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Last Update: Sunday, Feb 25, 2024 05:38 [IST]



Author: Yoshay Lama Lindblom

Publisher: ? Notion Press

Beyul Hidden Lands is a Himalayan fantasy novel – the first part of a series – featuring the experiences of a young girl named Nilza Wangmo as she is forced to travel to Beyul, a mystical land hidden deep in the Himalayas behind hidden portals, where she discovers that the life she had been leading until then was merely a lie.

The first few pages are set in Beyul and set up the premise well, but the exact moment that seized my attention was the protagonist’s introduction. It was beautifully done, making me like her instantly. After that, I was invested in her journey. The plot is constructed beautifully, with appropriate twists and turns, and the narrative flow and pacing are perfect right till the end. I particularly loved the portions in italics that show the backstory of the migyum – a part human and part beast and the protector of the kingdom of Beyul – and how it slowly merges with the rest of the story.

I fell in love with the characters, especially Nilza. I found myself rooting for Nilza; she has her flaws and idiosyncrasies, but she is innocent and has a heart of gold. The other main characters, Kaizan, Yiga, Menziga, and Prince Wangzin, are also beautifully etched, and I could relate to their thoughts and actions. The secondary characters are also well-developed and play pivotal roles in the story.

The biggest challenge while writing fantasy novels is world-building, and Ms. Lindblom once again excels in this department. The descriptions are vivid, making it easy for the reader to picture everything, be it Wangzin’s palace at the edge of a cliff or the picturesque views from the flying vehicles in Beyul.

The language is lucid and effortless, and apart from a few minor punctuation errors, the prose is flawless.

The ending is also brilliantly done – a sort of cliffhanger, leaving just the right amount of anticipation for the next book in the fantasy series.

Overall, Beyul Hidden Lands is another underrated literary gem from our region, which deserves a much wider readership. It is only the third novel from our region – apart from the impeccable Perfect by Eunice Nirja and The Eyes by Ashim Basnet – that I can blindly recommend to all readers.


Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi