Book Reviews

Review: The Chariot at Dusk by Swati Teerdhala

I have been waiting for the end of this trilogy since it began with The Tiger at Midnight. Talk about one of my favorite series ever! I have fallen so deeply in love with the characters and they are stunning! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


A queen at last. An empty palace. A kingdom to save.

Esha is reeling from Kunal’s betrayal, but she has a kingdom to rule from behind a thin smokescreen—pretending to be Princess Reha while she sends her most trusted soldiers to collect Reha and Kunal by any means necessary. Traitors, after all, must be punished.

But the Yavar are attacking from every front—tracking down Kunal and Reha in the remote mountains, kidnapping Harun—in search of legendary artifacts that will give them the power to break the precarious janma bond and release the destructive magic back into the lands.

Now that the race is on to find the missing artifacts, Esha must put aside her rage and work with Kunal again—but can she find the strength to forgive him, or will the Viper have her revenge at any cost?


The Chariot at Dusk is a heart stopping finale. Combining the action from The Tiger at Midnight with the more introspective questions from The Archer at Dawn, this finale is a great ending. My question at the beginning was wondering if love could prevail. But as I kept reading, I realized The Chariot at Dusk is more about forgiveness and moving forwards. With choices that leave us hollow, how do we deal with the consequences of our actions?

I will say that the pacing felt a bit hasty towards the end and I had no idea if everything was going to be wrapped up. It was, it just felt like the first half was much slower than the last third. It’s almost like the first half ended up recounting a lot of the previous book, which I needed, but still. It meant that the action that propelled ended up feeling sudden. That being said, the reason I greatly enjoyed The Chariot at Dusk was more about the exploration of forgiveness.

The ways we have to sit with choices that our loved ones make that we don’t agree with. All the moments it reveals about ourselves. Sure it reveals pieces of someone else, what they’re willing to do. But it also tests us. Figures out whether we see someone for who they are, not who we think they are. And I feel like we don’t see this as often in fantasy. Characters who have to grapple with choices they have no say in, and without easy answers. To wonder if we can ever truly let go of the past, to forgive and bride our differences.

While I enjoyed some of the unraveling the past mysteries, I definitely feel like most of that momentum was overshadowed by the ending. But it’s definitely one of my favorite parts of The Chariot at Dusk – especially when they have to find a way to work together. (Also am I the only one who ended up really liking Harun too? Like what a surprise). But the character introspection – from both Esha and Kunal – certainly is my favorite element. Especially as they grapple with who they truly are, Viper and Archer aside.

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To question whether love and vulnerabilities make us weak. To question how much of the past we hold on to. While this may not be my favorite of the trilogy, I think as a finale it delivers resolution (even if it may be hasty) and character development that I enjoyed. As someone who struggles with forgiveness and has always been unsure of how to be vulnerable, this one hit close to home. Find The Chariot at Dusk on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite character who grapples with forgiveness?

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