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Nahar by Kirk Templeton is an exquisitely descriptive fantasy novel that requires a trigger warning due to the mentions of coercive sex, gang rape, explicit scenes, and intense displays of warfare throughout the entirety of the book. Moreover, readers that appreciate fantasy literature written with the darker aspects of life interwoven with realism and juxtaposed to the elements of a fantastical storyline will be enthralled by the narrative.

Nahar is the beautiful queen of Samandal, a prosperous city within the Kurgon Empire with several critical trade routes, which are paramount to the region’s economy. Samandal reflects elements of Indo-Persian aesthetics coupled with Hinduistic undertones that will unquestionably transport the reader to the magical world of Samandal alive with colorful saris, dazzling jewels, and open-air bazaars.

Samandal’s Nahar came into power upon the death of her parents when she was a mere eighteen years of age. Initially, the young queen ruled the kingdom proudly and was well-loved by her people. Until the Mrrrg, a sub-human race of vicious beings invaded a neighboring town and kidnapped the queen shortly after. Young, naïve, and fighting to preserve her people, she fell prey to Timor, the warlord of the Mrrrg, via forcible kidnapping and coerced sexual acts.

Timor was a monstrous being with cruel and manipulative intentions housed within a gruff exterior. Even though the Mrrrg believed that humans were disposable pawns, Timor did find himself falling romantically for the beautiful young queen, Nahar. However, he must keep her as a pleasure slave to not appear weak to his fellow Mrrrg.

Author Templeton vividly depicted the multifarious layers of psychological complexities within the protagonists, which provided the novel a well-grounded basis for the blossoming relationships between characters to develop naturally as several crises ensued within the troubled kingdom.

Also, a classic battle of good versus evil is loosely woven into the narrative via Nahar’s moral dilemmas. She must continually wrestle with the realities of fighting for her kingdom and people, and the whims of her heart dipped in darkly erotic desires for her captor Timor. Nahar faced abuse, traumas, and warfare, which led to self-discovery and confronting difficult decisions that would determine her people’s fate.

Author Templeton’s debut novel Nahar is undoubtedly a brilliantly written speculative fiction novel replete with action, eroticism, intrigue, self-discovery, and warfare. Indeed, a remarkable book will reside within the readers’ memory banks long after finishing the last chapter.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 432 pages
Publisher Kirk Templeton Books
Publish Date 12-Jan-2022
ISBN 9781737977506 Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy