NAHIA by Patricia Bossano

NAHIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The faery sphere and the human world collide in this third installment of a series.

The story opens with the loss of Celeste, the human who was raised with the faery Princess Nahia as if they were sisters. Celeste had chosen to remain in the human realm so she had lived a short life span instead of the longer one she could have experienced in the faery kingdom. Even in the wake of this grief, Nahia still has a rocky relationship with some of Celeste’s clan. When Nahia is invited to bestow a gift on a new baby in the family, a strange impulse comes over her, and she steals the child and takes him to the faery world, determined to keep him there. When this doesn’t work out, Nahia bides her time and devises another scheme, vowing to be with the man she thinks is destined for her. Lurking beyond these romantic endeavors and family squabbles is another huge threat to the faery kingdom. Ultimately, Nahia will have to make decisions about whether to break promises in order to save the faeries. The story covers many years, but each chapter heading details the time period for the reader’s benefit. The jumps through time can still be a little abrupt—for instance, Chapter 14 covers two pages and spans 14 years, and a notable child quickly goes from a baby to a young talking girl. The characters’ families are quite large, and the reader may need to draw a tree to keep track of them all. Ultimately, such complexities should appeal to readers who enjoy expansive fantasy worlds. In addition, Bossano’s (Cradle Gift, 2013, etc.) writing is beautiful and rich with detail (“She dove into the gnarled gullies and misty woodland on her way to Moon Dancer Lake”). Much of the novel takes place in Spain, and the setting is infused with Basque culture. The immediate conflict in the saga changes a few times—in Chapter 16, the faeries suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives. But the overarching themes of loyalty, family, and weighing one’s own desires versus the greater good remain throughout.

A vivid and intricate fantasy tale about the ties that bind and the conflicts between two realms.

Publisher: Waterbearer Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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