Sunday, 22 February 2015

Nihal of the Land of the Wind (Chronicles of the Overworld #1) by Licia Troisi

Description from Goodreads:

An international bestseller from an extraordinary storyteller—get ready for Nihal and her world

Nihal lives in one of the many towers of the Land of the Wind. There is nobody like her in the Overworld: big violet eyes, pointed ears, and blue hair. She is an expert in swordplay and the leader of a handful of friends that includes Sennar the wizard. She has no parents; brought up by an armorer and a sorceress, Nihal seems to be from nowhere.

Things suddenly change when the Tyrant takes charge. Nihal finds herself forced to take action when she is faced with the most difficult mission a girl her age could imagine.

Fierce, strong, and armed with her black crystal sword, Nihal sets out to become a real warrior. Readers will be riveted as she forges her powerful path of resistance.

I have to be upfront about something - I had massive expectations about Nihal of the Land of the Wind. I hadn't heard anyone talk about it before I found it requestable on NetGalley and after, that I probably read every review of it on Goodreads. Some people had loved it, some had found it a mediocre. I, on the other hand, convinced myself that it would become my new favourite high fantasy series, without doubt. The book definitely had its moments, but I might have expected a bit too much now in hindsight.

I really liked how the author had decided to depict Nihal and what sort of character development curve she had. She starts off as the tomboy girl dreaming of becoming a Dragon Warrior and facing great adventures, but eventually she learns that there is nothing to be romanticised about war. Despite Nihal being a strong (mentally and physically), independent, self-reliant, and smart, she most definitely isn't perfect as she has a tendency to be a bit self-absorbed, inward about her feelings, and even naive in some respects. However, this didn't make her dislikable but conversely, easy to emphasise with. Her interesting looks with blue hair and violet eyes made me like her even more.

The world building of Nihal of the Land of the Wind doesn't leave the readers cold. The author introduces traditional elements of high fantasy such as magic, dragons, elves, and dwarves and combines them with her own original ideas like tower cities (which I found pretty cool) and the unstable alliance and cooperation between the Wizard Council and Dragon Warriors against the Tyrant. Recently, I have found the importance of world building to be more and more important when reviewing a book, and the novel didn't let me down in terms of world establishment. 

However, I felt like the main audience for the novel was middle grade. Despite having very dramatic and sad scenes in the plot, they weren't fully explored in terms of darkness and despair as I had hoped. The continuum of the story somehow reminded me of fairytales as there was rather little dialogue. The lack of conversing and occasional flat storytelling definitely lowered my view of the story as some scenes felt dragging while other events were described only superficially. The intensity high fantasy books usually have was lacking from Nihal of the Land of the Wind which I ultimately found to be the novel's downfall.

The novel wasn't bad, but I can't say that it blew my mind either. Some of my favourite things were the character development of Nihal, the world establishment, and some twists in the story, but the overall experience left at least me a bit cold. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if I was some years younger. I'm interested in finding out how the story is going to continue, but not entirely sure if I'm so interested that I will actually buy the next book when it's translated. 


  1. Oh, my!
    Licia Troisi is an Italian author! I had no idea her books had been translated into English, this is such a nice surprise! Though I haven't read this one yet xD

    Lovely blog!
    I'm a new subscriber, come vicit my blog and say hi if you'd like to <3

    Frannie @ In clouds of pages

    1. I take it that you're Italian as well? :) This book was just translated into English last summer, so I think it's a relatively new thing! And thanks for the follow!


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