The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (Brotherhood of the Conch Series #2)
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The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (Brotherhood of the Conch Series #2)

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by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
     
 

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In a pristine valley hidden in the Himalayas, Anand has a disturbing vision. His mentor and spiritual guide, the Master Healer Abhaydatta, is apparently in grave danger. What should he do? If he conveys this information to his elders, he'll waste precious time. But is it wise to take matters into his own hands?

Anand makes his choice and embarks on a spectacular

Overview

In a pristine valley hidden in the Himalayas, Anand has a disturbing vision. His mentor and spiritual guide, the Master Healer Abhaydatta, is apparently in grave danger. What should he do? If he conveys this information to his elders, he'll waste precious time. But is it wise to take matters into his own hands?

Anand makes his choice and embarks on a spectacular adventure that takes him not only across contemporary India but also several hundred years into the past to the time of the Moghul rulers. There he encounters powerful sorcerers, a haughty and arrogant prince, and a jinn capable of unspeakable magic.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fans of The Conch Bearer will be every bit as riveted to this sequel." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Offers the flavors, sounds, sights, and stories of past and present Bengal....Fans will be looking for another adventure, promised to follow." — School Library Journal

In a remote valley high in the Himalayas, young Arand experiences a terrifying vision revealing that his beloved mentor, Master Healer Abhaydatta, is in grave danger. Unable to wait for wiser counsel, Arand leaves immediately on a frantic mission to save his spiritual guide. His journey leads him across the Indian Subcontinent and deep into the Moghul past. This linchpin volume of the Brotherhood of the Conch trilogy is an enthralling fantasy adventure read for boys and girls, ages 8 to 12.
Publishers Weekly
Fans of The Conch Bearer will be every bit as riveted to this sequel, which opens in the Silver Valley of the Himalayas, where Anand and Nisha have begun their studies to become a Master Healer like their friend and mentor, Abhaydatta. Just when Anand is feeling less skillful than the other apprentices, he has a vision: a woman tells him that the people from her village are disappearing into the forest "and when they come back, they are changed. Often they don't remember who they are." The council of healers dispatches Abhaydatta to look into the matter, but Anand has further visions that his friend is in trouble, and enlists Nisha and the conch to help him. During their transport, the three become separated, and Anand must find them as well as Abhaydatta, and get to the source of the evil described by the woman in his vision. Along with her characters, the author sends readers back in time to an era in India when shahzadas (Muslim princes) ruled; she details their breathtaking finery and endless courses of food, brought by servants in turbans. The mirror of the title holds the key link between past and present, but it also takes on another layer of meaning in Anand's gradual self-realization. Divakaruni here 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 in the trilogy. Ages 8-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
At the opening of this sequel to the author's first fantasy for young readers, The Conch Bearer, Anand, now Keeper of the Conch, finds himself in training. In the beautiful Silver Valley, he enters his new life as an apprentice with the Brotherhood of Healers. The food is fabulous and the sweeper girl, Nisha—his companion in the earlier stage of his quest—seems utterly absorbed by the delights of this new life. We know, of course, that this will change, and it does. The scene in which Anand first realizes that Abhaydatta is in danger is a well-crafted turning point, all the more interesting for being set against the green fields and scented slopes of Himalayan foothills. Picking up the pace, Anand and Nisha are both transported in different ways to an alternate reality of Bengal in the days of the Nawabs, when rival princes battle for land and power and the East India Company is petitioning for extensions of treaties. Against this backdrop, Anand must face a dark and powerful figure in a cause larger than his own wants and needs. Nisha, in this other world, faces a choice of her own, although her character seems shadowed here, in contrast to her vitality in the first book. Divakaruni conveys a world view traditional to children's fantasy, in which good and evil are clearly defined and we know whose side we are supposed to be on. Epic figures are drawn from a multiplicity of traditions. The mirror itself seems part Palantir, part oracle, capable of becoming a fluid pathway between worlds. Some relationships are unexpected and tender, such as Anand's connection with the elephant Matangi. Middle books in trilogies are always difficult to pull off. Despite the magic pearlsand portals, and the presence of evil, this one is a gently-paced story driven by setting and character. 2005, Roaring Brook, Ages 8 to 12.
—Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In this sequel to The Conch Bearer (Roaring Brook, 2003), Anand and Nisha have just begun their schooling in magic when their mentor, Abhaydatta, is sent on a dangerous mission. Impatient to help, the kids and the conch leave the Silver Valley illicitly through a time/space portal (the mirror of the title) to help a contemporary Indian village escape the clutches of a spirit-sucking jinn that lurks in the forest. The focus is on the males, especially Anand, though Nisha and a wise-woman provide some help. Once again, evil is seeking a magic token that will give it dominance (shades of Tolkien's Ring). Anand travels still farther into the past, finding himself in a Mogul palace pretty much on his own. Seasoned with generous helpings of Hindi words (almost always explained in context), Divakaruni's novel offers the flavors, sounds, sights, and stories of past and present Bengal. The description of a jinn is masterly, and the values (don't run away; think for yourself; don't expect to be good at everything; use kindness and humility, not force) are solid, but unexceptionable. LeGuin appears to have been another influence, but to the good. In this fast-paced story, perhaps the young prince Mahabet changes too quickly to be convincing, but Anand remains a character of some depth, and he does the most growing here. Although this is the second book, it is self-contained. Fans will be looking for another adventure, promised to follow.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Though he's been greatly honored by being made keeper of the magical conch (The Conch Bearer, 2003), Anand feels worthless in his apprenticeship in the Silver Valley. The other apprentices-even his closest friend Nisha-all understand magic that eludes him. Worse, when Anand divines a mysterious evil lurking in a remote Indian village, he is not selected to accompany his beloved mentor Abhaydatta on a rescue mission. Anand and Nisha sneak out of the Silver Valley to help, and find Abhaydatta missing and a wicked magician sucking the souls from helpless villagers. Only by going 400 years into the past, to a lavishly described Mughal palace, can Anand rescue his friends and defeat the magician. Disguised as a punkah boy in the home of a powerful Muslim nawab, Anand has few allies: Nisha's lost her memory and the conch its strength. When Anand goes through enough personal growth, the conch gains power and can save the day. A stock plot given life by the appealing, unusual and lovingly detailed setting. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416917687
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
02/27/2007
Series:
Brotherhood of the Conch Series, #2
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
259,721
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the author of sixteen books, including Oleander Girl, The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Palace of Illusions, One Amazing Thing, and Before We Visit the Goddess. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times, and has won, among other prizes, an American Book Award. Born in India, she currently lives in Texas and is the McDavid professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Houston, Texas, and San Jose, California
Date of Birth:
July 29, 1956
Place of Birth:
Kolkata, India
Education:
B.A. in English, Kolkata University 1976; Ph.D. in English, University of California at Berkeley, 1984
Website:
http://www.chitradivakaruni.com/

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The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Bookmomnyc More than 1 year ago
Anand and Nisha have become apprentices in the Silver Valley, learning to use the magical powers and the powers of the natural world. But Anand feels frustrated as he struggles. A great adventure beckons and our characters are thrown into a journey and a struggle as they travel back in time. Better than the first book in the series, The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming has a more original story that draws upon Indian history. Divakaruni draws vivid pictures of the time of the Indian Moghul rulers, as well as contemporary Indian village life. This is the time of princes and princesses, elephants and elegant costumes, amidst great palaces. The book is fast moving and easy to follow. The characters are beginning to show more depth as they age. I look forward to more in this series. The author could really use her knowledge of India and all its lore to take us on a Harry Potter-like adventures all over the subcontinent. This is a good read aloud for kids over 7, and my 11 yo and my husband also enoyed this fast-paced book. Great to read while in Rajahstan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot. You could see there's a huge love between Abhaydatta and Anand. And also the part when they go back in future. I technically thought it was an great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With rich, sumptuous detail and admirable clarity Chitra Divakaruni draws us into the Conch Bearer Anand¿s journey for a second time. The difficulties faced and lessons learned by the Brotherhood of the Conch in this newest book combine to create an enchanting story. Both The Conch Bearer and The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming provide vibrant descriptions, especially concerning culture and food. These books are delightful adventures wholesome enough for any age group to enjoy. Happy Reading