Beyond Her Eyes: An adventure in the Netherworld by Anoushka Poudel is a charming novel woven out of adventures undertaken by a blind girl. In the novel, author Poudel, deftly carves a fascinating story by blending oriental and occidental concepts of theological ideas about Hell, Heaven and Earth.
Born to her Indian mother Grace and German father George, Rosamund is the central character in the novel Beyond Her Eyes which is hybrid in nature. The conflict between good and evil is another interesting aspect of the novel in which Keisor, Pesirous, Aromutt and Edgar represent evil sides of life while Dustan, Rosamund and Janet stand for the good sides of life.
Acute sufferings faced by protagonist Rosamund is another dominating characteristic of the novel. Rosamund is blind but she can see through the eyes of other living beings with eyesight and can read others' minds. This vividly shows the author's imaginative power in selecting a unique character. Set in Konstanz (earth), Solesta, Nepurcia, Montey, Minoe, Drachen (Hell), the story revolves round the theme between love and war.
Seventeen-year-old Rosamund, a student by occupation, falls in love with a dashing demon Dustan when she meets him on a lonely road in one winter. Soon after their meeting, Rosamund and Dustan click together and their love further strengthens after Rosamund reads his diary which unfolds his virtues of life.
The story takes an interesting turn following the death of Grace, Rosemund's mother. She dies on the spot after being hit by a car on the road near her house. Janet, Dustan's friend, entices to go on a tour to Hell to bring her mother back. Rosamund begins to face hardships when Janet and Rose set out on a journey to Hell. The vivid description of mountains, dense forests, bone-chilling climate, and netherworld are other assets that make the book more interesting.
Even in Hell, things do not happen as expected for Rosamund. Aromutt, a sorcerer, plays a wicked role against Rosamund by coaxing Dustan to fight a battle against Zmei that was planning to conquer brother countries - Solesta, Nepurcia and Montey. Edgar who used to trouble Dustan while in the earth continues with it, at times troubling Rose, his sweetheart. Due to her love toward Dustan, Rose tries to hold him back from going into the war but he is so convinced that he does not listen to her. Aromutt had told him that, Keisor, the commander of the soldiers of Zmei, is so powerful that he would kill all the innocent people of Nepurcia and devastate Drachen unless he is stopped immediately.
Buoyed by the heroic obligations, he sets out in the war. When Rose heard about the war Dustan was fighting, she leaves for Nepurcia with Janet and Edgar. When they reach Drachen, Janet gets killed in an explosion. They move on and reach a battlefield where they could see tents dotted everywhere. She was shot with a poisoned arrow and is almost dead. Her limbs start bleeding. When she was in her tomb Aromutt comes, she hits him with a fire-stick which pierces his left eye and he dies groaning in an excruciating pain.
Then she crawls out of the tomb and meets Edgar. She requests him to go to look for Dustan. Edgar lures a Griffin to his service and flies to Zmei. After a tiring and adventurous flight on the Griffin, they reach the place devastated by the wars. The cities were in ruins, corpses were piling up everywhere. In a big building into which they enter in search of Dustan, was a pile of dead bodies covered by a read piece of cloth. When they lift the cloth they see Dustan lying in coma. His limbs are decomposing. They awake him, he opens his eyes. He is surprised to see Rosamund.
Rosamund puts his head on her lap and kisses him but his lips are not as warm as they were before. They are getting colder. Dustan told Edgar to take her back to the earth. Then they come back to Nephurcia on the Griffin. When she arrives home in Konstanz, she finds her mum safe and sound. Her parents were tricked into believing that she had gone to visit India for three weeks on her school's summer vacation. It is mentioned that the time in Hell is longer than the time on earth. Three weeks on earth are equivalent to around 16 months in Hell, according to Dustan.
At night, when Rosemund is sitting in her room with Nick (pet dog), she happens to see her beloved Dustan in a white attire on the same spot where her mother had been hit by a car. Dustan tells her that he died in Hell and woke up as an angel in Heaven. He promises to stay with her forever.
The novel is based on the idea that the people on earth are like pawns controlled by the God and Satan. Satan rules in Hell while God in Heaven. Demons assist the Satan in Hell, angels to God in Heaven while souls travel in between. Despite sufferings, wars, killing and adventures, the novel has a happy ending. There is a reunion between Rosamund and her beloved Dustan.
On the whole, the language of the novel is precise, story is original and the presentation is highly gripping.