Pearls of Wisdom
A Hilarious Hauntings Adventure
By Sonja Chandrachud
Reviewed by Shivani Singh
‘Chalo Chowpatty for some solid Bombay bhel.’
These are the kind of wacky lines you’ll find in this book. So if you want to go on a ride that can beat the spice of Bombay bhel, this is the book for you.
Pearls of Wisdom is a hilarious account of the adventure that breaks loose in the Water World and the Sorcery World created by the author Sonja Chandrachud. The book’s plot and style has the essence of Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series blended to create a captivating and humorous desi fantasy.
In this sequel to the book ‘Potion of Eternity’, the possessor of the Pearls of Wisdom gets the power to rule the capital of the sea world – Poseidon, and all its residing creatures. And that’s what the villains; the dark creatures called ‘The Black Magi’ are intent on stealing to get ultimate power over the Sorcery World. But the Black Magi aren’t the only ones with their eyes set on these powerful pearls. The Serpent King Va Suki, who has a thousand heads, believes that the pearls rightfully belong to the Nagas, and hence he too is another enemy vying for the pearls.
The book centres around the Von D’eth family. When the Pearls of Wisdom are stolen from Drunkula Von D’eth - a vampire who was given the duty to protect them, all hell breaks loose. He is accused of treason, and is set to be executed on the nearest Full Moon. In the meanwhile, the Black Magi have taken the pearls to Va Suki in return for his treasures in the Sea of Secrets. The Sea of Secrets is the most dangerous part of the sea filled with marine creatures intent on biting your head off. When the question arises as to who should be the one to go and retrieve the pearls from the terrifying place where not many make it out alive, it is revealed that Koral (a 13 year old bright and brave water wizard) is destined to go down there, but at a terrible price.
But as if Koral hasn’t got her platter full with the Black Magi in the possession of the pearls and Va Suki on their trail, there enters another potential contender who wants to be crowned with the glory of the coveted pearls. And this is not just any other dark creature or enemy – it’s someone who has betrayed the Von D’eths. Someone who is nearly invincible.
Sonja Chandrachud is exceptionally creative in spinning fantasy, something that is seen in the ranks of J.K. Rowling. Her way with words gives you a delightfully vivid image of what she’s describing, and her language flows freely. I would recommend it to children of the age 10 +, and anyone in search of a thrilling plot.
The climax with which the book ends will leave you wanting more. It’s not a typical happy ending, and it leaves you pondering about where the story can go next. Because Koral had to pay a terrible price, something that will never leave her whole again. And that’s up to you readers to find out!
(Shivani Singh, a student of St Mary's Pune, is an avid reader and a writer in the making.)