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Presented by State Library Victoria

The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V Snyder

To start this off, I wanted to quickly talk about Maria V Snyder’s other books. I read two of them, both the first in their respective series. The first one I read was Storm Glass, written in 2009. I remember liking this one quite a bit, though it was a while ago so I can’t remember exactly why, although it did get me interested in glass-blowing. The second was Touch of Power, written in 2011. I found this one not very interesting. The protagonist, female, was lacking all the things that should make female characters interesting, mainly: not falling for the first man we read about. I finished the book, but it put me off her writing for a bit. Thankfully, 8 years later, she published a better book, and I impatiently wait for book two. 

Warning: I won’t reveal anything that is plot-relevant, but if you really want surprises this might not be the review for you!

‘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Sun Goddess – she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps and obscure historical documents.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 bestow great magic on their 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’s 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…

(from Goodreads)


Points of Interest:

  1. Archaeology!
  2. Adventure
  3. More falling for men…
  4. Magic!! and believing in it


  • Just to start this off, I think archaeology is very cool. It’s not something I’ve seen much of in books. Exploring multi-storey underground temples and using the sun to uncover secrets hidden in maps is all very exciting. Although that whole aspect was not deeply explored, I can forgive that and hope for some more working out puzzles in the next book.
  • The whole idea of underground-Zirdai makes adventure and exploration a very different thing to hacking through jungles and traversing vast deserts, although of course, I like that too. Vast underground shafts and long tunnels aren’t something that you see in common cities (of course) and it opens up my imagination. From Shyla’s point of view, this can get quite annoying, and then other measures have to be taken to get where she needs to.
  • So, I do understand that yes people fall in love, but I am seeing it SO MUCH in YA fiction at the moment that it just gets boring, very quickly. Maybe they’re all very similar romances, but sometimes I find myself skipping 30 seconds ahead of my audiobook or skimming the lines of my physical book until I get to the next section (I know, I always hope not to miss out on major plot points). This time I thought it was better, romance only came into it fully at the very end of the book, and I am glad for that. Maria V Snyder made Shyla’s romance much more plot-relevant than it has been in the last few books I read as well, so that’s nice.
  • So, magic! Shyla, as we discover right from the get-go, doesn’t trust anything if she doesn’t have evidence to back it up. Magic is one of those things. She discusses researching the Eyes of Tamburah, and how there are references to magic. It makes me think about how so many ancient texts discuss magic and, although I don’t believe in it (…), I imagine if it had have been real, rather than something added in to make something sound even more extraordinary than it is. 

Overall, yes it was good please give me more