The Pandava Quartet by Roshani Chokshi
Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?
One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.
But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.
The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that? (Blurb taken from Goodreads)
Sagarika Says: My book recommendation is the Aru Shah book series, written by Roshani Chokshi. Aru Shah and the End of Time, Aru Shah and the Song of Death, and Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes are all books I recommend. These are stories that will most definitely leave the reader breathless from laughing and eager to read more. I highly recommend the series to all, but especially to any Percy Jackson fans because of its similar integration of a teenager’s life and religious mythology. I would give this book 5 stars for several reasons, for one, it’s relatability. Aru Shah is a middle school student trying to find her place in the world, and her struggle with her identity is very understandable for any teenager such as myself. I also love adventure. Along the way, Aru realizes that she is a reincarnation of a Hindu demigod and goes on several quests to defeat malicious supernatural beings. The rebirthed demigods are 5 girls who assemble throughout these adventures. Their different personalities and stories really help round out the story and soon a common theme emerges. The author reinforces that people aren’t entirely good nor bad but a mixture of both and that good actions speak much more than bad thoughts. Ambition, sarcasm, sisterhood, self-criticism, overcoming differences, and comedy are evident throughout the novels. On a more personal note, as a Hindu myself, it was really interesting and enjoyable to hear the stories that I’ve heard as a child in a completely new way. This combined world of our every-day lives and magic and mystery evokes a profound feeling of awe and inspiration in the viewers themselves.