What An Eminent Short Story Writer Says on My Students’ Novella

The Land of Mourns

When I received the review of Narinder Jit Kaur on 13th February 2024 at 5 pm, I was overwhelmed with happiness. I was more excited than the day the novella written by three of my students was launched, the reason being Narinder Ma’am watched the book launch and ordered a copy of the novella and read it. After that, she took time to write a detailed review from her busy schedule which I know of because she had been visiting different parts of the country in January and February to promote her anthology The Icicle (collection of twelve short stories) which has created a huge buzz in the writers’ world in a short time.

The Review by Eminent Author Narinder Jit Kaur


“The Land of Mourns,” an engaging novella written by three young authors – Pahael, Lakshita, and Mahashree – is a captivating narrative that takes one through a riveting, action-packed journey of the protagonist Blair through magical lands. Keeping in mind their young age, and that this is their debut book, I can say with certainty that the authors have showcased their remarkable creative talents. From the outset, they weave an engrossing storyline, blending elements of fantasy and adventure to capture the reader’s imagination. Noteworthy is the depth and relatability of the characters, as the writers create a diverse cast with unique personalities, with flaws, as well as strengths of their own, who can easily resonate with the readers. These writers have, with the free flow of their creativity, created a fantastical world with endless possibilities, that is magical, and yet very relatable. The narrative keeps the readers hooked, waiting for the next development, with bated breaths and anxiety. “The Land of Mourns”, with its gripping storyline, relatable characters, and boundless creativity, is a testament to the impressive literary achievements of three young wordsmiths.

The Land of Mourns Review
Reviews on The Land of Mourns

Blair’s journey through a dream sequence resonates with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, as Blair also goes through a series of fantastical encounters, visiting exotic houses, rooms lined with rich tapestries, beautiful and well-maintained gardens, a retinue of attendants to take care of their masters. As in magical thrillers, there is a clash between the good and the bad – Maleficent and Glinda. Maleficent turns out to be Blair’s biological mother, and Blair (whose real name is Valerie, is the long-lost daughter). Blaire, along with Williams, the ‘chosen one’ and the love of her life, trains to fight Glinda to save The Land of the Isca, and her mother from the clutches of monstrous Glinda.
The whole narrative is so well written with a tight plot, and the authors never seem to lose the thread of the story. Very brief chapters also add to the compactness of the plot, and they help the story to quickly and seamlessly shift from one scene to another.

Blair’s character is very well etched, showing a reasonable character arch. From a callous, cold-hearted, egoistic brat, she turns into a lovable emotional kid whose concern for her mother and her kingdom becomes her strength. Perhaps it was the motherly love and care she was missing in her life that had made her so insensitive and obdurate a child.
Nevertheless, the narrative takes you along, on a roller-coaster ride, traversing magical lands inhabited by fairylike angelic people, as well as the grotesque and gruesome demons.
An excellent effort by the young promising authors, who have the potential to write many more books.

This review made me realize I have been a good teacher all these years. It made the young writers more determined to write another book. Appreciation is the key to get the bst of out of children and Narinder Ma’am knows this very well. I convey my deep gratitude to Narinder Ma’am for her encouragement to these budding authors.

About the Book Reviewer, Narinder Jit Kaur


Narinder Jit Kaur is a trilingual writer and translator, who writes with fair ease and finesse in English, Hindi, and Punjabi. She is a retired Associate Professor of English, based in Patiala (Punjab). Her articles, stories, and poems in all three languages are regularly published in various
Newspapers and magazines. She also has five books of translations, from Punjabi to English, to her credit, which include three novels and two collections of short stories. Her book Dawn to Dusk is a collection of 58 middle articles published in prominent newspapers. The Icicle: A Collection of Short Stories is her seventh book, her first in creative writing.

You can purchase The Land of Mourns by clicking here.


About the writing coach of The Land of Mourns:

Sneha Goel is a British Council–certified IELTS trainer and Scholastic India–mentored short story writer. She is a published author, poet and diarist. Her reviews, blogs, poems, stories and thoughts are appreciated by writers of international repute. Apart from writing, she is passionate about teaching English to children. She teaches English grammar, literature, creative writing, academic writing, story writing, poetry writing and Spoken English to students from class 1 up to grown-ups. To know more about her writing training and English language teaching services click here.



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