Aru Shah and the Song of Death

400p. (Pandava: Bk. 2). Disney-Hyperion. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781368013840.
Gr 4–8-In this second entry in the series, Aru Shah would like to concentrate on training how to be Pandava with her soul sister, Mini, but that is not to be her fate as she is thrown into another quest she didn't ask for with a different Pandava sister, the incredibly strong and always hungry Brynne. Picking up where the first book ended, Aru continues to learn about the Otherworld, along with the legends, quarrels, and curses that affect both this realm and the human one. This time, if Aru and the other Pandavas do not succeed in returning the stolen bow and arrows of the god of love, they will be thrown out of the realm and innumerable humans will perish. No pressure. In a slightly irreverent tone, this adventure once again delves into some traditional Indian stories with a modern flare (for example, Kamadeva, the love god, monitors social media). With rich descriptions of palaces and Otherworld lands, the colorful tapestry of Aru's life engulfs readers, bringing them along for the experience and leaving them eager to find out what will happen next. With the appearance of two new main characters, this installment feels fresh and the continued pursuit of the evil Sleeper, which is not resolved, hints at more to come. An extensive glossary offers detail about the mythical beings and traditional Indian dishes.
VERDICT This adventure throws readers into a magical world, with a lot of attitude on the side. A winning sequel with just as much appeal as Aru Shah and the End of Time.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA

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