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Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the Tree…
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Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (A Pandava Novel… (edition 2021)

by Roshani Chokshi (Author)

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2004120,824 (4.05)1
After fourteen-year-old Aru Shah and her friends fail to keep a prophecy from the Sleeper, they undergo a rebranding campaign to prove the Pandavas's trustworthiness, but Aru believes they need to focus on finding the Tree of Wishes before the Sleeper and stopping war between the devas and the demons.… (more)
Member:MarylhurstHerons
Title:Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (A Pandava Novel Book 3) (Pandava Series, 3)
Authors:Roshani Chokshi (Author)
Info:Rick Riordan Presents (2021), Edition: Reprint, 416 pages
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Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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In the third instalment of the Pandava Quartet, 14-year-old Arundhati “Aru” Shah and her companions need to defeat their archnemesis (and Aru’s father), the Sleeper, and prevent the impending war between the devas and asuras.

The novel opens with Aru and her friends on a mission to rescue two people from the Sleeper’s soldiers. The two people are 10-year-old identical twins and Pandavas Nikita and Sheela, trapped atop a Ferris wheel in downtown Atlanta. This mission is of utmost importance because Sheela is a clairvoyant with an important prophecy, which speaks of the rise of the Sleeper and an untrue Pandava sister—and which the Sleeper must not hear at any cost. Despite their best efforts, however, one of the Sleeper’s soldiers overhears the prophecy, and Aru, Mini, Brynne, and Adin—accompanied by Rudy, a serpent prince—set off to find the missing Kalpavriksha, a wish-granting tree, so that they might wish upon it to set things right. Much like its predecessors, this fast-moving adventure draws on Hindu cosmology and South Asian pop-culture references to create an enchanting but believable magical Otherworld, where gods, demigods, demons, and talking animals abound. Chokshi’s novel is pitch perfect: The plot is action-packed, the dialogue witty, and the characters (almost all of whom are either Indian or part-Indian) are compelling, diverse, and complex.

Touching, riotously funny, and absolutely stunning. (Fantasy. 10-14)

-Kirkus Review
  CDJLibrary | Aug 4, 2022 |
Definitely a 4.5.

I don’t think I’m currently reading any middle grade books except this series but I can never let this one go because it’s too special and close to my heart. It took me a while to get to it because of the pandemic but reading it was a joy and I’m so happy.

The strength of this series has always been how well Roshani seamlessly integrates various stories from Hindu mythology into a modern adventure tale, and it never fails to bring a smile on my face. There were many of my favorites this time around including the legend of the Kalpavriksha, the Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu and the story of the Amritha manthan - but I absolutely loved the way the Yakshaprashna sequence from the Mahabharata was included. There are also many laughs to be had along the way, but the action felt more scary and the stakes were definitely higher this time. The pacing is quite fast and if not for my slumpy mood, this wouldn’t have taken me more than a day to finish. The characters are thrown into situation after scary situation, and there’s hardly any time to take a breath in the middle of their quest - and we readers are equally swept away on this thrilling adventure.

The characters have really come a long way through these three books and it shows. Particularly Aru spends a lot of this book self-reflecting on the life she could have had if things had been different with her father, contemplating if she is the right person to be the de facto leader of their group, and how would she ever be successful in this war. We really feel very connected to her emotionally and long for her to realize that she is worth it.

We also get our final two Pandava sisters Nikita and Sheela who have their own powers with plants and prophecies respectively. But they are also ten years old, so it was kinda adorable to see some little ones who had already suffered a lot, but still wanna fulfill their destiny. We also Rudy, Aiden’s cousin who is a bit of a self-obsessed obnoxious royal but brings a lot of humor to the proceedings with his pretentious dialogue as well as absolute cluelessness about anything earthly. Brynne and Aiden also get to shine, especially in the action sequences and it was marvelous to see her bravery and his resourcefulness in full light.

But I really thought Mini got a great chance to standout even though we never get to read the story from her POV. She has always been someone who has a quiet strength about her and is very loyal to her sisters, but in the aforementioned Yakshaprashna scene, we really get to see how thoughtful and wise she has grown to be, and how much more she deserves to be celebrated.

To conclude, this was an absolutely delightful read and I had so much fun buddy reading it with my dear friend Tova. If you are someone who loves middle grade adventures with great characters and a beautiful mythological backdrop, then you should totally checkout this series. And if you are already a fan but haven’t gotten the chance to read this latest installment yet, do pick it up soon because I promise this is the exact kind of fun story you need during these anxious times. And after that doozy of an ending, I am eagerly awaiting the next book which already has a spectacular gold cover, and it can’t come out soon enough. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
I’ll be honest. This was not my favorite of the series, but only because I hated the ending so much. I wanted to throw it across the room. But before the awful ending, this was another enjoyable adventure steeped in Hindu mythology. Aru and her friends are bonding and becoming an even better, stronger team, and their growth is nice to watch. Several new characters turn up in this book, and they make the core group even more interesting and dynamic. They’re bound to feature in the final book and I am looking forward to how everything plays out. ( )
  DGRachel | Jul 9, 2020 |
Aru Shah and the Tree Of Wishes was not my favorite Aru Shah book. I liked it, but it felt kind of glum. It was very exciting, but wasn't a really good page turner. I think that my biggest problem with it is that it wasn't as fun as the first 2 books. With books 1 and 2, it was happy and exciting, but in this one it was really sad. This was pretty much The Empire Strikes Back of Aru Shah. I think that if I had to decide I would give it 3 1/2 stars, because it was still a good book.
1 vote Books_With_Antonio | Jun 8, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roshani Chokshiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chokshi, RoshaniAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Nankani, SoneelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For my parents, May and Hitesh, who always insisted on making sure we read the "real" versions of myths and fairy tales. Thanks fro the delightful trauma. Love you.
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Aru Shah had a gigantic lightning bolt, and she really wanted to use it.
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After fourteen-year-old Aru Shah and her friends fail to keep a prophecy from the Sleeper, they undergo a rebranding campaign to prove the Pandavas's trustworthiness, but Aru believes they need to focus on finding the Tree of Wishes before the Sleeper and stopping war between the devas and the demons.

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