Received from NetGalley for review.
In Nihal of the Land of the Wind we follow Nihal as she grows from being a determined child to a bloodthirsty warrior, alongside her best friend, the sorcerer, Sennar. Nihal is a young girl who has always known where her destiny lies – as a warrior, as a Dragon Knight, fighting against the oppressive Tyrant. Life isn’t always that simple, though. Things happen, things completely out of Nihal’s control and her entire life, and everything she thinks she knows, is turned upside down. It delivers as a light fantasy, it has plenty of action and intrigue, and there are some interesting lands in the Overworld. I feel that the world building could have been expanded upon, though, as I’m still confused about how many lands there are and who lives there, and how the Tyrant came into power – there wasn’t enough back story about the Overland and years often passed by with a quick summary.
The thing that I both liked and disliked about this story is just how realistic Nihal is – she’s annoying, selfish, bloody minded. She gets into trouble all the time and doesn’t listen to the people around her. And she is exactly as I would imagine a distraught teenager in her situation to act. Most of the time I didn’t like her, she was too pig headed and inconsiderate for me, but there were moments when I did, because I knew she was genuine and I hoped she would find her way out of the darkness and into the light. She was definitely an interesting character to watch develop and I’m glad that her infatuation with Fen didn’t completely take over – it was a close call though. A love struck teenager? Painful to read. I loved most of the other characters, Sennar, Phos (wood sprite!) and Ido being my favourites, and I wish they had featured more heavily within the story. Overall, though, I think Troisi has created an intriguing world and story, and I imagine if the second book in the series is translated I will be reading it.
Read: May 28th-June 3rd 2014