- Reading level: 9+ years
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: UK Children's; new edition (2 February 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007477821
- ISBN-13: 978-0007477821
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,36,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress (The Ash Mistry Chronicles) Paperback – 2 Feb 2012
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PRAISE FOR THE ASH MISTRY SERIES:
"A fabulous, action-packed modern take on Indian mythology. I can't wait to read more!" – Rick Riordan
"a must read for anyone who likes their action fast, their demons terrifying and their heroes bruised, bloody and still fighting on" – We Love This Book
This thrilling adventure is full of the excitement of an Indiana Jones or The Mummy movie and will reward readers with an interesting mix of Indian mythology and life or death thrills" – Carousel
“Make time for this novel, because it is very hard to put down.” –Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City
“Nonstop action and likable teen characters will attract fans of fantasy quests such as the Percy Jackson books and the saga of Nicholas Flamel.” – Kirkus Reviews
“…fans of Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, Indiana Jones, and the like will appreciate this non-Western take on fantasy adventure.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
About the Author
Sarwat Chadda has lived and travelled throughout the world, from China to Guatemala. He’s been lost in Mongolia, abandoned at a volcano in Nicaragua and hidden up a tree from a rhino in Nepal. Not to mention being detained by Homeland Security in the US and chased around Tibet by the Chinese. Maybe he just has that sort of face.
Anyway, now he’s trying to settle in one place and avoid trouble. Hence his new career as a writer. It’s safe, indoors and avoids any form of physical danger.
Throughout his travels, Sarwat has soaked up the myths, legends and cultures of far away places. Now, with the Ash Mistry series, he aims to bring these unfamiliar tales of eastern demons, of blue-skinned heroes and of black-skinned goddesses back home and put them beside the exploits of Achilles and Thor. His heroes are Prince Rama and the demon-slaying Kali. Isn’t it about time you met them too?
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Top customer reviews
Can Rakshasa be really moving around us? Without us knowing? Was Ravana not what we are told in tales? Was Ram?
Ash, an average plump spoilt kid who enjoys video games and loves reading history...is a totally believable character. sometimes he does sound a little different than what i might expect a kid to be sound like, but hey...nothing that is happening to and around him is even remotely normal. Rishi and Parvati are really intriguing characters and so is Lord Savage. The love and hate that is balanced between these characters is truly amazing. and the build up to the climax is enjoyable. Climax with Ravana is a bit disappointing, but then hey... he isn't the "real" villain of the story is... is he?
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Savage Fortress introduces middle-grade readers to some of the most fascinating Hindu gods and goddesses. This quick-paced tale features the ultimate bad guy. Lord Alexander Savage, despite having learned the magic he’s used to live for thousands of years, wants more. He wants immortality. His determination to obtain his desire puts him on a quest to find the tomb of Ravana, the demon king. Savage is more than willing to become the demon king’s slave, in exchange for this small favour. He is very close now, nothing would dare intervene. He will not be stopped.
It takes only a short while in India for Ash to understand that things are not what they seem. His uncle’s boss, Lord Savage, seems odd beyond eccentric……..in a chilling, creepy kind of way. Savage’s staff is worse. They seem to stare at Ash and Lucky with eyes of reptiles, birds or furry jungle predators. Due to the exponentially increasing weirdness, Ash tends to stay as far away from Savage as humanly possible. Not a great plan.
Ash takes a tumble that will change him forever………..errrr, at least in this life-time. Accidentally uncovering the one thing Savage needs to proceed, Ash instantly has the weight of the world on his shoulders. As he begins to recall past existences, he begins to see things more clearly.
The unlikely associates that Ash befriends as he embarks on this journey add a dash of spice to an already hot story. The internal and external struggles that Ash must face bring in a bittersweet undertone. This is absolutely one of the best books, particularly for the genre, that I have ever read. I would have devoured this book when I was in junior high.
What makes The Savage Fortress so cool is the way that Chadda weaves Hindu mythology into the plot. Ash himself is very British, but the story takes place in India and the forces that influence the story are very Indian. If you go into this story knowing nothing about the Ramayana, that's fine, but you will not end this book without knowing the major points. But Chadda goes beyond this. Why did Rama act the way that he did? What happened after the story ended? I really enjoyed the way Chadda continued the story and incorporated it into Ash's life and the modern world. So many of his characters were influenced by Hindu mythology, even in just their names, and it was fantastic to read. For example, Ash is referential to Rama - his name, Ashoka, is that of another great emperor of India who chose peace over dominance. Ash's younger sister Lakshmi has a name very similar to Rama's younger brother Lakshmana. His friend Parvati is named after the wife/consort of the god Shiva, who is often depicted with a cobra around his neck and who can often be referred to as Kali. And the goddess Kali was the most complex in this whole story, I think. Chadda doesn't ignore the fact that Hindu mythology - epics and stories - has both a very bright, fun side and a very dark and disturbing side. While he doesn't delve into the specifics of why the Ramayana can be so controversial today (hint: It's because of Sita's fate), he does point out that Rama, the hero, does not get a happy ever after ending.
He also uses Kali, the goddess of death, to explore the idea of power as a force for good or evil. Power itself can do nothing without intent and a vehicle to commit an act. Similarly, Kali can only act through others and can either raise a person up or corrupt him completely.
I could go on and on about the symbolism present in this book. I admit that I was pretty surprised at the depths that this novel explores even while staying fun and focused on its intended audience. I didn't realize until I started reading this just how much I craved a book like this. I loved reading a book and feeling like I was on familiar footing with the mythology and symbolism and food and geography and culture. And really, Indian history is ripe for fantasy fiction, so I'm very, very glad that Sarwat Chadda went there for inspiration.
The Savage Fortress is a book targeted at younger readers, so if you're an adult, you may not enjoy it as much because of some scenes and themes that feel very childish. But I found it to be a much deeper read than I expected, and I really appreciate Chadda's willingness to bring to light both the positives and negatives of Indian culture. Definitely looking forward to more in this series!
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