Shimmering ... Swamy’s storytelling builds almost sneakily, the narration circling and turning, all while her prose mesmerizes. Like a dancer entrancing the audience with her expressive hands while her feet propel her forward.
[A] mesmerizingly poetic world ... The Archer's beauty resides in Swamy's sequential narrative form, which reads like music — at times almost exactly like reading a musical score — but with something more; her words carry the visceral power of a dancer's intersection with air. It's a very tough technique to pull off. But Swamy's ability to carve meaning from a lyrical use of narrative brings the reader along with Vidya on her sublime, boundary-pushing exploration ... [Swamy's] new tale of Vidya's emergence unto herself is a beautiful inheritor of that timeless virtuosity.
Shruti Swamy’s The Archer is a searing portrait of the woman artist—how these identities, too, are in opposition—and, in this work, she brings to life new ideas of fulfillment ... The novel itself is a character study, a real-time tale of self-actualization, and revels in the specific and minute. Even India she brings down to its smallest circles—a single village, an engineering college, a rich man’s house. In this specificity, the writing shines, aiming not to make broad, sweeping statements but to fill in the colors of our artist’s life. Vidya forms few close bonds throughout the book, but each one is exquisite ... As a whole, the novel infuriates, exhilarates, and challenges our ideas of art and artistry. It immerses us in a microcosm of a setting and in an introspective sole protagonist. It does justice to an age-old myth and recontextualizes its lessons ... Swamy has defined herself as a bold new voice in not only South Asian diaspora literature, but modern literature as a whole.