The closest that I have been to fantasy in my life is when a bunch of us cousins tried calling on the spirits, using a plancchette. I want to laugh over the thought now (like you are), but if I were to also reminisce over the experience, it was really spooky. I mean, we didn’t even get around to calling the real spirits. Just a mid-night adventure, by preparing a plancchette based on some half baked knowledge of a reading enthusiast teenager and sitting around it with some candles in the periphery. As we began to chant something (again sourced by the learned cousin), a hair raising feel spread around in the room. And just then, me the coward opened my eyes and declared that I didn’t want to be a part of this. I had unconditional support from one of my other cousins, and eventually the idea got dropped. But for the next couple of days (i.e. the number of days left during the summer vacations) all of us remained terrified fearing that our little experiment might have invited something that may cause trouble. Finding it laugh worthy? I completely am with you.
But what if something really had come through that day? This is a thought that I will take to my grave, because I might possibly never be able to ask this question to a butterfly. Oh! You might wonder from where did the butterfly come from!
Well, some children really can talk to butterflies. But to know more about them, you might have to first read Reshma K.Barshikar’s The Hidden Children – The Lost Grimoire
The Hidden Children – The Lost Grimoire by Reshma K Barshikar – Book Review
The book blurb asks you “What would you do to talk to a butterfly”, well at this juncture of my life and for the next 10 years I would ask only one question to myself, “What would you do to understand a pre-teen’s or a teen’s mind?”
In answer, I would say that I’d read a powerful book such as The Hidden Children by Reshma K Barshikar. A book that is surely high on fantasy, but at its core lays a plot that runs deep into the veins and nerves of a handful of of teenagers and portrays a convincing story of friendship, love, infatuation, jealousy, ambition, personal insecurities and everything under the realm of a teenage life that you can imagine about.
The Hidden Children – The Lost Grimoire is essentially the story of Shui, an extremely ordinary rather plagued by personal challenges teenager. While she goes about her life surrounded by people who love her, she still feels insufficient and rather ‘Mediocre’ . She is constantly on an overdrive within her mind for being nobody special. Things change with the appearance of ‘Anya’ in her class, who she is drawn to for no specific reason. But later this attraction turns into a friendship with a secret. Shui suddenly finds her life to be having a purpose beyond the normal and she thrives on this special knowledge and power.
What follows is an interesting twist and turn of eventss, where much is revealed, even more is understood and acted upon. For a bunch of young kids to go through a roaster coaster journey as this is a craft that needed a lot of patience and getting under the skin along with the research.
It is interesting to live through the transformation that Shui goes through as she discovers more about her special powers, faces challenges that come accrued with these powers and the character that build up in the face of adversities. She comes out with true colors as she pledges to stand by her new friend not dumping her even when she goes disarray. How she is grounded enough to apologise to her old friends and get back with them to face the impending challenges.
The revelations have been made at just the right instances during the plot, to pique the readers’ interest enough to keep them going. Though a little slow and dragged in the beginning, it is not long before the story grips you like a vice. And the best part is that by now you are yourself so hooked that you aren’t struggling to free yourself.
Reshma K Barshikar surely has the potential to turn this into our very own Indian fantasy series and a promising one at that. I wish for this book to be extremely successful and popular. And can’t wait for the author to begin the next book in the series.