I received the book, The Hidden Children: The Lost Grimoire by Reshma K Barshikar as a review copy from the author. Having read her impressive debut novel- Fade into Red, I was excited to read this book.
‘What price would you pay to be extraordinary?
What would you do to speak to a butterfly?’
Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn’t really rattled her. But something isn’t right anymore and it begins when a New Girl joins the school.
She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies.
But like all power, magic comes at a steep price and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her.
Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves?
Shayamukthy, or Shui, 16 going on 17, had moved from the US to Mumbai, India, three years ago. Changing schools, countries, continents, even languages and cultures hasn’t perturbed her much. Three years later, she is in eleventh grade, attending St Frances School for the Enlightened, FSE for short, and has 2 best friends, Jay and Nallini. The only difference between her and other children of the school is that she is dyslexic. She loves daydreaming and listening to books.
Life is seemingly normal until a new girl, Anya Sindesi, joins her class in mid-tem and things begin to change. The seemingly weird “new girl” draws the attention of the entire class, especially Shui. This creates a rift between Shui and her best friends Jai and Nallini. Shui is entranced by her and her magic. Family secrets come out of the closet and new ties are formed, as Anya takes Shui on an adventure of lifetime and one that makes a fun fantasy read.
The blurb attracted me to the book, and the cover has been beautifully designed. The language is simple and the narration is detailed and keeps the reader involved with the magic, fantasy, adventures, and the Indianisation of the plot makes it relatable. The quotes at the beginning of the chapter are beautiful. The use of Indian words makes the book more relatable to the Indian readers and the glossary at the end of the book is helpful,
The book has been written in first person from the point of view of Shui. The characters are well developed and relatable. The plot is different and there are many subplots woven into the main plot. Though initially the pace of the book is slow, but picks up as the story progresses and the reader gets involved. One request, please don’t get put off seeing the thickness of the book and also while reading the initial pages of the book, because once you cross page no 40, you are sucked in.
At the end, I wanted the second part of the book to be released asap as there is a new adventure that is promised.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.