Beyond the Blue River
age group: 
12+ yrs
Number of pages: 
fiction, fantasy


Grace, an auto rickshaw, is different from the others - highly intelligent and eager to explore and learn. As, she plies around the streets, she starts to hear snatches of the song of the Blue River. She is elated and feels herself to be limitless, boundless. One day she decides to run away from the house where she worked to find that which was beckoning her and embarks on a journey that changes her life forever.

Driver-less, she sets off to look for the Blue River. Zrooh -the chief of all winds offers to help provided she promises not to lose heart, for the journey was difficult. She travels beyond the predars -lowest of the dark forces to KaruthAarg -flame of darkness, learns from the Itsians about the world within the world, which is invisible, and can be seen only by those who go deep within themselves. Human beings, they said, were too busy in their everyday world and so missed out on the real world. They show her the map of Mandra Rukh, the enchanted forest, where the Yamins and the Yagars, who can cast magical spells lived, and where not many people venture. Once there, she is able to understand all that is being said, as everything in the universe, she is told, speaks the language of the spheres.

The vivid description of Grace's journey will captivate the minds of the young readers even as they grasp the powerful message that is conveyed through Grace's metaphorical journey to the blue river - the journey to an inner reality that is similar and yet different for everyone.

The story of the inward journey, which each Grace embarks upon, reminds one of the very famous book by Richard Bach “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” where he too similarly had a calling. A calling that made him soar up and away leaving his friends far behind.

The author successfully drives home the message without being preachy. However, on the flip side, too many characters and too many experiences, might confuse the young readers and be a deterrent to finish reading the book.

Reviewed by Nargis Kabani