Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Conch Bearer

A book for older children, The Conch Beareris a typical adventure story with a bit of spice, a little bit. It follows the formula of a young, unwilling hero getting chosen for a quest. A magical object, here a conch, accepts him and protects him. Like Dorothy's ruby slippers an corrupted character tries to get it and doesn't mind if the hero must die. The usual hardships and friendships ensue and eventually the hero learns and wins. The characters were fine, but the conch could be rather annoying. I should mention it can talk.

The story is spiced up because it's set in India, but once the boy, his wizard-like teacher and Nisha, a girl who tags along leave Kolkatta leave the city there are few reminders that this story takes place in India. The story's gotten several positive reviews, but I disagree that it's a page-turner that will make me want to stay up to read. I actually misplaced the book for a week and wasn't induced to exert much energy to finish it.

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