TREADMILL Week 113 & What I #AmReading – The Archer’s Heart by Astrid Amara

Treadmill Goals/Tracking

  • Get on the treadmill (or equivalent exercise) daily
  • Pace is fine at 30 min/mile, although I may up it on occasion
  • Time range between 30 minutes and 1 hour per day
  • Distance 1-2 miles per day
  • Read the chosen book, which I won’t allow myself to read outside of my treadmill time, hopefully motivating me to reach or exceed the above goals (exception…at the end of the week where a book is highlighted, I will finish it off-treadmill so I can feature something new the next week)

Week 113: January 20, 2019 – January 26, 2019

Sunday 30 min/mile 30:28 min:sec 1 mile
Monday 30 min/mile 30:23 min:sec 1 mile
Tuesday 30 min/mile 30:48min:sec 1 mile
Wednesday 30 min/mile 30:14 min:sec 1 mile
Thursday 30 min/mile 30:41 min:sec 1 mile
Friday 30 min/mile 30:41 min:sec 1 mile
Saturday 30 min/mile 31:48 min:sec 1 mile

What I’m Reading

Note: Although I will try to avoid them, my weekly reading snippets may or may not contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.

What I #amreading: The Archer’s Heart (book 1 of 3) by Astrid Amara

This is another (long overdue) reread. It’s been a long time, and while I remember loving the book, I’d forgotten the details.

In the ancient kingdom of Marhavad, noblemen dominate the lower castes, wielding mystic weapons, known as shartas, against any who oppose them. For generations the rule of Marhavad’s kings has been absolute. But now the line of succession is divided, and whispers of revolution are heard in even the royal palace.

Keshan Adaru, an outspoken man of unearthly charms, welcomes these changes. All his life he has foreseen an uprising that will shatter the castes and end the tyranny of the old laws. His visions have driven him but now, at the brink of their fulfillment, he finds himself obsessed with Prince Jandu Paran– a man whose entire family must be destroyed if the kingdom is to be freed.

Tarek Amia would gladly see Jandu Paran brought low. Born the son of a charioteer, Tarek has no love for the royal princes who have slighted and insulted him all his life. Only Keshan’s philosophies have elevated him from the brutal ranks of common soldiers. Tarek owes Keshan his devotion, but he is a pragmatic man and when he discovers Keshan’s reckless affair he realizes that Keshan may have to be sacrificed for the sake of his own revolution.

Young Prince Jandu Paran has never concerned himself with court intrigue. His life has been dedicated to the lordly art of archery and mastering the immense powers of the shartas. Handsome and arrogant, he is sure that no man can surpass him and yet Keshan Adaru’s mere touch brings Jandu to his knees. But his desire for Keshan is more than forbidden; it threatens to destroy Jandu’s pride, position and family. In the midst of this turmoil, an unspeakable event forces Jandu to redefine the meaning of honor and loyalty.

And now, as armies arise to war, each man must decide where his allegiance lies and what he will sacrifice in his heart and on the battlefield.

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My favorite lines this week…

✿✿ SUNDAY ✿✿

Keshan turned to follow the crowd into the canopy, when suddenly he saw a young man racing for the pavilion. Unlike the other Triya, who were dressed in their finest, brightest silks and armor, this man wore the plain dark cotton of a soldier. He vaulted over the flowering hedges, his short hair mussed, his skin flushed, and his vest open.

Keshan stared openly as the man paused to straighten his clothes. Only then did he seem to notice Keshan watching him. He glared back.

✿✿ MONDAY ✿✿

Jandu’s stomach tightened at the beauty of Keshan’s expression.

And as Suraya placed the marigold garland around his neck, Jandu realized, terribly, wonderfully, that he was, for the first time in his life, infatuated with someone other than himself.


“Your performance today was amazing, cousin,” Iyestar said. “You are a fantastic archer.”

Jandu nodded. “Yes, I am.”

Iyestar chuckled. “Oh, so that’s true, then.”


“That you are also full of yourself.”


Everyone else in the garden stopped what they were doing. A thick tension simmered, Keshan felt waves of animosity radiating off of Jandu. But Jandu was younger than Darvad, and the same traditions that dictated Jandu’s disdain for Tarek also made it impossible for him to refuse a demand from an older relative.


As Jandu walked, he relaxed. He had always been a constant mover. As a child, his family had made fun of him for his persistent fidgeting. He always drummed his hands on tables and squirmed in his chairs. In fact the only time Jandu was ever still was when he took aim. The moment he held a bow in his hands, the constant need to be in movement ceased, and he could focus all of that reckless energy into one goal, hitting his target.

✿✿ FRIDAY ✿✿

“Let’s stay. I want to see everything.” Jandu let go of Keshan’s hand and spun around, lifting his arms, breathing in the thick, fragrant air. His body tingled, every pore vibrating with the strange newness of the place.


Jandu blushed. He leaned against the tree and watched as Keshan began a soft, lilting song, and Jandu closed his eyes. He wrapped himself in the sounds, letting the music take him away from the tension of the afternoon. The song flirted along the scale; it tilted and lifted and trilled. It started sweet and slow and then sped to a furious pitch and pace, energizing him.

9 thoughts on “TREADMILL Week 113 & What I #AmReading – The Archer’s Heart by Astrid Amara

      1. It’s good when books stand to a re-read. I put off re-reading this one, because, at the time, there has been something bothering about one of the character’s attitude/behavior. (Keshan) But I wanted to get it. Because if an author I like otherwise has made it so, there must be something to it, right? Apparently, now I’ve grown up, at last 😉 Now I got the whys and hows of his behaviour. 😛 or maybe they’re right when they say middle age (ouch) makes us all mellow. pfft (how’s that works anyway? you wake up one morning and realize you’ve crossed that line, because now you are calling others ‘young’, but you’re the same age as you were yesterday, you just stop identifying with them ‘hoodlums and youths of today’?
        srry for the rant. But maybe–can you rec some books that deal with characters of…a certain age, let’s say?
        thnks for lending me the space to vent. (that I took, I k) 😉
        Take care,

        1. I love how we appreciate stories differently at different times in our life, which also helps explain such divergent interpretations and appreciation of stories from various readers. Our lives’ experiences affect our view of the story. The books I love most are ones where our understanding of the characters’ actions are subtly drawn rather than explicitly spelled out. Funny how some books I like better now, and some I like less than I did years ago.

          Ha! I need to seek out more books with characters “of a certain age” myself! I know they’re out there, but I haven’t read too many yet. The idea of it is becoming more and more appealing, though!

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