Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's acclaimed novels for adults include
the bestselling "The Mistress of Spices," soon to be a motion
picture. Her previous book for young readers, The Conch Bearer, was
a "Booklist" Editors' Choice, "Publishers Weekly" Best Book of the
Year, and is a 2005 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee. She teaches
creative writing at the University of Houston and lives with her
husband and two sons in Sugarland, Texas.
Gr 5-8--Arriving in the Silver Valley and being accepted into the Brotherhood as an apprentice healer was Anand's fondest dream come true. After he had defeated the sorcerer Surabhanu with his companions, Master Abhaydatta and Nisha, and restored the conch to the Brotherhood, no task seemed too difficult for Anand to face. He quickly falls into despair, however, when the simplest of spells escapes him. He wonders if he had made the right choice to be schooled in magic. During his first wind-watching session, he summons a black cloud that carries an ominous two-word message that hadn't been seen or heard for decades. A mysterious woman appears before him on the wall of the Hall of Seeing, pleading for help. To Anand's dismay, the elders of the council decide to answer the distress call by choosing another apprentice to accompany his mentor, Abhayadatta. Anand stays behind, reluctantly, but must take matters into his own hands when he senses his old friend is in trouble. Before all is done, Anand and the Company of the Conch will have traveled 300 years into the past through a magic portal where a new adventure awaits them. Can they defeat their new foes, the magician Kasim and his powerful jinn, and stop their diabolical plans to overtake the kingdom? Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is masterly in her storytelling, blending elements of Indian folklore, mysticism, and fantasy into this magnificent tale (Roaring Brook, 2005), the sequel to The Conch Bearer (Roaring Brook, 2003). James Langton delivers a superior performance in a clear, raspy-free British accent. Female characters are fuller and livelier with a soprano pitch. An imaginative, engaging addition to fantasy collections.-Ann Crewdson, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In this sequel to The Conch Bearer, "Divakaruni makes India's past as immediate as its present, with characters that readers will surely want to follow through to the next and final book," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.