Asha Of The Air

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
228 Pages
Reviewed on 02/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Asha Of The Air is a work of fiction in the fantasy, mythology, and spiritual subgenres. It is intended for the general reading audience and was penned by author John Huddles. In the wasteland of a long-since abandoned Planet Earth, a mysterious futuristic figure from a cloud city recounts the ancient tale of protagonist Asha. A beautiful princess forced into marriage with an abusive merchant prince, Asha’s journey of mind, body, and soul is one that will test her to her limits and deliver an inspirational and philosophical message which is sure to inspire all those who encounter it.

The combination of texts from different schools of wisdom gives this novel a truly unique quality like nothing I’ve ever read before. Author John Huddles has a wonderful knack for not only researching these philosophies, legends, and ideas but for understanding the parallels and contrasts between them and linking them together to form a highly original new narrative that carries many transcendent messages to its readers. A particular highlight for me is the narrative quality of the author, whose prose often feels poetic and highly emotive like the very fables and spiritual stories he’s utilized as major influences. This gives the work a truly fantastical feel, and a kind of hindsight wisdom that confidently guides readers through Asha’s struggle whilst still giving us a sense of hope for her future, and for the future of hope itself. Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Asha Of The Air to anyone seeking a deeply thought-provoking fantasy read.

Trisha Dawn

Asha Of The Air tells the story of a young woman who left opulence behind to go on a life-changing trek or yaatra. Asha suffered traumatic and devastating losses at the hands of her abusive husband, which became her breaking point. When she realized how dire her situation was and how much worse the people around her would have to suffer, she made the important decision to leave at once. Asha made the long and arduous journey only to find more than the freedom she wanted.

This novel was a lot of good things. From the cover to the summary and down to the story itself, author John Huddles' Asha Of The Air is an impressive work of art! At a glance, the cover is simple but not boring. In fact, it fits the whole narrative. The amusing part is, once you finish the story and look at the cover again, you are more likely to appreciate it. Definitely, the concept is well-thought-out. Going deeper, the story is just divine. There are a ton of interesting plots out there but only a handful of good storytellers. Asha Of The Air has both. The story isn't generic and the characters aren't typical. It offers you a refreshing take on journeys or adventures; meanwhile, the characters aren't your usual personalities. John Huddles was able to deliver the entire idea in a moving and spell-binding way. He was able to create a whole different world and make it so believable. The story and the storyteller were magic themselves.

Asha Of The Air is science fiction and fantasy put together but it has some modern realities injected into it. Novels with multiple themes can either come out messy and disorganized or completely the opposite. It's safe to say that this book's elements came together as if an extraordinary seamstress had sewn it. Personally, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I went into the story with my usual guard up and that meant only half of my rose-colored reading glasses on (one must strike a balance when reviewing). However, I came out of it as a giddy reader. I haven't been this excited or refreshed because of a novel in a while. Asha Of The Air made me feel like I was there with Asha. When she had the epic realization and major transformation, I had those too. It not only entertained me, but it also made me feel very much involved. Asha Of The Air has the makings of a best seller. It is more than recommendable. You just have to have this book in your possession.

Pikasho Deka

Asha Of The Air is a fantasy novel written by John Huddles. In a city amidst the clouds, an unnamed narrator relates the tale of Asha, a Raajakumaree (princess) of Isha Palace during the Age of Poets. Twenty-two-year-old Asha feels trapped in a loveless marriage with Vikaant Cabaan, a man who married her solely due to her inheritance. During her strolls to the nearby forest, she meets Ilaro, a geetakar (singer), in whom she discovers a kindred spirit, and soon the two become lovers. But her joy is short-lived as Cabaan ruins her beloved forest for timber and eliminates her two favorite people, Ilaro and her innovative cousin Omala. Asha must now take an audacious journey to the Shaasak's sky-lodge to rid herself of Cabaan's poisonous influence once and for all.

Author John Huddles crafts a whimsical and lively world inspired by ancient Indian mythology and folklore that pulls you in immediately and refuses to let go until the end. With a story drenched deep in lore and myth, Huddles incorporates a delicious blend of Western and South Asian influences to create something that not only feels authentic and unique but also thoroughly entertaining. Asha's evolution from a seemingly naive young woman burdened with responsibilities to a strong leader who isn't afraid to confront her abuser felt as satisfying as it was enjoyable to read. The narrative is well-paced and flows past like a gentle breeze. If you love to read whimsical fantasy works with imaginative worldbuilding, I highly recommend Asha Of The Air.

Natalie Soine

In his novel Asha Of The Air, author John Huddles writes of Silver Cities in the earthtop, eleven miles above the earth but below the curve of space. Twenty-two-year-old Princess Asha inherited and lives a life of privilege and luxury in the house of Palace Isha with her abusive husband, merchant Prince Vikaant Cabaan. Asha meets the Shaasak’s personal royal geetakaar Ilarô, a singer, in the ruins of the temple hypaethral where they form a strong friendship. When tragedy strikes, Asha goes on a long journey to the sky-lodge of the Shaasakon to inform King Shaasak of the misfortune and request a divorce from Cabaan. Asha receives a shocking surprise before she returns home to Palace Isha where her life and the lives of others are in danger.

Asha Of The Air is an intriguing novel filled with science, fantasy, history, and mysticism. Author John Huddles writes the story from the unique perspective of a translator of ancient languages. The interesting array of characters is well-defined and easy to relate to including Asha, Cabaan, Omala, and Ilarô. Asha’s journey of body and mind brings about healing and self-knowledge; she dreams of a path beyond her previous mistakes - much like the rest of us - making her story easy to relate to and appreciate. Asha also weans herself from various addictive potions, taken partly to alleviate the pain of abuse and watching beautiful natural areas being destroyed to make place for financially valuable trees. This novel is a reminder that we must preserve planet earth. All-round, a delightful story recommended to readers of all ages.

Rabia Tanveer

Asha Of the Air by John Huddles is an epic fantasy set in the future where Earth is abandoned. The narrator lives in a floating city situated above Earth. He tells the tale of a girl named Asha, a young woman who was the last of her line. Married to Vikaant Cabaan, Asha was stuck in a marriage with an abusive husband. She had married Cabaan, hoping that he would make her life better, but that was all dreams. However, she was a lot more than just a woman or the wife of a powerful man. Asha was a woman of hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and she was done being pitied. She started her journey of learning what made her Asha, a woman of prominence and importance.

Asha Of the Air falls more under the category of literary fiction with strains of fantasy, intrigue, and inspiration. Author John Huddles did a fantastic job of researching the Hindu culture and mysticism. Asha’s character was fantastic. Readers meet her when she is 22 years old and already married for 5 years, something modern readers from the European and North or South American countries might find very strange. However, marriage before the age of adulthood is very common in that region, especially in India and Pakistan. Perhaps this was the reason why I felt an instant connection with Asha and her desire to be something more than just the wife of a Prince. The narrative was fast, interesting, and intriguing. I wanted to know more about Asha, what she was thinking and what she would do next. Very well-written! I enjoyed it! Kudos to John Huddles!