The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem from @orbitbooks #BookReview #Fantasy
The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem
Orbit Books, pb, £8.79
Reviewed by Mikaela Silk
Sylvie is an orphan, a chemist’s apprentice, and a citizen of Mahair. Sylvie is the mask that Essiya, heir to the Jasad throne, created to protect her. The magic running through her veins is a death sentence, even with the invisible cuffs keeping it trapped under her skin. All she wants to do is forget the past and build a new, simple life for herself. Yet the past seems to be chasing her.
I love the character of Sylvie. Her traumatic experiences have both forged her and broken her. I enjoyed watching her journey as she slowly re-learns how to trust others and begins to access the hidden parts of herself. Despite being so closed up, she manages to build incredibly close relationships. These create strong dynamics that Sarah Hashem often utilises to move the plot along.
There is a lot of conflict between the character and the plot as Sylvie battles internally between doing what is right and doing what is needed to survive. Her childhood taught her to do what was right, but she feels so distanced from that life now. However, it is interesting to see how her experiences in this book begin to slowly merge her two lives together and break down the walls she has built around her past.
The idea of the challenge is central to this book, yet it pales in comparison to the intrigue that is woven around it. All three tasks are portrayed as highly dangerous, yet I never once feared for Sylvie’s life during them. Instead, her life seemed most at risk outside of the tasks. Each person she meets presents a danger of discovery, and she seems to create new enemies with alarming ease.
Jasad magic is not explored in any great depth. It is mostly hinted at in a way that makes it clear how powerful it is, yet Hashem hides the truth of what Jasad magic could really do. We get the impression that Sylvie could change the world with her powers, but there is no predictable path for how this could be achieved. I think that this sets it up perfectly for the next book, a book which I very much hope comes out sooner rather than later!