The Riddle of the Lustr Sapphires
Roopa Pai
Priya Kuriyan
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
fiction, fantasy


The Taranauts, three Mithyakins with superpowers – Zval, Zarpa and Tufan - are on yet another exciting quest, to recover the sapphires of Lustr. When the wicked Shaap Azur captured the thirty-two stars of Tara, Mithya’s eight worlds, Shyn, lustr, Sparkl, Dazl, Shimr, Sintilla and Glytr, were plunged into darkness. Shaap Azur had hidden 32 riddles on the eight worlds, and the Taranauts have been given the task of solving the riddles and recovering all thirty-two stars from the Splinternet.

In ‘The Quest for the Shyn Emeralds’ they recovered the four emeralds that light the world Shyn. Now they must solve the next four riddles and recover the sapphires of Lustr. The sci-fi creatures, weeping trees, vicious flowers and the insect-like Minimits, sometimes frightening beings but nevertheless entertaining, have names that any student of Hindi would recognise. With the help of their mentors Shuk Tee, Achalmun and Dummaraz, not to mention their personal trainer-mentor Twon d’Ung, the Taranauts learn how to use their powers to solve the riddles.

As they go along they acquire a creature called a makara, who serves as emergency transport, and a new friend called Zub, who keeps disappearing, mysteriously reappearing whenever he is needed. After some strange adventures they solve the riddles and get the four sapphire stars shining in the sky once more.

This is a slyly witty book that older readers will enjoy too – even parents.

The illustrations are very attractive and imaginative. My grandson’s comment (I try out most of the books on him) was, “Very cool!” I must say I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Reviewed by Jane Bhandari