REVIEW: The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem

The Jasad Heir is a story about fate and corruption just as much as it is one about dark magic and romance. Sara Hashem’s debut Fantasy digs its roots deep into a very real historical inspiration: the Arab Spring. A focus on Egypt’s modern history of dynasties and rebellions over the godlike pharaohs and jackal gods of the past, the Jasad Heir delivers a surprising story of thrilling politics with the type of smirking fun prescribed for horizontal reading. Ivory palaces and slimy monsters meet characters torn between memory and myth, scars and romance. The Jasad Heir is about people living in the aftermath of tragedy.

Jasad Heir Sylvia, a chemist’s apprentice, makes sure that no whispers of her past exist. When Jasad burned, its heir turned to ash with it, transforming her into someone else entirely. A new name, new story, new identity. Only the painful memories stayed. After a rather bloody mess with a soldier in the woods and the championship festivities commence, she’s sucked into the cunning gaze of the Nizahl Heir and his meticulously planned out plot. She agrees to be her enemy’s champion, or else risk her very survival, Sylvia agrees to help Arin take down Jasadi rebels.

Danger always seems a possible horror for Sylvia. But she’s no fool willing to put the right thing over surviving yet another threat. If there’s something she loves more than anything, it’s her people. Arin, who always wears gloves and does not take them off unless it’s for a kill, enrages her. They would maim each other if they didn’t find they could get something out of the other. Both are immensely scarred, selfish, and cunning. I appreciate seeing characters that are made from their circumstances without any apology for it. They’d each kill a giant spider with nothing but a dagger than face their own emotions truthfully.

The enemy she’s supposed to hate, but hard as she tries, Arin’s layers are fascinating— how much he loves his people, the way his cunning mind turns and concocts one plan after the next, practicality in the face of death, and his unnatural fixation with maps. It’s a fun fantasy adventure that I’m glad to have read. I want to see what happens in this world. But I especially want to see Arin and Sylvia happy.  I am sure Hashem has much more heart wringing in the follow up to the Jasad Heir.

The Jasad Heir is an entertaining ride, specifically made for those that love to investigate the scars and the shapes they form on real people stuck in a world of smoke and mirrors. High rise feelings, family sagas that are anything but pretty, a realm of enemies in a pit of lies, and unmistakable enjoyment for a grateful fantasy reader. The Jasad Heir makes a compelling case to receive your nightmares and hit them where it bleeds.

Read The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem

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Brigid Flanagan

Brigid Flanagan

Brigid spends her life searching the deep, dark world of words and storytelling. She spends her time thinking about folklore, mythology, lyrical sagas, and a mixture of all types of romantic legendary tales. They review @thefantasyinn and have written for media outlets on anything having to do with bookish content and nerdy fandom.