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The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (Brotherhood of the Conch) Paperback – February 27, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The boy magician Anand, his sassy partner Nisha, and their beloved teacher Abhaydatta reunite for a new adventure in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's second installment of her folkloric Indian fantasy series, The Brotherhood of the Conch. Anand, having discovered his vocation as Keeper of the Conch, now lives in the Himalayan Silver Valley, where he is training to become a Healer in the Brotherhood. While practicing the art of far-seeing, Anand receives a vision of a terrified wise-woman, pleading for help. Devastated by Master Abhaydatta's decision to leave him behind while he goes to the woman's aid, Anand convinces the conch to create a magic portal that he and Nisha can use to suddenly appear by Abhaydatta's side. Unfortunately, during the metaphysical hurtle, Anand is separated from Nisha and the conch and thrown back in time to an ancient Indian kingdom, where an evil sorcerer is planning the downfall of the royal family. What hope does Anand have of defeating the sorcerer, locating his friends, and returning to his own time without the powerful conch? The answers may lie in the depths of the Mirror of Fire and Dreaming...

Divakaruni maintains the spare, poetic tone, exotic setting, and diverse cast of quirky characters that made The Conch Bearer so appealing to young fantasy readers. Evoking the magic and mystery of India and the Far East, this classic quest story will be enjoyed by middle grade fans of Shiva's Fire by Susanne Fisher Staples and Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson. --Jennifer Hubert



Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni graciously agreed to answer the questions we like to ask every author: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.


Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: Two have been equally significant. Where are you going? by Swami Muktananda, and Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.

Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: The book: The Bhagavad Gita. The music: any classical music CD by Ali Akbar Khan. The movie: The Lord of the Rings.

Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: When my son was little and wouldn't go to sleep, I told him that the red garbage truck would come and get him.

Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: My study, where my computer faces a wall (to minimize outside distractions). On my desk is a dancing Shiva Nataraj, symbol of the cosmic creative principle.

Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: "FOREVER LOVE"

Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: The Dalai Lama, or my spiritual teacher, Swami Muktananda

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: To heal the human heart



--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–In this sequel to The Conch Bearer (Roaring Brook, 2003), Anand and Nisha have just begun their schooling in magic when their mentor, Abhaydatta, is sent on a dangerous mission. Impatient to help, the kids and the conch leave the Silver Valley illicitly through a time/space portal (the mirror of the title) to help a contemporary Indian village escape the clutches of a spirit-sucking jinn that lurks in the forest. The focus is on the males, especially Anand, though Nisha and a wise-woman provide some help. Once again, evil is seeking a magic token that will give it dominance (shades of Tolkien's Ring). Anand travels still farther into the past, finding himself in a Mogul palace pretty much on his own. Seasoned with generous helpings of Hindi words (almost always explained in context), Divakaruni's novel offers the flavors, sounds, sights, and stories of past and present Bengal. The description of a jinn is masterly, and the values (don't run away; think for yourself; don't expect to be good at everything; use kindness and humility, not force) are solid, but unexceptionable. LeGuin appears to have been another influence, but to the good. In this fast-paced story, perhaps the young prince Mahabet changes too quickly to be convincing, but Anand remains a character of some depth, and he does the most growing here. Although this is the second book, it is self-contained. Fans will be looking for another adventure, promised to follow.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Brotherhood of the Conch (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416917683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416917687
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Anand is the Keeper of the Conch. He gave up his family and his home so that he can help the world, as a Healer in Silver Valley. His friend Nisha comes with him, the first ever female healer, and the master healer Abhaydatta is one of his instructors. As Anand struggles with his studies, he hears a warning from the wind and views an alarming scene on a wall. The Healers must take action; they know it is their duty to protect the world from the "evil that stirs." Abhaydatta and a young healer called Raj-bahnu embark upon a quest to find this evil, leaving a heart-broken Anand behind. However, just before he leaves, Abhaydatta gives Anand a pearl necklace that will change color if he is in danger. In yet another alarming scene, Anand views Abhaydatta beside a lake with an unconscious Raj-bhanu at his side. He knows they are in danger, but the pearls are nowhere to be found. The Healer's Council will decide upon a course of action in the morning, but Anand knows that by then it will be to late. The Conch agrees to transport Nisha and Anand to the lake, but something goes slightly awry. Can Anand find the Conch, Abhaydatta, and Nisha before evil destroys the world?

The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming expresses just how powerful love can be. Adventure, fantasy, and mystery intertwine to form an exciting novel with many important lessons. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has created a world of fantasy that involves so many of life's true feelings and emotions that it seems real; a world full of hardships and triumphs. Readers young and old who love an exciting novel will definitely enjoy The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, and anyone searching for a book with just the right blend of fantasy and reality has just found the perfect tale.

(...)
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Format: Hardcover
With rich, sumptuous detail and admirable clarity Chitra Divakaruni draws us into the Conch Bearer Anand's journey for a second time. The difficulties faced and lessons learned by the Brotherhood of the Conch in this newest book combine to create an enchanting story. Both The Conch Bearer and The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming provide vibrant descriptions, especially concerning culture and food. These books are delightful adventures wholesome enough for any age group to enjoy. Happy Reading
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By A.K. on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book, the sequel to The Conch Bearer, mixes the sense of excitement that every book needs, a wonderful use of magic realism (which is illustrated by the fact that Anand, the main character, travels from the present day India to the ancient India, who'se realistic features are marred by the fact that Anand is a magician) , an overhanging gloom and really, really, really great writing.

This was one of my favorite books and I would definately recommend it to anyone!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the same spirit as Harry Potter, but with a firm grounding in traditional South Asian fairy tales, this series is a well spun yarn. If your child has gotten past picture books, I highly recommend these three books, it also works well as the bed time chapter by chapter story read outloud. It's got that essence that always appeals to older children, a complicated adventure WITHOUT parents. In some ways, superior to the more well known Harry Potter series, this series conveys a package of Indian social and family values, there's more than one important moral taught. There's a similarity in terms of the importance of loyalty among friends, but a distinct difference in the sense that this series of books teaches that violence is not an appropriate answer. It's an interesting enough tale, with wonderful characters, I also recommend the book to those adults, with or without children, who read young adult fiction (well written young adult fiction).
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