From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Gr 7-12-Shiva's Fire (Farrar, 2000) was writ-ten by Suzanne Fisher Staples, the author of the outstanding young adult novel, Sha-banu: Daughter of the Wind (Knopf, 1989). She has worked as a UPI foreign correspon-dent in India, Pakistan, and Hong Kong. In this mystical tale, listeners are immediately transported into the everyday life and activi-ties of a fictitious village in the south of India. At an undetermined time in the present, Parvati is born on an auspacious day, the same day as the birth of a son to the Maharani and of a devastating cyclone that destroys their village. Parvati's father, the keeper of the Maharaja's elephants, and a renowned wood carver dies that same day, along with many villagers, leaving her a carving of the Hindu god Shiva. Eventually the villagers become aware of Parvati's magical gifts, especially her talent to dance. When a guru from Madras comes to the village, he learns of Parvati's talents and offers her the opportunity to study at his gurukulam to become a devadasi (a ser-vant of the gods; one entirely devoted to the sacred art of classical dance). The life of Par-vati's mother and two brothers is greatly improved by the money they receive from the guru. Much is explained when years later Parvati comes back to the village to dance for the Maharaja. Rama, the Maharaja's son, befriends her. They realize that they both blame themselves for the cyclone that came on the day of their births, and that they both have special gifts. They must decide if they should persue the strong attraction they feel for each other, or if they should use their gifts to fulfill their dharma. This story is narrated lyrically by actress Christina Moore. The recording is excellent, allowing Staples' beautiful language to entrance listeners. Unfortunately, audio listeners will not have ac-cess to the author's note, explaining the set-ting of the novel, a note about Hinduism by the coordinator of the Indo-American Cul-tural and Religious Foundation, or the six-page glossary included with the book. This magical story of family, determination, love and possibilities should not be missed.-Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.