I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Fantasy (mythology retelling) Age Range: MG Star Rating: Series: yes - book 3 of series
War between the devas and the demons is imminent, and the Otherworld is on high alert. When intelligence from the human world reveals that the Sleeper is holding a powerful clairvoyant and her sister captive, 14-year-old Aru and her friends launch a search-and-rescue mission. The captives, a pair of twins, turn out to be the newest Pandava sisters, though, according to a prophecy, one sister is not true.
During the celebration of Holi, the heavenly attendants stage a massage PR rebranding campaign to convince everyone that the Pandavas are to be trusted. As much as Aru relishes the attention, she fears that she is destined to bring destruction to her sisters, as the Sleeper has predicted. Aru believes that the only way to prove her reputation is to find the Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree that came out of the Ocean of Milk when it was churned. If she can reach it before the Sleeper, perhaps she can turn everything around with one wish.
Careful what you wish for, Aru . . .
About the Author:
Roshani Chokshi is the author of the instant New York Times best-selling books in the Pandava series. She also wrote the New York Times best-selling YA books The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded Wolves. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. The Pandava novels were inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani’s all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in the south and says “y’all” but she doesn’t really have a Southern accent.
The third installment in the Pandava quartet does not disappoint. It’s another fun ride through an alternate reality.
The thing I noticed most about this book was the descriptions. They were really evocative while still keeping in Aru’s voice. My favourite had to be the trees described as broccoli. I could see the settings so clearly.
Thanks to the prophecy at the start, Aru spends the book plagued with doubts. It takes the element of uncertainty around whether she’s worthy, thanks to her dad being the big bad, from the previous book and ramps it up. The quest leads to her finding out more information about him, both humanising him and deepening her doubts. It made for a very interesting internal tug of war, and added pressure on the quest.
Before the quest starts, Aru’s mum hints that the quest for the tree damaged Aru’s dad (before he became the big bad), maybe even leading him to become the big bad. This loomed over the narrative, layering on the tension because I was worried about what Aru would have to lose in order to succeed.
There are several new cast members, but the most important is Rudy – who was introduced in the second book, but not much. I laughed a lot at his antics. He’s a prince from the Otherworld, with no concept of the human world. His questions and spoilt mannerisms cause no end of fun, even as his personality is slowly peeled back to reveal the more personable person underneath the wealth.
Having binged half the series in two days, I’m now kicking my heels for the final book in the quartet.
There is a giveaway running for three finished copies of the book, though it’s US only, I’m afraid. To enter the Rafflecopter, please click here.
Those hosting stops this week are Locks, Hooks and Hooks with an excerpt (Monday), Nay’s Pink Bookshelf (Tuesday), Confessions of a YA Reader (Wednesday), Me (Thursday), and For the Love of KidLit with an interview (Friday).
Read my reviews of other books by Roshani Chokshi:
Pandava (this series):
- ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME (#1)
- ARU SHAH AND THE SONG OF DEATH (#2)
- ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD (#4)
- ARU SHAH AND THE NECTAR OF IMMORTALITY (#5)
The Gilded Wolves:
- THE GILDED WOLVES (#1)