Monday, May 24, 2021

Cover Reveal & Book Review: Amok by Anna Tan

Hello! I am excited today to announce that I have joined the team to reveal the book cover of Amok by Anna Tan. Amok is a story about faith, loyalty and war, rich with elements inspired by traditions and cultures that are familiar in Malaysia. This book has easily became one of my favourite books released in 2021, and I hope that more people will read it, especially Malaysians.

Details of the book are also available below, including my review on it. Now, let me present to you the glorious cover art for Amok!


Title: Amok
Series: Absolution #1
Author: Anna Tan
Publisher: Teaspoon Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Ebook
Expected Publication Date: June 24th 2021
Pages: 345

Synopsis (Goodreads): What is faith, except hope in desperation?

All Putera Mikal wants is to gain the Amok Strength, the supernatural power granted by Kudus to the Mahan royal family. No matter how religiously Mikal keeps his vows, Kudus still denies him the Strength—whilst his father, Sultan Simson, flaunts the Strength despite his blatant defiance of the Temple and the priests’ visions of coming doom.

Then the prophecies come true.

Taken captive, Mikal must find a way to liberate his people and restore his throne in Maha—and the key to this is the Amok Strength. But what does it take to gain Kudus’ favour?


My rating: 5 / 5 ★

Trigger warning: abuse, violence

Amok follows the story of Putera Mikal, the prince of Maha, the first city-state of Terang. All Putera Mikal wanted was for his faith to be acknowledged by Kudus, the God of Terang, and finally gain access to the Amok Strength that all royals are supposed to possess when they come of age. Yet no matter how Mikal kept his vows to Kudus, he was still weak, while his father who defied Kudus continued to flaunt his Amok Strength.

When Maha was suddenly invaded and destroyed by their enemy, Mikal was thrown into sufferings and humiliation—especially when his best friend, Yosua, who used to be his servant, was suddenly revealed to be the enemy's Raja Muda (Crown Prince). And Mikal was forced to bow and turned into Yosua's servant. And no matter how much Mikal prayed, Kudus continuously denied the Amok Strength from him.

I just want to take a short moment to express my appreciation towards the elements of Malay traditions and cultures that were included in Amok. Reading so many Malay words and things like silat (a Malay art of self-defence), our clothings like baju kebaya and samping, titles/positions like Baginda Paduka, Bendahara, Laksamana, etc.—they all felt so close to my heart. They made me enjoy reading the book, and feel proud at the same time to finally see my traditions in a fantasy book.

Amok is quite a fast-paced read and I could not put it down as I kept wanting more of it. One moment, Putera Mikal was only whining because he could not gain the Amok Strength and the rest were at peace, but the next moment, he was betrayed by his very own best friend. It was easy to like Mikal; despite never having enough confidence in himself, he always tried his best for the sake of his people. There were times where he could be seen as a brat, but who can blame him? He was turned from a prince into a servant overnight, and to made it worse, he had to be his best friend's servant.

I loved Yosua from the moment he first appeared in the story. Unlike Mikal who was reckless and rough around the edges, Yosua is softer and much more patient than his prince. Just like Mikal, his position was changed overnight too, from being a servant, to being his best friend's Tuan (Master). Their friendship was put to a terrible test, because unlike in Maha, Yosua's people were more savage and cruel to their servants. In order to keep Mikal safe, Yosua has to play the role as a cruel Tuan. His fierce loyalty towards Mikal rather surprised me, but it still did not change the fact that he had betrayed Mikal.

Apart from Mikal's growth throughout the story, Amok also focused on the bond between Mikal and Yosua. I think there was nothing more heartbreaking than Mikal being abused by someone that used to be his confidant, someone that he used to consider as a brother. Mikal was broken to the point he lost all hope that left him as an empty shell, and at the same time, Yosua was torn apart because it was the only way to protect Mikal. It was agonising to see these two boys, forced to suffer the consequences of the actions made by adults. The amount of violence and abuse can be rather traumatising, and I find myself gasping and shaking when reading these parts.

I believe that the religion in this story was inspired by certain elements in the teachings of Islam and Christianity, perhaps even including bits of other religion. But I am glad to say that the author wrote it well without disrespecting any of the mentioned religions. The source of power for the Maha royalty's Amok Strength and the fate of Mikal's father were also similar to the story of Samson—who appears in the Old Testament of the Bible—an exceptionally strong hero of the Israelites of the ancient Near East. (More on that here:

Amok is a story of questionable faith, unending loyalty and hopeless rebellion in a war, all caused by the greed of someone with huge power. The writing style is impeccable, and I honestly loved every single part of the story with my whole heart. Although there were a lot of pain, the story was concluded very well. If you enjoy reading fantasy that focuses on the growth of the main character, friendship that are put to test in a terrible condition, powerless princes and changed positions (which is now my favourite trope), then Amok is perfect for you!

Wait, you know what? Whatever your reading preferences is, I am definitely recommending this book to you. This is a book that no one should miss!

Many thanks to the author, Anna Tan, and Teaspoon Publishing for the e-ARC copy in exchange for my honest review. Amok will be released on 24th of June 2021, and you can pre-order a copy now on or

I'm going to pre-order a physical copy for myself too after this!


Funny how your dreams can come true and you find that they weren't what you truly wanted.

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

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