Sneak Peek Wednesday: Of Light and Shadow by Tanaz Bhathena (Giveaway)

Of Light and Shadow
Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: May 23, 2023
Genre: YA

When they don’t give us our birthright, we steal it.

Roshan Chaya is out for justice. Abandoned by her parents at birth and adopted by the kingdom of Jwala’s most notorious bandit before his brutal murder, she is now leader of the Shadow Clan, a gang of farmers-turned-bandits impoverished by the provincial governor’s atrocities and corruption. Roshan’s goal: to avenge her adoptive father and earn back rights and dignity for her people.

Prince Navin has always felt like an outcast. Second in line for the throne, he has never been close to his grandmother, Queen Bhairavi of Jwala. When a night out drinking with friends leads to his capture by the infamous Shadow Clan, Navin schemes to befriend Roshan and use her as a means to escape. His ploy, however, brings Navin closer to the corruption and poverty at the heart of Roshan’s province, raising questions about its governor and Navin’s own family.

To further complicate things, the closer Roshan and Navin get, the harder it becomes to fight their growing attraction. But how can they trust each other when the world as they know it starts to fall apart?

Set in a magical world inspired by the badlands of 17th century India, this standalone epic fantasy novel by Tanaz Bhathena is packed with political tensions, dangerous schemes, and swoon-worthy romance that asks the age old question: can love conquer all?




A boy of around eighteen or nineteen blue moons lay partially hidden behind the sacks of sorghum, fast asleep, a thin trail of drool seeping from his mouth. A length of cloth curled nearby like snakeskin, the sort of finely woven, block-printed, green-and-gold turban wrap available only in big towns or in cities like Surag.A rich Jwaliyan brat, Roshan assessed. A boy who stank of alcohol, sweat, and—her nose wrinkled—vomit. She frowned at the familiarity of his features: high cheekbones, a beaked nose, hair a mess of red-brown curls.

Why did it feel like she’d seen him before?

The boy’s deep emerald jama fell to his ankles in city fashion and was untied at the front, exposing a slender torso and deep brown skin like Roshan’s own. She froze in place when she saw the tattoo on his chest: a small golden bird with uncanny black eyes, its feathered white crown in full bloom, wings and tail feathers spreading out like flames.

Oh. That was why.

“Wait!” She caught hold of Lalit before he shot the boy dead. “Don’t. See that?” She pointed at the tattoo.

“It can’t be,” he murmured, staring at it.

“Fire and ashes! It has to be,” someone else said. “Who else outside the royal family would get a homāi inked on their chest?”

In Ashvamaidan, some saw the homāi as a cursed bird, saying she brought more bad luck than good. But Baba had called the homāi a harbinger of fate, saying that she was the fire goddess’s own companion.

When you see the homāi, know that the fire goddess has played a part in it, bitiya. Know that your future is going to change.




 Meet Tanaz Bhathena

Tanaz Bhathena is an award-winning Zoroastrian author of contemporary and fantasy fiction. Her books include Of Light and Shadow, Hunted by the Sky which won the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award and the Bapsi Sidhwa Literary Prize, and The Beauty of the Moment which won the Nautilus Award for Young Adult Fiction. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.

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2 Thoughts on “Sneak Peek Wednesday: Of Light and Shadow by Tanaz Bhathena (Giveaway)

  1. Thanks for being on the tour! 🙂

  2. What an interesting sounding book.

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