Sultana's Legacy is a sad and violent story about the downfall of a family. If you read the first book, you would remember Fatima and Faraj and their incredible love for each other and you probably thought, "This is going to be a HEA.." Eh, not really.
There is too much drama to summarize it in a nice and neat little review package. It spans the entire last half of Fatima's and Faraj's lives. We get to know their children and meet their grandchildren and see how the Sultanate has cursed their lives, how greed ruins a family. In book one, Fatima watched her father ascend the throne. In this book, Fatima watches her father battle an addiction and a slight form of madness. He loses the throne to his son, Fatima's brother: the cruel one who tried to kill her in book one. When Muhammad ascends the throne, heads go flying. This leads to marital discord between Fatima and Faraj as she tries to usurp one brother in order to place another brother on the throne...
By this point, I began to see some madness in Fatima and started to wonder if she was just as nutty as her brother. Or is she just a woman determined to do the right thing at any cost? With all that happens, however, it's a wonder she doesn't lose all of her marbles. One brother replaces another, her husband imprisons her, her son betrays her and Faraj, nephews kill uncles.. all in the name of the Sultanship.. or for the lust of a woman.
Obviously, the drama, the violence, the betrayals were non stop. This is not a boring book. I really enjoyed it, the story, the surprising twists, and the author's perfect balance of descriptive details: not too much, not too little.
I was often confused by the characters' sudden personality changes though. I found it odd... that a man who was willing to defy a Sultan for collaborating with a man who killed a child would later support a Sultan who was lopping off random heads...and Fatima supported one man stealing the throne, so when her son did the same thing, why was she so outraged? In the beginning, Faraj was defying the Sultan and she was telling him how wrong he was, that he must be loyal to the Sultan no matter what. And later, there was a total role reversal as Fatima defied the Sultan and Faraj was all for brown nosing. Throughout the novel, I kept pondering this. But I guess their unpredictability is what made them human. And well, I confess I also thought Fatima may be going through menopause a few times. :p
An exciting read. I should mention there is a lot of violence. It's not for the faint of heart or the squeamish as the author brings to life a violent time. The things men do for power...
Favorite quote: "No, for you could not know the measure of my feelings for her in such a simple answer. The love I bear her is as unfathomable as the depths of the White Sea, even to me."
Four stars and I received this from the author.
And if you missed the first one and want to know more, see my review here: Sultana