A pleasant surprise, Naseem Jamnia’s triumph THE BRUISING OF QILWA delivers some of the most memorable voices ever

Samuel R. Delany Fellowship recipient Naseem Jamnia’s debut novella THE BRUISING OF QILWA collects even more praise with Jo Ladzinski at Jo Writes Fantasy including the novella among their favorite reads of the year. For Ambling Along the Aqueduct, Cheryl Morgan finds the novella a pleasant surprise. Carrie Chi Lough in Grimdark Magazine feels much the same.

Cover for THE BRUISING OF QILWA by Naseem Jamnia
Cover by Elizabeth Story
  • The most compact fantasy novella I’ve ever read
  • Truly a triumph of worldbuildng
Jo Writes Fantasy

One of the most pleasant surprises of the year has been THE BRUISING OF QILWA. This novella from Naseem Jamnia is not much about gender, though it does have a non-binary protagonist. It is a medical mystery set in a fantasy world that manages to approach the medical and magical sides of the story with the rigor of hard science fiction.

Ambling Along the Aqueduct

THE BRUISING OF QILWA contains some of the most memorable voices I’ve read in fantasy. Having an assistant healer as the protagonist unfolds a different kind of fantasy story. In many ways, THE BRUISING OF QILWA is more slice of life than epic. A good majority of the story is Firuz’s day to day life in Qilwa. They are treating patients and disposing of deceased bodies. They are guardian to their brother and a young refugee they adopted. As they uncover secrets regarding this disease, they also are adapting to their new homeland and protecting their family. These small moments of Firuz’s daily struggles are where Jamnia’s writing shines brightest.

Grimdark Magazine