Parents' Guide to

Aru Shah at the City of Gold: Pandava, Book 4

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Indian myth quest tale stays exciting in this volume.

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This penultimate Indian mythological adventure keeps things exciting with quests and trials and giant demons to battle, even as it sets readers up for the finale. The characters are well established now and work well as a team with their awesome godly weapons. Most of the focus stays on Aru, and some on Kara, her long-lost sister. It works fine for this installment, though Aru's angry-at-everything voice can overpower the story at times. Author Roshani Chokshi doesn't always line up her characters' reactions with action in the story and could have benefited from another editing pass to streamline Aru's inner thoughts. Even as an angrier-than-normal character, Aru is still worth rooting for, especially as she solves difficult tasks and trials with the other Pandavas.

Readers who pay careful attention may pick up on Aru's family secret before she does -- all those gods they meet on their travels tell lots of stories for a reason. Even if they do figure it out, there are more twists than that one that set up the finale in an exciting way.

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