July 10, 2012

Fantasy with an Indian twist

The Third Eye
by Mahtab Narsimhan

Tara's mother and grandfather disappeared one year ago. Ever since, she and her brother Suraj have been cruelly mistreated by their stepmother. Though their life has been hard, worse is yet to come. Frightening things have been happening to their village. Men are disappearing from the surrounding forests and returning in an altered, mutant state. Tara suspects that the village's new healer, a man named Zarku, is causing the trouble. Zarku has a third eye in the middle of his forehead, which gives him a mesmerizing, violent power. When Tara discovers that Zarku is trying to kill her and Suraj, they run away. Tara is sure that her mother and grandfather are still alive, and if she can find them, they will defeat Zarku. But in order to succeed, Tara must seek help from Lord Ganesh and Lord Yama, the god of death.

Tara struggles to overcome her fear and uncertainty, especially when she and Suraj are separated. She then meets Ananth, a boy who has also lost his family. She adopts Ananth as her brother (a little too quickly it seems), and together they try to evade Zarku's evil minions. But it is Tara alone who must face Zarku at the end.

Narsimhan skillfully weaves together Hindu mythology and Grimm fairy tale to create an exciting, frightening fantasy.

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