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by Antonia Michaelis


School Library Journal:

/* Starred Review */ Gr 8 Up— In this fairy tale of India set during the early 1900s, Raka, a young bride who is awaiting certain death at the hands of her evil husband, spins a story for Lalit, a servant in the Rajah’s house. In her tale, a con man and a thief, Farhad, is recruited to rescue the Hindu god Krishna’s daughter from marriage to a demon king. He is aided by a sacred white tiger and carries a bloodstone that almost causes his death. As the two stories intertwine, the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred. The plot is fast paced and exciting, and the story gives an excellent overview of the conflicts of India at the time of British occupation, and of Hindu religious beliefs. The factual background adds to the overall feel of a wildly colorful and diverse country. The character development is also admirable, as readers see Farhad grow from a scared 16-year-old thief to a hero willing to die for his cause. What is most amazing about the story is the beautiful language and phrases that make readers feel as though they are sitting in India listening to Raka’s story. A distinguished book for older fairy-tale fans.—Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children’s Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada –Jennifer-Lynn Draper (Reviewed November 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 11, p130)


  • ALA Notable Children’s Books – Older Readers Category: 2009
  • USBBY Outstanding International Books – Grades 9-12: 2009


10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Folklore, Teen