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.
Beth says 3.5 Stars...
So this year I decided to make a bookish New Years Resolution and it's been the only one I've ever kept going this long. A part of that was to read more books from outside the Anglophone world and that's the main reason I was interested in Nihal, which was translated from Italian. Well, that and the awesome cover/summary. The plot takes a bit to get going because it's an introduction to a whole new high fantasy world, but is totally fascinating. I really liked the world building and want to know more about the lands of the Overworld. The Tyrant makes an excellent unseen enemy and I quite like the idea of his development into an evil powerhouse. There is a big problem with the book: the writing. It's hard, however, to discuss fully because this is a translation and quite often issues not present in the original bubble up in a new language. The prose doesn't flow as smoothly as it should and tends to get unwieldy. It's impossible to know if the issues stem from the translation or are inherent in Troisi's original writing, so I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.
For some reason I found Nihal palatable despite the fact that she has some qualities I rather dislike. She's obsessive, thoughtless, and constantly disregards advice she should listen to. However, by the end of the book she has grown quite a bit and begins to recognize her weaknesses. Sennar is a better character by far. He's interesting, thoughful, and compelling. Although the first time we meet him he's obnoxious, he grows to become Nihal's biggest supporter and a powerful crusader for peace. I really would like to have a book from his perspective! A strength of the book is its supporting characters, who have depth and offer a range of ideas and experiences. The fascinating politics of the Overworld form an undercurrent with many of the characters involved in one major political entity or another. I hope that the next books explore this further.
The series is promising and I can see reasons it would be a best seller in Italy. It's one that serious fans of high fantasy should definitely give a try. The world is fascinating and there's serious potential for the story during the rest of the series. I know that I'll keep going to see what happens in the Overworld.
ebook from publisher
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Here is our rating system: One Star - Use as doorstop Two Stars - Bearable while on pain medication Three Stars - Read once, do not repeat Four Stars - Definitely keep it on your shelf Five Stars - Use as altar
So we've decided to join the challenge! This is just a preliminary list, and is definitely subject to change (we'll be doing a lot of adding as books begin to be released in order to get to the 12 we need!). Also, this is no order whatsoever. (if the book is in a color, it means one of us has read it!)
1. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
2. Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
3. Like Madarin by Kirsten Hubbard
4. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens
5. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
8. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
11. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
12. Possession by Elana Johnson
Fantasy Reading Challenge
1. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 2. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal 3. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin 4. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher 5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black 7. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce 8. Entice by Carrie Jones 9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 11. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr 12. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 13. Matched by Ally Condie 14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire 15. Entwined by Heather Dixon 16. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 17. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst 18. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan 19. Possession by Elana Johnson 20. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford 21. So Silver Bright by Lisa Manchev
Welcome to "in BetweeN the pages." This is a little project that we've started and we hope that it will allow us to engage in some lovely book talk. Here's a little about us-
Beth~ I have a feeling that I may have a problem. I adore books. I read whenever I can, and most of the time feel that reading a good book would be a much better use of my time than working on anything else. I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in chemistry and love science! I'm currently living in Finland while doing some research as a Fulbright before embarking on my PhD. Hopefully you will enjoy what I say... but I tend to ramble.
Nathan~ For me, reading is the ultimate escape. A good book is so much better than any therapist can ever be. I am, what many might call, a book addict. It may be wrong, but it feels so right to blow off my homework and sit curled up with a novel. It's the ultimate relaxation. Books have gotten me through school and all the drama that accompanies it. I hope that my humble opinions can help you as you continue your literary adventure.