BOOK CLUB: The Eyes of Tamburah

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Author: Maria V. Snyder
ISBN: 9781489252807
RRP: $19.99
Publication Date: 17 June 2019
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V Snyder is a fast paced fantasy adventure set in a swelteringly hot, cut-throat, desert underground city.


Shyla the main character in the story is an outcast. She is shunned ignored or taunted because she is sun-kissed, her blonde hair indicating that she has been cursed by the Sun Goddess. Her only real sanctuary is with the Monks who raised her.

However Shyla enjoys adventure and makes her living by transcribing ancient tablets and maps to find lost artifacts and treasures for bounty hunters and her archaeologist friend Banqui. So she lives away from the monks, in the multi-layered, underground city of Zirdai which is ruled by the brutal Water Prince and the murderous Heliacal Priestess.

All is going well for Shyla until she is accused of stealing “the eyes” an ancient artifact that is thought to have magical powers. In the course of clearing her name and regaining the lost eyes, Shyla is tortured, manipulated and double crossed. She fights a secret army, escapes imprisonment, makes friends, inspires loyalty and experiences love. As you can tell Shyla is a high-octane, Lara Croft type of woman!!

The Eyes of Tamburah is unputdownable action, and it is very easy to get completely caught up in this fantastical desert world. I can’t wait for the next book!!

This guest review was submitted by Lyn, one of our long-time Beauty and Lace Club members. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Lyn.

Maria V. Snyder loves to hear from her readers and you can find her on her Website and Facebook.

The Eyes of Tamburah is published by HQ Young Adult and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Young Adult 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are currently reading The Eyes of Tamburah and you can read their thoughts on the book in the comments below, please be aware there may be spoilers.

11 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Eyes of Tamburah

  1. A bit of everything in this read, history (all be it fantasy history), violence, romance, mystery, intrigue and betrayal. Shyla is unliked as she is different, she is “sun kissed” or is it “sun cursed”, she should be with the sun goddess in the eyes of most but strangely she survives due to her rescue by the monks early in life. Her only way to sustain is her research for archeological finds through her only “friend” Banqui. In comes The Eyes of Tamburah, a relic with magical power. When they go missing Shyla’s life is turned upside down and inside out. She needs to find them or her friend Banqui is doomed. Learning so much about her city, Zirdai, her people and he self was not something she expected to ever be her life.
    I really enjoyed this read, more than I expected. I look forward to the next in the series, hoping time passes fast till its release. Not a cliff hanger but it leaves you wanting!
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace book club for giving me the opportunity to find another Author I like to read!

  2. The Eyes of Tamburah is set in place similar to ancient Eygpt but in a different world or on a different planet. The main character Shyla is an outcast based on the colour of her skin and hair and is shunned by ‘normal’ society. When Shyla and her only friend are accused of stealing a rare magical artifact, Shyla sets out to find the truth. Its a story of coming of age, finding strength when you need it, fighting for what’s right and that sometimes people are not what you first think and becoming a hero to yourself and others. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its SciFi magical theme and I am now waiting on Book 2. Thank you to Beauty and Lace, Maria V Snyder and Harper Entertainment for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this good. Good Read 9/10.

  3. The Eyes of Tamburah is a young adult fantasy book about a ‘sun-kissed’ researcher Shyla who is caught up in the theft of precious stones. These stones have the ability to tip the balance of power in the city, by whoever possesses them. It is up to Shyla to find them, but who does she trust to give ‘The Eyes of Tamburah’ to. Along the way Shyla learns to rely on her own strengths and learns to recognize true friends from those that just want her for her abilities.
    I really enjoyed this fast paced read, set in a fantasy world similar to the ancient Egyptian society. It is full off mysterious places and people, all with their own agenda. Every page lead well onto the next, I look forward to reading about future adventures of Shyla in the next book of the series. A great young adult read.
    Thank you Beauty & Lace and Harper Collins Publishers, for the opportunity to read and review Maria V. Snyder book “The Eyes of Tamburah”.

  4. Was a really enjoyable read! Had a little of everything -fantasy, action, love and magic! Just loved the fantasy element…of the underground city on a hot planet and all the magical animals and unique underground lives of its inhabitants. Very thorough and descriptive details on their day to day lives, from their food and clothing to the internal structures and socio-economic systems. Really brought the book alive. Love the development of the main characters confidence in her abilities and belief in herself. A fantastic book for young adults!
    Especially loved the strong, balanced, intelligent female lead – Shyla. Was a fantastic read and would make a fantastic movie!

  5. The Eyes of Tamburah is a book that took me by surprise.

    I’ve seen books by Maria V. Snyder before using in the kids section of the stores and thought that I probably wouldn’t enjoy them.
    I was wrong, very wrong, I’m so sorry for never picking up one of Maria’s books before.
    Thrilling, enchanting, mystical, adventurous, exciting. So many things wrapped up in one story.
    This book is stunning.

    Let’s begin.
    Shyla is a researcher who lives in the underground desert city of Zirdai. Living underground means traveling through tunnels to get around the city. Like above ground buildings below ground buildings also have many different floors.
    The city of Zirdai is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and the brutal Heliacal Priestess.
    Shyla is sun-kissed which makes her an outcast and she is considered cursed so her life is about living low and out the way.
    As a researcher it is Shyla’s job to find lost artefacts and ancient maps.
    Banqui is an archaeologist and has uncovered The Eyes of Tamburah but just as he found them they were stolen, so he asks his friend Shyla to help him find them.

    Through the city she travels, down tunnels, across lands finding out many secrets along the way.
    Some secrets and discoveries she makes are about herself and this gives her some revelations about who she is.

    Shyla is smart, strong and loyal a wonderful lead character. You know she’d help you out.

    How can I describe The Eyes of Tamburah.
    I’d describe it as an adventure like Indiana Jones set in a desert like the Sahara a bit of Hunger Games, a touch of fantasy with loyalty, friendship and finding yourself in there too.

    Some books you just ‘read’ and some books you fall into and this is the later.
    The writing is so descriptive that you feel that you could be there through every twist and turn of the story.

    I enjoyed this book and the writing style of Maria V. Snyder so much that I’ve already bought another two of her books to read.

  6. I would thoroughly recommend this book, it certainly reinforced for me the old adage of never judging a book by its cover. I had heard of Maria V Snyder but I had never read one of her books. I will certainly looking up her other books after reading this one.

    Shyla is a misfit, shunned by her community due to the color of her hair. She was raised by monks but has now forged her own path as a researcher and made a good friend in Banqui, an archeologist.

    When she helps to discover the Eyes of Tamburah, believed to possess magical powers, she sets of a chain of events that will keep you reading to the last page. In order to save her friends life she will need to obtain the stolen artefacats overcoming many challenges along the way.

    I loved the detail wrapped around the central storyline, the power struggles, culture and customs. It drew me in and left me wanting more.

  7. I must be too distracted by life at the moment. I found the sun jump and sun angle concept difficult to work out the time frame. I have no clear picture of a Velbloud, Gamelu, trol lantern or druk . Would have enjoyed more descriptive writing. Sorry I felt a bit lost. The Eyes of Tamburah is not for me.

  8. This was a fun book to read with the twists and turns of lies, politics, religion, discrimination, distrust, love and banding together against the different enemies (depending on whose perspective you were looking at).

    The author quickly developed the characters and environment so you feel quickly into what was happening and why. It did loose a little bit of momentum in the middle but recovered.

    This was a gripping young adult book which would entertain the young (and old) alike.

  9. THE EYES OF TAMBURAH
    MARIA V. SNYDER
    The only thing I regret about reading this book is that the next one is not due out until 2020. It is completely gripping from the start and the convolutions of the story just keep coming. Every time I formulated a ‘theory’ something would happen to change my opinion. In other words it kept me guessing almost right to the end.
    It is set in a very harsh landscape where people needed to live far underground to survive a killing sun. As is the case in many real-life situations there is a large discrepancy between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ of society. The power of this society is concentrated between 2 people who are jockeying to become the sole power. There is zero care or consideration for any of the society that doesn’t aid them in some form and even valuable assets are terminated as soon as they become less valuable.
    Shyla, the main protagonist, is catapulted into a series of life changing events that are far from her former, solitary and marginalised life as a ‘sunkissed’ person who should have been left to die at birth. There are indications throughout the book that she may be an important part of an ancient prophecy….I’ll leave it to readers to make their own decision about this.
    I was completely enthralled and would really recommend this story, I am marking it so I remember to check for the sequel in 2020. Thank you Maria V Snyder and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read it.

  10. The Eyes of Tamburah is a young adult fantasy book about a ‘sun-kissed’ researcher named Shyla. Her employer is suspected of stealing a set of precious stones and so is she! The stones are sought by two sides, the religious and royal caste and whomever has control of the stones will control the city. Shyla must find them to save herself and her friend.

    A youth fantasy novel with a detailed plot set in an alternate world where safety from the sun is everything. The author takes you into a new world and the story moves fast. Along the way Shyla developers as a character and must go through many obstacles.

    I didn’t always feel that this was a young adult read as the plot is very detailed and keeps you hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I am looking forward to another book in the series!

    Thank you to Harper Collins Publishers and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review This book.

  11. The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V Synder is set in the desert city of Zirdai. This city is underground, due to the world above being extremely hot. The author has carefully crafted the underground world, as she takes the main character Shyla up and down the layers of the city. Shyla is a young researcher who is labelled as a sun-kissed which means she is an outcast within the society due to being born above ground. Her role involves searching for artefacts, maps and clues to find treasures.

    Shyla’s quiet life is turned upside down when the Eyes of Tamburah are stolen and she is enlisted to find them by the Water Prince. Once the storyline was set up, I was quite immersed in the adventures of Shyla and it moved along quite fast. There was a bit of everything, and I liked that there was a dash of romance added in. As this is the first in the series, I will definitely be sourcing the additional books!

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