As I have stated in the past, I think it’s important for writers to review other writers’ works. There is much to be learned by engaging in criticism. The essayist thinks more deeply about literary structure and form and sharpens a sense of critique for their own work.

So today we’ll review Zuni Chopra’s ‘The House that Spoke‘, a rather impressive debut novel by a teenage girl:

Zuni Chopra is a debut novelist. All I can say is, ‘Wow, what an entrance!’ It is a fantasy that is unique. No dragons and no dwarves. Really? Since that is the type of fantasy I write, I was especially appreciative of her ability to build the template for a world out of her own imagination.

The story is actually about a house that speaks to her main character, Zoon Razdan, a young lady about to turn fifteen who takes on the role of Guardian against a sinister force. The allegory between the darkness that is Kashmir and the darkness within each of us was well done and clear. And her solution was imaginative. But I’ll let you, the reader, discover that.

One minor stylistic quibble. Chopra’s descriptions of places, things and feelings are beautifully drawn, and she constructs some marvelous tropes. However, sometimes she leans too heavily on the adjective, using two adjectives where one would do, instead of allowing the reader’s imagination to fill in the spaces.

Less can be more.

But the one thing we want more of is stories like ‘The House that Spoke’ from a very talented young author.