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Mad sisters of Esi by Tashan Mehta — Book Review & Summary

AUTHOR: Tashan Mehta

PUBLISHED ON: 29 September 2023

GENRE: Fiction/ Fantasy

RATING: 4.5 Stars

“The museum is our friend, our companion, and the quiet witness to the lives that came before us.”


From where to start talking about Mad Sisters of Esi? The book sisters will suggest from the beginning, and they will be correct. In the small world of the whale of Babel are two sisters. Two keepers of the whale. Myung and Laleh. They live a content life within the whale, traversing from one chamber to another, from one world to another, recording being keepers of the whale. Once more was needed. A thought has been troubling Myung about who they are or who made them and if there are more people out there—the questions that didn’t allow her to rest and those that didn’t bother Laleh. And so, Myung did what a dreamer would: she left in her search for questions, leaving her sister alone.

In their quest to find each other again, they reach a new place, Ojda. And with a new place, they learn a tale so similar to theirs. They know about Mad Sisters of Esi. They learn about sisterhood and love and sacrifice and pain. But will either sister find their way to the other?

These alchemists were fascinated by an element more elusive: understanding.


I am blown away. It’s been a while since I sat and read because I was busy with many things. But this book. Mad Sisters of Esi was a book that made me soft and vulnerable again. It made me think and marvel at the beauty of love. What a life I was living that this book made me feel love once again.

I generally read fantasy, but there was something about this book that I was pulled to this mixture of fiction and fantasy. The book is heavily based on world-building. There are way too many worlds hidden in this book, and I love it. There is freshness, newness and uniqueness.

The title, Mad Sisters of Esi, suggests that this book is based on sisters, on sisterhood, and oh boy, I was not prepared for this emotional ride. I would not lie. In the beginning, all I wanted to know was about them, but as the stories progressed, I only wanted to know the story. I just wanted reunions that didn’t materialise the way I would have loved rather in a way that broke me again.

Mad Sisters of Esi is a tricky book. It includes a lot of storytelling. Yes, story telling (not showing per se). The story flows at different times, jumps between pages, and comes in the form of research papers, journal entries and metaphors. It won’t work for many people, but oh boy, it did for me, and I am so glad for it.

I LOVE THE WRITING. Reading fantasy is fun, but there is something about fiction and dark academia books that fantasy doesn’t have (and that’s not a bad thing) – the lyrical writing. I forgot the power of words for a while. But I came across word after word, and I fell in love with the script. There are so many powerful sentences, so many beautiful sentences, so many words innocently put one next to another that can make you cry.

“In the stories, mended friendships are bright and eager ; each friend unburdens secrets they have been yearning to share in their time apart. But this mending is only awkward. The hurt lingers, as do the uglier and angrier echoes of themselves.”

This book is provided by Blog Chatter.

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I think it is painfully beautiful that when Laleh came across people, she felt good. She could realise what Myung wanted. She understood the lure of people and the loneliness that was always there. The “We” as a unit. While, Myung who saw the world, wanted to find her way back to Laleh, to her sister, to her home.


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