Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Author: Prashant Pinge
Publisher: Prashant Pinge
Award-winning author Prashant Pinge brings another world to life, inhabited by fearsome beasts and magical creatures, in his latest novel for young adults. On his website, he utters what might, at first glance, appear to be a disclaimer. While waiting to write his magnum opus, which drew him out of bed in the middle of the night, but which he has still to write, he states, “I happily string words together in my quest for Nirvana.” As with his writing, although what he has to say appears, on the surface, to be simple and straightforward, yet the inner depths of the tale that he has to tell soon emerge. In short, you can regard Sceadu: Your Shadow Holds a Secret as an adventure story, and stick with that, if you like, but you would be far better off being aware of the magic and mystery of his source material, which should enrich your reading experience immeasurably.
That Pinge also has an abiding interest in psychology, mythology and ancient history comes as no surprise, in that he delves into the depths of his human characters psyches in revelatory detail. Each such character is well-rounded and soundly reasoned out in terms of motivation, with Sceadu being multi-layered in texture, as well as in plot. When Matilda, frustrated by her siblings’ and cousins’ inattention to her discovery of another world, goes there by herself, leaving them to follow in her wake, she opens up countless opportunities for them to explore a fantasy world filled with goblins, imps and faeries, as well as many other lesser known creatures of myth and legend. The world of the extraordinary and fantastical definitely holds appeal for Pinge, as he has already had a short story “The Dark Rising” published in a collection on the paranormal, entitled The Killer App and Other Paranormal Stories: Look Beyond the Normal.
Even though Sceadu is aimed at a young adult audience, where the text is also likely to go down well is in the older learner’s classroom, where discussions can be held regarding the use of imagery and metaphor, and where the meaning of some of the more advanced vocabulary used can be explored. Pinge’s keen-eyed and sensitive description of the environment and the setting in which the action takes place is alternated with heated exchanges between the human characters, which might also be fun to role-play. His dialogue is true-to-life and nuanced, clearly showing the differences between the older and younger members of the family.
Sceadu is such a worthwhile and invigorating read that it is quite likely to spawn a cult following, who will soon be asking for more stories in the same vein. It also holds great potential for being converted into a screen play. For a glimpse of what the book holds in store, why not check out the book’s enticing preview at http://www.prashantpinge.com/?