Jul 26, 2019

Review--The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V. Snyder

Treasure hunting has never been more dangerous... Tomb Raider meets Poison Study!

New York Times bestselling author Maria Snyder begins an action-packed new fantasy series.

'He thinks you are the thief...'

Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed - an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess - she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps, and obscure historical documents. Her quiet life is about to change when Banqui, an archaeologist, enlists her services to find The Eyes of Tamburah: legendary gemstones that bestows great magic to its wielder. These ancient objects can tip the balance of power and give whoever possesses them complete control of the city.

But chaos erupts when The Eyes are stolen soon after they're found - and Shyla is blamed for the theft. Forced to flee, with the Prince's soldiers and the Priestess' deacons on her trail, Shyla must recover the jewels and clear her name. A quest that will unearth secrets even more valuable than The Eyes of Tamburah themselves...

Maria V. Snyder returns to the world of fantasy with shiny new series, entitled The Archives of the Invisible Sword! The Eyes of Tamburah starts off with a roaring bang and it’s not going to let up anytime soon, if I know Maria, and I do! This new fantasy world is not like one she’s written before and I have to say I like the new atmosphere, even if I would never want to visit myself, because heat! Lol.

Shyla is what you would call an artifact finder. She’s got an eye for detail and can help people find whatever treasure they are looking for, for a price. When her only friend, Banqui, comes to her needing help finding the mythical Eyes of Tamburah, she is quick to help. Banqui is terrified that the Water Prince will have him imprisoned, or worse, if he doesn’t find the Eyes soon and give them over to him. Shyla is on the job whether she wants to or not when Banqui is imprisoned.

The story soon takes us on quiet the search for these magical Eyes. Shyla isn’t too sure she believes in magic, but she’ll do whatever it takes to help her friend. She’s got a lot going against her, firstly is that she’s a “Sun-Kissed” meaning her hair is yellow like the sun when everyone else in the realm of Zirdai has dark colored hair. Shyla should’ve been sacrificed to the Sun Goddess as a baby, but was rescued by monks who raised her until she was old enough to set off on her own when she refused to take on the life of a monk herself. She’s seen as an outsider among her own people because of this and is looked down upon more often than not.

Then there’s the Heliacal Priestess to deal with as well, who also wants Shyla to find the Eyes but give them to her instead of the Water Prince and she’d agree to release Banqui from his prison. Not sure who she should trust in this dangerous situation, Shyla knows she’ll have to keep her guard up at all times.

The Water Prince sends his head guard, Rendor with Shyla on her quest and naturally, Shyla is hesitant with him as well. The Eyes that she is looking for are very powerful indeed and people are willing to kill to get them. So even if she does find them, she will have to safeguard them if she ever hopes to rescue her friend.

During her search, she catches wind of a mythical group called the Invisible Sword who was rumored to have the Eyes a long time ago. She figures if she can learn about who this group used to be and where they might have gathered, she might find more clues as to where the Eyes could be. Though it would appear the secret group wasn’t quite dead like everyone had thought…

*cue dramatic music*

Needless to say that this book really keeps a reader on their toes! You never really knew who you could trust in this story! Since Shyla was our main character, we were always aware that she was among the trustworthy, but everyone else was fair game! I have reader whiplash from all the back and forth I had going with these characters! But I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way!

This book was a different kind of fantasy than Maria’s previous Study books—which you all know how much I adored those—but it was just as magical and enchanting as they were. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the next book as there were a LOT of developments in this one! Ones I can’t divulge in for spoiler reasons, obviously, but will happy to bring up again come next year! Lol.

I’m happy to say that Maria’s new cast of characters here have traits of her previous characters that I loved before! Such as Shyla being a bit of a smart-mouth and one not to back down from a challenge. A mysterious and swoonworthy hero known as Rendor who continued to confound me as much as he did Shyla. And a few other characters who had me grinning at little antics and such. Maria has always known how to write loveable characters, this is proven again and again with every new book she writes! So it’s pretty much a fact of life now, in case you were new to her books!

Though being categorized as a YA book, this one kind of falls under both YA and adult, much like Maria’s Study series did. In the US that series was shelved in adult, while I believe the UK shelved it as YA. It’s definitely a mature YA to say the least. While there is nothing graphic or sexual in nature happening, besides some steamy tension filled moments here and there, there is quite a bit of violence. So if that’s something you’re wary of in reading, be aware that is happens in here. Not so much as abuse, but actual “I’ll kill you” type violence! There might have been one or two close calls of a deeper kind of abuse, but it was more a possibility of it happening then it every actually happening. Just wanted readers to be aware of that before reading. The violence is what you would expect of a fantasy read, let’s just say that!

The Eyes of Tamburah is a fast favorite for me! Pretty much everything Maria writes is a favorite and her newest story proved no different! It’s an exciting story set in a new kind of fantasy land that is sure to have you craving blue skies and green grass! But it’s fun taking a walk on the wild side every now and then…even if it is several feet below ground! If you’re looking for an exciting new fantasy to read that will have you entertained from the getgo and breathless for more by the end, look no further than The Eyes of Tamburah!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars



  1. This sounds like a great new series! I have added it to my TBR. Thanks so much for putting it on my radar and sharing!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

  2. This sounds SO GOOD! I saw the cover on Goodreads the other day and was immediately intrigued. I did see it shelved on GR as New Adult though. Either way, it sounds fantastic!

  3. I love Maria Snyder. This sounds like a great new series!


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