December 01, 2011

A Journey Through A Fairytale - Book Review

   The Iron Tooth - Prithvin Rajendran
 Lead Start Publications  
 Genre - Fiction/ Fantasy (Children/ Middle Grade/Young Adult)
 Paperback, Pages 218, Price  INR 195/$ 8 (available at

‘The Iron Tooth’ is a fantasy set in the fictional continent of Goodabaiya and aimed at children and young teens. It starts with the prologue of a young, unmarried and pregnant girl from the land of Sumrak thrown out of her home and forced to find shelter at a remote area in the foothills of the Mala Mountains.  There she gives birth to two babies – a human boy and one troll girl which form the basis for events which are revealed only at the end of the story.
  The book then takes us to the land of Dashter, a great and mighty kingdom ruled first by a good king, Dashtum and later by his equally strong but evil son Darum. It is Darum’s eldest daughter Nova’s vanity driven behaviour that leads to her imprisonment and suffering of her people cursed by the powerful magician Faerum; till their redemption at the hands of Princix.
 Three main Characters emerge at this point, the protagonist Princix whose unknown heritage is revealed with other clues that tie up the prologue with the tale. The imprisoned Princess Nova who by then, regrets her part played in the curse becomes his love interest keeping in line with the fairytales we have grown up with. Finally the evil Wizard rather sorcerer  Faerum who enlists the help of six powerful fellow wizards and the Custodian Of Light in his cruel, malicious act of revenge on Dashter . The book then introduces us to the kingdom of Greatix, which is also the home of our protagonist and his family. Princix, who is both kind and brave, on an quest for fame and wealth wins magical weapons that enable him to become the Champion General for the kingdom of Greatix.
Princix’s duty as Champion General is to find out what ails the neighbouring kingdom of Dastur and help alleviate it. He journeys with two Imperial Guards, Candelbre and Hammil faces his share of battles and adventures  and discovers the all-important iron tooth.

The Author Prithvin has faithfully adhered to the fairy tale style and tried to create a tale that displays his creativity in the process. There is a assortment of languages in the book including the one invented by the author, the language of the Bak. Both old and modern English have been used throughout the book and a bard style of rendition of opinions and conversations finds a place. A multitude of characters in the form of mythical creatures like vampires, trolls, Medusas, fairies, an immortal Custodian, zombies, ghouls and creatures of the author’s own imagination  like the elite soldiers, the Baks are found throughout the pages.
 I liked the addition of appendices which include a chronology, maps, a translation of the Bak language Nivthrip.
I felt that the cast of characters was overcrowded with the mythical beings have very little to do. The prologue will baffle readers till the end, which I wish had been addressed in the form of a retelling in the early or middle part of the book.
At times the book felt like a series of short stories leaving this reviewer with an ambivalent feeling. The tenderness between Princix And Nova didn’t inspire either nor did Faerum come across as that cruel or foreboding.
The book overall has good continuity and flow but doesn't suck you into its world making you want to read more. Some stereotypes are inevitable because of the genre and do not detract from the book, but a tame  Nova who does nothing but repent her actions was a bit of a dampener for me.
Some of the opinions were demeaning to women. They shouldn’t find place in a book whose primary audience is to be those between 9-13 years.
The book doesn’t clearly mention the exact genre rather coded only as a mystery on the back cover. This being the author’s first novel, hopefully his next novel will be worth more than the 3/5 star rating  given for the debut attempt.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.comParticipate now to get free books!

 Personal Disclaimer: Though this book was a free copy received for the purpose of review, the post in entirety is my basic impression after reading the book. It is not based on intervention by the author, publishing house or the blogging forum.


Bikramjit said...

ah ha :) nice one

Bikram's said...

Shame it includes opinions demeaning to women. I was hopeful when I read that it's about a young unmarried pregnant female - thought it might be a pro-womanly book. Thanks for this honest review, Rek.
Blessings to you.

Rek said...

Thanks @ Bikramji and @Robyn, Dear friend for reading and leaving your comments. :)

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