Blog Tour Review: Nisha’s War by Dan Smith

Hello everybody! Today, I’m really pleased to be part of the blog tour for Dan Smith’s latest release Nisha’s War, which was released by Chicken House last Thursday, with my review. Onto the post!


This is the story of a girl named Nisha, who is a refugee from Malaya, where the Japanese army have invaded and caused extreme terror. She has just arrived in England, where she will be staying in her grandmother’s house on a secluded island in Northumbria. She arrives there and meets a spirit in a tree who sets her a mysterious, secretive task, with the high stakes of her parents’ survival at risk. I had heard of the historical situation that Nisha is escaping from, and sharing memories of throughout the book, but it’s not something I’ve studied in depth or seen much of in popular culture, so I really appreciated the opportunity to learn about an area of the war that is absolutely horrifying but rarely spoken about. I thought the sections where Nisha recounts her experience were absolutely harrowing, both on a large scale of how it affected the country of Singapore and how it completely changed Nisha’s life on a personal level.

The setting of the book is so rich in every sense- the Geordie dialect contributed to this in terms of it being in Northumberland, but the spooky house definitely felt very creepy and as I’ve already alluded to, I thought the historical element was so well done. I did also enjoy the hint of fabulism/otherworldly element to the book, and that the quest Nisha goes on was a bit different to what you’d see in most books, which is possibly hard to understand what I mean if you’ve not read the book.

I think the characters deserve a little paragraph of their own as well, because they’re a very endearing group to spend 300+ pages with. Nisha is a flawed and complex heroine, but she is fundamentally a kind and good person, and my heart genuinely just about cracked reading her emotions about certain events in both her past and her present. Jamie is an absolute sweetheart of a best friend and just so loyal, while cheerful land girl Joy added humour and heart to Nisha’s life. Mrs F and Mrs Barrow are the adults we see the most of, and although they do have their faults, I thought they were brilliantly depicted and I enjoyed reading about them.


Thank you so much for reading! Have you read/are you planning to read this book? Which books with a Northumberland setting have you enjoyed? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: goldenbooksgirl@gmail.com | she/her

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Nisha’s War by Dan Smith”

      1. I’d definitely recommend it – it’s set in Northumbria in 866 AD. The main character Ylva is a brilliant protagonist – another really powerful story. I need to read My Friend the Enemy!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m really keen to read this. Having reviewed Escape to the river sea, it seems very right to explore books that cover this time period and the effects on relocated children and adults. Plus Mrs H and I have a connection with that part of the world.
    ERin

    Liked by 1 person

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