Category Archives: Book Reviews (FaB 5)

‘Daya Enna Penkutti’ by M. T. Vasudevan Nair

WhatsApp Image 2018-05-15 at 9.28.46 AMThis book is a novel for children by M T Vasudevan Nair.The story revolves around Samarud also called Daya. She is an extremely intelligent girl. She stands by her master even in his bad times and is determined to save him.How she saves him, the hard ships she had to face and the adversaries she had to deal forms the crux of the narration.

Highly recommended for reading.

Reviewed by Ms A. Ashadevi, PGT (Geography)


‘Inkspell’ by Cornelia Funke

20180410_101242THIS  IS  THE  SEQUAL  TO  INKHEART….A  book which  has  675  pages  that  drive  us  through  an  extraordinary  world .This  is one  of  the  longest  book  I  have  read. Inkspell   is written by Cornella  Funke  in  German.

Inkspell is a 2005 young adult fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke. It was named the 2006 ‘Book Sense Book of the Year’ in the Children’s Literature category.

Dustfinger  finds  a  man  who  can  read  him  back  into  his world  and  Meggie  reads  herself  and  Her  friend  Farid  into  Inkheart .Her  parents  follow  her. Meggie’s  father  is  thought  to  be  a  mysterious  villain  called  “Bluejay”. Bluejay  was  being  hunted  for  treason. They  have  many  adventures  that  are  scary .This  book  leads  us  through  a  magical  world  of  myths; that  too  in  contemporary  style. Inkspell  is  definitely  better  than  Inkheart,  by  far. This book is better than inkheart in some ways. It has more in terms of characters and feel. However, as with the first, there are some swear words. There is more violence, and many people die. But  comparing  with  Harry  Potter  series this novel is mild in narrative.

I recommend  this  book  for  students.  Grown  ups  would  like  it  too. It  made  me  feel a bit worried  while  reading  it,   in  case  it  ended   on  a  cliff  hanger.

Reviewed by Sarika Nair   

‘The myth of Mahabali and the history of Onam’ by K. T. Ravivarma

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-09 at 6.20.34 PMI chanced upon the book, “The myth of Mahabali and the history of Onam”, when I was doing my habitual browsing at the DC book shop. Myths and folklores had always been my favourite subject of reading since my childhood. But as I grew up, I started to search answers for historical and sociological questions in the light of myths and legends. This was how my interest in the above mentioned book, written by K T Ravivarma, also aroused and I picked it up to own it.

The book focuses mainly on the myth of Bali and Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Through the analysis of the myth, the author tries to locate the character Bali in the history. He attempts to seek the historic presence of Bali in the socio-political map of the subcontinent. The author travelling from the oldest literary piece of India, ie the Vedas, traverses through various religious and secular texts reaching even the folklore traditions of the subcontinent. The author stresses that legends have always originated as ways to demonstrate a natural or sociological phenomenon. The author believes that the stories are impregnated with symbolisms and underlying meanings. He draws a thread of the Bali-Vamana myth that holds its root in the Rig-veda. The author analyses that in the Rig Veda, nowhere does Bali or Vamana appear. In the Rig Veda, Vishnu is said to have done the “Thrivikrama”(taking three steps) to kill the demon, Vritha, and make the earth a place suitable to live. Thus in the earliest scripture, the act of taking three steps is aimed at the prosperity of the society. Author draws an analogy with a myth from the Parsi holy scripture, Avesta, and concludes that the roots of Indo-Aryan and Indo-iranians are the same. According to him, historical incidents may have later taken the form of stories and spread through generations. The author argues that the split and spread of Aryans is symbolised in the myth of “thrivikrama”. To add strength to his argument, he explains how Ahura (sounds similar to Asura) is the god of indo-iranians and devas play antagonists. For indo-aryans, devas are the worshipping deities while asuras are antagonists. Hence the author strengthens his argument that indo-iranians and Indo-Aryans must have had an inner conflict resulting in a split of the clan.

Though the reader may be fascinated by the above argument, the author looses the thread of his analysis in the later part of the book when he comes to the mediaeval scriptures such as Brahmanas and Puranas. The first synthesis of Vamana-Bali myth can be seen in the Brahmanas, where in “thrivikrama” is done in order to capture the land back from Asuras. Here for the first time, Bali emerges as the leader of the Asuras. Mahabharata also witnesses a variety of the same myth. The author argues that the prejudice and importance that the Brahmins enjoyed in the society when Mahabharata was written, is reflected in the stories. Here Vamana is clearly portrayed as a Brahmana. From the myth, the author stresses that the caste and Varna systems had taken a deep root in the society by the time of Mahabharatha. The picture of a conflict between the Kings(who are Jain followers) and Brahmins(Vedic followers) can be traced from
the myth, says the author.

Coming to the later part of the centuries, a more confused analyses has been done by the author. The possibility of the existence of more than one king in the same name has been neglected by the author. The tendancy of the author to consider all Balis as the same person has led to some confusion in the later part of the book. The reader seems to lose the sight of the picture as a whole. When author tries to pinpoint the Baliprathipada that is celebrated on the fourth day of the Diwali, there rises a cloud of confusion and the arguments seems to lose the solidity.

Hence, the attempt of the author to historically place the king Mahabali has not become a completely fruitful one. Yet, when one turns the last page of the book, she would be enriched with how the myth of  Vamana and Bali has been present in variants at different points of the history. She would also be fascinated by how the myth has been manipulated at each stage so as to facilitate the socio-political situations of the time. The reader, like the author, is also convinced that myth and history has always been entangled and interrelated.

Reviewed by Savithry K. C., TGT Art Edn

‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J. Mass


“To the people who look up at the stars and wish.”
“To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”

Painted in shades of the classic myth, Hades and Persephone, A Court of Mist and Fury shines high above its predecessor, A Court of Thorns and Roses. This is an incredibly unique fantasy book. I think I liked the second book more for the love and heart that it contained. The first book is all about Feyre, the human fighting to save herself and High Lord Tamlin from the evil queen, Amarantha, underneath the mountain. The continuation keeps you right on the edge of your seat. Now that Feyre is immortal, she is left to deal with the bloody consequences of what happened Under the Mountain. Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court and her lover has his own demons to battle. Between planning for their wedding and the new High Priestess in residence propping and puffing up Feyre like a puppet, both Tamlin and Feyre tuck their troubles under the rug. We see Feyre begging anyone to help her out of this hell as she didn’t know Tamlin as the High Lord of the Spring Court and now he is a very overprotective boyfriend who locks her up in her ivory tower.

This is one of the things I love best about Sarah J. Maas’s novels. Rather than settling for a happily ever after, Maas takes you beyond the ending you expected and makes her characters face consequences for their actions. She made me fall in love with Tamlin and Lucien in the first book as they introduce Feyre to the world of Prythian. And then during Under the Mountain, she had me aching for the High Lord of the Night Court, Rhysand. Something about the way Rhys treated Feyre Under the Mountain made me love him maybe a bit more

Rhysand and Feyre are connected through a bargain that she made to save herself. Rhys makes his reappearance with a classic dramatic entrance, subsequently pissing everyone off and then doing his best to make Feyre and us the readers fall in love with him. He whisks her away to his Night Court, if only to give her the freedom she needs and the fighting skills to help them win the oncoming war. She has powers of all seven High Lords and she figures out exactly what this means. She comes to love the hidden City of Starlight, Velaris. Since Feyre has powers from every court she is used to detect books and articles that could nullify the cauldron’s powers which is being used by the antagonist to destroy the Mortal Realm. She flourishes under Rhys’ guiding hand and comes to respect him for the things he has done to save her. Feyre comes to realize that as a young girl painting the night sky she might have been already longing for this connection with Rhysand. And this is why she was repelled at the idea of marrying Tamlin – they aren’t meant for each other. I love all of the names Feyre earns throughout the story – Cursebreaker, Lady of the Spring Court, Saviour of Prythian, Emissary to the Night Court, my favourite being the Defender of the Rainbow and finally the title High Lady of the Night Court that Rhysand shares with her in order to rule the kingdom. The Night Court was just as terrifying and dreamlike as I could have imagined and the sort of place I would happily live. As Feyre meets Rhys’s inner court, and the High Lord’s many masks begin to unfold, she slowly begins to piece herself back together. As they travel to other fae courts and realms, both achingly gorgeous and frightening, Feyre slowly becomes the immortal Fae she chooses to be.

“So I’m your huntress & thief?” “You are my salvation, Feyre.”

” I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

Throughout the book, the reader goes on an emotional journey with Feyre as she grows into her power and demonstrates strength that comes from respecting herself and what she is now (a pretty damn strong High Fae) – an excellent thing for any young woman to read. It is an inspiration for feminists across the world.

Maas has a way with creating in-depth characters I come to care about. She effortlessly brings them to life, as well as their stories, and vividly detailed worlds. I loved getting to go deeper into the Fae world, being introduced to more characters, and seeing the different parts of their world. I loved getting to know the Night Court. Maas has always created characters that really add depth to the story, and the Night Court was no different. I loved meeting and getting to know Rhys’s inner circle.

These characters weren’t only friends, they are family, and it really showed in their story. Along with the Night Court, which has become my favourite court, I loved seeing more of the other characters, and learning about their histories, and ties together with their courts.

Reviewed by Meera Nair


The mother I never knew…the real challenge

No automatic alt text available.I was searching for some good books to read and got this- “the mother I never knew”. Without having a second thought,I chose this book as the cover and the title reminded me of my mother.The mother I never knew is a set of two novella penned by Mrs.Sudha Murthy. The theme of the novella is a journey to the past by two men named Venkitesh and Mukesh who are not linked to each other. Both of them are searching their mother they never knew they had. This book explores the complex human emotions and empathises us with the prime mover’s agony.

Reviewed by Ms Rekha Rajan, PGT (Economics)


‘Surprises according to Humphrey’ by Betty G. Birney

Image result for Surprises according to Humphrey bookThe name of the book is ‘Surprises according to Humphrey’. The author of the book is Betty G. Birney. It has 154 pages to read. First published in 2008 by Faber and Faber limited. It is a story of Hamster who is leaving In longfellow school room number 26. The name of the Hamster is Humphrey. It is a wonderful story, and haswonderful characters. It has 15 chapters and humphrey’s top 10 good surprises at last. Like
1: sprung has sprung
2: stop drop and more surprises
3: Hamster on roll
4: spring fever
5: surprises from outer space
6: the space alien
7:  surprise attack
8: The Hunt continues
9: No Surprises
10: the return of Amigo
11: hoppin with heidi
12: testing testing
13: the big break
14:A day at maycrest manor
15: suggestions and surprises
This is a story about a hamster . the  story contains so much of adventures. One day the Hamster see an alien . The alien pick up a child to his planet. The Hamster has a friend who is a frog name ojee who live near to him the both of them are good friends and neighbours. And there is a dictionary for the hamster he always write a word  in hisEnglish dictionary and meaning also like rat cat surprises dream and so much. And there will be a lot of problems in between the children’s also the Hamster loves to eat Greens and cauliflower also but Hamster also like to play in the playground of school but he cannot go outside so he had ride in his cage one day he jumped out of the cage and go outside to play in the playground this story contains lots of things and surprises this is the best story I have read I will recommend this book to all the readers my age to read I also congratulate the author of the book also.
Reviewed by Arundhati