tasha suri

MEET THE LI­BRAR­IAN BE­HIND EM­PIRE OF SAND, AN EPIC FAN­TASY IN­SPIRED BY ME­DIEVAL IN­DIA

SFX - - Red Alert -

Tell us about your pro­tag­o­nist.

Mehr’s fa­ther is a no­ble­man, but her mother’s from a per­se­cuted mag­i­cal cul­ture. When Mehr re­veals she in­her­ited her mother’s mag­i­cal gifts, she draws the at­ten­tion of the em­pire’s ter­ri­fy­ing mys­ti­cal or­der, and has to use cun­ning and ar­ti­fice to sur­vive.

What sparked the idea?

i’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in the women of the Mughal em­pire, who of­ten wielded huge po­lit­i­cal power be­hind the scenes. i wanted to ex­plore the skills a woman honed by pa­tri­ar­chal court pol­i­tics would have. also, Bol­ly­wood movies. of course.

Are the magic el­e­ments your own in­ven­tion?

Con­cepts like bind­ing vows, a world built on dreams, and dance as creation and de­struc­tion are def­i­nitely in­spired by the hindu be­liefs and epics i was raised on.

What kind of re­search did you do?

i read tons of books. i learned some grue­some sto­ries about the early Mughals, in­clud­ing tales of pil­lars of sev­ered heads, and one about a golden drink­ing gob­let made from an en­emy’s skull. Noth­ing livens up a his­tor­i­cal record like a sev­ered head put to a weird use…

What au­thors would you be most happy to be com­pared to in a re­view?

if it was Juliet Mar­il­lier or Cath­erynne Va­lente i’d keel over with joy!

Em­pire Of Sand is re­leased 15 Novem­ber. Tasha Suri is ap­pear­ing at SFX Book Con 2 on 10 Novem­ber – de­tails on p21!

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