The City of Death

329p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780-545385183; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780-545576406. LC 2013006974.
Gr 8 Up—In this sequel to The Savage Fortress (Scholastic, 2012), Ash is back at school in England, his days as a killing machine channeling the goddess Kali's spirit fading from memory. But he is still not safe from insatiably power-hungry Lord Savage. When Ash's friend Parvati shows up in London, the carnage recommences, as Ash is forced yet again into the role of superhero, doomed to save the world. Savage is after the Koh-I-Noor diamond, the aastra that will allow him to conquer the fourth dimension. Forced into a hasty battle on Guy Fawkes Night, Ash's friend and crush, Gemma, tragically becomes collateral damage. In his anguish at her murder, Ash makes a deadly error, teaming up with Savage in the hope that he can turn back time and restore Gemma to life. Gruesome battles ensue, fought with monsters of stone, with rakshasas, and with magical architectural traps that will flay skin and melt bone; battles fought on cliffs, on the streets of London, in the Indian countryside, and finally in the ancient underwater kingdom of Ravana. Chadda again shows his flair as a storyteller, weaving ancient Hindi mythology into the present-day story of a teenager miserably torn between his destiny as the savior of the world and his wish to be a normal kid with a girlfriend. It is his wish for normalcy, and for his innocent girlfriend's cruel death to be undone, that very nearly destroys him. It is this so-human dilemma that saves this book from the otherwise relentless violence. When Ash returns to London in the final chapter, readers know immediately that the ultimate battle is yet to come and will be longing for the next installment in the series.—Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing