Eyes of Tamburah is now a personal favourite and I guess this is due to personal taste in the books I love to read. The setting of this book reminded me of an amazing TV documentary called “Cities of the Underworld”, a show that takes us on a journey back in time to the ancient cities in the Middle East and the Cradle of Civilisation that have since been built up over time. I loved how the charac I have been a fan of Maria’s work for some time. All of her books are great but I have to admit, The Eyes of Tamburah is now a personal favourite and I guess this is due to personal taste in the books I love to read. The setting of this book reminded me of an amazing TV documentary called “Cities of the Underworld”, a show that takes us on a journey back in time to the ancient cities in the Middle East and the Cradle of Civilisation that have since been built up over time. I loved how the characters lived below ground as the sun was too incredibly hot and they have to travel up and down levels to simply move around. What made it interesting is different levels proved to be treacherous for various reasons. I enjoyed Shyla as a character, her job was mesmerising being able to read maps and ancient scrolls as a job but I loved her undying loyalty to her friend that was her motivation to set out on a dangerous journey to retrieve the stolen eyes of Tamburah. Her endurance and her strength made her a likeable character in my view. Her connections between Rendor and Banqui were also very interesting. The flow of the story was fantastic as the world building and new terminology was easy to learn through the constant dialogue between the characters. Personally I like books that have a lot of dialogue more than descriptions. Makes the story and characters really come to life in my mind. Some of the scenes in this book reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom which made it even more exciting to read. This book really stands out from the other series I have read. As I adore books that have an easy flow to read with an have an Arabian desert feel to it, this book has earnt a special place with my book loves of 2019. With special thanks to Harlequin Teen Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy of this book. Scheduled release: June 2019 – I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!

  21. 5 out of 5

    politetemper

    I completely forgot I finished this book a couple of days ago. I think the story had potential but it wasn't quite there. I loved the idea of an underground city, but for some reason I just couldn't picture it. What I could picture, I don't think was the goal of the author. I would finally get this idea in my head of what the city looks like, then in the next line be thrown of but a descriptor. I also didn't like how time was measured, I thought it was more complicated than it needed to be. It lit I completely forgot I finished this book a couple of days ago. I think the story had potential but it wasn't quite there. I loved the idea of an underground city, but for some reason I just couldn't picture it. What I could picture, I don't think was the goal of the author. I would finally get this idea in my head of what the city looks like, then in the next line be thrown of but a descriptor. I also didn't like how time was measured, I thought it was more complicated than it needed to be. It literally would have taken nothing away from the story is you measured age by years and days by hours- if you then wanted to specify with sun jumps etc. you could have - but maybe it was just me that didn't like it. In terms of the whole magic thing I thought it was a bit boring and anticlimactic. It seemed to be mastered easily but every plan that they made seemed to be not very well thought out and dumb. I guess it was very rarely fast-paced. Also, the romance for me came out of nowhere. I don't think it was clear how Shayla felt about these "guys" for lack of a better word. It really wasn't clear whether we should like the Prince, or the guard or the leader guy of the vagrants. I just din't know who to get attached to, and then when it was clear who she liked (sorry sounds so juvenile) it got serious seemingly out of nowhere. It made me not really feel anything for them as a couple. I do hope this makes sense. I'm trying to remember everything from when I was reading it. I may have forgotten some things but I'll try to add them if I remember. Haven't decided yet whether I'll read the sequel, but we shall see :) 3 Stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn (foxonbooks)

    There's a lot to like about The Eyes of Tamburah - an inventive, potentially near-future vision of a world baked by a killing sun, a society adapting to living underground, and a bunch of different powerful factions seeking power. Shyla is a cool protagonist - I have always particularly enjoyed Maria V Snyder's female leads, they're so good at being both strong and female without being cardboard cutout "strong female characters" - and she's backed up by a fairly solid secondary cast. I was sucked There's a lot to like about The Eyes of Tamburah - an inventive, potentially near-future vision of a world baked by a killing sun, a society adapting to living underground, and a bunch of different powerful factions seeking power. Shyla is a cool protagonist - I have always particularly enjoyed Maria V Snyder's female leads, they're so good at being both strong and female without being cardboard cutout "strong female characters" - and she's backed up by a fairly solid secondary cast. I was sucked quickly into a world of sand and mystery as Shyla finds herself out of her depth, scrambling for a way to appease some unpleasant characters. Unfortunately, by about halfway through the novel, as I was sucked right out of the action by yet another plot twist, I found myself thoroughly fed up by the sheer volume of surprises. These surprises are definitely intended to feel clever and to move along the plot but instead served to derail it, time and time again. Essentially, for me, The Eyes of Tamburah had an excellent, solid set up and a shaky, overly convoluted execution. I do think I'll look out for the second one, but I can't say I'm desperate to read it right now.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charmaine Ohl

    More adult than I first thought it would be. Some swearing and towards the end some adult insinuations are made. Nothing explicit but references are made in regards to "size" are made in passing. Still an easy read with characters I grew to like, it will be very interesting where the story goes from here. Used to reading early teen friendly writing from Maria it was great to enjoy a book with some more adult hints behind it. Interesting story to tell. The characters haven't become firm favorites More adult than I first thought it would be. Some swearing and towards the end some adult insinuations are made. Nothing explicit but references are made in regards to "size" are made in passing. Still an easy read with characters I grew to like, it will be very interesting where the story goes from here. Used to reading early teen friendly writing from Maria it was great to enjoy a book with some more adult hints behind it. Interesting story to tell. The characters haven't become firm favorites when compared to some of her other works, but I still wanted to continue the story with them. As someone who normally spots the obvious tells of who ends up with who, who betrays who and sometimes even who is going to die upon 'first meets' of a character, it was good to have a small surprise, and I look forward to confirming a suspicion or 2 in the later books. It was refreshing not to have everything full revealed in book 1 as it still leaves plenty of questions instead of just creating a whole new set to keep book 2 moving through the overall story plot.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Printed Pages and Coffee

    It really does bug me a little that you can't give half-stars on Goodreads, because I would like to give this 4.5. It's the first of Maria Snyder's books that I have actually read, and let me tell you: it was a damned good one to start with. I had an ARC, so there were a couple small issues of spelling and grammar, but overall this was fantastic. Look, I picked this up at 9.45 in the evening, and only put it down once I had finished it at half past one the next morning. It is gripping, and the w It really does bug me a little that you can't give half-stars on Goodreads, because I would like to give this 4.5. It's the first of Maria Snyder's books that I have actually read, and let me tell you: it was a damned good one to start with. I had an ARC, so there were a couple small issues of spelling and grammar, but overall this was fantastic. Look, I picked this up at 9.45 in the evening, and only put it down once I had finished it at half past one the next morning. It is gripping, and the world that Snyder starts to build with this book (it's the first in a series) is absolutely magnificent. I genuinely cannot wait to read the next installment, and I also genuinely hope that I'm not going to have to wait long!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christy Ngo

    Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Netgalley saying that my request for this book has been approved by Harlequin Australia. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harlequin Australia for this lovely book!!! I love books written by Maria V Snyder and she has been my favourite author for almost 10 years now. The Eyes Of Tamburah has once again shown her wonderful world building. It took me a while to get used to the terms she used to describe time but it really worked so well in that world Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Netgalley saying that my request for this book has been approved by Harlequin Australia. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harlequin Australia for this lovely book!!! I love books written by Maria V Snyder and she has been my favourite author for almost 10 years now. The Eyes Of Tamburah has once again shown her wonderful world building. It took me a while to get used to the terms she used to describe time but it really worked so well in that world. Shyla, the protagonist, is a researcher who studies maps to help her clients uncover artefacts and treasures. She lives in Zirdai, an underground ‘city’ ruled by the Water Prince and Heliacal Priestess. Shyla was blamed for the theft of The Eyes Of Tamburah, right after it was uncovered. The Eyes were believed to be able to give power to those who possessed it so the prince and priestess both wanted them. Shyla was forced to find them. She encountered lots more trouble because of The Eyes. I like Shyla: she is a strong female character who is loyal. She agreed to look for The Eyes because the Water Prince had Banqui, her only friend also her employer, and would have tortured and killed him if she didn’t bring him The Eyes. She is naive and trusting, even in the wrong people. Some people may find this annoying but this actually suits her character, having been raised by the Monks who are neutral in the Zirdai’s ways of ruling. All she wanted was to go out and discover the world. Banqui: Shyla’s employer and friend, I have my doubts about him right from the start. I don’t think I ever trust him and actually wanted Shyla to give up on him. Rendor: The Water Prince’s commander, having been charged to keep an eye out for Shyla’s whereabouts and to follow up on her progress on finding The Eyes. I always have a weak spot for big brutes ending up being really nice and sweet so I liked him a lot❤️ I really can’t wait for the next book and am not even sure when it will be announced. I normally don’t read series before it’s completed but I just can’t help myself with this book. I’m looking forward to the next one!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sheree Lyons

    Imagine being left to die for being born different. Imagine a world so hot you have to live underground. Meet Shyla, she had to go through both these things. Earning a living searching for the whereabouts of artifacts, Shyla is accused of stealing The Eyes of Tamburah after she helped discover them. Discover more of this world and Shyla's life and become engrossed in this excellent book by the skilled creator of worlds Maria V Snyder.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Transportive, immersive world building. It took me on twists I did not expect and a few I did, but I enjoyed them all. Can’t wait for the next book!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Morgan | Mashleas Reads

    » 3 stars! « Full RTC.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Snyder continues to prove to me why she is one of my favourite authors! Another incredible story and I can’t wait to read more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wow! What an amazing read! It kept me engaged the whole time. I felt like I was Shyla and the detail Maria went in for this story is amazing

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