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Review

A Flight of Broken Wings by Nupur Chowdhury

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://nupurink.blogspot.com/
SERIES: The Aeriel Chronicles
PUBLISHED: August 17, 2018 (Self-published)
PAGES: 320
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction

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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.


Review

ALSO REVIEWED AT: Goodreads

A Flight of Broken Wings is a charming and beautiful blend of science fiction and urban fantasy with a unique and beautifully-executed concept, and a riddle that had me guessing until the very end. This is the first book I’ve read by author Nupur Chowdhury, and without any idea on what kind of world I was about to be delivered to, I was pleasantly hooked a mere few pages in, unable to put it down. It’s always exciting to be introduced to new authors that you know have a promising future.

Ruban Kinoh has experienced such profound loss, he has dedicated his life to battling the Aeriel threat and rid the world of humankind’s greatest enemy. Upon learning of a new weapon formula that could finally give men the upper hand in this ongoing, centuries-long war, he learns of an Aeriel plot to steal said formula right from under the noses of its chief scientists. Along the way, Ashwin Kwan, a mysterious stranger, becomes interwoven into Ruban’s life and insists on aiding in the investigation that could potentially determine the faith of the entire world. This probe and a series of strange events lead them on a cross-country journey that delivers them right into the grasp of Tauheen, the brutal and extremely coercive last Aeriel Queen, all while a human mole is secretly passing her crucial information. Do Ruban and Ashwin have what it takes to untangle this web of conspiracy before it’s too late?

This is a tale of opposites – gentle love and crushing loss, shadowy deceit and immense loyalty. It is a tale of adversity and overcoming what you’ve been conditioned to believe – having faith where you’ve always believed faith is not due. It teaches us that where we believe to see an enemy, there may be a friend in disguise and jumping to conclusions is always detrimental to everyone.

Chowdhury’s dynamic character development is superb, creating clear heroes and adversaries that each possess their own tragic flaws. Ruban’s past, which is painfully presented to us in the first few pages of the book, serves as a solid stepping stone into understanding his disposition throughout. His animosity towards those who took everything away from him as a child clearly blinds him to the telltale signs that keep appearing. Ashwin, at first presented as a dainty, pompous, air-headed noble, quickly becomes a charismatic and crucial player in the outcome of this ongoing war. Tauheen is vicious and manipulative and has found herself the enemy of both human and Aeriel alike. Dialog is witty and full of emotion, beautifully creating bridges between unlikely allies.

I’m also fond of the wonderfully crafted environment that pulls reference from our very own world. Vivid descriptions and smartly placed tertiary characters really bring Chowdhury’s creation to life. Her magical depictions of various towns and cities make this adventure feel overwhelmingly real and immersive. Our trip into Vaan, the land of the Aeriels, is breathtakingly dazzling.

Abject horror and brutality is hinted at throughout, but never truly shown to readers in actuality, perfectly preventing the story from spiraling into the category of ‘dark fantasy’, regardless of its darker themes. Being a story of war with a despicable tyrant, this story remains relatively unsullied.

I’m ecstatic I have been given the opportunity to read this and am looking forward to seeing where The Aeriel Chronicles takes us next. While the threads of the main conflict have been tied, I believe there is much more on the horizon. A wonderful story I highly recommend.

Note: A huge thank you to Nupur Chowdhury for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Justine Bergman

Web developer by trade, ravenous reader, excited reviewer, dark fantasy enthusiast, mother of pups, drinker of strong coffee, and player of games. I'm also a contributor over at Fantasy Book Critic and The Fantasy Hive, and I love sharing the love.

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