What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are some mature situations in this novel, including discussion of a man's lust for a woman, consummation of a marriage, harems, women murdered by their husbands, and a man being a eunuch. There is also discussion of many religions, including Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.
What's the story?
Raka is married off to a horrible, greedy, and evil man. Her family is poor but her beauty is great. She knows that once the Raja finds out she is not the virgin he bargained for that his wrath will snuff the life out of her. As she awaits her certain fate she spins a fantastical tale for the enucuch that looks after the doves and runs errands for the wives of the harem. The tale parallels Raka's story in many ways, and in others it's pure fantasy. What becomes of the beautiful Raka and Raka's story's hero, Farhad?
Is it any good?
Author Antonia Michaelis weaves two marvelous tales within this novel, creating rich characters, enchanting scenes, and wonderful adventure. She does a fantastic job of blending deities, colonialism, and Indian customs to make a novel that is both intriguing and engaging.
Once audiences get into the novel they will truly enjoy it, though some kids may be intimidated by the length and by the sometimes confusing names of various deities and customs.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about trust. What did Farhad learn about trusting people? How did this help him in his journey, and can you give some examples?
Farhad's friendship with Nitish was vital to his success in helping the princess. How does friendship help you overcome obstacles?