Reviews /

Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality

Authored by Roshani Chokshi
Published by Scholastic

Tagged , ,

World mythology provides a rich source for authors, writing for both children and adults, using elements to create new stories. Roshani Chokshi, an award-winning American fantasy writer, explains in her introduction that she was inspired by the tales told by her grandmother, and as a practising Hindu, hopes to open a window on to this fascinating, nuanced and complex mythology, which varies from region to region in India.

This is the fifth and concluding adventure in the Pandava series, introduced in Aru Shah and the End of Time. Whilst this can be read as a standalone, to get a fuller understanding of the story it would be best to read the others in the sequence. Led by Aru, a group of friends are in a race against time to save the world from destruction. Having lost their celestial weapons, they must forge new alliances, face dangerous trials and call on old friends to prevent the Sleeper from gaining access to the nectar of immortality, which will grant him infinite power. The fast-moving story combines plenty of action and humour with likeable, brave and resourceful characters. It explores the nature of family and friendship, relationships and finding courage in dangerous circumstances. The series may provide inspiration for further reading and discovery, aided by the glossary which provides some background to the myths. It would be worth having a volume or two of Indian tales available in the classroom or school library to promote alongside the book!