the rare book review: the gauntlet by karuna riazi

I saw this one at my local library and squeed.

me holding the gauntlet

brief summary:

farah mitza finds a sinster board game in her aunt’s room, but before she can start playing it for real, her brother gets sucked in and vanishes. now she has to enter the gauntlet of blood and sand to find him, solve the challenges the game gives her and her friends, and win. but the architect is there, watching everything they do, and it is not as it all seems… *aggressive eyebrows*

3.85 stars! this is definitely not a three-star book. my rating system is weird and Inscrutable.

The world building and concept was incredible. steampunk board games with a middle eastern flair?? sooo yes. the world was so sexy and i would like to stay in it, minus the game :’) [tw food] also all the food made me hungry like so much food. i want [/tw]

and! lizards!! i have a soft spot for lizards and the gigantic ones in this were so sweet and aslfkjhh i just really like lizards okay

this is a really disjointed review

alex and essie were wonderful tbh. they were a really good friend group and worked excellently together, balancing each other out. all the characters were lovely. my fav was the liZArDs and also Vijay, my pure aeronaut son. he is not even particularly pure but like he has a hot air balloon so obviously he’s my son

and the games were really wonderfully thought out. [tw death] my fav was graveyard mancala, i heart playing life-size mancala with jewels in a graveyard against a ghoul and also: bones [/tw]

i didn’t quite? get the ending though? [spoilers + tw blood] i did not understand at all why it started raining blood and it was kind of jarring and random. i do not like blood rain. [/spoilers, tw]

tw for bones/blood, used as horror factor

so yeah! have you read any books with muslim main characters or by muslim authors lately (no seriously i have an intense lack of them)? have you read the gauntlet? [tw food] do you need all the food from it now because holy hells i do [/tw]

also ramadan mubarak / have a peaceful ramadan if you celebrate!! x

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