The Long Road to Nalanda ARC Review

I got this book of Netgalley in return for an honest review.

The Long Road to Nalanda by Thupten Lekshe


Set in a mythical India at the start of the first millennium, The Long Road to Nalanda is the story of a young outcaste, Abhi, who is offered as blood sacrifice to the giant snake God, Jwala.

Abhi, a feisty young adolescent, must discover how she can overcome the dark forces raging against her. Intent on revenge, she travels through a collapsed empire where rival groups are competing for dominance. Abhi is befriended by a bunch of misfits, but, unable to make sense of her survival, she resorts to a desperate act of vengeance.

Will Abhi’s fateful action trigger the fall of a kingdom, as foretold in the ancient prophecy? And who will Abhi become if she emerges from the ashes?


I thought that this book was okay. I felt that the mythical elements in this book were fairly non-existent as there seemed to be very little that was of other-worldly aspect. Everything seemed to be based in religion of real people rather than magical beings.

Only a journey will tell us the answers we are searching for.

The characters in this book seemed to have little to know characteristics or personality, and seemed to be the personification of a singular emotion. Abhi is anger, her father guilt and everyone else was just annoying. It was clear that everyone had a strong motivation for their actions, but I felt that since we spend so little time in each of the five groups, I couldn’t understand how what they were doing was important to their societal values.

Each of the five groups seemed to have one trait that would make it hard to survive on its own, yet these groups all seemed to hate each other despite living in close proximity to each other. While we get to see all of these groups, the protagonist spends a lot of time hiding from the leaders of them, and living in the fringes of the society so not much is known about them, making it hard to connect with the story.

To defy the temple is to defy the world.

The quick tour of the surrounding area forced too many characters to be introduced who had no lasting impact on me, but were seemingly important to the plot, making the story quite hard to understand. This book had the potential to be great, if it had been longer and more fleshed out. I gave this book a generous three stars.

3 stars

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