‘A flight of broken wings’ by Nupur Chowdhury

TITLE: A flight of broken wings

AUTHOR: Nupur Chowdhury

GENRE: Fantasy

PUBLISHER: Self published

PUBLICATION DATE: 26th August 2018

MY RATING: 3.5/5

Blurb

Six hundred years ago, humanity rose up in revolt against the Aeriels, who were driven from earth and back into their homeland of Vaan after a bloody and glorious war.

Eight years ago, Ruban’s home was destroyed and his family murdered by an Aeriel. 

When a new Aeriel threat looms over Ragah, the capital city of Vandram, Ruban Kinoh must do everything in his power to avenge his family’s past and protect the future of his country. 

Which is hard enough without being saddled with a pretty and pompous aristocrat, who seems as useless as he is vain. Faced with a conspiracy that might cost humanity its hard-won freedom, and accompanied by the bejeweled and glitter-clad Ashwin Kwan, Ruban begins his journey into a land where the past and the future intertwine.

Thoughts and Opinions

From a young age we are taught not to judge a book by its cover, both metaphorically and literally. Instead, we are encouraged to discover what lies beneath the surface and appreciate something based on what we find there. From a literal point of view, I think judging books by their cover is absolutely fine and, to a certain extent, I would encourage it. Book cover design is an important subsection of the publishing industry and major publishing companies spend good money to ensure that their book covers are both attractive and appealing to the appropriate target audiences. Consequently, readers are able to make more informed decisions about choosing which books to read. However, while I believe that judging books by their cover is perfectly acceptable, doing so also comes with the responsibility of being honest and fair; if your judgement turns out to be incorrect and ill-founded, then you have a responsibility to be honest and admit as such.

Based on the cover, I thought that Nupur Chowdhury’s A flight of broken wings wouldn’t be good. I’m happy to admit I was very, very wrong.

Often with a self-published book, I find that the characters lack depth and are written in voices that are indistinguishable from one another. A flight of broken wings suffered from no such issues. The two leads, Ruban and Ashwin, are both well written and the dynamic relationship that develops between them was an integral part of the story’s progression. Their relationship was particularly enjoyable for me as, in certain regards, it reflected the relationship that I had with the book itself. As my initial judgements of the book were being proved to be incorrect, so was Ruban’s judgement of Ashwin. Beyond the leads, I found many of the minor characters to be similarly intriguing, particularly the Aeriels. Chowdhury’s writing has imbued them with a believable intensity and, in many cases, a strong sense of vitriol that deserves to be commended.

Beyond the characters, I thought that Chowdhury was also fairly successful in developing a world for them to inhabit. She has taken the time to imbue each of the countries visited with their own distinct culture and feel. While it wasn’t always the easiest to visualise the aesthetics of these places however, I was able to get a strong visualisation of the Aeriel’s off-world kingdom of Vaan from the author’s descriptions. One aspect of Chowdhury’s world that I felt dislike for, however, were instances where elements of reality were suddenly included, such as the arbitrary reference of facebook and twitter. Unfortunately, these moments only served to break the suspension of disbelief from what was otherwise an immersive and believable fantasy world.

A flight of broken wings is far from being a perfect book. There are definitely some pacing issues, particularly during the books first third, and some of the human countries would be better served with more aesthetical descriptions in any future instalments. However, the plot and characters held my attention very well and, ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. So look past the cover and give it a go. I never would have read this book if the author hadn’t asked me for a review, but now I’m very glad that she did.

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